Proud Winners of TWO 2008 MBA Excellence in Construction Awards

Category:  Best Use of External Timber      


Category:  Environmental Management Award

Project:  Wentworth Common Adventure Playground

Timber rough ‘n’ tumble  - The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday November 5, 2008.

It looks like a military training ground – and that’s why the children love it.

The Wentworth Common Adventure Playground at Sydney Olympic Park features timber forts, climbing ropes and water hazards. Stone slabs allow children to dart through the grasslands, a bird hide gives them a chance to watch the wildlife and raised structures provide room to shimmy underneath, where imaginations can run wild.

While the playground is a winner with the youngsters, it’s also a hit with the MBA. Carfax Commercial Constructions oversaw the design and building in consultation with Hassel Architects.

Piquing the judges’ interest was Carfax’s extensive use of certified recycled Australian hardwoods and the care the company took to protect the endangered green-and-golden bell frogs on the site. Reclaimed from several sites throughout Australia, the timber had o be structurally sound when placed into the series of open and half-open “boxes” in the playground. Some of the timbers used were karri, from a 1950s high school in Western Australia; spotted gum and iron bark from power poles built during the 1960s around Shoalhaven; and blackbutt from a disused World War II army barracks in Brisbane.

Sandstone, used for stepping stones and other features, was also recycled, with the aggregates used in the sub-soil drainage systems and architectural elements. All soil dug out during construction was used elsewhere in Sydney Olympic Park.

The frogs were removed from the area before building began to ensure none were injured and the ponds in the area have been designed to be drained periodically to stop the establishment of gambusia, or mosquito fish, which are a threat to the frogs.

Care was also taken that gambusia wasn’t transferred to neighbouring ponds on the worker’s boots.

Carfax’s managing Director, Paul Reimer, says the playground is “very popular and gets extensively used”.

By: Carolyn Boyd


Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Olympic Park