ECS Services has been selected to provide the electronic security systems for the new $A230 million Australian Embassy currently under construction in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

TO be built on a 40,500 square metre site in Jakarta’s Patra Kuningan area, this will be Australia’s largest Embassy complex anywhere in the world and will cover a gross floor area of 50,106 square metres. The project will be delivered by the middle of 2015 as a joint venture between PT Leighton Contractors Indonesia and PT Total Bangun Persada Tbk.

Construction of the new complex includes a 5-storey chancery, an official residence for the head of mission, accommodation for 32 staff, recreational facilities, four guard stations, a contiguous basement, engineering services infrastructure as well as comprehensive landscaping. Also included are civil foundation and substructure, structural, architectural facade and interior finishing, external work, as well as mechanical and electrical.

While exact detail of what’s being provided in the way of electrical work and electronic security solutions isn’t available, the original DFAT submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee back in 2009 provides a general scope of works. The requirements are comprehensive. For a start, electrical services, including electronic security systems, must comply with BCA and appropriate Australian Standards. At a core comms level there’s to be an integrated telephone and data communications backbone and horizontal cabling system.

There’s to be a power supply infrastructure connected to the existing city system, including dual new substation(s) with independent connections to the city grid. The main electrical switchboards complete with surge protection will be strategically located on the site. Lightning protection will be provided to cover all the buildings on the site as appropriate. Metering facilities are designed so that local authorities are not required to enter restricted areas. 

Standby power generation based on diesel generator sets is to be integrated with the electrical supply to provide power in the event of mains failure. The underground fuel storage capacity servicing the generators will be sized for seven days consumption at 100 per cent load for 24 hours per day continuous operation. UPS provided to essential lighting and power as appropriate. All essential service systems such as lift, fire hydrant hose reel pump, and sprinkler pump will be connected to back-up power supplies. 

There’s to be a combined emergency warning and intercommunication system (EWIS) public address system allowing audio communication to all areas of the embassy buildings. Emergency lighting will be independent of the general lighting fixtures and shall incorporate integral battery and charger. Exit lighting is independent battery backup type and based on LED technology. External lighting will be provided for security and access purposes including maintenance of CCTV coverage. 

Security measures for the project follow the principles of defence in depth which utilize layers of passive and active security measures to cocoon the more secure areas. The following summarises these security measures. Compound grounds will be secured by monitored perimeter walls with controlled guardhouse access points on the street frontages, with landscaping restricted to allow clear lines of sight. 

 

“The embassy is great design – a lot of thought has gone into it. From our perspective it’s a monster of a task. It’s interesting and it’s very demanding at multiple levels – technically and in terms of the work environment.”

 

Public and official building access will be segregated. Automated perimeter lighting will be provided that may include both twilight and movement detection activation. Appropriate materials, fixtures, hardware and fittings will be used for the building shells. Electronic security elements include access control to allocated doors, intruder detection, CCTV Cameras to cover all portions of the embassy grounds with these and other systems monitored and managed from a manned security control room. 

The fire system design will respond to the requirements of the BCA and with the specialist requirements for a chancery building. The fire safety system adopted for the building will incorporate fire detection and alarm systems, sprinkler protection, hydrants and hose reels, and illumination of building egress and also be in accordance with any fire engineered approach. 

Fire detection will be achieved by the installation of smoke alarms and heat detectors connected to a main fire indicator panel, with battery back-up, and a mimic panel at the guard post incorporating automatic communication with the embassy duty officer. An audible alarm communication system to alert occupants will be installed throughout the buildings. Fire suppression will be achieved by an automatic sprinkler system, the careful selection of retardant materials and strategic location of extinguishers, hydrants and hose reels. Safe egress from the building will be ensured by compliance with BCA. 

The new Embassy is also designed to be environmentally friendly. Energy consumption will be reduced with the use of lightly insulated facades and sophisticated ventilation systems. Site stormwater will be managed through extensive landscaping, green roof technology and an underground water retention system. Rainwater harvesting, sewerage recycling and low-flow water fixtures will help conserve water.

ECS Services Raj Masson says while he’s not able to comment on any of the security systems being installed at the site, the embassy is state-of-the-art. 

“We at the ground stage of a 3-year contract,” says Masson. “It was a long process of tender – around 18 months. We are now in the process of establishing an office in Jakarta to manage the project. We’ll have about 15-20 staff on the ground during the installation process.

“The embassy is great design – a lot of thought has gone into it. From our perspective it’s a monster of a task. It’s interesting and it’s very demanding at multiple levels – technically and in terms of the work environment.”

Meanwhile, Leighton Contractors Indonesia Chief executive Hamish Tyrwhitt said the company built the current Australian embassy in Jakarta 2 decades ago. As well as building the old Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Leighton has previously built or refurbished Australian embassies in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. 

“We are excited and proud to be working with the Australian government to build the critical infrastructure that will support our nation as we engage in the Asian century,” Tyrwhitt said.

The old Australian embassy in Jakarta was badly damaged in a suicide bombing that is generally considered the responsibility of Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic extremist group, Jemaah Islamiyah. On September 9 2004, a 1000kg car bomb detonated at the Australian Embassy gates killing 9 people, including the suicide bomber, and wounding more than 150.