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Deakin Regional Community Health Hub (REACH)

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Project Description

Location: Waurn Ponds Campus, Geelong, Victoria
Client: Deakin University
Architect: DesignInc
Value: $40 million

Umow Lai provided Engineering and Sustainability services for the $40M project delivering a joint undergraduate teaching and post graduate research building that enhances and supports the expansion of the Science program for the Faculty of Science and Technology. The facility compliments the Medical School for the Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Science. The main focus of the REACH building is undergraduate teaching of allied health programmes.

The building consists of 8,000 sqm over 4 levels, including basement. It comprises an academic wing containing labs, teaching spaces and research areas, and an office wing containing staff offices and a common room. The two wings are separated by a 3-storey naturally lit atrium, and a 200 seat Lecture Theatre that projects out from the building towards the adjacent lake and oval. The Building design is intended to reflect the semi-rural nature of the Waurn Ponds Campus and the University’s Rural Program through the use of local, natural materials and indigenous landscape inspired colour scheme.

REACH responds to the critical health workforce shortage outside metropolitan areas, particularly for professional optometrists and exercise scientists. Many students come from rural and regional Victoria, which means that some of the course training is also undertaken in rural and regional areas.

REACH uses state-of-the-art teaching technology to connect health students and practitioners in rural and regional Victoria. Teaching can include connecting multiple sites by videoconference, as well as linking with health services. The building provides a hub for professional development for health practitioners and further strengthens Faculty of Health’s partnerships with industry.