Austral Bricks; Laing O'Rourke Australia Construction
2005 - 2011
  • Geotechnical Investigations
  • Geotechnical Design
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HP Data Centre Project - Eastern Creek

In 2005 Douglas Partners was awarded a significant contract to supply geotechnical and environmental services during the redevelopment of a former brick pit at Eastern Creek. Initially the project required a 1,750,000 m3 brick pit (Vineyard Pit 1) to be backfilled with Virgin Excavated Natural Materials (VENM) imported from external source sites. However, early in the project the site area was increased to include a second 260,000 m3 brick pit (Vineyard Pit 2) to the immediate west. 

Earthworks progressed almost continuously from mid 2005 through to early 2011 and ultimately saw VENM from 150 different external source sites used as backfilling within each pit. The large number of source sites posed several geo-environmental challenges. Environmental issues primarily surrounded the receipt of sufficient site history information and reliable laboratory test data to support the VENM classifications, and the controls required to ensure only approved materials were delivered to site, particularly as the project was subject to a non-statutory site audit, under the Contaminated Land Management Act, 1997.
Geotechnical issues primarily surrounded the control of the backfilling operation, the blending of many different soil types into a near-uniform filling and the application of tight controls during placement to reduce the potential for long-term creep settlements. Settlement monitoring of the surface on completion of bulk backfill earthworks returned better than expected results validating the level of geotechnical controls applied during backfilling. 
Subsequent to earthworks, DP’s geotechnical input to the project continued during the construction of a new state-of-the-art data centre. Structural design issues were governed primarily by long-term settlement estimates, including expected large differential settlements that may occur as a result of variations in filling thickness. Initial design required detailed consideration of the final building footprint in relation to variation in filling depth. High-level, low bearing pressure footings were adopted during construction.


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