Engineers’ new building reaches for the sky with topping ceremont at UWA in Crawley

Masters degree civil engineering student Joel Bonsel placed the topping-out coin at the top of the Ezone building (pictured at rear).  Picture: Jon Bassett.
Masters degree civil engineering student Joel Bonsel placed the topping-out coin at the top of the Ezone building (pictured at rear). Picture: Jon Bassett.

MASTERS degree civil engineering student Joel Bonsel (23) said it was tops to complete the highest point of the new $80 million EZONE engineering and mathematical sciences building at the University of WA.

“It has new structure laboratories where you test things like concrete, but when I did my work we had the old labs,” Mr Bonsel said.

Yesterday, he placed special-minted coins at the top and bottom of the multi-storey building that will have three science laboratories, 11 classrooms, a cafe and offices for 150 higher degree students.

The ‘topping out’ ceremony is an important step for builders and engineers to show they have reached the milestone.

“It was originally Scandinavian, where they’d put a tree on the top, but in the Irish version we put a silver coin at the highest point,” University of WA major projects manager Merv Shortt said.

The building is also raising the bar for student participation in design and construction on the campus.

Several civil engineering students are embedded with the contracted builder Perkins.

“We had a meeting as late as last week, and some of the renewable energies we’ll be installing in the building were driven by the students,” Mr Shortt said.

The digital attributes of the building excite executive dean of engineering and mathematical sciences John Dell, who said it would be a destination for industry, governments and global researchers.

“It has state of the art teaching and access for the building industries, including immediate Wi-Fi and hot desks that will allow industry leaders to come in and start working straight away with the students,” Prof Dell said.

A digitally recorded version of the building allows students to test its attributes and any changes on their computers.

The building is expected to accept its first students in March 2020.