13 August 2023

Hot desks: Tax Office fit-out to cost $125 million

| Ian Bushnell
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New Tax Office

An artist’s impression of the proposed new Tax Office in Barton where more than 2000 staff will work. Image: DOMA.

The Australian Taxation Office is proposing a $125 million fit-out for its new office building in Barton, which will include hotdesking as part of a move to a contemporary office layout.

The ATO’s new home in Barton will be a six-storey building with strong green and wellbeing credentials and more than 33,000 square metres of floor space, nearly half that of the two current sites in the city – 26 Narellan Street and 21 Genge Street, where leases expire in May and November 2027, respectively.

It signed a 15-year lease for the $119 million, A-grade building, which will be developed by Canberra’s DOMA Group and Kenyon Investments and built by BLOC at DOMA’s 1.156-hectare site, 15 Sydney Avenue.

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The works application is still being assessed by the National Capital Authority but it is expected to be completed by May 2025.

In a submission to the Parliamentary works committee, the ATO says design efficiency and space optimisation will be achieved through modern office fit-outs and inclusions as well as the proposed implementation of unallocated workspaces.

It says the shift to hot desks will provide a contemporary workplace for its 2000-plus staff that is responsive to the ATO’s environment and hybrid working arrangements.

The proposed internal design for the new ATO: a contemporary workplace responsive to its environment and hybrid working arrangements. Image: IA Design.

They will also allow for greater collaboration by providing a variety of meeting areas and focus spaces that can be tailored to staff needs, the submission says.

The new format will provide technology and equipment to support a seamless working experience, including the ability to easily transition between desks and meeting spaces, and between the office and remote working.

The ATO says the existing fit-out at the two city sites, where staff moved in 2007, is at the end of its usable life and not consistent with a modern workplace for technology, amenity, collaboration, serviceability or flexibility.

The Barton site and proposed fit-out includes A-Grade office accommodation with large and efficient floor plates to maximise space and flexibility, an adaptable work environment using a modular design that is interchangeable with minimal cost, a robust security system, enhanced IT infrastructure and technology, and offices and meeting rooms away from the perimeter for efficiency and equitable access to natural light and views.

street and six-storey building

Another view of the new ATO site. Image: DOMA.

The ATO says the needs of people with disabilities will be considered in the fit-out design, including mobility access, design layout, colour intensity, graphics and signage as well as the location of equipment. Breakout areas on each floor will provide wheelchair access to kitchen facilities.

The building itself will have a central atrium to maximise natural light across all floors, end-of-trip facilities including change rooms, bicycle racks, lockers and showers, and onsite car parking including 120 spaces for ATO use only and about 235 spaces on a ‘user pays’ basis from a private operator.

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There will also be a privately owned cafe on site.

It will have a 4.5 NABERS energy rating and include energy efficiency measures and three rooftop solar arrays to reduce demand on the grid.

Formal staff consultation on the proposed fit-out design, including the move to hot desking, is expected to occur later this year.

Original Article published by Ian Bushnell on Riotact.

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