Leveraging extensive experience in asset revitalisation, ADG rejuvenated the significant but unutilised heritage building stock to unlock the economic potential of the precinct renewal while maintaining culturally sensitive heritage value.









project details


Brisbane, Queensland


Hutchinson Builders

Project timeline



Directed by Australian Unity, Herston Quarter is a $1.3 billion mixed-use redevelopment project located adjacent to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital precinct in North Brisbane, that seeks to cement the wider Herston Health Precinct as a global benchmark in public and private medical facilities.

At the heart of the project lies the existing Herston Heritage Precinct, which contains several notable buildings listed on the State Register of Heritage Places. In partnership with Hutchinson Builders, the redevelopment has involved the revitalisation of several existing heritage-listed buildings constructed between 1895 and 1938 — including the iconic Lady Lamington, Lady Norman and Edith Cavell buildings — to breathe new life into the precinct, and introduce contemporary uses to the former nurses’ accommodation including commercial office, medical, hospitality and student accommodation spaces.

The most significant project challenges include:

  • Unknown structural and material conditions across the various heritage buildings, and suitability of the existing structural capacities for intended redevelopment
  • Determining and realising acceptable outcomes for building longevity and structural performance of the various buildings in the development
  • Balancing the economic and cultural heritage implications of required structural intervention works.

Hutchinson Builders engaged ADG to aid in the refurbishment of various heritage buildings located within the project site.

Led by ADG Engineers Queensland State Manager Nick Ward, services provided included:

Overarching investigation process

  • Desktop review to review previous investigations and documentation relating to the existing buildings
  • Site inspection and recording of building characteristics for data collection and forensic investigations
  • Building condition reporting/structural assessment to identify potential deficiencies relative to expected performance requirements
  • Fit-for-purpose analysis to determine whether potential deficiencies are actual deficiencies and recommendations for remediation.

Complete structural investigation of assets

  • Pre-deployment strategic investigation plan around constraints of site safety (including consideration of the presence of hazardous materials) and requirements to maintain heritage asset conditions:
    • Bespoke investigation approaches developed for each unique building structure
    • Engagement with a historian to ensure best-practice heritage works
    • Engagement with ADG Construction Data Solutions (ADG CDS) to minimise destructive testing, and impact on heritage fabric and maximise data capture
  • Forensic engineering site investigations and data capture of existing buildings to determine structural conditions and properties for strength, service and durability performance:
    • Dilapidation surveys
    • Point cloud scanning
    • Non-destructive testing (i.e. use of ground penetrating radar)
    • Localised material testing of concrete, steel, timber and masonry members.

Structural engineering for structural renewal and heritage requirements

  • Tailored, strategic design solutions for proposed new structures
  • Structural design solutions for works related to existing buildings, including building repair, remediation, strengthening and provision of enhanced performance.

To date, ADG has incorporated the findings of the forensic investigations to deliver a bespoke performance solution, balancing the requirements for structural fitness with the Burra Charter principle of ‘changing as much as necessary but as little as possible’.

ADG’s considered structural design captures both the proposed new structures as well as works related to the renovation and rejuvenation of existing buildings, including building repair, remediation, strengthening and provision of enhanced performance under seismic excitation. This has resulted in enhanced preservation of the heritage structures and improvements in the structural performance of the buildings, including a 100 per cent increase in the seismic strength of the Lady Lamington Towers.

the Team
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