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12 / November / 2015
Contemporary design and LYSAGHT CUSTOM ORB® corrugated steel roofing and walling have created a state of the art A$500,000 facility to house the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter service in Wollongong, New South Wales.
Sophisticated use of colour and design has turned a basic industrial building into an aesthetically pleasing facility for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter service in Wollongong, New South Wales.
"I don't think it's too far off the mark to say our challenge was to create a silk purse from a sow's ear in design terms," architect Maurice Hayler said.
The A$500,000 hangar, clad with LYSAGHT CUSTOM ORB® corrugated steel roofing and walling, sits in a field 1 kilometre south of Wollongong CBD to ensure ready access to emergency facilities for the 24 hour a day service.
Wollongong City Council led the push to base the service in the city to benefit residents and visitors to the Illawarra region.
Mr Hayler visited three existing helicopter bases to discover how other operators had resolved the hangar issue.
"We adopted the best features from each and incorporated them into the design for the new structure," he said.
"Knowing how to use colour was particularly important in this application," said Mr Hayler.
"The alternating shades of grey available in COLORBOND® steel from BlueScope Steel have resulted in what I believe is a very sophisticated finish, and one which also reduces the scale of the building."
The dimensions of the hangar were pre-determined by the span of the largest four rotor rescue helicopter in service.
The result was a clear, unsupported ceiling span of 24 metres in a building measuring 24 by 24 metres with a wall height of 6 metres. The curved roofline is reminiscent of traditional aircraft hangar technology.
The specially built fold up 15 metre wide door allows easy access for the helicopter.
The door can be opened in 30 seconds using electric power, but in the event of a power failure can be easily operated manually by one person.
The helicopter is moved in and out of the hanger using a lift trolley designed and donated by Crown Forklift.
Mr Hayler used alternate shades of Windspray® banded with Tindal Grey XSE* from the COLORBOND® steel range.
Wollongong industrial shed manufacturers Unibuild were the project contractors. The structure features the company's structural system of UB columns and trusses fabricated from various DuraGal® ** sections.
* COLORBOND® XSE Steel has been superseded by COLORBOND® Ultra Steel. ** DuraGal® is a registered trademark of OneSteel Ltd