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Innovative Apartments - Adelaide

Developments for Investors and Developers

Woolcock Construction specialise in and enjoy planning and building residential Apartment Developments for Investors; Families growing superannuation funds / investment portfolios; Property developers; Accountants; Financial planners …

Linked Apartments - Prospect, just off Churchill Road, are a particularly interesting and creative project – with some unique challenges.

Our Client’s development block was surrounded tightly by other residential homes, making it difficult to access.

Traditional building techniques for multi-storey apartments work from the ground up. Linked was built in stages from the back forward. This innovative design and construction approach allowed open and safe access for cranes and trades through the front of the block, without inconveniencing neighbours.

The full apartment complex was constructed in 3 sections : Back • Middle • Front – with each section then connected seamlessly.

The finished structure allows for ground floor tenant parking and storage, with 3 levels of apartments above that (5 on each level) – and a private shared tenant open space rooftop garden, terrace, BBQ and recreation zone.

The Building has an East-West orientation to enhance ventilation flow and maximise the building’s environmental performance. However individual apartments have a North-South orientation, with North facing windows into major living / entertaining areas to enhance natural lighting & cross ventilation.

Bedrooms are located on the southern side to keep them cool / comfortable and reduce owners’ energy consumption. Rooftop solar minimises the overall building’s carbon footprint.

• 3 Major Project Challenges

1)  Client Request for 15 Apartments plus the rooftop garden.

Councils require a set amount of open space to be included within a development. By introducing a Rooftop Garden and recreation zone concept, Council ruled the development compliant, enabling the ground footprint of the building to increase, thereby ensuring 5 apartments could be included on each of the 3 centre levels, thereby maximising return on investment.

2)  Strict Council Building Heights traditionally do not allow an extension to the limitation of the buildings height guidelines, however in this case a strong planning report supporting the merits proposed with the rooftop “Canopy” secured a successfully development consent with the State Planning Department.

Woolcock’s Design team pushed the design by utilising a new state of the art Delta Beam / Modular Floor Panel system (never before used in Australia) that reduced the depth of each of the 4 lower levels, thereby enabling the rooftop 5th level to be added minimising height restrictions.

Despite the need to keep the ‘individual storey height’ to a minimum, each floor structure was thin enough to still allow for airy 2.6m high ceilings in each apartment.

3)  How to Build from the Back Forward rather than the Ground Level up, on a block surrounded by other homes. The building was constructed as 5 Bays, each 4 storeys high – starting with the back 3 bays, followed by joining them together with the front 2 bays.

Woolcock’s design team used a Diaphragm system to construct the first floor, using a combination of suspended prefabricated concrete walls and floor system. This Design solution was to be the main structural element to maintain required earthquake integrity.

Clever Design Solutions

Balconies were supported using the new Delta Beam technology with counter levered single and double spans.

Modular Delta Beams allowed the building to be built as 5 Bays. Each bay is 4 Storeys high, overall using less steel, resulting in a lower materials cost for the building, but also reducing build time, whilst maximising available space.

A composite structural beam and floor system accommodated the construction approach. The truly unique design allowed for individual installation of Delta Beams and Delta Core floor Panels with a final isitu cement pour combining the elements together to maximise the structural capacity. The finished floor structure is compliant with earthquake regulations and fire safety requirements (not requiring further fire resistant provisions).

Natural Energy Performance experts from SUHO, combined with Acoustic Engineers from Resonate were engaged during the design phase to introduce design techniques and materials choices that maximised the environmental performance of the building; reduced noise transfer; materials (such as Hebel) that are light weight, low cost, and fire safety rated.

In fact, many material choices substantially exceeded ‘standard’ building code regulations, while also saving the client budget and adding to tenant comfort.

The entire development from first earthmoving to turn key took 10.5 months and delivered our client a result that equalled, in fact, exceeded initial planning meeting expectations.

Project Highlights

Good Communication with Neighbours ensured no animosity or problems. It was important to respect their lives with early and regular notifications.

A Sandstone Façade was part of our client’s original brief, integrated into a semi commercial development to ensure the apartments present a homely feel. Clever engineering and much thought about the local streetscape followed to blend this development with surrounding houses.

Woolcock’s client was able to sell apartments off of the plan to garner early cash flow due to the intricacy of clever design and quality design sketches.

Community Titles were set-up with a Strata Management Plan by the Woolcock Group to ensure a long term harmonious building management structure.

Energy Performance and Quality of Finish enhance tenants long term quality of life.

Open Space 5th Level – although technically not considered another storey … gives all residents the benefit of a 5th storey while also meeting Private Open Space (POS) regulations. This communal area also enables a social network to build among the 15 Apartment tenants.

  • Great views of the city and surrounds
  • Full roof gives shelter from sun and rain
  • Fully serviced BBQ area
  • Planter Boxes
  • Honed / Polished concrete floor – sealed and coated
  • Toilets / Wash Basins at roof level
  • Lift access all levels also serviced by 2 sets of stairs
  • Aesthetically pleasing design for residents and guests to relax

Summary

Woolcock Group’s client, a local investor / accountant, commenced this project with an Architectural firm before approaching Woolcock Group to offer ideas to fine tune the construction plan. Our design team offered many of the practical construction alternatives outlined above to take the project to another level (literally) and deliver a wonderful building, on budget, on time and admired by owners / tenants and surrounding neighbours.