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Sunshine Hospital

Project Description

Oct 2018 – March 2019

Budget: $4m+

Architect: Meinhardt / Bonacci

Builder: Cockram / Icon

Client: Western Health

Complete façade cladding replacement project for an operating health campus, including the design, manufacture, supply and installation of 3,500m2 of Custom Clad’s 4mm solid aluminium product and lightweight steel framing rectification works.

  • Full Façade Recladding

  • Sensitive Operational Environment

  • Live Health Campus

  • Framing Rectification Works

Case Study

Operated by Western Health, Sunshine Hospital was originally constructed in 1989 to replace the prior Sunshine and District Community Hospital and was expanded in 2015 to include an additional intensive care unit. In November 2017, an audit by the Victorian Cladding Taskforce determined that the existing cladding required replacement. The hospital then engaged Cockram to oversee the project, with whom we collaborated to develop the recladding solution.

Custom Clad were initially awarded stage one of the works, consisting of 1,300m2 of recladding works primarily focused on the ground floor. Based on our performance, we were awarded the second and larger package of an additional 2,000m2.


The design process for the Sunshine Hospital recladding began with a thorough review of the original plans and architectural drawings, which were adapted into shop drawings and a 3D model of the building. This was followed up by a detailed on-site audit which compared the as-built structure to the original design to identify any potential variations which had to be factored into the recladding design process.

Through this process, our team determined that some framing elements were in need of replacement where they either deviated from the design or used alternate materials such as wood. Where these discrepancies were identified, we manufactured lightweight steel frame components to replace them which were managed with the builder on a case by case basis.


As a recladding project, it was essential that the new panels were a perfect match for the originals in both form and finish. This required careful collaboration with our long-term powder-coating supplier to develop a colour- and texture-matched finish which would seamlessly fit into the existing façade, the colour of which had drifted slightly from it’s original finish over three decades of weathering.

As a live heath facility, time of delivery was critical, and this necessitated manufacturing the cladding well in advance of the project’s critical path. Our prior onsite audit of the existing cladding was invaluable during the manufacturing and panel finishing processes as it allowed us to replace panels on a perfect one-to-one basis.

Finally, due to the exacting requirements for fire-compliant cladding replacement works, document control was an essential component of the manufacturing and installation process.


While the main body of works were a conceptually simple matter of removing the existing panels and replace them, the combination of the live hospital environment and some misalignments between original project documentation and the as-built structure required careful management on site. Additionally, the large louvered screens on the façade had to be removed from the building and stored nearby on site for the duration of works.

We worked closely with hospital stakeholders and Cockram to develop a program which would minimise impacts to the hospital staff and patients. Where critical areas required short-term shutdowns of parts of the facility, these periods were scheduled with the hospital in advance to allow for the required decanting procedures. To maintain the program, Custom Clad committed to a flexible resourcing strategy that allowed for additional installers on site during peak work periods, often doubling the typical 6-person team to up to 12 personnel.

Throughout delivery, extensive weather and water ingress testing were undertaken, uncovering an issue where some water was able to penetrate the caulking around windows, which was rectified alongside the façade replacement.

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