The new Adelaide Botanic High School located in Adelaide’s CBD is home to 1250 students for the 2019 school year upon the official opening by the Minister of Education in March 2019. The $100M vertical school, the first of its kind in South Australia, is STEM focused in its pedagogy of teaching. The building embraces the concept of encouraging students to interact with the school’s energy performance by including visual energy monitoring, as well the ability for students and teachers to control their learning and teaching environments.

The new school has been constructed to repurpose the existing Reid Building (formerly owned by the University of South Australia and referred to as the North Building) which is interlinked via an atrium to a newly constructed building to the South. The project involved completely gutting the existing North Building, with the new eastern perimeter plant core constructed at each level for floor by floor mechanical air-handling distribution. This approach saw an immediate challenge with a limited slab-to-slab height, coupled with the design approach by the architectural team to not have ceilings provided throughout the project. The ductwork was unable to run centrally through the floor due to of the number of structural downstand beams, so a solution was planned to run the ductwork on the southern perimeter of the North Building where the floor slabs at each level were cantilevered a short distance, ensuring there were no structural beams requiring diversion of ductwork. The Ductwork could then penetrate into the floor plate to VAV boxes to serve teaching areas.

Thorough testing of the electrical load requirements were also performed for the building. The generic approach of determining the electrical maximum demand using AS3000 demonstrated a very high increase in augmentation. Through a collaborative approach with the Department for Education, electrical maximum demand data was obtained from a number of existing schools across a 5 year period, providing an excellent baseline of electrical load profile from which the school was based.

AECOM, as part of the winning consortia, led by Cox Architects, undertook all building services including: concept design management, electrical, ICT, security, hydraulics, fire protection, fire safety engineering, mechanical, vertical transportation and acoustics.