The Apartment Construction Cost Demonstration Project was an innovative and collaborative partnership between Renewal SA and the private development sector to investigate contemporary design and construction approaches to minimise building costs.
The aim of the project was to explore more cost-effective construction techniques and designs to increase affordability for developers and home buyers alike.
It is hoped that by demonstrating the ability to reduce the construction cost of apartments will encourage smarter development, thereby reducing the cost of housing and increasing opportunities for South Australians to buy a home and live in their preferred dwelling areas.
This project highlights the exciting potential for cost savings and improved design outcomes through early and ongoing collaboration between the design team and the builder.
Project objectives + process
The project objective was to deliver a commercially-replicable apartment building for public sale at affordable market price points for inner/middle ring metropolitan locations.
To achieve this, the building needed to meet a target construction cost per square metre that would result in a significant reduction in overall project cost.
Renewal SA allocated a site suitable for the construction of a four-storey apartment building of 20 dwellings at the successful urban regeneration project, The Square at Woodville West.
We worked closely with builders, architects and the wider industry on this project to find more cost effective ways to build high quality, affordable apartments in Adelaide.
Industry Reference Group
To help guide the Apartment Cost Demonstration Project an Industry Reference Group (IRG) was established to provide input into the project and help share the findings with the wider industry.
The IRG was represented by the following stakeholders.
► Urban Development Industry Association (UDIA)
► Housing Industry Association (HIA)
► Property Council of Australia (SA)
► Master Builders Association
► Australian Institute of Architects
► Planning Institute of Australia
► Australian Institute of Building Surveyors
► Builder partner Mossop Construction + Interiors
► Design tender team, Studio Nine
► project sponsor, Renewal SA
EOI process, builder partner + design team leader
A builder partner and a design team leader were selected via a public two-stage Expression of Interest (EOI) process.
Stage 1 of the EOI process was to select a builder partner for the project. Mossop Construction + Interiors, who are licensed and experienced in building multi-storey apartments, was appointed in July 2014.
Stage 2 of the EOI process was to find a suitably qualified design team to work with the preferred builder. Local architecture firm Studio Nine was appointed as the design team leader in August 2014.
One of the most important outcomes of the project is to share our learnings with the construction and development industry, including how reductions can be achieved – particularly around techniques and practices for building layout, site layout, construction methodology and choice of materials.
Research conducted by Renewal SA, design partner Studio Nine and builder partner Mossop Construction + Interiors identified a range of cost saving approaches to multi-storey apartment construction. The report on this research is available, right.
Studio Nine and Mossop worked with an impressive team of engineering and construction consultants including PT Design (structural and civil engineering), SECON Consulting Engineers (services), Yardstick (landscape) and ARUP (fire engineering advice).