John Holland Group

Grafton, New South Wales


$700 million

Structural and Civil Engineer

Clarence Correctional Centre is a 1700 bed minimum and maximum security prison for men and women located in the New South Wales.

Woolacotts contributed in a significant way to the concept design, authority approvals, detailed design and construction of the new Correctional Centre.

Project scope

Woolacotts provided detailed 3D civil engineering design to provide DDA accessible pathways to all buildings whilst minimising the amount of cut and fill required and ensuring all buildings remained outside of potential 100 year flood levels. We estimate that our careful stepping of building platforms to match natural landforms saved approximately 300,000 cubic meters of cut and fill, minimising cost and maximising efficiency for the overall project.

The innovative use of five combined sediment control and on site detention basins on the outlets of the main watercourses from the site allowed the John Holland construction team to open up large areas of the site and undertake bulk earthworks without delay. These basins ultimately become part of the natural landscape and provide ongoing control of the rate and quality of stormwater discharge from the site.

Using our 40 years of experience in correctional centre design and construction Woolacotts with Perumal Pedavoli Architects pushed for the majority of buildings to be constructed using load bearing precast walls, with stability provided by structural steel horizontally braced roofs. This system maximises off-site production and has ultimately contributed to the construction of 65 enclosed buildings in only 14 months.

The use of modular cell units weighing up to 90 tonnes was expertise and intellectual property of the John Holland team. Woolacotts worked with John Holland and their specialist subcontractor to produce the final design and to overcome manufacturing and erection issues. The final product consists of secure and well detailed cells rapidly installed in 2 storey configurations throughout the facility.

Other prison projects

The Woolacotts brand is synonymous with prison design, having completed countless projects for governments around Australia and New Zealand.

Other prison projects include:

Bathurst Correctional Centre

Geoffrey Pearce Correctional Centre

Cessnock Correctional Centre

Loddon Prison

Macquarie Correctional Centre

Parklea Correctional Centre

South Coast Correctional Centre

Dhurringile Prison

Eastern Goldfields

Auckland Women's Prison

Otago Prison


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