Africa Hall

Project No. 6332

BE Collective has completed a developed design commission for the heritage preservation and additions to Africa Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The design recently went before the United Nations in New York and, after consideration, has been approved.

A landmark historic building, Africa Hall is the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). It was designed by architect Arturo Mezzedimi and officially inaugurated by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1961.

Of key significance, Africa Hall was the setting for the adoption of the Organization of African Unity Charter, which laid the foundations for the present day African Union.

Now more than 50 years old, the building requires significant restoration and intervention.

BE Collective was approached to tender for the project following their delivery of the new Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa last year. The firm then assembled an international project team for Africa Hall, inviting renowned heritage architects Conrad Gargett to act as principal consultant.

Following a site visit to Africa Hall in March last year, BE Collective’s Managing Director John Tuxworth identified significant durability defects throughout the concrete structure. Based on this evidence, he compiled recommendations for a structural intervention that respects the building’s heritage and functionality, and also meets current international standards.

Having prior experience working in the region, as well as connections with local sub-consultants, BE Collective was able to deliver solutions based on its knowledge of local contractor experience and materials availability.

The heritage preservation and revitalisation of Africa Hall is one of those watershed moments, where you get to work on a building of significance, in an exotic location, with the best consultants and an inspirational client,” Mr Tuxworth explains.

BE Collective assembled the project team, won the project against the world’s best and now Brisbane consultants are on the United Nations panel of suppliers.

See Conrad Gargett’s news article here and wonderful animation of the preservation works here.

The Weekend Edition

See page 13 of the Village News, June 2015

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Airvos Views Apartments, PNG


Project No. 6293

Built Environment Collective (BE Collective) was commissioned by Coffey International (on behalf of AusAID) in June 2013 to undertake a structural verification review of Airvos Views apartments. The scope of commissioned services included a review of structural documentation, site meeting/inspection, and design checking of key structural elements including retaining walls.

Given PNG is recognised as a seismic area the walls retaining the site were of particular concern to the client. The walls are up to 10m high and looked particularly slender (and tall) during construction. The design engineer had performed his commission very well, and BE Collective were able to verify that the walls, acting as propped cantilevers were considered adequate with respect to PNG Standards. (more…)

Paga Hill Multi-Res


Project no. 6218

Paga Hill is a suburb of Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. BE Collective were appointed in January 2012 to provide full structural and civil consultancy for this residential project, including construction phase services out of our PNG office. The project consists of 8 boutique style apartments with commanding views out to the Coral Sea.

  • Challenges in realising a development on this site include:
  • steep slopes and high retaining walls
  • accommodating tributary loads from a significant up hill development just meters away from basement excavations
  • earthquake forces
  • the distance of sewerage and stormwater legal point of discharge away from the site
  • logistics and construction materials supply chain
  • labour efficiencies.

Our structural design consists of a full reinforced concrete frame. Whilst block work will be used for external and part walls, the structural frame enables the block work to be constructed under the shade of the base-build, and at a leisurely pace.

The flooring system as designed incorporates a prefabricated sacrificial formwork called Ezideck to promote programme efficiencies.

Two rows of contiguous piled walls are required to achieve the basement excavation level, with additional piles and ground beams providing a stable edge to the steep driveway.

Tender returns are in as of August 2012, with construction due to start later in the year. (more…)

Belamar Towers, Talatona, Angola


Project No. 5926

An exciting high rise in a developing country. This project epitomises the BE Collective team’s ability to complete a multi-storey, cross-continent, cross-language product.
Our team provided structural engineering for these two 25-storey apartment towers located in Talatona, an emerging suburb 15km south from the capital, Luanda. The development comprises 468 apartments per tower, approximately 600 parking spaces, communal areas throughout several podium levels, including two swimming pools, a spa, and spa salons.
Floors were designed as unbonded post-tensioned flat plates, achieving longer spans with less weight, smaller columns and increased NLA. The post-tensioning strand layout was coordinated with integral horizontal services runs within the depth of the slab – in order to satisfy the client’s requirement for reduced floor to floor heights.