Full project details
Opened in early 2012, the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) Expansion represents a 50 per cent increase in the centre’s facilities. As the sole contractor for the project, Laing O’Rourke was able to complete the construction while the existing centre continued to operate.
The five-level, 25,000 m2 development allows the BCEC to cater for a much wider range of events. It is now the only centre of its kind in Australia with able to accommodate between 400 and 8000 delegates. This also allows greater flexibility in accommodating events of different sizes at once.
Since the expansion, the centre now features stand-alone plenary halls and 42 meeting and event spaces. Two levels are dedicated to meetings and conventions.
The BCEC is located on Brisbane’s iconic South Bank, one of the city’s busiest locales. The existing centre remained operational during the construction phase, despite the challenges of traffic management and the logistics of working within a confined space in a lively area.
Laing O’Rourke reduced the impact on retail traders, public events, the residential community and local transportation hubs through smart and efficient planning, sound methodology analysis and proactive stakeholder management. It was vital that disruptions were minimised, as the Southern train line runs under the site and Grey Street was to remain open throughout the construction phase.
Working with the architect, Laing O’Rourke also developed an alternative lightweight facade system to the Plenary Hall on the east elevation. Other areas of design innovation include an improved acoustic glazing system, as well as coloured precast concrete features to the west elevation.
In an Australian first for Laing O’Rourke, the company self-performed the concrete structural works through its subsidiary, Expanded. This included earthworks and civil, piling, concrete formwork, reinforcing, post-tensioning and scaffolding.
By carrying out the works in-house, Laing O’Rourke operated as one cohesive team, with greater control on how the project was carried out. Other benefits of this structure included improved communication, better quality control and reduced risks, all of which were advantageous to the client.