The $1.76 billion Gold Coast University Hospital, one of the largest public health infrastructure projects completed in Australia, recently won Aurecon and Jacobs, part of an engineering joint venture, a National Engineering Excellence Award.

Designed by a consortium comprising HASSELL, Silver Thomas Hanley and PDT Architects and constructed by Lend Lease, the project was benchmarked against the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star Healthcare rating tool, and incorporated major sustainability initiatives around energy, water, indoor environment quality, open space, materials and transport, with the masterplan including a dedicated light rail station for the newly opened Gold Coast light rail.

The EJV led the delivery of all engineering services, including structural, civil, electrical, mechanical, hydraulics, lifts, fire services, information and communications technology, environmentally sustainable design assessment, traffic engineering and survey services.


The GCUH consists of eight separate buildings, with a total floor space of around 170,000 square metres and integrates patient care, teaching and research. The 20 hectare site and multiple building configuration gave the EJV an opportunity to develop precinct-scale infrastructure for energy, water, communications and data. The masterplan also incorporated substantial open space and landscaping for amenity.

Sustainability targets included greenhouse gas and peak energy reduction, water conservation and waste minimisation. Resilience in the power supply interruptions or water supply interruptions was also built into the designs, as the hospital is a designated post-disaster operations and recovery centre.

A centralised tank farm has been provided adjacent to the Central Energy Plant Building. The potable cold water storage tanks have sufficient capacity to store 480,000 litres – enough to maintain service for a 750 bed overnight hospital for a 24 hours period without top up. This storage system also reduces the peak loads imposed on the incoming mains water supply and infrastructure across the local neighbourhood.

“The breadth of engineering knowledge that was needed to complete such an extensive project shows how remarkable the Gold Coast University Hospital is. We are proud to have played a role in the EJV Venture and the Excellence Award is a testament to the world class expertise and innovation that we are able to provide our clients,” Aurecon associate, buildings and project leader Rick Murphy said.


Other sustainability features of the GCUH include:

  • Water harvesting tanks, which hold roof water for irrigation purposes
  • Energy-efficient lighting and efficient HVAC systems
  • LEED-compliant Ecotech Italian Porcelain Stoneware tiles to all main trafficable walkways
  • Low-VOC floor coverings including Interface Carpet tiles and best-practice vinyl, with vinyl supplier Armstrong also operating an on-site scrap recycling operation to reduce waste to landfill
  • The facade, engineered by Arup, incorporates high performance vision glazing and panelised zinc curtain wall sunshading systems particularly on the western elevations
  • Extensive open public spaces with gardens, courtyards, walkways, bike paths and art works

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