Alexander & Lloyd Group

Architects and Project Managers for the Aid and Development Assistance Sector

Cyclone Reconstruction Program - PWD Buildings

Port Vila
SMEC International Ltd
Funding Agent

In February 1987, cyclone ‘Uma’ destroyed and severely damaged many public buildings in Vanuatu. As part of the reconstruction effort, the Australian Government offered to replace the PWD administrative and workshop buildings in Port Vila. 

The consultancy was carried out by A&L in association with SMEC International and included project management, design, construction and fitout of the new:

  • PWD Headquarters building on the hill above Port Vila – comprising public reception, offices, design and drafting areas, meeting rooms, associated support facilities and fitout. Siteworks included new access roads, parking areas and landscaping.
  • Mechanical Workshops - comprising offices, warehouse, workshops, hard-standing areas and associated infrastructure and equipment. 

A&L carried out full site investigations, client project brief formulation, a feasibility study, project design, facility design, documentation, tendering and contract administration of the buildings and site services. Buildings were designed to utilise natural light and ventilation where possible to avoid the need for costly air-conditioning. The Headquarters building was provided with deep eave overhangs to shade windows, whilst taking advantage of compelling views over Port Vila harbour. Both buildings were designed to suit the severe tropical climate, earthquakes and cyclones. 

Design, materials, construction systems and finishes were discussed and coordinated with the Vanuatu PWD to ensure that new facilities could be readily maintained. Sustainable local materials were used wherever possible. Local sub-contractors were encouraged to be involved in the works – ultimately benefiting local communities.

Strict daily Construction Supervision ensured high quality construction of both facilities. A&L worked closely with staff nominated by the Vanuatu PWD, to building capacity to manage and supervise future projects and to develop skills and procedures related to the ongoing maintenance of the facilities.