Babcock Strategic and Functional Design Brief

Adelaide South Australia


Babcock Australasia’s Adelaide-based Marine Defence business has been integral to the design, construction and through life support of the Collins Class submarine program at Techport, Osborne in Adelaide’s north western suburbs.

Having secured new contracts as part of the now abandoned Attack Class submarine program, Babcock needed to expand their capability beyond sustainment works, and into the specialist manufacturing of key components for the Attack Class submarines. This required the construction of a new manufacturing facility in the precinct.

Babcock commissioned Baukultur to develop a design brief that would allow them to procure a development partner for their new premises.

A key aim of Babcock for the brief was to describe a working environment that represented its Mission, Values and Purpose. This meant that as well as describing the functional requirements of the new facility, the brief captured the aspirational business drivers that the new facility needed to embody

These aspirational drivers were brought to life via six key Guiding Principles and three key Conceptual Arrangement diagrams that described Babcock’s operational model and how the how the various spaces and activities within the building needed to relate to each other and interact. Importantly, they also captured the working relationships between Babcock staff and business functions.

These then informed the functional arrangements of space, with an emphasis placed on the collaborative spaces shared between the workshop and administration environments where the core business of the facility would be collectively developed, planned and implemented.

These were based on the principles of collaborative commercial workplace design.


Collaborative workplace model


Vertical arrangement of space

Once these core principles were established, the brief then described functional and performance related requirements for the building including:

  • Key parking and traffic requirements including goods movements in and out of the site
  • Defence security parameters
  • Manufacturing workflows and processes
  • Functional relationships
  • Key equipment placement
  • Cranage and floor loadings
  • Performance requirements for each space type
  • Engineering requirements for each space type

These were supported by detailed area schedules and a comprehensive set of room data sheets.

The result has been a briefing documents that captures Babcock’s aims to create a democratic and unified workforce that will allow them to be an employer of choice in a competitive engineering market – a complete package that has enabled Babcock to proceed through a market sounding process with confidence.



Babcock International