Its a record! Metropolitan Melbourne crane count November 2017

Its a record! Metropolitan Melbourne crane count November 2017
Its a record! Metropolitan Melbourne crane count November 2017

Anyone thinking Melbourne's construction activity is slowing may want to consider the all-time high number of tower cranes currently in use across Melbourne.

This current instalment of the Urban Melbourne Crane Count sees 165 in use, propelled by strong commercial construction activity and the propensity of many smaller-scale builders to employ tower cranes across projects which in the past have not warranted such units.

The takeaway point of this count is the rise and rise of commercial construction activity, heralding the beginning of another peak in the commercial construction cycle. This is especially evident along Collins Street which has seen tower cranes pop up in strong numbers.

By pooling varied resources and conducting a physical count, we believe the census to be accurate to within 1-2 units.

Its a record! Metropolitan Melbourne crane count November 2017
The CBD's west end is awash with new tower cranes.

The rise and rise of Melbourne

The current record high mark for tower cranes across Melbourne continues the upward trend observed by Urban Melbourne that stems back to 2013. In that year 97 tower cranes were in use across metropolitan Melbourne, and of those 65 were committed to residential projects. 2014 added another 10 units to reach at total of 107.

March 2015 jumped to 131 in use (with 91 dedicated to residential), whilst later that year the number rose further to 144.

Early last year another benchmark was achieved at 161, and whilst the number tapered off to 140 during summer 2016/2017, the current surge in commercial projects has once again propelled the tower crane count across Melbourne to new highs.

Earlier this year 10 of tower cranes were employed on commercial projects. Currently that figure stands at 21, with the prospects of it increasing over the next few months exceedingly strong.

Its a record! Metropolitan Melbourne crane count November 2017
Trilby in Collingwood received its tower crane during mid October

A sign of the times

Recent weeks have also seen first time tower cranes erected for two builders in a continuing sign of the changing dynamic at the lower end of the residential construction sector.

Aspekt Construction Group have a unit in service for Hawthorn Club Apartments whilst Atelier Projects have just seen the installation of a tower crane for the Grocon-backed Greenwich Fairfield. Having another builder deliver the 77 apartments sees Grocon a long way from its halcyon days of being the undisputed builder of choice in Melbourne.

In the weeks ahead tower cranes are likely to appear for boutique construction companies ARC3 and Marcus Group, whch are aligned with established builders Buildcorp Commercial and ABD Group respectively.

Ending on oddities

It's not all residential and commercial across Melbourne.

Two oddball projects are sporting tower cranes at the moment. Over the weekend MCG Cranes commissioned a tower crane for Hacer on their Waratah Place Zone Substation build in the CBD. Spanning Heffernan Lane to Waratah Place, the build will eventually see a CO-OP Studio-designed structure built with interactive facades to both laneways.

Another irregular project sees a tower crane in Marr Contracting colours plying its trade at the Mobil Altona Refinery. The Sydney-based heavy lift tower crane firm is a rare sight in Melbourne.

Its a record! Metropolitan Melbourne crane count November 2017
Hacer sees another crane in the skyline with its markings. Images: MCG Cranes

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak

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Tower Cranes

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Mark Baljak's picture
Crane could in the mid 170's now. Where abouts is the new one in Bentleigh East? There are only a few that are remote controlled around town - most have the cabin up top for the operator.
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drunkill's picture
I noticed a new crane up in East Bentleigh this week too, rather large for the project, a full on tower crane, not a remote control one like most suburban projects.
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nwharr
There is a crane up for an aged car facility in Mornington, not sure if you have seen that one.
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Mark Baljak's picture
Thanks for the comments, the crane count is now at 170-171. Intriguing concept you have with The Melbourne Map, best of luck.
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Melinda Clarke's picture
165 Cranes! This is a scary prospect for us as we continue work on The Melbourne Map and illustrate the city and surrounding suburbs. It is hard to keep up with all the new building projects! Although Urban Melbourne has been a huge help and resource. Thanks
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