Greenland Centre, Sydney – Construction methodology to partially demolish, rebuild and extend upward

Cameron Hateley
Construction Engineering Manager (Central Region)
Robert Bird Group, Sydney

The end-of-life scenario for tall buildings is one of the least studied parts of a tall building life. Globally there are a very limited number of tall buildings that have been demolished in a controlled manner in the past, with many tall buildings now approaching their design life globally, the question of whether to demolish or renovate is becoming a bigger issue for the industry.
The Greenland Centre, Sydney presents an exceptional answer to the question of what to do with an old tall building and represents a unique structural engineering and construction challenge being the addition of 45 levels to an existing 26 storey building that was never conceived for future vertical extension.
The adaptive re-use of the original building retains much but not all of the existing tower’s structural elements thus maintaining the current building footprint; providing significant extra floor area throughout the full tower height. This partial demolition/retention requirement raised significant unique temporary tower stability challenges that needed to be solved before demolition and construction works could progress.
This presentation discusses the collaborative and innovative approach to the temporary structural design solutions developed to enable this project to be realised with special focus on the overall temporary construction structural concepts, construction sequence and specific site challenges which include the measures required to temporarily stabilise the structural steel frame during partial demolition of the existing structure (removal of all concrete elements) and construction of the new permanent works.
This project, although challenging throughout the demolition and construction phase, demonstrates that old tall buildings can indeed be renovated and returned to service and in this case even doubled in height.