Melbourne Arts Precinct Redevelopment Project

Last Updated on September 17, 2023

The Melbourne Arts Precinct redevelopment project aims to transform the creative precinct. Its overarching goal is to attract tourists, unlock employment opportunities, foster the birth of innovative spaces, and cultivate a dynamic urban garden at the heart of one of Australia’s largest cities.

Urban CGI played a crucial role in facilitating the planning of this project. Utilising our CGI Simulation platform we provided the visual planning solutions to reduce the time and effort required for shutdown logistics planning.

Our advanced functionalities, including photo-realistic visualisation, active collaboration, accuracy, and cloud-based accessibility, enable efficient and effective planning and engagement processes.

This stakeholder engagement case study highlights our successful stakeholder engagement processes and showcases how our work empowered the project, leading to improved productivity, efficiency, time management, understanding, reputation, and brand image for the client.

The Melbourne Arts Precinct project can essentially be broken down into three major project milestones. The timeline includes:

  • The Precinct master plan vision development in 2017

– developing and communicating the vision for the high-end arts precinct map project and its surrounding area

Arts Precinct Melbourne stakeholder engagement and planning for pedestrian access and education on disruptions
Melbourne Arts Precinct masterplan vision development
  • Construction planning and stakeholder engagement 2022

– assisting Lendlease in securing a $300 million-project phase through the development and presentation of temporary works planning.

Construction and traffic planning during the development of the Arts Precinct in Melbourne CBD with LendLease
Construction methodology visualisation for supporting the winning bid
  • Addressing logistics challenges in 2023

– engaging with logistics and interface stakeholders daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly to ensure a clear understanding of the layouts, interfaces, and logistics of the surrounding area.

Stakeholder engagement with interface logistics challenge

The Melbourne Arts Precinct transformation involves intricate logistics planning and coordination with various stakeholders, including the Arts Centre and services relocations. As a result, numerous conversations and interactions are required on a regular basis.

Urban CGI provides capability for our client to engage with their impacted stakeholders around logistics and support interface discussions with stakeholders daily or as needed to ensure a clear understanding of the dynamic layouts, interfaces, and logistics of the surrounding area in an intuitive 3D format.

For instance, stakeholders want to understand layout changes for specific circumstances. This involves answering the following questions when a section of a street is closed:

  • where will the hoardings be?
  • where will pedestrians walk?
  • where is the truck access for this day or week?
  • what are the turning circles?
  • how far away from the building will the site access be?
  • how are you managing the trees and ecological attributes?
  • where will the cranes and plant be?

Due to the busy operations of the Arts Centre and Precinct, there are daily major deliveries of theatrical sets and equipment for the bump-in and bump-out of some of Melbourne’s most significant shows. The risk of disruption during these activities is high and needs to be carefully managed.

Furthermore, the construction project itself is disruptive, as roadworks are taking place at the entrance gateways to the construction site. Consequently, it is crucial to handle vehicle movements involving lorries, trucks, general vehicles, and foot traffic with great care and foresight.

Managing these complex logistical operation jobs across time and space involves the placement of fences, hoarding, and construction equipment such as cranes and excavators. It necessitates the careful management of safe pathways, turning circles, and access to ensure the safety and confidence of all stakeholders involved.

Construction stakeholder engagement logistics planning render to show how traffic will run onsite and offsite
Construction stakeholder engagement logistics planning render for the precinct builder

Old Way: Printed and digital 2D logistics plan method

Site construction teams heavily rely on PDF mark-ups as a crucial tool for creating and explaining the logistics and layouts of the project. This process of developing detailed 2D plans requires a substantial amount of time, sometimes taking several hours or even days. The plans are typically made in BlueBeam, in Acrobat or even PowerPoint.

Once the plans are finalised, designated team members bring both printed and digital versions of the 2D logistics and layout plans to the logistics manager of the Arts Precinct stakeholders during their daily or weekly meetings. In this meeting, they present and discuss the phased sequence of events depicted in the plans.

During the presentation of the 2D PDF plans, the logistics manager from the Arts Centre provides feedback. The logistics manager then takes these plans to their internal stakeholders for further presentation and discussion, collecting additional feedback in the process.

The construction site team must repeat the process of shutdown logistics planning engagement with a range of other stakeholders, including the Ballet Centre, the National Gallery of Victoria and its residents, Creative Victoria, the Department of Jobs, MAP Co, and the corporation board. The frequency of engagement varies among these stakeholders.

This process of engagement and planning is repeated across different shutdown areas over time, as the works program progresses and the areas of construction activity change.

The use of the 2D PDF method in logistics planning engagement meetings has consumed a significant amount of time for the construction team.

How much time does it take to do 2D Construction Planning?

The process of shutdown logistics planning engagement for a specific shutdown area, involving one major stakeholder, proved to be time-consuming and intricate. It spanned over a period of six weeks, consisting of a total of 30 meetings.

These meetings were essential for addressing the logistics and coordination of the shutdown within an area measuring approximately 100 metres in length and 30 metres in width, or 3,000 square metres.

Each of these meetings required thorough preparation, including the creation and revision of 2D PDF plans. The team and designer had to meticulously incorporate mark-ups and comments from stakeholders, constantly redrawing and refining the plans to reflect the evolving requirements in a back and forth process, inching forward day by day.

This process was crucial for ensuring clear communication and understanding among all parties involved, but it is painful and can cause high anxiety as well as slow down the programme.

While the extended duration of six weeks may raise concerns about potential delays and risks to the overall work program, the importance of avoiding misunderstandings and friction with key stakeholders outweighed the time investment.

The 30 meetings demanded significant labour and effort from the already busy staff. In addition to the 30 hours spent in meetings, an average of 3 to 4 hours per meeting was required for preparation, discussions, and reviews.

Multiple personnel had to collaborate in this process, which inevitably led to distractions, lost productivity, and potential frustration.

Considering the cumulative time spent on this one shutdown area for this one stage of the multi-year program, it amounted to approximately 200 hours.

With an average personnel rate at $150 per hour, the shutdown logistics planning engagement for this specific area would have incurred a direct cost of $30,000.

New Way: CGI Real Time Construction Simulations

The objective is to significantly reduce the time and effort involved in the shutdown logistics planning process. Instead of 30 meetings over 6 weeks costing $30,000 and much opportunity cost, we can streamline the process to just one or two meetings lasting one or two hours.

To achieve this, Urban CGI has amalgamated the 3D site information into our Digital Twin Technology. It is a simple 3D site model of existing conditions.

Some of the features cater to the specific needs and priorities of the client, including:

  • The ability to instantly place construction plant and assets within the model from our 3D warehouse, along with adding relevant equipment.
  • The capability to lay out hoarding and fencing elements and effortlessly manipulate them in real-time.
  • Accurate measurement of widths, 3D distances, and clearances, providing real-time visualisation and verification of spatial relationships between elements.
  • User-friendly navigation and the ability to view the site from multiple angles, facilitating easy movement and exploration.
  • A third-person perspective option, using Simulation Simon and Simone, allowing stakeholders to virtually walk around the site.
  • Convenient toggling of various elements through simple layer controls in a 3.5D manner.
  • Instantaneous changes and adjustments to objects and their placement.
  • Confidence in the accuracy of spatial data, ensuring walls and elements are correctly positioned and scaled.
  • Dynamic weather changes, including lighting effects, to enhance realism and understanding of evening works.
  • The ability to design roads and pathways and adjust their width to meet specific requirements.
  • Real-time editing capabilities during meetings with clients and stakeholders, promoting active collaboration and swift decision-making.
  • The capacity to capture 3D imagery from any desired angle for effective planning purposes.
  • Saving and storing these elements for future use and reference.
  • Cloud-based accessibility, enabling usage from anywhere with an internet connection.

By equipping the team with these advanced functionalities, we empower the client to engage in effortless discussions with stakeholders, providing a clear and immersive 3D perspective of the shutdown logistics.

This simplifies and expedites the planning process, transforming what used to take months into mere minutes. This significant improvement translates into enhanced productivity, efficiency, time management, understanding, reputation, and brand image for the client.

Sims for Construction 4D planning methodologies

The consultant structural engineers involved in the new Melbourne Arts Precinct project, construct a detailed Revit model that represents the various structures within the project. The model is divided into sections based on the level of detail and granularity necessary for each phase and review stage of the project.

To facilitate collaboration and review, the 3D structural engineering model is made available to the Lendlease team through a viewer. During their weekly methodology planning team meetings, the Lendlease team shows or hides specific layers of the model as needed. Regular data drops and updates ensure the model remains up to date.

Considering the extensive timeframe of the project, spanning 3 to 5 years and focusing on permanent works, the structural engineering models are planned and reviewed on a monthly and quarterly basis.

These reviews involve analysing and scrutinising the structures that are to be constructed during each stage of the project with a higher level of resolution or “chunks.”

The construction team faces numerous challenges in effectively planning and executing the project. They must develop methodologies for sequencing the construction activities, create detailed works programs, plan temporary structures, conduct safety risk assessments, and ensure quality assurance throughout the project.

These tasks, among others, contribute to the complexity of the project.

The planning process must carefully consider the precise locations of scaffolding, elevated work platforms (EWPs), cranes and booms, hoarding, circulation and access paths, safety measures, and interfaces across hundreds of different points. Managing these interfaces and ensuring their seamless integration is an intricate and demanding task.

Overall, the structural engineering team’s Revit models, combined with meticulous temporary works planning and coordination efforts, are crucial in addressing the complexities and challenges inherent in the Melbourne arts precinct project.

Save time and effort in construction planning with Urban CGI Simulations

Urban CGI provides next-generation capability with responsive services that ensure lower-cost project execution and satisfied stakeholders. Our team of experts deploy cutting-edge technology like our CGI platform to create accurate and visually appealing representations of project logistics and layouts. With our comprehensive approach, we prioritise stakeholder engagement, ensuring their needs and concerns are understood and addressed throughout the process.

Choose Urban CGI for your construction planning and stakeholder engagement needs and experience the difference firsthand. Contact us today to discuss your project requirements and let us help you achieve success with our expertise and commitment to excellence. Together, we can create a harmonious and successful construction project that meets the needs of all stakeholders involved.