Flinders University, Tonsley Building

Flinders University, Tonsley Building


Adelaide, South Australia

, Flinders University, Tonsley Building



In early 2015, Flinders University’s state-of-the-art $120 million School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics at Tonsley was unveiled. The six-storey 16,000 sqm building designed by Hassell and built by Lend Lease, now houses 150 staff, 2,000 students and 100 Hills staff.

This major development project presented a unique opportunity to implement an innovative way to better design, construct and then operate facilities at Flinders University.

Building Information Modelling (BIM), promised to deliver on every count so Flinders reached out to industry to seek a software solution that could scale across the complete lifecycle of their facilities.

Flinders University required a platform that not only encompassed their new, fully 3D modelled buildings but also one that could offer a cost-effective pathway to ultimately bring their entire existing portfolio into the world of 3D, to take advantage of the efficiencies that BIM offered.

In a ground-breaking Australian first, the Tonsley building was commissioned as a full BIM construction project, producing coordinated models of the architectural, structural, hydraulic, fire, mechanical, electrical and AV systems with the ambitious vision to fully utilise them at the heart of the day-to-day operations of the facility.

The Zuuse BIM solution was chosen as the software to scale across the complete building lifecycle, delivering a robust and scalable platform designed to be the single point of truth to facilitate better operational, tactical and strategic decisions throughout the entire asset lifecycle – most importantly, in FM.

, Flinders University, Tonsley Building

The Zuuse system has been specifically designed to cater for less detailed models that can be cost effectively created for existing buildings. This ensures that a pathway is open to bring the entire campus of older and newer buildings into a single BIM-based platform.
Jason Lilienstein, CEO Zuuse

The Zuuse BIM platform allowed the head contractor and subcontractors to link critical construction, commissioning and other operational information to the elements and systems in the 3D models that would be invaluable during the operations phase of the building.

Operations and maintenance (O&M) information was also collated digitally and automatically linked to the elements of the 3D model, providing the most intuitive interface possible for FM personnel to subsequently access.  Traditionally, much of this information has been either lost or siloed and not available for ongoing FM use.

The transition into FM involved consolidation of the 3D models to better suit the FM phase – complete 3D building model, 3D asset model and 3D rooms model.

Work Orders (scheduled and breakdown) were automatically driven by the system and linked to the relevant assets and information in the 3D model immediately from handover.   These work orders are utilised by maintenance personnel on a mobile device in the field, with data on the activities undertaken, relevant photos and documents such as quotes or invoices being entered and synchronised back to the 3D model.

The implementation of BIM at Flinders University has successfully delivered on the potential that BIM has always potentially offered, including:

  • Reducing Time & Labour Costs – the time for searching for information and carrying out work orders is reduced, cutting costs and allowing more maintenance work to be carried out.
  • 3D Visualisation – vital information is always on hand and easily located in breakdown and emergency situations, reducing downtime and costs
  • Mobility – capturing inspection information and performing work orders efficiently in the field on a tablet, providing efficiencies on a number of levels.
  • Compliance & Risk Management – a single point of truth for information provides more effective compliance and risk management practices.
  • Full Lifecycle Costing – true lifecycle costing allowing for more accurate and cost-effective decision-making. Utilise asset condition, criticality and performance/quality standards data to drive optimal maintenance, refurbishment and replacement strategies.