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Old Perth Boys School

Completion year 2016

Key People

Imran Khan

Acoustics Project Engineer, Principal

Tarron Abrahams

Senior Electrical Project Engineer, Principal

Gary Sollitt

Structural Project Engineer, Principal

Rebecca Dracup

Sustainability Project Engineer

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The Old Perth Boys School was constructed in 1854 and was the first purpose-built public school in Perth.

Designed by Richard Roach Jewell in Gothic Revival style, it was extended in the 1860’s and remained in use as an educational facility for over 130 years. It is a single storey limestone building with a steeply pitched roof and narrow vertical buildings. WGE were involved in restoring and updating services to enable use as office space.

The Old Perth Boys School is listed in the Register of the National Estate by the Australian Heritage Commission and is classified by the National Trust (WA) and consequently all works had to be undertaken in a way not to harm any elements of heritage significance, and be in sympathy with the character of the building. The heritage nature of the building meant that all proposed openings in the building’s fabric had to be approved by the National Trust architects.

Project design challenges:

  • Location of the building limited opportunities for condenser plant as space was extremely limited.
  • The air conditioning system had to allow for uninsulated roofs and solid limestone walls, be suitable for public functions and also be sympathetic to the heritage aspect of the building.
  • A Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) system was chosen with floor mounted console units providing air conditioning with an external condensing unit located hidden below ground level grating to the rear of the building. Filtered outside air is drawn through underfloor ducting and is delivered directly to each floor mounted console unit.
  • All pipework, wiring and ducting is hidden from view to enhance the heritage aspect yet all plant is accessible for maintenance purposes
  • Electrical and communications services including fire detection, fibre backbone cabling and emergency warning systems designed and installed with minimal impact on the building’s fabric