Aurora Melbourne Central - Completion Case Study

February 2020

Probuild is proud to have delivered one of the tallest and most iconic new building landmarks in the Melbourne CBD, in conjunction with client UEM Sunrise. Aurora Melbourne Central became Melbourne CBD’s tallest tower upon topping out in April 2019, but also deserves special mention of how the development seamlessly integrates with existing underground rail transport and retail centres, over which it sits.

Situated at 224 – 252 La Trobe Street, the 124,000 m2 development consists of 952 residential apartments as well as 252 serviced apartments with over six levels of commercial office space, carparking, and retail tenancies, making it Melbourne’s tallest mixed-use tower. The building rises 285m from its founding level to its highest point at 287m above sea level. Designed to be constructed in thirds, the project was completed and occupied in stages. This ensured the first 330 apartments were handed over on time, whilst the structure above was still some 20 storeys from completion.

The successful construction of such a large tower requires collaborative efforts by all involved; this is especially so, when new residents and construction activities co-exist. 

Probuild’s contract period, lasting over four years on-site comprised multiple feats of construction including:

-       demolition of an existing 10 storey open-deck carpark.

-       more than 42,557 m3 of concrete used

-       5,703 tonnes of steel reinforcement within 630 concrete pours

-       more than 4,450 workers inducted to site

-       an estimated 1,000 new jobs created during construction.

In response to the unique risks and challenges of this building, and in line with Probuild’s commitment to innovation and continuous improvement, the team invested in DOKA safety screens. The Aurora Melbourne Central team developed a world first integrated solution with the DOKA screens enabling the façade to be installed within a sealed construction zone, eliminating a significant amount of risk associated with installing 300kg façade panels 270 metres above ground. The perimeter safety screens provided an encapsulated works zone as well as structural support for the integrated lifting ‘monorail’ used for façade panel handling and placement.

The project team continued Probuild’s pursuit of lean technologies and systems, taking on a ‘live asset tracking’ technology pilot program involving Ynomia and CSIRO, which was used to track waste bin status and movement across the entire project. This enabled monitoring of all the waste that was produced on site, at the source. In keeping with Probuild’s commitment to the environment, and our Corporate Social Responsibility charter, being able to monitor which trades and activities produced the most physical waste informed the development of processes and solutions with our subcontractors to significantly reduce waste going to landfill. 

‘Aurora Melbourne Central was strategically planned and constructed to enable a seamless staged handover, where residents have been able to move into the first completed stages since September 2018, while construction continued safely above at higher levels,’ said Probuild Victorian Managing Director Sam Delmenico.

Thanks to the considered staged handover and outstanding construction quality – new owners have settled at unprecedented rates. The quality standards achieved with Probuild’s construction systems have resonated with buyers, achieving a settlement rate of over 99%. Full scale construction and fitout from level 66 to level 92 occurred while residents were living in apartments some 20 storeys below. To enable this, Probuild’s tailored construction methodology delivered the permanent and exclusive ground floor lobby on La Trobe Street, whilst construction traffic was directed to dedicated loading bays and concrete pump stationed on Little La Trobe Street. This meant our ‘live’ construction site was separated from residents and impacts from sound, dust and vibration were minimal.

Aurora Melbourne Central was designed by renowned architecture firm Elenberg Fraser – a firm Probuild has worked with on a multitude of projects across Melbourne. The integrated design has allowed for an unrivalled amount of communal space to be included within the tower, including Melbourne CBD’s tallest resident lounge and bar. To implement this design Probuild directly procured several construction products including joinery designed and manufactured in Italy and 11,787 individual façade panels from South-East Asia. Probuild’s direct procurement and established supply chain management processes help to achieved exceptional quality outcomes, ensuring resident settlements were seamless. True to its name, Aurora Melbourne Central had over 3.1km of dynamic LED strip feature lighting installed and programmed to display nightly the colours of the iconic Aurora Australis.

Aurora Melbourne Central is developed next to of one of Australia’s most extensive and popular shopping precincts, including the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre. The tower itself provides residents with a new standard of connectivity to this precinct, via underground connection with Melbourne’s major transport and retail hubs. From Aurora’s basement link, residents have their own private access to Melbourne Central subway station and can go from their apartment to the train platform in minutes; or continue to traverse the city, whilst inside or undercover all the way to Bourke St mall. In this way, Aurora offers unrivalled lifestyle convenience. Building in very close proximity to the underground rail loop, Probuild used its extensive experience and technical capability to realise this challenging vision.

Considered integration techniques and dynamic construction systems enabled Probuild to deliver this landmark tower months ahead of schedule. Aurora has undoubtedly made its mark already on the Melbourne Skyline and with such recognisable features and uncompromising quality, will continue to do so for decades to come. 

Aurora Melbourne Central Key Statistics:

-      Tallest tower in Melbourne’s CBD

-      Tallest communal lounge in Melbourne

-      952 apartments, 252 serviced apartments

-      Designed by architecture firm Elenberg Fraser in Melbourne

-      Amenities include:

o   25 metre lap pool

o   Private cinema

o   Private dining spaces with self-catering kitchens

o   Plunge pool, jacuzzi, gymnasiums, Karaoke and other entertainment spaces

-      Direct access to underground rail concourse

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