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Archives for Education

Alder Lands STEM Project

A brand new, architecturally designed Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) facility is to be constructed at Indooroopilly’s Brigidine College.

Alder Constructions has been appointed to build the $11.75 million building at the Catholic girls school, adding to its growing portfolio of cutting edge education facilities at schools across South East Queensland.

This the first education tender for a new build in the Greater Brisbane CBD area that the Gold Coast based construction company has been awarded.

Alder Constructions General Manager Dean Cheffers says the new four level building is scheduled to open late 2019.

“This project will involve the removal of an existing demountable building and the car park at the corner of Fairley and Campus Streets, making way for a new four level building,” he said.

“The building comprises two levels of car parking, class rooms, science labs, storage rooms, a tiered seminar room, staff offices, student and staff amenities, rooftop mechanical plant and an external amphitheatre.  Architecturally, the building is conceived as having ‘bookends’ with classrooms that open up to the open space and street.  A solar photovoltaic roof will provide energy to the building, with a naturally-ventilated corridor, and louvred glazing allowing air flow across the building.”

Alder Constructions is working closely with Property and Infrastructure Consultants APP to deliver the project on time and on budget.

Designed by Blight Rayner, the progressive building has been designed with innovative spaces to foster knowledge in STEM subjects.

“There’s been a big push to boost the engagement and participation of girls and women in STEM education, with the federal government committing $4.5 million to the initiative,” Mr Cheffers said.

“Schools are continuously having to set new standards and new levels of innovation, to keep up with constantly evolving technology trends, and progressive learning spaces are imperative to engage today’s students.  With such unique design features, it’s important to appoint builders with a strong reputation in the education space.”

Over the past 12 months Alder Constructions has successfully delivered multiple progressive education projects. These include ‘The Pod’ at Coomera Anglican College, The Southport School Multi-Purpose Hall at the preparatory campus, and A.B. Paterson’s new $13 million state-of-the-art learning precinct, currently under construction.

With the official sod-turning ceremony held on 08 February, attended by former Brigidine student and company namesake Chantel Alder, College staff and Stakeholders, construction is now set to commence.

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Modern architecture redefines the way school children learn

Innovative architecture is redefining the way school children learn, putting student experience at the forefront of design.

Burling Brown Architects Director Brian Kidd says Architects are leading a whole new era in education by creating innovative, progressive learning spaces designed to engage today’s students.

The Gold Coast based practice, Burling Brown, has been planning, designing and managing architectural projects in the education sector since 1972.

Mr Kidd says the demands of 21st century education have compelled schools to set cutting edge new design benchmarks, positioning education as an emerging market place for architects.

“Design briefs have evolved so significantly over the years in response to the constant evolution and advancement of technology and the burgeoning nature of the Independent School System,” he said.

“30 years ago, school fees and budgets were tight and as a consequence facility design were less elaborate.

“Where a simple shed once would have sufficed for an arts or sports facility, schools are now giving architects university style complex briefings, and the interior fitouts are now far more technical and complex in nature. There’s been a huge shift in expectations and specialised learning spaces and architectural features are in such high demand they are now driving enrolments particularly in the Independent and Private School sector.”

Independent school enrolments in Queensland increased by nearly 2,000, or 1.7%, from 2017 to 2018. This is the highest annual increase in recent years and nearly double the rate experienced from 2016 to 2017.

“Approximately one third of school age children in Australia are enrolled in the Independent and Private School systems and this is increasing each year. The statistics are even higher on the Gold Coast and with six to eight schools within a 10 to 12km radius in some suburbs, there is incredible competition,” Mr Kidd said.

“Private and Independent schools find themselves competing for enrolments and this free market is driving the demand for high end learning spaces now more than ever before.

“These days, parents are looking for far more from a school than its reputation, scholastic achievements or sporting programs. Parents are expecting schools to provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) facilities, senior learning centres, and multi-functional spaces with high quality finishes and full integration and overlay of 21st century technology.”

Mr Kidd added that architects are continuously having to set new standards and new levels of innovation, in line with constantly evolving technology trends, to engage today’s students.

“We will soon see virtual and augmented reality, robotics, 3D printing, laser cutting and drones as the norm, and schools are identifying the need to have facilities flexible enough to move and adapt to change,” he said.

“Coomera Anglican College is a prime example – the school provided a complex and innovative brief which inspired The Pod – a complete sensory learning space and is without doubt, one of Queensland’s most immersive new learning facilities.”

‘The Pod’ saw an integrated and collaborative partnership between Coomera Anglican College, Burling Brown, and Gold Coast construction company Alder Constructions.

“The Pod utilises contemporary and progressive architectural principles, construction methods and materials,” Mr Kidd said.

“The facility features extraordinary shapes, curves and voids, showcasing a 360 degree amphitheatre for virtual and augmented reality learning. Features like writable walls, retractable AV and 3D printer cabinetry create a minimal yet futuristic design.

“With such unique design features, it’s important that we appoint builders with a strong reputation in the education space, and demonstrated ability to deliver impeccable quality of finishes, on time and on budget.”

The collaboration proved highly successful with Alder Constructions winning the 2018 Master Builders Gold Coast Housing and Construction Award for education facilities valued up to $10 million

A.B. Paterson College is another highly progressive school that spent years developing the concept for its $13 million state-of-the-art learning precinct. The College has also engaged Burling Brown and Alder Constructions to deliver the cutting-edge new facility at Arundel, which is currently under construction.

Alder Constructions General Manager Dean Cheffers says A.B. Paterson’s new learning precinct will be a showstopper with well-researched education spaces designed to foster a positive environment for modern learning.

“The first floor will feature a magical rainforest-themed playground, three Pre-Prep classrooms, an Outside School Hours Care facility, a café and film studio,” he said.

“The upper levels will house a library, flexible learning spaces and 160-seat multi-purpose lecture theatre equipped with retractable seating, acoustics panels, and a fully sprung floor.”

The Southport School Preparatory Campus also collaborated with Alder Constructions and Burling Brown Architects on the delivery of its $6.5 million Multi-Purpose Auditorium and Sports Hall.

“The Prep School Multi-Purpose Hall, was one of the most progressive facilities for learning and teaching that TSS Prep has ever undertaken,” Mr Cheffers said.

“Electronically controlled sports equipment and retractable AV has been integrated into the ceiling to create a minimal, uncluttered and dynamic design. It allows the whole school to come together in an acoustically and thermally treated space for assemblies, chapels and celebrations, and provides options for alternative learning spaces when the modern curriculum requires more than a standard classroom can offer.”

Mr Kidd says technology has fundamentally altered the way we interact with the spaces in which we learn, work and live, and has ultimately influenced the way 21st century children learn.

“Today, modern educational spaces must address not only the academic needs of the students but also their innate curiosity and creativity. It is our job to create spaces that kids want to be in, to foster a positive environment for learning.”

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Winner for education on the coast

Alder Constructions has been recognised at the 2018 Master Builders Gold Coast Housing and Construction Awards, for its work on one of the city’s most immersive new learning facilities, ‘The Pod’.

The Gold Coast construction company has taken out the education facilities award for projects valued up to $10 million, for its future-focused Primary Learning Resource Centre at Coomera Anglican College.

Alder Constructions General Manager Dean Cheffers said the $4.5 million development, completed last January, had to tick ‘outside of’ several boxes to achieve its futuristic vision.

“The Pod is one of a kind, featuring extraordinary shapes, curves and voids, showcasing a 360 degree amphitheatre for virtual and augmented reality learning,” he said.

“The acoustics-led architecture amplifies a pin drop in the amphitheatre while minimising sound in breakout spaces. Features like writable walls, retractable AV and 3D printer cabinetry create a minimal and uncluttered design where the latest technology is invisibly packed away to maximise space.

“The distinctive building also features a circular room surrounded by switchable glass which turns clear to opaque at the touch of a button, and multiple learning and collaborative common spaces.”

Alder collaborated with Burling Brown Architects and Coomera Anglican College to create the sensory space which places it front and centre of future learning.

“We have constructed a facility which caters to students’ needs in a rapidly changing digital landscape,” Mr Cheffers said.

“Technology should be central to all new designs today because it’s so ingrained in every aspect of life and has fundamentally altered the way we interact with the spaces around us.

“In a world where education is already starting to see virtual and augmented reality, robotics, 3D printing, laser cutting and drones as the set standard, the goal was to create a customised learning facility flexible enough to adapt to change and address current technological advances.

‘The Pod is a first for any educational facility in Australia and we are completely thrilled to win this award which recognises a future-focused vision.”

Alder’s partnership with Burling Brown Architects has seen it complete multiple leading developments like the TSS Multi-Purpose Auditorium and Sports Hall, which it also entered into the awards.

The companies have started construction on A.B. Paterson’s $13 million learning precinct which combines similar state-of-the-art features to enhance digital learning and collaboration in a technology-focused world.

Master Builders Housing and Construction Awards recognise members at the forefront of building innovation and quality craftsmanship, promoting and showcasing excellence in Queensland’s housing and construction industry.

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