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’s life cycle. 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 the end of their design lives, 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. The project involves the addition of 45 levels to an existing 26-story 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 while providing significant extra floor area throughout the full tower height. This partial demolition/retention requirement raised significant 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 realize this project. There is special focus on the overall temporary construction structural concepts, construction sequence and specific site challenges, including temporarily stabilization of the structural steel frame the during partial demolition of the existing structure 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 even doubled in height.