ADG ensured the project was structurally viable by leveraging our decades of experience in modern analysis techniques to maximise outcomes and minimise site work.







project details


Perth, Western Australia


Devwest Group

Project timeline



In a first-of-its-kind project for Western Australia, Devwest Group sought to redevelop the existing Telstra building in Northbridge into a next-generation Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) and hostel precinct, incorporating shared living facilities for more than 400 students and extensive modern communal spaces.

The redevelopment required the project team to deliver a solution to repurpose the building from commercial to residential use, working with existing structures built in 1978 and original hand-drawn blueprints, while ensuring the project complied with contemporary code requirements.

The project also required thorough and complete structural analysis of the existing building condition to ensure suitability for the proposed new use, and identify outdated and potentially hazardous construction materials. Significant demolition work was undertaken to the existing roof plant room to facilitate the construction of the new levels.


ADG Engineers was engaged by Devwest Group to undertake the full structural and civil engineering analysis and design for the repurposing and extension of the existing building. As part of this process, the team was required to determine project viability and ensure optimal value-maximisation of the redevelopment through the inclusion of additional levels in the repurposed precinct design.

Led by ADG Engineers Project Director and Structural Team Lead Neil Williams, services provided included:

  • Assessment of existing building condition and temporary condition during demolition works
  • Multiple option studies assessing numerous structural forms and materials, including concrete, steel and timber
    Structural system concept design to enable the inclusion of additional levels
  • Composite steel option design, driven by efficiency of construction, and consideration of cost and risk
  • Extensive internal alterations to the existing structure to accommodate new fit out and compliance with modern codes
  • Detailed analysis on existing post tensioned slab to facilitate the inclusion of an extensive new atrium by removal of the floor slab
  • Addition of new structure loads
  • Coordination of new service penetrations through existing post-tensioned slabs
  • Design of a four-storey roof extension to minimise loading, and optimise construction methodology and programme.

Completion of the project in 2018 saw the on-budget delivery of complex structural assessments and strategic design to enable the successful renovation of the building from commercial to residential use in time for a December 2019 student intake.

ADG’s ability to undertake a detailed assessment of the existing structural frame and enhance design parameters for the inclusion of an additional four levels — increasing internal usable space by 35 per cent — was successful in making the project viable in terms of financial investment and adherence to modern codes.

Another key structural achievement was the team’s complex design analysis methodology, enabling the removal of four column grids of post-tensioned slab to allow for the inclusion of a double-height atrium space for communal student use — resulting in the realisation of the precinct’s architectural vision and a unique selling point for future residents.

“Through structural analysis of the existing condition and the effect of removing a significant portion of post-tensioned slab, our team provided a methodology to carefully and safely remove tensioned strands and live ends, tapping into the unrealised potential of the new-use structure.”

- Neil Williams, ADG Project Director and Structural Team Lead
the Team
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