Australian High Commission Chancery and Residential Redevelopment, Tawawa Kiribati
Client: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

40,311 population of Tawara
4,680km from Canberra
2 flights a day


The Australian High Commission in Kiribati is located on the main island of Tarawa, roughly halfway between Cairns and the Hawai’ian Islands. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) currently owns a number of buildings on the island including a Chancery, Head of Mission’s residence and staff residential dwellings. The existing buildings were first constructed in the early 1980s and have deteriorated significantly due to the harsh conditions and difficulties with arranging maintenance work.

TSA were engaged to investigate opportunities for properties on the island and to prepare a Property Master Plan which included options for redevelopment.  Site investigations were undertaken, with considerable investigation of the construction options given the logistic constraints and limited local trades and labour.  A final option was presented for approval in the Business Case, which made recommendations for an off-site construction methodology using Australian made prefabricated modules.  The preferred off-site solution provides benefits to the local community with a significant reduction in waste compared with traditional construction techniques, as well as providing training opportunities for local students during the installation period.

The design solution also incorporates best practice environmentally sustainable features including energy efficient building (including targeting 5 Star NABERS for the Chancery), self-sufficient rainwater usage, and low maintenance / life-cycle costs. The final arrangement is intended to be a prototype for similar locations throughout the Pacific

Following approval of the Business Case TSA were engaged to assist DFAT with the evaluation of the Head Contractor tenders for the work outlined in the original Business Plans and have been appointed as Project Managers for the Design and Construction phases of the project, due for completion in 2021.

  • 40,311

    Tarawa population

  • 2

    flights a day to Kirabati Airport

  • 4,680km

    from Canberra