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Albany Hospital

Category: Infrastructure

Project: Albany Health Campus

Client: John Holland, Advanced Formwork, Bakers Concrete, Green Co, Cooke and Dowset, Hvar and APH

Location: Albany

Project value: $170 million

Timeframe: September 2010 - May 2013


The New Albany Health Campus was a $170m project managed by the appointed contractor John Holland. The new hospital building was constructed over four levels and reflects a gross floor area of over 20,000sqm making it the largest public country hospital development ever undertaken in Western Australia.

Construction commenced in early 2011 and the official opening took place in May 2013.

Harley Dykstra’s involvement with the project started in September 2010, carrying out the initial feature survey on which the design of the new Health Campus was based. We were also involved in the temporary accommodation and new parking for existing facilities, before the first significant building grid set-out took place in May 2011.


Harley Dykstra worked for the project manager as well as a large number of subcontractors (six) on this project. The survey work performed included:

  1. Setup of survey control points and benchmarks plus maintenance of the control network during construction

  2. Set-out for bulk earthworks

  3. Lift shaft and retaining wall set-out

  4. Initial grid set-out for footings on sand pads

  5. Column set-out on poured footings and slabs

  6. Formwork set-out and pre-pour checks on lifts, stairs, suspended slabs, walls etc

  7. Set-out of slab penetrations for sewer, water and electrical services

  8. Set-out of cast in plate locations

  9. As-constructed levels on all slab pours

  10. Grid set-out on poured slabs for all 4 levels, used for setting-out of internal walls

  11. Verticality checks on as-constructed lift shafts and stair wells

  12. Set-out and as-constructed surveys for all services including sewer, water, fire, electrical and communications

  13. Steelwork set-out and checks

  14. Road and carpark set-out

  15. Drafting of as-constructed data

  16. Provision of an as-constructed drawing and ‘Compliance Certificate’ at the end of construction, certifying the relationship of the new building and the access and egress driveways relative to the cadastral boundaries.

With such a large scope of works and so many different clients there was potential for conflicting claims on Harley Dykstra’s time. However, Harley Dykstra worked proactively with clients to forecast their requirements and as such met all the set-out and survey requests in a timely manner.

There was also potential for conflicts of interest, when for example, the project manager John Holland requested as-constructed information on a stairwell wall that was out of plumb and our other client, Advance Formwork was responsible for this wall meeting the construction specifications or else covering the cost of remedial works. It was a mark of the positive working relationship we developed with all our clients on site that in such instances all parties were confident that we would provide the requested survey information in a professional and unbiased manner.

A very busy and ‘cramped’ construction site meant it was a challenge to maintain a high accuracy, accessible control network. This required special attention throughout the project. Survey marks were continually destroyed or rendered inaccessible by ongoing construction. A master least squares adjustment file kept track of all control observations and continually upgraded infill control to the highest possible standard.

Over the years Harley Dykstra has established coordinates for a number of ‘towers’ around Albany for use as backsight points. Many of these ‘towers’ were visible from the hospital site and being many kilometres away they were particularly useful as backsights to help with accurate instrument orientation and resection calculations. Innovative use was also made of reflectorless EDM observations to well defined points on surrounding buildings enabling these points to become a very useful part of the control network. In short Harley Dykstra staff drew on years of experience and development to maintain a first class control network for the project in very trying circumstances.

Record keeping of all set-out was essential for later checks if any issues arose. A reliable record of all as-constructed data also had to be maintained throughout the project and regular interim drawings provided.

This was a ‘fast-track’ project, meaning that design was ongoing as construction progressed. New drawing revisions were continually being issued and it was a challenge to keep up with these evolving changes. Advance Formwork, one of our major clients on site, was at one stage subject to a claim from another subcontractor that a large number of cast-in plates had been omitted from Advance’s slab pours causing significant additional costs. From our record keeping and as-constructed surveys of slab pours, we were able to prove that the drawing revisions that specified the cast-in plates in question were all issued after the respective slabs had been poured.


Considering the duration of the project as well as the complexity, Harley Dykstra demonstrated a professional attitude and excellent customer liaison skills which ensured that the project stayed on track and within the required timeline.

Working with seven varying clients on the one project certainly reflected its many challenges but the company’s expertise and innate knowledge of Albany and construction projects ensured a successful outcome and a significant milestone for the Great Southern community.


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