The Karrinyup Shopping Centre Redevelopment

July 2, 2022

From the nuts and bolts of cinema seating and curved facades, to vast pebble-shaped windows and a giant snake-like skylight, Perth-based Multiplan Pty Ltd has translated ideas into complex, digital, 3D construction models as one of the contractors working on the $800M Karrinyup Shopping Centre Redevelopment project.

From the nuts and bolts of cinema seating and curved facades, to vast pebble-shaped windows and a giant snake-like skylight, Perth-based Multiplan Pty Ltd has translated ideas into complex, digital, 3D construction models as one of the contractors working on the $800M Karrinyup Shopping Centre Redevelopment project.

Almost doubling the size of the shopping centre, from 59,715sqm to 113,000sqm, the landmark redevelopment puts Karrinyup Shopping Centre back on the map as a major shopping, dining and entertainment hub.

WA’s second largest shopping centre by the end of 2021, the re-energised retail destination has attracted international heavyweights Zara, H&M and UNIQLO, along with WA’s debut LEGO and Sephora stores. Aldi and Coles join the existing supermarket line-up, while Tesla has chosen the new-look lifestyle precinct for Perth’s first Tesla Supercharge Station.

A 10-screen HOYTS cinema, around 40 new food and beverage venues, playgrounds and 150 residential apartments are also among the new arrivals.  

It all adds up to a premium, one-stop shopping, dining and entertainment experience that local bricks-and-mortar rivals and the world of online shopping cannot match.

One of the largest construction projects outside of the State’s resource and mining sector in recent years, the redevelopment of Karrinyup Shopping Centre has boosted the local economy through the creation of 2,500 jobs, with a further 2,500 jobs created in retail, support and management.

Connecting The Steel Skeleton

Beneath the striking organic shapes and varied textural materials of the new 53,000sqm+ shopping centre extension lies a complex structural steel skeleton. Steel also shines in the form of feature curves, rakes and ribs as part of the design by renowned architects Hames Sharley and Taylor Robinson Chaney Broderick.

Multiplan was appointed by construction giant Multiplex to deliver a finish-to-finish steel detailing package that included cutting edge 3D construction models, uniting the architects’ vision and the engineers’ design into a fully-resolved structural steel framework.

As construction modelling partner, Multiplan worked closely with engineering consultants Pritchard Francis and lead contractor Multiplex to translate the vision for the Western stages of the shopping centre extension into fully detailed, digital 3D models, right down to the last steel beam, plate and bolt.

The scope of work involved creating a ‘digital model’ for two pavilions, two areas of commercial tenancies, various canopies, contemporary facades, the western entry, the striking new façade alongside Karrinyup Road and HOYTS’ new flagship northern-suburbs 10-screen cinema.

Multiplan also provided construction modelling services for the complex “snake’s head” portion of the 250m-long skylight in the new Eastern section of the shopping centre extension.

At one stage, Multiplan had no less than 30 construction modellers and detailers working on the Karrinyup Shopping Centre Redevelopment, with teams in Multiplan’s offices in Perth and Bulgaria working collaboratively to deliver the steel detailing package. Neither project size, nor location, are a barrier to the projects Multiplan can undertake.

A Showcase In Steel

Steel brings significant benefits in major builds such as the Karrinyup Shopping Centre Redevelopment. Not only does steel offer efficiencies in terms of speed of construction, but faster construction means earlier handover and tenancy.

The smaller size of steel members, relative to some other construction methods, offers greater lettable space, with longer spans and flexible internal areas. Steel is lighter too compared to an equivalent concrete structure.

Steel also offers benefits in terms of its robustness and its ductility, or ability to have its shape changed without losing strength or breaking. It allows for architectural expression, and offers safety, configuration adaptability and sustainability benefits.

With a growing reliance on steel in major construction, the skills needed to make the connections through construction modelling are in greater demand than ever.

At the Karrinyup Shopping Centre Redevelopment, 990 tonnes of steel was used in the new Western section alone. Each element painstakingly modelled and fully resolved.

“Meticulous attention to detail, complemented by the latest construction modelling technology, brought a high level of construction intelligence to both the design and build processes of the project,” says Multiplan Managing Director Kane Nitschke.

“The depth and expertise of our team enabled us to review and check all the work to deliver pin-point accuracy.”

Multiplan’s seasoned modelling experts carefully navigated the different construction stages of the Karrinyup Shopping Centre Redevelopment. With the centre continuing to operate throughout, staged construction was paramount to help minimise disruption to shoppers’ routines while keeping construction on schedule.

A leader in the use of iConstruct, Multiplan capitalised on the advanced features of the building information modelling (BIM) software to improve project performance and drive collaboration and efficiency across the project lifecycle with high-quality conditioned digital models.

Improved Cinema Experience

The largest component in Multiplan’s scope of works was modelling the 550 tonnes of structural steel needed for the new HOYTS 10-screen cinema complex.

To expedite fabrication and erection, Multiplan spilt the plans for the cinema complex into four zones. With modelling complete on the early zones, work could begin on site, with the remaining zones following to a strict timeframe. For each zone, the team modelled into the adjoining zone to ensure seamless connections.

Not only did this strategic approach respond to project time pressures, but it also allowed the modellers to explore additional cost and time efficiencies.

To enable the steel framework for the tiered seating platforms to be fabricated off-site, for example, Multiplan helped modularise these elements. With the steel platforms modelled separately, the fabrication drawings were completed ahead of schedule so the seating tiers could be produced off-site, ready to be quickly and seamlessly dropped into place and connected to the main structure. The off-site fabrication eliminated the need for time-consuming on-site construction.

Using sophisticated modelling software, the Multiplan team were also able to respond to the smallest of adjustments on site as construction progressed. The locations of steel columns, for example, were adjusted on the construction model and the necessary fabrication drawings prepared for a millimetre-perfect connection to site surveyed cast-in plates on the slab floor.

Adding to the complexity of the cinema structure was a concealed mezzanine level providing access for the projectionists and maintenance teams. This was modelled separately while ensuring it slotted perfectly into the overall structure.

Early Engagement And Live Clash Detection

By engaging early and directly with both lead contractor Multiplex and project engineers Pritchard Francis, Multiplan helped the project team achieve safety and scheduling benefits, as well as cost and time improvements.

“Being pro-active – being that voice to ask the questions not previously asked – is one of the great strengths of an experienced construction modeller,” Kane says.

“By working collaboratively, we ensured optimum integration between all disciplines involved in the project. The over-riding aim was avoiding costly issues that can be caused by having materials delivered to site too early or a measurement being a fraction out, requiring work to be redone.

“Making improvements to the overall schedule was a key benefit of Multiplan’s involvement.”

A core component of Multiplan’s Direct Client Engagement (DCE™), early engagement also delivered workflows that allowed the seamless production of models and shop detail drawings, closing design loops and resolving potential construction issues.

By devising a customised system of tags and logs within the BIM software, the modellers ensured requests for information (RFI) and technical queries (TQ) to the builder or engineers were not only communicated in a timely and efficient manner but, wherever possible, were pro-actively resolved using Multiplan’s extensive in-house expertise and experience.

A custom workflow was created between Multiplan, Multiplex and Pritchard Francis. The workflow enabled design queries to be resolved more efficiently than a traditional RFI/TQ process. Bypassing this traditionally lengthy process meant the steel designs were translated into shop drawings quicker, benefitting Multiplex’s tight construction timelines.

Centralised, up-to-date documentation enabled the modellers to respond quickly and efficiently to queries from the builder and on-site engineers.

Multiplan’s early engagement on the Karrinyup Shopping Centre Redevelopment also brought enhanced clash detection capabilities to the project, delivering greater design and fabrication precision in the steel structure.

With live clash detection, mistakes that normally would not be discovered until the contractors were on site – often with high cost and scheduling implications – could be picked up before they became an issue. Even objects within objects, could be identified using clash detection, along with any scheduling and delivery clashes.

“Putting the steel structure through our modelling processes enabled us to see the clashes and the need to make changes to the construction schedule,” Kane says.

Schedules could be fine-tuned to achieve both time and cost efficiencies. Costly miscalculations, such as the potential for cranes to arrive too early and sit inactive on site, could be identified and rectified.  

Lockdowns, Teams And Checkers

Multiplan kept working through two lockdowns on the Karrinyup Shopping Centre Redevelopment.

With the capacity, experience, procedures and practices in place to respond to potential disruptions, Multiplan’s teams were able to keep the construction modelling moving forward despite the impact of COVID-19. The result was zero lost days on the project.

Microsoft Teams meetings were an integral part of project communication at all stages, keeping everyone focused and supporting the quick and easy resolution of technical queries.  

Once completed, each digital model was reviewed by Multiplan’s senior checkers with reference to both the architects’ drawings and the engineers’ model.

“While the world of construction modelling demands a meticulous eye for detail, it goes beyond adding those all-important steel connections; beyond resolving issues and construction clashes,” Kane says. “It goes beyond preparing drawings for the fabricators and making sure that everything is going to work.

“It’s about creating that visual communication that brings a steel structure to life for everyone involved in the project.

“Multiplan is incredibly proud to have brought our construction modelling expertise to Karrinyup Shopping Centre, helping to create a vibrant new hub for the local community.”

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