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DFAT Australian Embassy

DFAT Australian Embassy Background

In order to truly appreciate the works undertaken by ECS, it imperative to provide the background behind one of the largest and most successful project ever undertaken by DFAT outside of Australia.

The sources of the information are provided and acknowledged as public information published on the internet.

Source 1 – Dezeen Magazine

Denton Corker Marshall has built the new Australian Embassy in Jakarta, adding an assortment of metals mined in Australia and acoustic panels decorated with national landmarks.


The Australian firm aimed to create an "expressive yet dignified" representation of the nation's character for the complex, which is Australia's largest diplomatic post.

To achieve this, the firm chose to use diverse shapes and materials to clearly express the different functions of each structure.


"The architectural design of the new Australian Embassy compound offers a multiplicity of expressions, drawing together into a unified and cohesive whole to represent the cultural diversity of Australia," said Denton Corker Marshall.


The embassy is located close to the centre of Indonesian capital. It comprises a chancery building, a residence for the Head of Mission, 32 staff accommodation units, and medical and recreational facilities.


The largest and most important building is the chancery, which contains the offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as 13 other government departments and agencies.

This building's form consists of 12 interconnected rectilinear volumes. Together, they create a solid mass intended to evoke well-known Australian landforms such as Uluru – also known as Ayers Rock – and Kata Tjuta.


Each volume is clad in a metal mined in Australia to reflect the country's wealth of natural resources.

The claddings include zinc, aluminium, copper, brass and steel, and the panels feature debossed patterns that add a layer of textural interest to the otherwise homogenous surfaces


"The form of the chancery is uncomplicated, direct but at the same time powerful and memorable," said the architects.

"It is unequivocal and confident. It doesn't look superficially 'Australia' but relies on a more subtle reading of the Australian character."


Internally, the forms and materials used aim to complement the exterior. A central courtyard covered with a transparent roof allows daylight to enter the surrounding blocks through irregularly arranged windows.


Panels of Australian wood add a sense of warmth to the material palette, and also feature perforated patterns that aid acoustics.

These depict abstract scenes of iconic Australian landmarks, including the Bungle Bungle landforms and the Twelve Apostles rock stacks.


Positioned next to the chancery, the Head of Mission residence is a two-storey building formed of interlocking blocks, which create staggered facades defined by varying patterns of light and shade.


The residence's entry forecourt features a large reflecting pool at its centre

A minimal pergola that will gradually be covered by a canopy of creepers follows the paths that extend along the edges of the pool.


The forecourt and pool are intended to provide a relaxed yet formal welcome to the property, which also has a swimming pool and outdoor terrace on the first floor.


Beyond the Head of Mission residence, the staff accommodation is arranged in two rows with multi-coloured facades that step in and out to add articulation to the frontages and give each house its own identity.


A garden area between the rows of accommodation provides a secure outdoor space for residents that is enclosed at either end by the walls of the Head of Mission residence and a recreation centre.

Photography is by John Gollings.

Additional Site Photos



Photography is by John Gollings.

Source 2 – ABC NEWS

A new state-of-the-art Australian embassy, in the making for more than a decade, has officially opened in Jakarta with the help of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

The Government began talks on the new highly secure facility after the original embassy was bombed by terrorists in 2004.
Nine people including the suicide bomber died in the attack, and more than 150 people were injured. No Australians were killed.


PHOTO: The facility has been in the works since the original embassy was bombed in 2004. (ABC News: Samantha Hawley)
In the decade since, the Australian embassy staff have been working at a number of locations across the Indonesian capital as the original building was unable to accommodate a doubling of Australian staff.

A multi-faith prayer session and a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony were keys parts of the ceremony.
The massive complex set on 50,000 square metres of land was built within the original budget of $415 million.
It makes the Indonesian diplomatic post the largest in the world.
The compound can withstand a one in 2,500-year earthquake and can move 600 millimetres in any direction.
It was also built to minimise its environmental impact in central Jakarta.
On the grounds, there is also staff housing and a recreation and medical facility.
But it is the ground's banyan trees that have seen the embassy enter the Indonesian Guinness Book of Records.
The four massive trees were relocated near the building's entrance — the biggest relocation of its kind ever undertaken.


PHOTO: A banyan tree at Australian embassy in Jakarta. (ABC News: Samantha Hawley)

Source 3 – The West Australian

It's the most expensive Commonwealth building outside Australia and it must be said, it's very impressive.

The Australian Embassy compound in Jakarta, opened today Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, was commissioned after the 2004 Terrorist attacks on the old chancery building that killed six people.

Designed by Melbourne architects Denton Corker Marshall, the $415 million building is not only impressive to look at, it has some remarkable design features.
As well as offering state-of-the-arts security, it is designed to withstand a one in 2500-year earthquake and can move 600 millimetres in any direction.
The 50,000sqm building uses a low energy air-conditioning systems that filters outside air to ensure indoor air quality is excellent - an important quality, given Jakarta's bad reputation for vehicle and industry air pollution.
There is a particularly West Australian element to the building, with the theatrette having an etching of the Bungle Bungle Ranges.
Purnululu elder Shirley Drill of Nagarra was invited to conduct the smoking ceremony at yesterday's opening.
Australia's increased diplomatic footprint in Indonesia has seen a doubling of staff over the past decade to about 500. More than a dozen Australian agencies work out of the Chancery and 33 residences will be built in the surrounding compound, with a completion date of June.
The landscaping of the property involved relocating four mature Banyan trees, the biggest transplanting of its kind, recognised by the Indonesian Guinness Book of Records.
And there's a particularly Australian noise that strikes the compound every few days - Victa lawnmowers have been brought in to keep the lush lawns trim.

Australian Embassy – Feature Project

Scope of installation

The Electronic package undertaken by ECS included an extremely comprehensive solution consisting of an IP-based Electronic Access Control System with Alarm inputs, Tailored Duress Alarm System, HD IP CCTV System, Video Intercom System, Reception Counter Voice Transfer Units and an Extensive Audio Visual System.


This project involved a comprehensive Structured Fibre backbone integrating more than 17 node rooms where equipment was cabled utilising a combination of steel conduit containment structure or PVC conduit structure. In addition, 30-year application warranty was given for all CAT6 Cable installed by ECS.

With the exception of the internal ceilings, every conduit for the project was cast into the walls for additional protection. All cabling used for the services above were installed within the containment structure with all devices on a door referencing a particular door type nominated by DSB that determined the door configuration

A major challenge for this installation was to have the ability to provide detailed architectural drawings which were then used to coordinate all trades utilising the space within ceiling or cast into walls. Subsequent to approval, it would then be issued to our construction crew where installation had to be undertaken as per each approved shop drawing.

The security system provided for the new Australian Embassy Compound in Jakarta consists of an IP

Security Solution with the following components

  • Pelco Endura II CCTV
  • Gallagher EACS
  • Gallagher Duress
  • BPT Intercom for Staff Residences, Head of Mission, 4 Security Gate Houses, Brimob (Indonesian Tactical Police) communicating with the Security Operations Centre
  • Ampertronic Reception Counter Intercom for Gate Houses

Due to the size of the complex, all the above systems are designed on a distributed architecture via a
dedicated security services IT Network free form any external network.

All Head End Servers and Storage Servers are located in the main Comms Room, where video is retained for a period of time at HD Video Quality.

The solution presented for the Security System includes backup power for a minimum of 30 minutes using distributed UPS for the CCTV system and Back-up Batteries for the EACS and Duress System.

In addition to providing the backup power, alerts are provided into the EACS system for any UPS Power Fail, EACS Controller Power Fail and Duress Controller Power Fail. Further alerts are provided on Low Battery/Battery Fault conditions from the UPS, EACS and Duress Controllers. The management and alerts for system alarms described above are provided through the EACS GUI.

Due to the nature of the site, specific details are not able to be released.

Project Management

The complexity of delivering a project of this scale under the extreme stringent Australian Government and Security requirements posed a major challenge for ECS; despite these obstacles, we exceeded all of the project milestones and deliverables on time with the Embassy taking possession at 5 pm on the 31/08/2015 as per our contract delivery date.


ECS has a proud history of fulfilling complex turnkey solutions, and the Australian Embassy is a tribute to ECS’s commitment and ability to deliver large scale projects, where not only standard project challenges apply but also more complex difficulties such as logistics, regional, cultural and language barriers, lack of local skilled labour. These issues were overcome, while still applying the rigorous requirements imposed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the application of security processes at the largest ever Embassy built by the Australian Government

ECS was awarded the contract on July 2013 and had to mobilise a team in Indonesia by End of August to commence project preliminaries. The contract completion date was set for 31/08/2015. During the project, the scope of works increased to over 100% expansion in value and size with no extension of times allowed. Our contract requirements stated the Embassy would NOT take possession of the site without a fully functional system.


Open dialogue with all stakeholders was a vital key to meeting all project objectives; this project required an even higher level of interaction due to the stringent quality standard that was stipulated for this project. To illustrate this point quality was measured by both ECS and the client through a regiment of acceptance testing by (Diplomatic Security Branch) DSB where every single aspect and component of the project was signed off to a hold point, with work not able to proceed until a satisfactory inspection was completed.


Key Challenges

A significant challenge faced during this project was the high level of documentation required. ECS met this issue by engaging a full-time document controller and two full-time CAD draftspersons and Inspection certificates for every segment of the project.

Technical Design Submissions

Every Single system to be put forward required a detailed technical submission and compliance to a brief that was outdated in technology platforms requiring re-designs, presentations for acceptance by the client, consultant as well as DSB.

ECS produced 40 Technical design submission with each ranging between 20 to 400 pages per submission. The detailed information provided allowed the key stakeholders to make rapid and informed decisions to accept the proposed designs as these were significantly different from the original specifications.

CAD Drawings

Full scaled CAD drawings were produced as Shop Drawings consisting of over 400 detailed drawings that had to be approved prior to the commencement of any work. This included full scaled conduit reticulation and junction boxes etc. and installation had to be performed in accordance with the approved and coordinated drawings.

Upon completion of inspections and any variation to the methodology of the installation resulting from “conflicts” of services were updated and re-submitted for approval and then converted to final As-Builts.

Inspection Reports

dfat21ECS adhered to an extreme regime of quality control, whereby each facet of the installation was inspected in segments for installation against approved shop drawings. The delivery was provided through the quality of installation and compliance to the applied standards. 

This provided multiple hold points through the project where we could not progress further till the identified hold point had been accepted. The key Hold points included:

  • Conduit Installation 
  • Cabling
  • Installation of Hardware
  • Commissioning
  • Functional Testing
  • Witness Testing

To demonstrate the magnitude of this undertaking, the stages of each hold point for the entire project consisted of the following:

  • In excess of 16 kilometres of steel conduit
  • In excess of 22 kilometres of PVC conduit
  • In excess of 400 detailed scaled architectural CAD drawings

Project Logistics

During the tender process, our bid team identified the impact that staging and logistics would have on the overall outcome of the project. It was evident that the products and accessories required for this project could not be sourced locally to achieve the desired results.
Our team developed a Procurement Plan that would meet the unique problems of managing a major International project in a foreign country while ensuring that the goods would arrive within the prescribed timeframes. The procurement team had to work closely with project manager in Indonesia to schedule deliveries as the average shipment time was between 8-16 weeks.

In addition to freight being forwarded from Australia, goods were also shipped from various countries which included the United Kingdom, Italy, New Zealand Singapore and U.S.A.
Irrespective of the delivery size all shipments required pre-approval from the Indonesian Government before goods could be dispatched. This involved arduous amounts of paperwork such as packing lists, draft airway bills and commercial invoices that had to be accurately completed to ensure to that there were no costly delays.

Human Resources

To overcome these challenges, ECS established a training centre where local staff were continuously provided with English speaking courses and hands-on training on the installation methods with continual supervision to ensure the quality and delivery of every stage was in full compliance with the relevant Australian Standards and Diplomatic Security Branch (DSB) audits.


The level of quality was measured by both ECS and the client through a regiment of acceptance testing by DSB where every aspect and component of the project was signed off to a hold point where works would not progress until successful inspection.


Product and Technology Redesign – to future proof the operational and functional requirement, ECS reviewed the existing specifications and worked closely with the client to revolutionise the design for practicality, cost-effectiveness and delivery of an integrated solution that provided the embassy with a state of the art security system

ECS Training Program – ECS recognized the requirement to up-skill the local workforce and implemented an ECS training program which involved a continual improvement process commencing with basic communication education, right the way through comprehensive training on installation, fitting off and termination methodologies to the highest standards deployed by ECS in Australia.

Local Culture – In recognition of local cultures, ECS Established and facilities Prayer Rooms for local Staff

Amenities – Due to local traffic and lack of hygiene at local food stores external form from the construction ECS was facing numerous delays in staff returning to work or becoming sick. To overcome this, we established on site canteen facilities and provided all employees with clean food and water. The impact was significant; this resulted in increased efficiency, staff loyalty and productivity.

Project Outcomes

Our team is honored to have played a pivotal role in assisting the Australian Government in making the new Australian Embassy in Jakarta a safe and secure environment for consular staff, tourists and visiting government dignitaries.


ECS has managed to leverage off the success of this project and to secure new clientele across Indonesia, in turn this has allowed ECS to maintain a permanent office in Jakarta. The idea of expanding our business throughout Asia is an exciting prospect, but what is just as rewarding is providing opportunities to the local staff that helped to make this project a success.