Taronga Invests in the Goals and Visions of it’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan

Taronga Conservation Society Australia’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan establishes a framework for the next stage of the Taronga’s development and reinforces its commitment to support programs that have a positive impact on wildlife while maximizing conservation initiatives.

As part of the Strategic Plan, Graphite Projects was proudly engaged to deliver the fit-out of Stage 1 for the new Taronga Institute of Science and Learning (TISL), which when complete will be unique in the Southern Hemisphere. The Institute has been designed to put conservation science on display. It will facilitate Research, Conservation, and Education programs; and will serve to inspire future generations and increase knowledge and capacity to help secure a shared future for wildlife and people.

Although it is only a relatively small part of the overall larger TISL development, the Stage 1 construction site (previously ante space for the Zoo’s amphitheater) was particularly sensitive as it overlooked the occupied squirrel monkey enclosure and is situated directly above active animal dens. Minimising disturbance to the animals was essential.

In addition to this, the Zoo’s two-way radio and main communications room was located within the work site and required to be operational 24/7 without interruption. Other complexities included Taronga’s first Vivid Light Festival, various film shoots, works during school holiday periods and a highly sensitive visit by an international diplomat. These difficulties directly impacted construction works by restricting the use of material handling routes, requiring an extreme level of sub-contractor co-ordination and significantly affecting the allowable working hours.

Graphite Projects achieved the project performance requirements by developing a collaborative partnership with the project consultants NBRS, Wood & Grieve, and Acoustic Logic. Several on-site design workshops were held to resolve design integration issues between the different disciplines. The construction team worked hand-in-hand with the design team to propose alternative solutions to problems arising as a result of program constraints and design challenges. One such challenge was the design management of a prominent architectural feature wall that would not achieve compliance. Through further collaboration with the client, architect, and Steve Watson & Partners (the PCA), Graphite proposed an Australian hardwood solution that met BCA requirements, Green Star timber credits and the budget while aligning with the Zoo’s design philosophy. The Stage 1 works were required to meet 5 Star Green Star targets and will contribute to the overall project’s Green Star rating.

Taronga Zoo

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