Victoria Harbour - GHD

ClientLend Lease/GHDLocationAustralia, Tas
ConsultantGHDContractorAndrew Shaw
Project Summary

Victoria Harbour has been labelled the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Melbourne’s Docklands. It is one of the most ambitious waterfront developments being undertaken, with a total project value of 4.5 billion dollars. The project will be developing major CBD streets, laneways, access lanes & public meeting places such as Dock Square. Dock Square is a major centrally located public meeting place with a state-of-the-art library, landscaping and community centre, and a strip of cafés located at the intersection of Collins and Bourke Streets.

Collins and Bourke streets create a vital urban link from Victoria Harbour to the Melbourne CBD –

with Collins Street also consisting of a tramway running down a raised central median. The site also consists of a tramway loading platforms. The whole development site brings together a vibrant mix of retail, commercial and residential development.

Some basic site statistics are:

· 30 Hectares in prime real being developed

· 2,800 dwellings

· 21,000 m2 of retail

· 24,000 m2 of mixed use space

· 8000 m2 of community facilities

· Estimated resident population of over 61,000. 

The Challenge

The problem faced was to manage the surface modelling on one of Australia’s largest urban renewal projects - with an extraordinary high number of stakeholders that have competing and conflicting outcome objectives. As a designer this is never easy mix, as the number of stakeholders involved on projects like this causes a seemingly never-ending circle of design changes and challenges. All of these factors equate to the surface modelling having to be constantly updated and managed throughout the design process.

A few of the major stakeholders involved are Lend Lease (the developer) and the developer’s engaged planners, architects, urban designers, landscape architects, cultural / heritage planners and engineers (GHD). It also includes governing authorities such as Placers Victoria & the Melbourne City Council.

 Adding to the task above was the need for collaboration of multiple surfaces created by multiple road designers, creating multiple string models working on the project at the same time to meet project deadlines. Also adding to the challenge is working across multiple GHD offices. These included GHD offices Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart & Manila.

The Solution

Managing the surface modelling was done by completing the following tasks:

1. Setting up the same directory drive structure for each 12d  project, on each of the local network drives for all of the GHD offices involved.

2. 12d projects were created for each of the engineering disciplines e.g survey, roads, drainage, utilities, tramways etc. 12d discipline projects. These 12d discipline projects were managed by revisions at end of the project name that were updated at critical design stages or layout changes.

3. 12d projects were copied across and updated regularly across the relevant GHD operating centres.

4. Tin and model sharing set up. For example the survey project shared the existing surface into each of the 12d projects.

This is where the process of managing many models to what the designer calls “Single Model Modelling” using a 12d Chain occurs: All the design surface modelling and management was done in the 12d road discipline project. I made use of the 12d Chains facility, to create a 12d chain which duplicates all of the native string models, created after running the apply many functions into a single design string model. Every time a new surface design was done (in any GHD office) using the Apply Many function. The native model is uploaded onto each of the GHD operating centres (trade secret here) however you could use a number of file management software here to prevent the same name model name being used. And also ensuring the latest model is used. The native model was then added to a chain managed by myself located in the GHD Hobart office. The duplication of the newly created apply many model into a single string design model. Is very simple and is just involves creating a .slf (screen layout file) of the data to duplicate located under the 12d utility menu => A-G. This means that each of the native apply many models have been copied into a single string model covering the entire surface design for Victoria Harbour.

The advantage of having a single surface string design model and tin on a project is that it enables other 12d discipline designers to only ever have to worry about sharing a single road surface string model and into a 12d project. Meaning you don’t need to keep adding shared models for the surface.

 This may not sound like much, but on a project that has a couple hundred apply many functions / models. It saves valuable time in preventing time being wasted by utility, drainage, rail designers etc. having to either:

· Read in hundreds of shared models and then sift through model information to find what they are looking for.


· Chase surface / road designers about what model name they need to share in.

 It also prevents frustration of road designers having to continuously stop and tell other discipline designers that the model name or a particular kerb return, for example.


This simple way of using a chain to create “Single Model Modelling” can be done on the smaller projects and creates efficiency on a project that saves valuable time, energy and money on projects. And simply allows the designers to get on with designing their infrastructure. 

The creation of the “DESN STRS” chain also had a number of other things added to the chain which were to delete the model, delete and re-create a design view. Converting apply many design strings to become non tinable e.g. lip of kerbs under raised pedestrian ramps.




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