Western Sydney University, Charter Hall, and UNSW Sydney collaborated on the $300 million world-class ‘Engineering Innovation Hub’ at 6 Hassall Street – a world-leading engineering and industry innovation precinct in the heart of Parramatta designed to blend state-of-the-art commercial and education facilities. The A-Grade, 6-Star Green Star building with integrated vertical campus brings the highest quality educational opportunities and world-class research expertise to the fast-growing Western Sydney region. 

Western Sydney University engaged AECOM to design technology solutions to support learning, innovation, and industry for their new integrated fit out. The solution captures the essence of “technology on display” as an innovative smart building. The dynamic and technology-enabled spaces have already fostered a collaboration with the University of New South Wales in the Launch Pad Technology Business Incubator. 

In addition to the Launch Pad space, there are several other innovative and technology-focused elements integrated throughout the campus which present opportunity for cross-collaboration with local businesses and industries: 

  •  Super labs 
  • Studio design labs 
  • Architecture labs 
  • Project workshops 
  • Robotic rooms 
  • Tech Hub 
  • Meeting and Conference spaces 

AECOM was responsible for the design, coordination, and documentation of the ICT (Information Communication Technology) services throughout the integrated fitout. This included integrating the new campus to the existing University WAN (Wide Area Network) for IT and security services and ensuring scalability and consistency between campuses for existing solutions such as content sharing and remote learning. 

The move to an IP-based, centralised networked solution required a major uplift in both the AV (Audio Visual) and ICT packages. The final design supports additional network traffic, hardware requirements and functionality. The solution included active networking equipment and passive cabling infrastructure. 

The AV systems are essential for the day-to-day learning and teaching operations of a university, especially a campus focused on technology and innovation. A key design element in centralising the audio and control processing equipment was to allow redundancy, primarily for the learning studios, in the event of hardware failure. Centralised audio and control processors were duplicated on each floor to ensure that half of the learning spaces would remain operational should any one processor fail. 

The networked AV solution heavily leverages distributed processing and signal routing via the IT network and structed cabling systems. By centralising the processing and audio mixing equipment, this removes the need for local AV equipment to be duplicated within each room. With the modular approach to AV hardware, this solution allows for a more scalable AV system that can upgrade equipment as pedagogies evolve. The use of the structured cabling channel between end-devices and processing equipment also allows ease of install and maintenance. 

Reducing duplication of services enabled better efficiency and a reduction in energy use. By routing the AV traffic over the IT network this also allowed flexibility should a specific area need to be switched to the operational processor. 

The outcome is a functional, future-proof smart building that aligns with the vision for the University’s innovative approach to learning and teaching. This campus will allow generations of future engineers, scientists, and technologists to learn in an environment that highlights and celebrates technology as a feature, rather than the services hidden behind the walls.