This process is usually best addressed by holding a 3-4 day workshop to facilitate an understanding of the building structure and pedestrian flow and interface issues with other facilities. This enables Peter O’Brien Projects to immediately commence the internal design of the aquarium.

After the approval of the concept drawings by the client, Peter O’Brien Projects will develop the schematic and detailed designs to ensure that the aquarium is ultimately designed and built in accordance with the design intent.  The designs will include, but not be limited to:

  • Presentation and evaluation of schematics.
  • People movement and holding volume issues.
  • Design development.
  • Detailed internal architectural design, including detailed specification documentation and tender drawings.

The Peter O’Brien Projects team will respond to all aspects of the Scope of Works through the production of internationally acceptable documentation and presentations, including appropriate detailed specification documents, together with responses to builders’ requests for information, plus architectural site attendances and design changes where necessary.

Peter O’Brien enjoys good, arms length relationships with the major aquarium component suppliers globally. Our repeat custom and expertise ensures that our clients can be confident they will enjoy significant savings and economies. Strict governance and probity processes are applied in all purchasing activities.

Acrylic Works

  • Provide final approved schematic drawings to selected acrylic works provider for pricing
  • The client needs to place an order with ‘letter of credit’ to the provider as soon as possible to facilitate timely manufacture of major window panels
  • Final detailed design for sill and rebates by Peter O’Brien Projects
  • Finalise contract to include:
    • Shop drawings
    • Manufacture
    • Delivery to site
    • Liaison with main contractor to arrange lifting and locating panels
    • On site bonding annealing and installation
    • Warranty period
  • Supervision by Peter O’Brien Projects. This will include inspection at the manufacturer’s factory prior to delivery 
  • Supervision of commissioning and hydro-testing 

 Underwater Landscape

  • Concept design by Peter O’Brien Projects
  • Initial pricing based on concept design by invitation
  • Selection of two invitees to provide detailed concepts and indicative pricing and samples of work at no cost
  • Discussion/negotiation re design concept and price
  • Selection of subcontractor
  • Finalisation of design and cost based on previous
  • Contract finalisation
  • Contract to include:
    • Detailed design
    • Manufacture –majority off site to facilitate the schedule
    • Delivery to site (storage if necessary)
    • Installation
    • Liaison with other contractors through Peter O’Brien Projects
    • Commissioning
    • Warranty period
    • Retention
  • Direct supervision of manufacture and installation by Peter O’Brien Projects
  • Supervision of commissioning by Peter O’Brien Projects


  • Specifications and tender documents by Peter O’Brien Projects
  • Send tender documents to tenderers
  • Selection of preferred tenderer
  • Contract finalisation – contract to include:
    • Supply and delivery to site of all plant and consumables
    • All work on site
    • Warranty period
  • Direct supervision of all waterproofing work by Peter O’Brien Projects


Life Support System

  • To facilitate design timing Peter O’Brien Projects recommends the immediate commencement of a competitive process to select a contractor on a design, supply and install basis. If desired by the client Peter O’Brien Projects can provide a detailed LSS design and specification based on which competitive supply and install (only) tenders can be sought however this methodology will prove to more time consuming and will delay finalisation of detailed design as the specific LSS interfaces with the design will need to be confirmed by the appointed bidder.
  • Specification document to be provided by contractor and approved by Peter O’Brien Projects
  • Contract finalisation
  • Contract to include:
    • Design
    • Manufacture
    • Delivery to site (storage if necessary)
    • Installation
    • Liaison with other Contractors via Peter O’Brien Projects
    • Installation
    • Initial and subsequent water fills/tests
    • Commissioning – with Peter O’Brien Projects
    • Warranty period
    • Retention
    • Operating Manuals
  • Supervision of manufacture and installation by Peter O’Brien Projects

General Plant and MEP

  • Design by the client’s appointed engineers.
    • Peter O’Brien Projects to provide a detailed list of aquarium specific requirements and design details
    • Design to include MEP to all areas and to be coordinated (interfaced) directly with LSS design; process overview by Peter O’Brien Projects

Ancillary Areas Fit-out (loose equipment)

  • Best price negotiation for most small equipment
  • Diving equipment and similar by Sponsor at best commercial rate
  • I.T. Equipment by tender
    • Design requirements by Peter O’Brien Projects
    • Installation supervision by Peter O’Brien Projects

 Fish stocks

  • Best price negotiation with suppliers known to Peter O’Brien Projects and or sourced locally.
  • Orders will be placed in line with seasonal availability
  • It may be necessary to establish a holding facility in the project country depending on the volume of animals required.  If so Peter O’Brien Projects will supervise this work
  • All contracts will include transport to site
  • Peter O’Brien Projects staff will supervise and provide additional experienced curatorial staff for the introduction of the animals into the main oceanarium and displays. During this process some of the local divers (curatorial staff) will be employed (pre-opening operational cost) to gain experience and training in the handling, feeding and maintenance of fishes

 Maintenance Equipement and Consumables

  • Wherever economically advantageous local suppliers will be sourced for all consumables
  • Best price negotiation with local suppliers where possible


Peter O’Brien Projects’ role will also include overseeing all other design, supply and or installation contractors to the aquarium including but not limited to:

  • Acoustics and Audio Visual (AV) Engineering
  • Graphics Interpretive
  • Ticketing
  • Education programs

As part of its role as a contract administrator Peter O’Brien Projects will:

  • Review qualified tender bids and make recommendations
  • Review any cost-saving alternatives for functional capabilities, compatibility with the approved design, and compliance with recognised design standards
  • Peter O’Brien Projects will ensure that all specialist contractors coordinate their works, as appropriate, with other works on the site
  • Provide advice to relevant consultants in relation to requests for information from contractors
  • Ensure that all work included within the scope is undertaken in line with the design intent and specification
  • Provide advice and instruction to relevant contractors in relation to coordination of works with others
  • Overview the project management and construction process of the aquarium and in particular aquarium specialist works matters. This task will be undertaken by full time staff working from the Peter O’Brien Projects office, initially in Australia and during construction, in the project city.

The commissioning process requires the important overseeing of the final phases of construction, but also requires the establishment of an operating team and operating procedures for the aquarium.

To ensure effective continuity of operation post opening and to provide a detailed insight into the aquarium operating requirements Peter O’Brien Projects will establish an operating team on behalf of the operator. This team will assist with commissioning and be trained by Peter O’Brien Projects in all requirements and systems needed for the successful operation of a commercial aquarium.

Peter O’Brien Projects will liaise with the client in relation to the timing of staff employment as costs will obviously be incurred. It will be necessary to employ the senior operations staff mid-way through the construction period to ensure that they have direct involvement in and are familiar with the establishment of operating procedures. Employment of line staff, including fish-keeping staff will commence with the introduction of fishes into the oceanarium and displays. Peter O’Brien Projects will have experienced curatorial staff on site during this period. This provides an excellent opportunity for staff to be trained in the basics of fish husbandry, fish feeding and fish maintenance.

The commissioning and business establishment process will provide the final aspects of the turn-key process. Issues addressed in the overall commissioning process include:

  • Work with the client to establish operating budgets for all areas including aquarium operations, food and beverage and retail. These budgets are utilised as a guide for staffing and stock levels and other required equipment purchases.
  • Selection and employment of staff in co-operation with the client for all areas.
  • Arrange for relevant diver training to a level of competency to allow all maintenance, cleaning, feeding, curatorial and technical work to be completed efficiently and safely.
  • Provide training for all curatorial, maintenance, front of house, education, and specialist retail staff.
  • Ensure curatorial staff is trained in a timely fashion so as to be of assistance with the monitoring of water quality prior to the introduction of stock and with the initial introduction of stock to the displays.
  • Assist the operational marketing team with the initial marketing campaign.
  • Work with the client to ensure that pre opening and opening media exposure for the aquarium is appropriate and maximised.
  • Provide a relevant range of educational programs for schools and other formal groups from ages 4 – 20 years including holiday and out of hour’s programs. Education programs will be written within the scope of the local Education Department curriculum.
  • Provide curatorial work practices manuals for each display noting specific requirements and anomalies.
  • Review options and recommend an appropriate ticketing system for the aquarium. Provide training to Front of House Staff in the operational and reporting requirements of the system.
  • Establish operations manuals for all work areas (including those mentioned above for curatorial areas)

Provide relevant cash control systems with information interfaces to relevant departments including accounting and marketing.

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