The project

Alexander and Albemarle, Canberra ACT

The challenge

Warringtonfire Australia were engaged by BLOC to complete the fire safety engineering for Alexander and Albemarle, Canberra ACT. The work involved the adaptive reuse of the Alexander and Albemarle office buildings located on Block 50 and 52, Section 8, Phillip, ACT. The site is bounded by an existing building to the north, an existing laneway to the east, an existing building to the south and Furzer street to the west. The original buildings were constructed in mid 1960s. Each of the existing Alexander and Albemarle buildings had low rise carparks located to the south and interconnected via link bridges.

The goal was to upgrade the existing office buildings to residential buildings and therefore comply with the current building code through the use of fire safety engineered solutions.

Our solution

Our fire safety engineers in Canberra developed solutions that allowed much of the existing building to be retained in its original condition, without major demolition or reconstruction. Meeting the deemed-to-satisfy provisions of the National Construction Code (NCC) is challenging for unique residential developments in the central business district due to originally being constructed as office buildings, the proximity of adjacent properties and a limited site area. We provided a range of fire safety engineering solutions for the building aimed at maximising the useable area and existing building envelope. This included a performance based assessment of the structure, fire protection requirements for external balconies, performance based steel structure to external walls, extended fire hydrant and hose reel coverage and extended travel distances to exits.

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