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Byford Secondary College


Project Type / Category
End Client
Stage 1 - Building Management and Works / Stage 3 - The Minister for Works
Stage 1 - Donaldson and Warn / Stage 3 - TAG Architects
Stage 1 - PS Structures Pty Ltd / Stage 3 - PACT
Project Value
Stage 1 - $28.8M / Stage 3 - $14M
Project Location
57 Abernethy Road, Byford, Western Australia
Project Completion
Stage 1 - December 2013 / Stage 3 - December 2017
Number of Stages
Value Engineering Solution
  • Stage 1:
  • Shallow pad and strip footing solution detailed to avoid the need for large raft foundations.
  • Lightweight cost efficient steel structure.
  • Subsoil drainage and living stream system.
  • Stage 3:
  • Additional geotechnical reporting requested to significantly reduce the footing sizes.
  • Steel columns designed to provide support to the suspended slab for increased speed of construction and avoid potential delays with load-bearing masonry.
  • Column to suspended slabs were detailed to avoid introducing column capitals and associated formwork costs.
Unique Design Items
  • Stage 1:
  • Trusses utilised as long drain transfer structures to provide large column free floor spaces.
  • Columns designed and detailed to encapsulate the hydraulic downpipes.
  • Subsoil and living stream system.
  • Stage 3:
  • Column to slab connections detailed to avoid column capitals and keep consistent suspended slab thickness throughout.
  • Hidden stair support at half-landing level to achieve long-span stair with no visible supports.
  • Hidden downpipes in the verandah columns
  • 2017 AIA WA Architecture Awards – Winner, Educational Architecture (Awarded to Donaldson and Warn Architects)

Byford Secondary College is located at the northern portion of the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale on the fringe of Perth, approximately 35 km south of the Perth CBD. Pritchard Francis was appointed by Donaldson and Warn Architects for Stage 1 works, and subsequently by TAG Architects for Stage 3 works.

Stage 1 of the project involved construction of a green fields high school consisting of eight single storey buildings incorporating an administration block, student services, café, library, science block, design and technology block, Year 7 and changerooms, as well as tennis courts, football oval, hockey/soccer fields and associated hard standing and landscaped areas around the school. 

Constructed on a challenging clay site, significant civil works were required, including a subsoil drainage system throughout the site, clay grading and addition of fill, and significant retention basins and swales. Grading of finished levels and recycling of all existing topsoil on site enabled significant reductions of imported clean fill. 

Design works were required to comply with a broader urban water management plan, where close coordination with the landscapers facilitated the implementation of effective green spaces, living streams and natural retention basins. Detailed level design was essential to ensure integration of builtform with pavement and surrounds, whilst still ensuring appropriate access to all users. 

The building structure was designed to frame a bespoke architectural design with an efficient steel framed solution. Slab and foundation costs were minimised thanks to close coordination between geotechnical, civil and structural design to remove the need for a raft foundation solution.

The Stage 3 expansion of Byford Secondary College will provide additional accommodation for up to 500 students and is to be completed for the 2018 school year. The scope involves construction of a double storey senior learning community general classroom block, information technology and business studies block, tiered lecture theatre to seat 125 people, student services and staffroom, refitting of some Stage 1 facilities in the library resource area, additional parking, external works and landscaping.