Coal Loader – Celebrating the 2018 AILA NSW Awards

Photo courtesy of North Sydney Council

On the back of several prior awards, the Coal Loader at Sydney’s Balls Head has been awarded 2018 ALIA NSW Cultural Award for Excellence.

ACOR Consultants were commissioned by North Sydney Council to undertake site investigations and modelling to determine suitable remediation strategies which would allow the Coal Loader tunnel works to be restored and adapted for reuse. Our task included preparation of a detailed repair specification as part of the restoration process. The first step was to commission several trial repairs of the sandstone tunnel work to ensure building contractors would be able to achieve acceptable finishes. Following the trial and a ‘mark-out’ of over 2000 defects, the final specification included 35,000 litres of concrete repair; 2,000 square meters of surface coatings; 1,450 discrete anodes and 600 meters of crack repairs. The duration of the project exceeded 500 engineering hours.

This project earned us the Repair Industry Excellence Award for Adaptive Re-use Green-roof Project by the Australian Concrete Repair Association.

We are proud to be associated with this very special heritage and culturally significant project. Our client’s vision has been realised with an insightful, adaptive reuse of the site to provide the community with a solar powered recreation and viewing area, urban harvest area, meeting space, sustainability and heritage learning centre, café and artist workshops.

The tunnels have been kept intact to not disturb the resident bat colony; to provide untouched raw condition walk-through access; to manage the sites’ water harvesting and re-use; and, to provide the community with a dedicated and bookable gallery and event space. The result is a complementary use of materials and simplicity in design.

Photo courtesy of Hassell Studio

Other awards received by Council and their design consultants for this project include:

2018 NSW/ACT Award Winner – Community Facility of the Year & Park of the Year awarded by Parks and Leisure Australia;

2012 National Trust (NSW) heritage awards for The Regeneration and New Development category for Adaptive Reuse.

Follow the link to view the spectacular transformation unfold. Green Roof Project- Coal Loader Platform

ACOR’s capability in heritage interpretation and consulting is built on an approach to delivering quality advice and solutions that add value to structural assets within commercial constraints. Overall, our goal is to prolong the life of significant and important structures. We do this by working with our colleagues in our broader business including Civil, Structural, Hydraulic and Fire engineers.

We’ve worked on many of Australia’s iconic structures including current and ex-Defence sites, national parks, public domain buildings and new developments that are subject to adaptive re-use. Our goal is to provide clients with pragmatic and commercially responsible recommendations based on our commitment to sustainability and preservation.