ECU Joondalup Building 27.2 – Maritime Engineering
ECU Joondalup


Project Manager

NS Projects


T&Z Architects


PACT Construction



Year Completed



Civil and Structural Consultant

ECU Joondalup Building 27.2 – Maritime Engineering
ECU Joondalup

Project Manager:  NS Projects

Architect: T&Z Architects

Building B27.2 is a new Engineering building focusing on Martime, Environmental and Petroleum Engineering.  The primary feature of the new labs is the Maritime Engineering Laboratory.  This consists of an in-ground pool  that can have turbines lowered into it to provide a water flow around the pool.  Test models may then be lowered into the flow to measure the effects of drag.

One side of the pool has a 5m x 1.6m window into an observation nook.  Within the nook, recording equipment and students can observe the testing from below the water level.

BPA were responsible for the design of the building, pool and the observation window.  The beam over the observation window was required to not only provide lateral support for the window, but also resist the loads of the trolley dragging test pieces in the water flow.

A crane beam runs above the pool and extends out into the carpark beyond, where test models can be unloaded and brought into the building.

Construction of the building involved precast panels for the lower levels and Ritek walls for the upper two levels.  The choice of construction methodology was made around the requirements for the construction programme.  The panels around the pool are 7m high and support the labs at level 2.  The southern panels, carrying level 2 and 3, while also supporting the crane beam, are 300mm thick.  The weight of these panels presented some challenges, with panels broken down to transportable sizes and structurally re-joined using cast in plates.

The requirement for large open spaces in the southern labs was solved by using the level 2 central wall as a deep beam.  The wall is tied into the slabs at level 2 and 3 providing an effective I section with the slabs as flanges and the wall acting as a deep web.  This kept beam depths to a minimum.

The East face of the building features a steel escape stair.  This stair is almost entirely suspended off the face of the wall at levels 2 and 3.

The civil works presented some challenges with the installation of a retaining wall adjacent to the existing plant building, without undermining its existing retaining while providing access and tying into existing levels surrounding the new works.