Engineering design group Norman Disney & Young, A Tetra Tech Company (NDY), recently provided pro bono engineering services to support the development of Melbourne City Mission’s (MCM) new youth refuge centre, Frontyard Youth Services.
Frontyard provides 24/7 intensive support and crisis accommodation services for homeless and at-risk youth.
It is a world-first model that includes a new, modern office; two levels of accommodation; and flexible community spaces. It also provides onsite mental health, as well as drug and alcohol and disability support.
A team of seven NDY engineers provided consulting services including electrical, communications, audio visual, security, fire engineering, vertical transportation, ESD and acoustics.
“This project resonated with me, as Frontyard provides safe spaces for young people,” says NDY senior acoustic consultant and project leader Gabriel Lu.
“I identify as a gay male, and in the LGBT community many young people who come out can sometimes feel unsafe to go home. As an engineer and a supporter of these young people, it’s great to be able to help them.”
Lu says that the project provided challenges. These included ensuring the existing building could support the facility’s new power requirements following its change of use, and its connection to a larger building housing other tenants.
“All the contractors and consultants on this project were so passionate about supporting MCM,” says Lu, “and without hesitation came together to find smart solutions so we could all deliver this facility.”
NDY joined forces with MCM, the Victorian state government, and a consortium of consultants and suppliers to deliver the $8 million landmark redevelopment.
Other property industry partners involved include Built, Fender Katsalidis, Ashurst, Case Meallin, Slattery, Wood & Grieve Engineers, Hendry Group, Equitable Access Solutions, Irwinconsult and Urbis.