New facility preserves Australian history for the future

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22 June 2017

One of the world’s leading engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services companies, GHD, has helped the National Archives of Australia preserve irreplaceable historical collections.

The new National Archives Preservation Facility in Canberra stores more than 100 km of paper records and 9 km of audiovisual records, representing around a quarter of the national archival holdings.

The purpose-built facility, developed by Doma Group and designed by May + Russell Architects has been designed to minimise its environmental footprint. With a total area of 18,000 square metres, the new building also includes conservation and digitisation workspaces, and staff offices.

As technical advisor, GHD developed the design brief for the facility and assisted with procurement for pre-commitment lease delivery. GHD then undertook the technical review of the design documentation as well as periodic inspections during construction (including defecting and witness testing of commissioning) to ensure compliance with the design brief.

“One of the highlights of working in Canberra is the opportunity to contribute to the physical infrastructure that underpins our national institutions. I felt very moved at the opening of the NAPF and proud of the role we played throughout the project, from approvals to successful completion,” says Jo Metcalfe, GHD’s Manager for Canberra and Southern NSW.

“This is one of more than 50 projects we have completed for the National Archives of Australia since 2006, reflecting our commitment to build lasting client relationships.”

At the official opening, the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC, summed up the purpose of the new facility, “This magnificent building will be of great benefit to all who use the Archives, through whose labours we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, and will help to tell the story of our nation’s past, present and future.”

Photo: May + Russell Architects

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