Prominent builder Hickory Group has added a third Melbourne project that will utilise the Hickory Building System (HBS). A proponent of prefabricated construction methods, Hickory Group's latest HBS-driven project will be Brisbane outfit Blue Sky Funds' 42-50 La Trobe Street.
In addition to residential projects La Trobe Tower and Collins House which have/will utilise HBS, 42-50 La Trobe Street is the first student accommodation project to do so. Hickory Group expect the build to become one of the world’s tallest student accommodation projects delivered via non-traditional construction methods.
Floor slabs, facades and Hickory’s Sync bathroom pod system will be manufactured offsite, and subsequently trucked to 42-50 La Trobe Street for final assembly.
First entering Urban Melbourne's project database during late 2015, 42-50 La Trobe Street has seen a number of design adaptations to this point, with architecture firm Hayball the design lead.
Chief of which is the facade retention of 50 La Trobe Street, which was to have been demolished along with its neighbour under initial plans. Dated 1862, 50 La Trobe Street's retained facade will now serve as an entry point to the student accommodation project, with a public through link to connect La Trobe Street and Bell Place.
Onsite demolition is freshly completed, meaning Hickory will soon take control of the site in order to deliver the 43 level tower, with a smaller 7 level building to the rear of the site; combined they will house 783 student beds.
In line with Urban Melbourne's overview of the initial planning application, the current build will also include a ground floor café, numerous communal spaces, terraces and collaborative learning spaces, in addition to the public access laneway.
Key to the HBS construction method is the speed at which any given tower can be completed.
42-50 La Trobe Street with a gross floor area approaching 25,000sqm is slated to be delivered 8 months faster than traditional construction methods would allow, resulting in a 30% saving over conventional construction methods.
Similar to La Trobe Tower, 42-50 La Trobe Street will employ an electric crane to lift the modules into place outside of traditional work hours, minimising traffic disruption and site congestion. This will allow shotcreting during normal work hours, with the high-velocity concrete spray work essentially binding the modules together.
Between 42-50 La Trobe Street and Collins House (which will be a HBS structure above level 14), Hickory Group's innovative construction method has found its niche in the Melbourne construction landscape.