With an aim to drive innovative construction technologies through efficient procurement models, offsite construction, coupled with the early contractor involvement (ECI) procurement model are a natural fit for Atelier Projects’, says New Business Manager Rob De Brincat.
“The main issue we see within the construction industry is that the traditional construction methods such as those used with concrete are becoming more and more difficult to both procure and deliver. The availability and reliability of material and labour resources are increasing exponentially, and it’s becoming harder to estimate how much a traditional building will cost. We see that innovation and finding better ways to build are the answer.”
“We believe that the traditional design and tendering process is an inefficient procurement model and it has been our experience that it results is key components being missed from both a design and construction perspective. The ECI process allows us to get involved very early in the design process where we can help to steer the project towards the most efficient design that not only satisfies the client’s requirements but also their budget.”
“Our main target is innovative projects and CLT is one of many emerging forms of construction that we’re focused on at Atelier. It’s about making our construction methodologies more efficient through faster construction that increases the quality of the build. CLT and other prefabricated timber systems assist in delivering these benefits, especially when the project design is optimised through a well-managed ECI process.”
Atelier currently has two Melbourne based CLT projects under construction; Barry Street and 55 Southbank Boulevard.
Barry Street is a Milieu development that is designed by Fieldwork Architects. It comprises 21 townhouses, with the mass timber component consisting of CLT wall and floor elements with a combination of glulam and steel members for stability. The timber structure sits on top of a concrete transfer deck as well as a traditional ground floor car park.
The Southbank project is a hotel development for Hume Property and the consultant team includes Bates Smart as the architect, WSP as the base engineer and Vistek as the CLT structural engineer. It features a 10 level CLT vertical extension on top of a six-level existing office building. To make the project viable a total of 220 beds had to be achieved, which wasn’t feasible with the weight of a traditional concrete extension.
“We believe that the traditional design and tendering process is an inefficient procurement model and it has been our experience that it results is key components being missed from both a design and construction perspective. The ECI process allows us to get involved very early in the design process where we can help to steer the project towards the most efficient design that not only satisfies the client’s requirements but also their budget.” Rob De Brincat, New Business Manager, Atelier Projects.
“The structural solution comprises mainly CLT with major steel structural cores on the extremities of the building. It’s a very innovative project, possibly the world’s tallest mass timber extension. The ECI process on this project was critical in ensuring that the supply chain was secured and all consultants’ and regulatory requirements were met.”
“Mass timber and offsite construction not only made the 10-level extension structurally viable, but the speed and ease of construction also added some significant economic benefits to the project,” De Brincat confirms, with CLT construction allowing the existing office building to be tenanted during construction and minimising disruption.■