19/12/2014 - 11:57

Innovation at heart of apartment JV

19/12/2014 - 11:57

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An innovative joint venture in Success led by the Department of Housing has provided a potential roadmap for the rollout of affordable apartments in the Perth metropolitan area.

Innovation at heart of apartment JV
NEW WAVE: Construction has finished on the innovative Adara Apartments in Cockburn Central. Photo: Attila Csaszar

An innovative joint venture in Success led by the Department of Housing has provided a potential roadmap for the rollout of affordable apartments in the Perth metropolitan area.

Construction of the third stage of the Stella Village joint venture between the department and private developer Goldmaster Enterprises was recently wrapped up, with the building ready for the first residents to move in early in the New Year.

The Stella Village project is a long-term plan expected to run for another 10 years and ultimately comprise 11 stages.

The project is unique in many ways, as the department purchased a direct stake in Goldmaster and increased that shareholding to 54.5 per cent 2013, thereby assuming control of the company.

Department of Housing director general Grahame Searle said the department initially took part in the project by buying units in its second stage, the Stella Orion apartments.

“The shareholders in Goldmaster were having trouble funding stages two and three through the GFC; they had a lot of money tied up and couldn’t get any back out,” he said.

“It made sense for us to see the project proceed and as such we’ve been continually investing capital in the project for the last few years.”

The other unique aspect of Stella Village is the department’s commitment to using emerging technologies to keep construction costs down, and subsequently roll out more affordable dwellings.

The Stella Orion apartments were built using a wall product known as AFS, which comprises lightweight panels created by attaching fibre cement sheets to galvanised steel stud frames.

The Adara Apartments were considered to be another leap forward for affordable apartments, with the project utilising a modular construction method developed by Melbourne-based construction firm Hickory Group, which Mr Searle said had practically halved the normal construction timeframe for the building.

Perth-based building firm Goodland Building Company assembled six storeys of pre-fabricated modules on site in just 10 days after they were manufactured in Hickory Group’s Melbourne factory.

“It reduces cost, it reduces waste, and it’s a much greener outcome because conventional construction techniques are quite wasteful in terms of how they operate,” Mr Searle said.

“It also ensures a better quality product because you can control all of the elements in a manufactured environment that you can’t necessarily do on a building site.”

Mr Searle said the department would continue to focus on delivering affordable apartment products in close proximity to metropolitan area train stations, while new building techniques would also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

“I’m very positive about the technology and I’m very positive about the learnings we’ve got out of the process, and I’m confident that it will be the new way of apartment construction in Perth in the future,” he said.

 

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