WGE provided structural and civil engineering expertise for the construction of the most significant control tower on the West Australian coast in 25 years. The new Integrated Marine Operations Centre (IMOC) serves one of the busiest ports in the world, monitoring an expected 6,000 vessel movements per year in a cyclone hot-spot. Housing state-of-the-art equipment critical to Vessel Traffic Services (VTS), the building also fulfils level 4 classification requirements for post-disaster operation.
WGE consulted with a materials specialist to achieve longevity in finishes to reduce maintenance, given the IMOC’s position on the peninsula close to an iron ore plant. The composite slab and steel structure is finished in exposed concrete, specially textured and coloured to a Class II specification. The steel radar mast is coated in glass-enriched epoxy to ensure a 20-year lifespan in the corrosive environment to minimise maintenance downtime.
To facilitate installation whilst preserving strict quality standards, the building was prefabricated and modularised offsite. Column placement within the 45m tower was optimised using Revit software to achieve 270 degrees of uninterrupted sightlines through the 60mm load-bearing glazing. A camera was mounted to the new tower as it was built to maintain lines of sight for the original operations centre on the adjacent site. The future-proofed tower includes a mixture of administrative and pilot accommodation, with space for office expansion.
Eliminating a clash with the proposed tower footings, WGE’s civil team co-ordinated the relocation of a live stormwater drain from a nearby car park to the opposite site boundary. Precise and careful retention work was undertaken in the old pipework channel to preserve an adjacent structural wall. The new drain position along the northern boundary offered a narrow installation passage between the IMOC envelope and the Heritage-protected Anzac War Memorial Wall. Liaison with the Shire of Port Hedland was essential to complete the drain relocation and connection to the harbour output.