Modular system accelerates construction of Nursing Home by seven months

A time saving modular construction program will deliver the Cooinda Aged Care extension in Coonabaraan, NSW seven months earlier than traditional construction methods.

The 980m² Dementia Ward which includes 25 bedrooms, 26 bathrooms, a common meals area, and storage, linen and laundry facilities, is being built by one of Australia’s oldest design and construct firms, Paynter Dixon.

Ascension Living was contracted by design and construction firm Paynter Dixon to construct the Dementia Ward using Ascension’s customised modular building system. The system is based on suspended floors with screw pile footings, 22 M column less spans, and seamless interchangeable prefabricated wall components.

“There are no restrictions”, said James Brennan, Operations Manager and Director at Ascension Living. “Each pod can be custom built, and adapted, to any size because of the non-load bearing wall system”.

Katana Foundations supplied and installed 189 screw piles for the suspended floor system. “Katana can pinpoint where to put screw piles based on our 81 – pod layout”, said James.   The loads calculated on the screw pile footings are strong enough to support multi-level additions in the future. The hydraulic pressure for each screw pile installation was between 2000 and 2300 psi.


A challenge for Katana was drilling 35 screw piles into bedrock. The team adopted a wet insert method by boring a hole, filling it with concrete, and then drilling the screw pile into the bored, concrete filled hole to prevent bi-lateral movement.

“Nothing is ever a problem with Katana”, added James. “They punch out the work… and if we hit any roadblocks, the whole Katana team work to find a solution”.




A traditional concrete slab foundation would have taken around 16 days – 5 days for formwork, 4 days for concrete pour, and at least 7 days for the concrete to cure.

The Katana team installed 189 screw piles (35 into rock) in 2.5 days – shortening construction of the foundation by 13.5 days.

Not only is time saved when using screw piles, but money too. “We calculated a 25% to 30% savings on material costs alone when using screw piles”, concluded James.



Get the foundation right when you buy a blockGreat Barrier Reef Moorings Installation