Interactive Map: Building Brisbane

Brisbane construction projects by G.James Glass & Aluminium

Brisbane, being the location of our Head Office, sees many fine examples of G.James workmanship.   Here, we outline some of the biggest and best projects undertaken to showcase our capabilities in recent times.

The interactive map is designed so you can take a tour of some of our most recent and notable works.  Either at your desk looking out a CBD window, taking a stroll around town, and driving past a building or through an area you have always wanted to know more about.


G.James has contributed widely to what Brisbane looks like today.   There are buildings that have added to Brisbane’s sky line and to the diversity of looks and uses that are designed for the various parts of this fair city.  On some buildings, there are unique features that make them distinctive.  For example –

  • the ribbons of M&A,
  • the splash of red across the Australian Federal Police building,
  • the glass wall of Sir Samuel Griffith Centre,
  • the towering Aurora and Riparian plaza.

There are many buildings that have achieved the coveted green star energy efficient design,  some interesting artwork on glass designed by local artists – its worth a visit to the Anthropology Museum at UQ to see the ceramic printed window alone. Some of the buildings have specialised glass systems to suit the works being done, like the Translational Research Institute and the ABC headquarters.

There are projects that have altered the face of a tired old façade, so if you look at an old image of QIMR, you won’t recognize it.  And then theres the Suncorp Stadium which gives you a glimpse inside a place where state pride and competition is on the line.

The Interactive Map

The map is aimed to give you a glimpse into the depth the G.James knowledge base and provide an overview of the types of works that G.James is capable of.  It highlights projects done by various departments in the company, including:

  • Commercial departments
  • Residential departments
  • Gossi park and street furniture
  • Glass department

You can have a look at the map and plan out a scenic drive, or target specific jobs, or just get an idea of what we have produced, in your area.  As you can imagine, there are too many jobs to make this an all-inclusive list, but we aimed to include a range of jobs reflecting different styles and features.

A brief dossier on the project is included – a photo of what to look for, basic job data and links to further information on the project.  G.James can help you with any further information required for the jobs represented.

Explore Here…

Enjoy the exploration, and keep an eye on this space. Other areas will be released as our database of projects rolls out – Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, as well as other areas to be where you can find G.James fingerprints…

Until then, enjoy this insight into the River City.


 G.James Projects

 Gossi Designs

51 Alfred St – Efficiency in commercial design

51 Alfred St A green star accredited office block constructed in one of Brisbane’s growing commercial areas, 51 Alfred St comprises of a ground floor retail space with 8 levels of office space above.

51 Alfred St, Fortitude valley was constructed by Blackwatch Projects, to the design of Willis Greenhalgh Architects. The sustainable design intended to minimise its carbon footprint was a urban friendly solution to council and the community. It includes a smart foyer, featuring floor to ceiling full height glazing on two street frontages, and superb views to the city above level 2.

G.James Role

Development of the project went from initial “design in principle” early drawings to installation of the finalised glazing products. The project had a short time frame, and lead times for manufacture and installation had to be carefully managed.

The building incorporates shopfront glazing from ground floor to level 1 that used the 850-500 and 650-500 series framing systems. Hinged doors are 475 or 476 series, with 445 series sliding doors (as on some upper levels, also). G.James picked up the cladding package for the ground floor columns, which was made and fitted by the G.James Joinery department. QuickAlly, G.James scaffolding division assisted with providing access to entry the shop front entry glazing.

Upper levels utilizes the 651-500 curtain wall suite. The design had to allow for the addition of randomly placed aluminium horizontal and vertical fins that use different shapes in keeping with the difference in direction. There are also composite cladding positioned irregularly across the southern face, and frames the edge of the eastern face.

All of the differences in cladding and sun shading incorporated into the curtain wall, made for a wide variety of specialist panels.  This required coordinating the transportation and installation of the panels to be highly organised. Careful design, preparation and on site works were given particular attention at the corner feature to achieve the seamless angled cladding and glazed finish that spans the full height of the buildings office area.

Glazing selection

IGU’s were used in the vision areas of the tower to combat city noise and provide sufficient thermal and solar efficiency to achieve the green star accreditation.

The spandrel area uses a colourlite backing on clear glass to achieve the opaque finish. Charcoal and White were used to keep in theme with the buildings monochromatic scheme that highlights the slash of copper that makes the corner feature stand out.


There was no tower crane available for this job, so all of the framing hoisted into the floors from a crane on the street below.  Including the “Spider Hulk”, the name of the lifting crane that positions the panels into place.

51 Alfred St

“Spider Hulk” is the name of the machine that lifts the panels into position on the building.

Early design intended the framing to be fixed into cast ins – a quick and minimal fixing method that utilizes the concrete structure to enclose and support the framing. Later changes, however, meant that the frame fixings were redesigned and engineered to be fitted with bolts into the concrete.

The ground floor was site glazed as the size of the glazing was so large. There was also a curtain wall panel that needed to be site glazed. This requires extra safety measures and some specialised techniques to carry out.

Blackwatch had a tight program which was run like clockwork. It enabled overall job satisfaction with the resulting installation of the work performed by G.James, and we look forward to working on further projects together.

Project update: Icon Ipswich

Aerial view of Icon IpswichThe Ipswich City Heart building is the first stage of developer Leighton Properties‘ $1 billion Icon Ipswich project. Designed by Cox Architecture, it is a 42m high, nine-storey office tower which comprises 15,000 square metres (sqm) of commercial space together with 750sqm of ground floor retail and 200 car parks. The building is an A-Grade commercial development, and is targeting a 5 Star Green Star and a 4.5 Star NABERS rating. Nearly all of the office space in the building has been leased to the Queensland government for a term of 15 years. Construction on the project is being overseen by Hutchinson Builders

G.James’ Role

G.James has been engaged to supply and install window wall and curtain wall along the height of the building. G.James is also providing structural glazing to the basement, ground and upper ground floors, as well as a structurally glazed roof-lite to level 1.

Visual Mockup

Prior to starting on site, G.James constructed a visual mockup to provide a full-scale representation of the colour selection as designed for the building. The mockup allowed colour selections to be seen in proper context, under natural lighting, to ensure the building gives the desired visual effect.

The Façade

G.James is using the 546 series system with black anodised framing for the window wall on the western façade with independent vertical sunshades installed between structural slabs. These vertical fins are in 5 special anodised colours (listed below) which are selectively positioned on each floor to create a pattern.

  • Sapphire Matte Tornado Red
  • G.James Residential Bronze
  • AAF Maroochy Sand
  • G.James Champagne Bronze
  • G.James Matte Gold

G.James is using our 546 series system with black anodised framing for the curtain wall to the eastern façade, incorporating gold metallic Alpolic projections and black anodised horizontal sunblades.

The southern and northern faces of the building are a mixture of both window wall and curtain wall fully encapsulating the floors.

The vision glass used in the building is made up of Solarplus DLE55 Low-E glass on green, configured in argon filled IG Units.

The shadow boxes are made up of 6mm green heat-strengthened glass, using 5 different colours (listed below) of backing sheet selectively positioned on each floor to create a pattern.

  • Dulux PVF2 Mars Red
  • Dulux PVF2 Gold Dust
  • Dulux PVF2 Brassed Off
  • Dulux PVF2 Wax Way
  • Dulux PVF2 Blonde Girl

PVF2 paints have an excellent service life and are highly resistant to fading. These properties make PVF2 finishes a low maintenance finish of choice for large projects.

Current Status

G.James started site installation in late January, and will continue until approximately May. Overall, construction on the building is progressing well, the concrete structure of the building has been completed and  practical completion is expected to be third quarter of 2013.

UTS Broadway – Visual Mockup & Prototype Testing

UTS Facade Mockup - differente angle

This stunning building juts across the skyline.

Image courtesy of Architects:
Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd.

About UTS Broadway

G.James has been working towards readiness to install the facade since winning the job last year. Recently G.James has been conducting tests using full scale mockups of sections of the façade to test both the appearance and function of the façade.

Visual Mockup

The visual mockup stands 7.6 metres tall and 6.8m metres wide, each panel is 3.8 x 1.4 metres &  weighs approximately 290kg. The aluminium screens for each panel weigh an additional ~90kg. The completed façade will be somewhat larger than our mockup – standing a full 14 stories tall. The visual mockup is for testing the appearance only – the actual facade (as well as the prototype for engineering tests) uses extrusions purpose made for the UTS project – around 30 new extrusion dies have been made to produce the extrusions for the this project.

What do we do with the mockup after we’re finished?

The visual mockup will remain on site until the mockup rig is needed for a few project. G.James typically creates a similar mockup for a new project every couple of months.

Engineering Tests

G.James has also created a prototype on our engineering test rig to carry out a range of engineering tests. The test setup is a sealed chamber, with the external side of the facade mockup covering the ‘open’ side. The chamber contains jets to spray water, and pumps in/out air to increase or decrease the pressure in the chamber. The tests conducted measure the performance of the facade under both positive and negative pressures, as well as against the penetration of water.

Positive pressure vs. Neutral pressure

Static Pressure Structural Testing

This test measures deflection at various points of the facade using potentiometers fixed to a frame parallel to the internal face of the facade. The deflection is measured under both positive and negative static pressures, across a range up to the test maximums. These pressures simulate the loading the facade will receive from wind. The pressures used for the test differ from project to project, and are determined with a site analysis by engineers. Deflection must stay within certain bounds to meet Australian standards – though these vary on the exact makeup of the facade. In the photograph to the right the deflection of the glass in a structural test results in distortion of the reflection in the glass (comparison against neutral pressure below).

Static Pressure – Air Infiltration

Air infiltration rate measures the amount of air penetrating the facade at a given pressure. This is necessary to determine air conditioning requirements for the building – the amount of air infiltration has a large effect on the efficiency of the building.  The amount of air infiltration is measured by pressurizing the chamber, whilst a plate with a hole of known size is fitted in the chamber. The rate of air flow out of the pressurized chamber is then measured. The facade face is then completely sealed off with plastic, and the flow of air is  re-measured. The difference between the two measurements is the amount of air that was penetrating the facade.  This test carried out with both negative and positive pressures. The rate of air infiltration must be within certain bounds to meet Australian standards.

Water Penetration

Water penetration tests spray water onto the surface of the facade at a rate of 3L/m2/minute. Tests are conducted with a range of constant pressures applied to the chamber, and also with a range cyclic pressures as the water is sprayed. Water penetration is not quantitatively measured, the cause of any leaks found must be rectified.

Façade installation commencing soon

G.James is anticipating starting on site at UTS Broadway in the first quarter of 2013.

Project Update: KSD – Hamilton Harbour

Hamilton Harbour - KSD building

We first mentioned Hamilton Harbour – a joint venture between developers Devine Limited and Leighton Properties, designed by Cox Rayner Architects on our blog several months ago. Back then, we were putting finishing touches on the third residential building of the mixed use development. Now, a little bit further down the line, we have nearly completed the façade on KSD – a 5 floor commercial building on the site.

ConstructionPartially installed Façade

The KSD building makes use of a range of G.James façade products. Our 546 series curtain wall system with IG units was used to create the façade. LE40 coated ‘Evergreen’ glass was selected to meet required performance criteria. Our 775 series sunshades and sunblades have also been used to improve the performance of the façade, whilst enhancing the aesthetic value of the building.

From project acceptance to install was a very quick turn around, our nearby Fison Avenue factory was a integral part of achieving the programmed dates. Installation on site also happened over a short timeframe – commencing on the 10th of October, with the main curtain wall completed by 15th November.

Looking Forward

G.James have enjoyed a close working relationship with Devine Constructions, which has ensured tight project deadlines are met on-time. We hope to continue our collaberation in the future.

Project Focus: Five Lobelia Circle

Lobelia Circle

Five Lobelia Circle is a recently completed five level office building in the International Terminal precinct of Brisbane Airport. The Australian Federal Police are the major tenant, having taken a 15 year lease on three of the five levels.

The building was designed by Cottee Parker Architects and constructed by Matrix Projects for the Brisbane Airport Corporation. The building is an A-grade quality commercial building and has a 4 star Green Star rating with the Green Building Council of Australia, and a 4.5-star NABERS Energy Rating. Construction of the building was completed in September and the building was officially opened early October.

The Façade

G.James were contracted to supply and install the building façade. Our versatile 650-500 glazing system was used extensively throughout the facade of the building.

The fire stairs as well as the western elevation ground-first & third-fourth floors were glazed as curtain wall, with the remainder of the façade glazed as window wall. Vision glass used in the building was 10.38mm grey laminate, with red box/black on clear spandrels.

The horizontal sunblades were predominantly of a black anodised finish, but the sunblades over the lobby area were powdercoated with a precious silver pearl finish. The 475 series was used for automatic entry doors. Fixed louvres (415 series) were used throughout the structure to increase ventilation.


A Kingspan facade panel integrates with G.James facade.The façade was installed into structural steel hung off the concrete structure. The window system installed by G.James covers ~75% of the façade face, and an insulated facade panel product called Kingspan was installed around our window system to complete the façade.

As the steel elements for the window install were hung from the structure, tolerance issues were one of the main challenges encountered in the install. To overcome these issues, the install required close coordination between G.James and the Kingspan installer to ensure each floor was within tolerances and the facade was completed successfully.

AFP Building

This building is the first office building in Brisbane’s International Terminal Precinct. G.James is pleased to have worked on this high quality building that showcases our commercial glazing capabilities.

UTS Broadway glass & aluminium façade

This stunning building juts across the skyline.

Images and content courtesy of Architects: Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd.

We are proud to announce that G.James will be manufacturing the futuristic glass and aluminium façade for the University of Technology (UTS), Sydney Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology building.

This challenging assignment will add to the growing list of landmark Australian buildings which G.James has contributed to. G.James will manufacture the curtain wall, window wall and distinctive aluminium sun shades for the project.

Manufacturing of the façade will commence in October 2012.

The Project

The UTS Broadway is a part of the UTS master plan to redefine the Ultimo campus and will house the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology.

The design of the structure will add twelve levels of teaching & research laboratories, extra lecture theatres, seminar rooms and academic offices, while leaving ample pedestrian access through the ground level.

The striking design is described best by architects Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd:

The surface of each plate is creased to form a series of ‘gills’, visually reinforcing the sense of plate as skin and creating a semi-transparent screen. Further permeability is established by perforating the skin of each plate. Using the ‘1’s and ‘0s’ of binary code, the alphabetical character string for ‘University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Engineering and information Technology’ is translated and re-worked to create a perforated pattern on the skins.

The 14 level construction will be the first 5 star green rated building on campus, and has a focus on environmentally sustainable practises.

The design is intended to reduce energy requirements by 30–45% with features such as night purge ventilation, an under-floor air distribution system, and the iconic binary sunshade. Daylight and fresh air are utilised to reduce dependence on air conditioning and artificial lighting.

Current Progress

Demolition, which included the removal of three existing buildings to make room for the structure, was completed in October 2010.

Excavation for the building has now finished (over 60,000 cubic metres were removed from the site), and the first footings have been poured, as well as concrete for the car parks.

The project, expected to cost $170 million, is scheduled for completion at the end of 2013.

About the Architects

In July 2009, UTS announced the winning design, submitted by Australian architectural firm Denton Corker Marshall, from over 60 international entries.

Selected by UTS representatives, the City of Sydney, and the New South Wales Department of Planning, the design for the Information Technology and Engineering building was chosen for its aesthetic appeal, as well as its functionality and sustainable qualities.

Commercial Refurbishment: Modernise Your Façade

BankWest Townsville Before After

A quick way to modernise an old office building is to refurbish the façade. Refurbishing a façade to take in the latest energy requirements and design practices not only looks great, but can drastically increase the value and appeal of a building.

A facelift for Bankwest, Townsville

Located on Denham street in Townsville, the Bankwest building has recently undergone significant refurbishment. Originally known as Melton Place, construction on the building was finished in 1982.

As part of the refurbishment, G.James were contracted to design, supply and install a new glazing façade to the existing 7 storey building.  A major consideration in the removal of the existing glazing and replacement with a new glazing façade was water penetration problems with the existing stick system curtain wall.

The challenge: a 90º sunshade on a 135º corner

One of the prominent features of the building is a 135º south facing corner.

Nettleton Tribe Architects‘ vision was to incorporate a 90º sunshade on the corner to create a striking visual feature, but due to the geometry, the horizontal sun shading system would have a projection from the glass of up to 2 metres.

Designing the supporting structure to withstand a maintenance worker at a 2 metre cantilever from the glazing was a challenge in itself, but the location of the building in Australia’s cyclonic region brought the additional requirement for the sun shades to resist high uplift wind loads.

In spite of these challenges, we were able to design a sunshade which satisfied both the aesthetic and strength requirements of this project.

Avoid leaks at all cost

Due to the sensitivity of the building to previous water leaks, we engineered a solution which ensured there were no penetrations through the new façade for the support of the sun shading.

The horizontal sun shades were designed to be supported by minimalist structure fixed to the glazing framing outside the rain-screen line of the new glazing system, preventing any penetration through the façade. The tension-member truss supporting the sun shade corner was designed sympathetic to the expansion joints which occur at every floor level to ensure building movements can be accommodated for.

The building was occupied during the facade replacement so there was a need to minimise disruption to the tenants. Due to the geometry and fixing method of the existing façade, we executed a top-down  floor by floor demolition, and installed the new façade as we went.

The finished façade not only greatly improved weather resistance, but also gave the older building a fresh and modern look.

This project was a collaboration between G.James’ local Townsville branch and our  Commercial Façades division.

Images courtesy of Architects: Nettleton Tribe Architects.