Deakin University’s objective

To deliver 410 student beds for the project sponsor, Deakin Residential Services.


The Geelong Waterfront campus is located on Corio Bay and hosts students studying Architecture & Building, Health & Social Development, Business & Law and Nursing. 

The Geelong CBD Waterfront Student Accommodation Project eases the demand for student accommodation in the regional area.

Johnstaff’s role

Johnstaff was appointed as the Contract Administrator for the new student accommodation building at Deakin University’s Geelong Waterfront campus.

The project consisted of the construction of a 12-storey building, comprising one level of basement car parking, a level of workshop-style teaching spaces and 10 levels providing 410 student beds, associated facilities and public spaces.

Addressing the issues

The project was procured via a novated Design & Construct methodology.  

Deakin University retained the services of a briefing architect to ensure the design was not compromised and  delivered the PPR requirements post-novation of the design and documentation architect.

Johnstaff worked closely with Deakin University to develop the various tender documents to capture all of the project and client-specific requirements. 

The planned completion for the project required a staged approach, with two separable portions. This allowed for part of the building to be operational by the beginning of the 2018 academic year, with the balance operational for trimester two.

map of the project location


  • Completed the delivery of the 410 student beds on programme

  • Staged completion required risk management strategies to manage both the student and construction cohort

  • Completed project under budget with minimal variations and client changes

  • Regional project within the CBD of Geelong, on a busy university campus