SA Power Networks has reinforced its commitment to the Barossa Valley, opening a brand new $6 million depot for the region.
The new Angaston depot replaces the ageing Nuriootpa depot and is now home to about 30 personnel.
“It’s a great regional investment and a statement of commitment to the local community,” said Mr Tim McCullough, Property Manager for SA Power Networks.
“This is a substantial facility upgrade that ensures our focus on safety and maintaining a reliable electricity supply to the residences and businesses of the Barossa and surrounding areas, and incorporates technology and design features that make this site a blueprint for the future.
“We think Studio Nine, the architectural firm for the project, and Pike Constructions, our lead builder, did an outstanding job and have delivered a depot that will be great for our people and serve the Barossa for many years.”
Tim said the existing Nuriootpa Depot was built in 1952, had well and truly outgrown its location and had become surrounded by residential development on all sides.
“A great deal of research was undertaken to find a suitable site for a new depot with numerous issues considered, including the nature of the surrounding area, efficiencies in travel, response times and capacity for future expansion,” said Tim.
Angaston proved perfect.
“As part of our research, we also focused on maximising the efficiency of the new depot,” Tim said.
“Time and motion surveys and daily work process mapping was conducted for field crews based at Nuriootpa depot. Studio Nine Architects, the architectural firm for the project, used this data to inform its depot design proposal that maximised efficiencies for people, plant and equipment movements around storage locations and traffic flow.”
In speaking with the Architect, Andrew Steele (Director at Studio Nine), Andrew explained how imperative an evidence-based approach is to Studio Nine’s design process – ‘Whenever we embark on such a critical project like this, that will not only have a significant impact on our client’s operations, but the wider community as a whole, we take our role in the improvement of their workplace very seriously. We have to come from a place of evidence, otherwise solutions lack meaning.’
Focusing on sustainability
Tim said sustainability and technology features had been a pivotal focus throughout the Angaston project, setting it aside from other properties and making use of evolving sustainable development principles.
“These have included large capacity rainwater tanks that enable rainwater to be utilised for toilet flushing inside the main building and truck washing in the warehouse wash bay.
“The design includes permeable pavements in the light vehicle carpark to enable water ingress into the river redgum trees at the front of the depot; captured stormwater run-off into a large retention basin; an electric vehicle charging station and a 100kW solar system and auto changeover standby generator; and the latest in security and monitoring features.
“A great deal of thought has not only gone into sustainability factors, but we also carefully considered operational and safety elements that aim to reduce light and heavy vehicle interactions and reduce noise to adjacent properties, amongst other features.
In order to best understand the overall potential of the site, Studio Nine embarked on an extensive site master planning exercise.
This initial project phase quickly tested various operational layouts across the yard, the buildings, and its surroundings and interrogated how each arrangement best accommodated various site constraints such as gradient, inclement weather, stormwater catchment, native vegetation requirements and solar orientation.
The layouts were then workshopped comprehensively with the key stakeholders before progressing any further with the design.
This stepped approach to the project, alongside ongoing collaboration with a consultant team of engineers, unlocked the opportunity for a wetland in a portion of the site immediately adjacent the main entry. Acting as a key focal point upon entry, the greater benefits of the wetland and its positive impact on local flora and fauna is another key demonstration of SA Power Networks commitment to sustainability.
Benefits of the new depot
“An extensive consultation process was undertaken with our Barossa Valley team to ensure the facility met the needs of our people in the way in which they currently operate.
“We have upgraded operational features including lunchrooms, meeting rooms, traffic and pedestrian flow and loading zones that promote safe, efficient work.
“Throughout the design and build phase we worked with the Nuriootpa team and I know they are excited to now be established in the new depot at Angaston,” says Tim.
We also were very pleased to be able to work with a number of local companies on the construction and fit out of our new depot.