The first ground-breaking cancer treatment centre in the Southern Hemisphere reaches new heights

27 April 2023

The Australian Bragg Centre that will house Australia’s first Proton Therapy Unit has reached a new construction milestone, topping out its 15 storeys at 74 meters.

The $500 million purpose-built centre is being built in Adelaide’s BioMed City precinct, with Colliers agents Ian Sanders and James Young already having leased 80% of the total 22,892 sqm of net lettable space, prior to completion in late 2023.

Colliers Head of Transaction Services, Asia Pacific, Ian Sanders said, “The new Australian Bragg Centre within Adelaide’s bio-medical precinct is at the centre of some of the highest concentrations of research, investment, and scientific workforce availabilities in the country.”

“Adelaide has worked hard to create an eco-system that supports Life Science environments, incorporating the full supply chain of dependencies, including service providers to the sector. A feature of Life Sciences is the ongoing support for biomedical funding and research, which underpins sector growth and continued investment,” said Mr Sanders.

Located next to the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) on North Terrace the landmark development is being delivered by Commercial and General and provides an opportunity for organisations to establish a presence in the largest biomedical and health district in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Adelaide’s BioMed City is a $4 billion precinct that represents the best in collaboration between our universities and health institutions, the private sector and state and federal governments,” said South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas.

“The topping out is a great milestone for the state and the hundreds of patients who will use it every year, and I congratulate the project partners involved.”

The Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research is funded through a public/private partnership including SAHMRI, Commerical & General, Dexus, the Federal Government and the Government of South Australia.

With Lendlease as the appointed builder, construction has created around 1000 construction jobs and generated an estimated $1 billion into the economy.

The built is complex to accommodate specific treatments for future patients. The proton therapy unit bunker is three storeys high and sits 16 metres underground. Construction involved the removal of 66,000 tonnes of earth and pouring 7,000m3 of shielding concrete across 29 separate concrete pours with 281 precast panels, 121 tonnes of embedded steel shielding plates, and three individual shielding doors weighing approximately 220 tonnes in total.

Commercial & General engaged with specialist consultants from Australia, Europe and the US to ensure the bunker’s construction meets the specific tolerances required of proton therapy technology, including radiation shielding and vibration minimisation.

“In many ways, the engineering and construction of the proton therapy unit bunker are similar to the challenge of building nuclear submarines. Not only has it never been done in Australia, but it’s also one of the very first installations in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Jamie McClurg, Commercial & General Executive Chair.