EZONE UWA is the largest single infrastructure investment that UWA has undertaken since its foundation.
Featuring a network of flexible teaching, research and industry engagement spaces, EZONE UWA is designed to deliver outstanding graduates and innovative solutions in the fields of engineering, computing and mathematics.
Several elements of EZONE UWA have either been completed or are in the advanced stages of development:
- Gas process engineering research activities commenced operations at The Australian Resources Research Centre (ARRC) at Bentley in January 2014.
- A $9 million C02 Research Facility at Crawley, completed in mid-2014, houses significant teaching and research infrastructure, and is a partnership between CSIRO, Curtin University and UWA, with funding from the Commonwealth Government through the Education Investment Fund.
- The $62 million Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre at Crawley, scheduled for completion in 2016, will include the expanded geotechnical centrifuge laboratories for the UWA Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems. This building brings together a collaboration between the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), CSIRO, the Department of Fisheries WA and UWA's Oceans Institute.
Additional new or significantly upgraded teaching and research infrastructure:
- The Crawley campus will be the anchor point, where over a ten to fifteen year period the intention is to invest over $600 million into infrastructure and facilities in several stages. Stage 1 – planned for completion in 2020 - will involve the construction of a new state-of-the-art hub building estimated to cost up to $200 million and about $30 million in facility upgrades. This aspect of the initiative is moving from the conceptual to the design phase.
- There is a proposal in place through the National Resource Sciences Precinct (NSRP) for a fully-instrumented mini-LNG plant to be used for pilot-scale research, development and demonstration purposes, valued at about $10 million, to be located at Henderson adjacent to the Challenger Institute of Technology’s Australian Centre for Energy Process Training (ACEPT). The NRSP is a UWA, CSIRO and Curtin University collaboration.
EZONE UWA is more than just new buildings. It is about supporting the world-class work that occurs inside those buildings, now, and into the future.
UWA's internationally renowned researchers will have the opportunity to capitalise on existing strengths, and drive the development of innovative and strategically vital solutions to local, national and global challenges.
The following images give a conceptual impression of the development of EZONE UWA if full funding is achieved. Images are courtesy of HASSELL.
What is the scope of EZONE UWA?
The scope of EZONE UWA includes all teaching, engagement with students, industry, alumni and colleagues, and research within the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics. The EZONE UWA project will develop the desired culture and capability needed to create an environment that empowers people to change the world.
What risks are anticipated, apart from funding, and how are these being managed?
The primary nonfinancial risks relate to reputation of the Faculty and University, both with students and industry. When consulting with industry, a case was put forward to develop not only a new infrastructure but also a new culture that is significantly more cooperative, supports multi- and trans-disciplinary teaching and research, and makes industry collaboration in teaching and research significantly more achievable.
What is the expected financial cost of the EZONE UWA refurbishment and new buildings?
The overall, long term concept of the EZONE UWA has been estimated to cost in the range of $600-700m, with Stage 1 budgeted to be around $200M. Stage 1 A/B is estimated to cost around $80m and includes a new development to the south of the EECE building and refurbishment of the existing EECE building.
How does EZONE UWA fit in with "IQ" (Innovation Quarter) and other Faculty plans?
The Innovation Quarter was developed in response to initial discussions with industry about what was needed in order to secure investment in EZONE UWA. The end goal for EZONE UWA (including completion of Phases 1c, 1d, and onwards through Stages 2 and 3), is to provides significant opportunity to co-locate with industry, as well as additional space for spin-out companies to start the commercialisation process. IQ is a recognition that we need to do this sooner than the time frame set for Stages 2 and 3 of EZONE UWA. The link between IQ and EZONE UWA will be maintained, as existing IQ activities already contribute to the culture change aspect of EZONE UWA.
What type of consultation will be undertaken regarding the refurbishment and construction of the new space in EZONE UWA including both new and refurbished buildings?Consultation on the new and refurbished spaces in EZONE UWA has already occurred via several channels and more opportunities will become available as the project progresses. Input and feedback on EZONE UWA has been sought from Industry Advisory Panels, the Dean's Council, the EZONE UWA Reference Group, and School roadshows. Specialty user groups will be consulted regarding the design of dedicated labs and interviews have been conducted by Integrated Energy to gain input from a wide cross-section of the Faculty.
What is the timing of key phases of the refurbishment and construction?
EZONE UWA is a multi-stage construction and refurbishment program, with certain stages commencing in 2016 and due for completion in 2020. Details of the plan have not yet been released until final decisions on design and planning have been made.
What are the key learnings from other redevelopment programs undertaken by UWA and other universities that we can apply to EZONE UWA?
- Flat floor teaching space are critical to new ways of learning.
- Connectivity between different groups is essential for collaboration
- Having engaging, connected space is important for students to feel part of the University
- Visual access to activities is important if the space is to be used effectively
Is the Clough Engineering Student Centre building heritage listed?
The Clough Engineering Student Centre building is not heritage listed. However the Eastern façade of the building has been deemed by the University to have special historical significance, representing a particular architectural period in the University's history.
What is the business case for new or refurbished buildings in EZONE UWA?
There is a comprehensive business case for EZONE UWA that has been passed by the University's Strategic Resource Committee (a committee of the Senate), and subsequently endorsed by full Senate. The business case is based on:
- The age and condition of the current infrastructure
- The current declining student load in Engineering, recognised as being partly due to the infrastructure. Additionally, the Faculty engages in Chinese Ministry of Education articulation programs, which requires significantly better teaching infrastructure to enable positive "word of mouth" advertising in China
- A full financial model showing a significant internal rate of return and net present value for the project.
Space and Technology
What features of the workspace are being considered?
Key features of the new workspace being considered include:
- Flexible teaching studios that are available to all schools across the Faculty
- Dedicated labs for schools that typically require fixed space due the size, weight or type of equipment in use or services required
- Dedicated, secure space for a number of HDR students, that allows quiet and collaborative working to occur
- Dedicated space for students to socialise, collaborate and work quietly
- Dedicated space for the Office of the Dean, Student Support and Support Technicians
What is the layout plan for EZONE UWA? Who/what will be where?The new development and refurbishment of the EECE building will house specialist labs, flexible teaching studios, flexible student workspace, dedicated HDR workspace, support services and a community hub space. Other support and academic staff will be located within the physical buildings available to the Faculty.
Relocation of staff and labs will occur if they are currently located within the footprint of the refurbishment of the EECE building and the new development’s construction footprint (north end of Civil and Mechanical Engineering). In such cases, the Faculty Facilities Management team will be in consultation with staff regarding any relocation required.
All other layout plans within EZONE UWA in Crawley, Albany and Shenton Park, will remain unchanged.
What will be different about the way the space is used?
The new types of spaces being considered will provide more opportunity for both planned and spontaneous collaboration, will accommodate different needs in the same space and will enable the delivery of the latest teaching pedagogy.
Will the office space be open plan?
Open plan space will be considered where appropriate. For example the student space will be a mix of open, collaborative workspace, quiet, individual workspace, and small group working space. Similarly, reception spaces and IT have been found to be more effective in open environments and this will continue if appropriate.
When will people begin to see changes or be asked to move to new or temporary work locations? Where will they be relocated to?
Planning discussions with Heads of Schools and Department Managers commenced in early 2016. Those who work in an area that will be impacted by the refurbishment or construction will be notified by their School/Department management once decant and move plans have been developed and agreed.
How will building security be managed?
The refurbishment and new development will incorporate swipe access technology to restrict unauthorised access to zones that require secure protocols be in place.
Many academic staff will not be relocated to the new development and so adequate space remains for confidential discussions to take place, in the same way that they do now.
If you are interested in becoming more involved, please register your interest at EZONE-ECM