Across the world, leaders in construction and architecture are dreaming big. The projects they are designing and building are rocking the construction industry to the core, and showing what is truly possible to achieve.
Great Man-Made River Project, Libya
Many Governments and authorities around the world are contemplating how to bring water to arid and dry regions in their countries, combatting drought and water supply issues. Libya’s “Great Man-Made River” project is showing it is possible to increase available drinking and irrigation water. The project has been in construction since 1985, and when completed (scheduled for 2030), it will irrigate more than 350,000 acres of arable land and increase drinking water to most of Libya’s urban centres. Granted the water is coming from the underground Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, but it is a good example of what is possible in a typically dry area.
Learn more at https://www.britannica.com/topic/Great-Man-Made-River
Nanjing’s Vertical Forest
When building in already overcrowded and under-green cities, there’s only one way to introduce green architecture and that’s by going up. Nanjing in China was the first Asian country to get a vertical forest when Italian architect Stefano Boeri brought his project of building two greenery covered towers to China. The idea is simple, yet effective – the two towers absorb carbon dioxide while producing oxygen. It is estimated that the 1,100 trees and 2,500 hanging plants on each tower absorb 25 tonnes of CO2 each year and generate 60kilograms of oxygen per day. These towers are leading the way in making pollution filled cities healthier.
Learn more at https://www.stefanoboeriarchitetti.net/en/project/nanjing-vertical-forest/
Deloitte Head Office, Amsterdam
Deloitte got into the smart building design with their head office in Amsterdam. The building produces more energy than it consumes and is considered to be one of the most sustainable office buildings in the world. The north-facing atrium allows lots of daylight to filter into the office, while the concrete walls on the southern façade absorb heat from sunlight, with solar panels converting this sunlight into energy. With a network of tens of thousands of sensors placed around the building, everything including lighting, cooling, coffee machines and the robot security guard can all be controlled and adjusted from a central point.
Learn more at https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-the-edge-the-worlds-greenest-building/
Seascape, Port Macquarie
Back home in Australia, Laurus Projects are shaking up the senior living category with accommodation designed to be a luxury lifestyle living facility. Taking advantage of the coastal location views and ocean breezes, the project is designed to maximise lifestyle quality while focussing on low-maintenance living, allowing residents to enjoy their later years.
Designed more like a luxury holiday resort with a grand room with fireplace, pool/spa and fitness centre, cinema, library/music room, consulting rooms, communal dining/bar area (club room), cellar, communal entertaining areas, and low maintenance gardens allowing for produce to be grown, Seascapes is aspirational living that is far removed from the typical aged or retirement living.
Learn more at https://www.laurusprojects.com.au/seascape-port-macquarie.html
There are projects all over the world disrupting traditional construction practices through use of technology, building materials and methods. From small scale projects in regional towns through to large scale projects in cities of the world, architects and builders are taking changes to change the industry.
With many industries across the world starting to introduce robotics it won’t be long before more of the construction industry utilises this ever-developing technology to produce buildings faster and cheaper.
Industrial robots have essentially been a good introduction into other industries including manufacturing. The technology has provided businesses with benefits that affect their bottom line; robots are efficient, their tasks tend to be completed quicker, and they can work for a lot longer than those in manual labour jobs, both on a day to day basis and long term.
With that in mind, it is worth exploring how robotics is currently, and will continue to assist the construction industry in the future.
One of the main reasons for the introduction of robotics into industry is that they allow for automation of various processes as well as allowing for consistent processing rather than having the business shut down every night. Within the construction industry, it is expected that tasks like welding, handling of materials, and packing will eventually become fully automated.
This of course leads into the next change that will be seen in the quality of work.
Because robotics is completely automated, the manufacture of parts and materials is expected to be of higher quality and more consistent. Human interaction does tend to lead to errors and inconsistency whereas by utilising robots, their ability to repeat the same process over and over without inconsistency is certainly a benefit to the industry.
As in any industry that introduces robotics, there is likely to be some changes to the workforce, however this should act as an encouragement to those in the industry to expand their skills and training. At this stage, robots are not expected to take over entire jobs for some time, rather they will complete certain tasks – specifically those that expose workers to dangerous situations. It is thought that the skills of those within the construction industry will look very different to what it does today, although it is expected to be a gradual change.
Efficient Construction Process
Better efficiency is something many businesses within the construction industry look for, with the aim to reduce wasted time and product. The more traditional construction process does tend to have a lot of waste, whether that be materials or product, which is detrimental to the environment, profitability and the client. Businesses may still find investment in robotics to be quite high, but as technology gets better and cheaper to produce, products that allow for efficient processes will get more affordable.
One of the big benefits of robotics is the ease of being able to customise work. There will no longer be a requirement to follow so many steps to produce a particular design or change a design to suit the needs of a client. 3D printing is already allowing businesses within the construction industry to produce prototypes and samples before getting stuck into manufacturing and building, and as these printers get more affordable, businesses will be able to print parts and components to allow for customisation on site. Robotics will allow the construction industry to meet the needs and wishes of a client instead of pushing the client into what is available.
While there are some downfalls to robotics being introduced into the construction industry – namely within workforce numbers – there are plenty of benefits for businesses to look forward to.
It was just a few short years ago when being able to own a 3D printer on a commercial basis was almost impossible. But with prices dropping as technology improves, it is now more accessible for both small and large businesses.
At Laurus Projects we are keenly interested in keeping an eye on the future and understanding how our industry may change, how we can best adapt to the change and even take advantage of it.
There are plenty of ways that a 3D printer can assist in the construction field and many businesses are starting to implement the technology and seeing benefits to their overall profit margins.
As the demand for eco-friendly homes build, the development of eco-friendly properties will start to happen more quickly. While it may not be possible right now, 3D printing does offer future benefits of being able to essentially print building materials. It is a big advancement and companies are starting to work on developing it further. In 2019, Business Insider Australia reported that architectural start-up Branch Technology, “developed a prototype of a 92 square metre 3D-printed home”. The cost was of course quite high, at around $410,000, due to developing technology, but costs are certain to come down as the technology is developed further.
They also reported that in early 2019, “New Story, a housing non-profit based in San Francisco and ICON, a construction-technology company that designs 3D printers, unveiled what they said was “the first permitted, 3D-printed home in America.” It was a 32 square metre building that cost under $14,000 and took 48 hours to build.
They also noted that “at the time, the printer was running at only 25% speed so there is certainly some room for improvement, with the companies calculating they could build a 55-75 square metre home in 24 hours for $5,500 USD or less. “
Imagine the possibilities once the technology is available on a wider scale.
Increased Project Planning Efficiency
Everyone in the construction industry knows that one of the most important parts of every project is the design; and one of the biggest delays is of course finding problem areas once construction has started. 3D printing allows for relatively inexpensive models to be created, providing not only a visual of the overall project, but a chance to evaluate for problem areas that may cause delays.
Meeting Client Expectations
This point is of course one of the biggest benefits to introducing 3D printing to your construction business. There are plenty of times when a customer hasn’t clearly expressed their needs or can’t quite explain what they want. 3D printing allows for the client’s idea to become something more than just a drawing on paper.
3D printing allows you to get on the same page as your customer, bringing their ideas to life, albeit in miniature form, ensuring that everyone is working towards the same goal.
3D printing technology is streaming ahead, and it won’t be long before construction companies across the country are adding the technology to their business models. With the ability to only meet clients needs in a more efficient manner, produce more eco-friendly homes, and potentially one day produce homes much quicker, the traditional construction industry is certainly set for a shake up in the years to come.
Virtual reality is going to change the construction industry. Laurus, in this article, takes a look at how.
Virtual reality is no longer the domain of video games. It has the potential to change the property development industry; it has the potential to allow involved parties (builders, architects, clients and more) the opportunity to walk into a building before the slab is poured.
So, with the continuous growth of virtual reality, what benefits and changes could we be looking at in the coming years?
Once you’ve gotten into the construction phase of a building, any changes or alterations that need to be made can be both costly and time consuming. Discussions about whether the work can be changed, or whether the requirements will work with the current design push back build times. Virtual reality allows any party that is involved in the building process to spot potential issues in the design phase, giving the design team a chance to change, modify or redesign a section of the building.
Meeting Client Expectations
Clients have an idea in their mind of what they want their property to be. Some are great at explaining what exactly they want, whereas others have some great ideas, but they can’t get them out onto paper. Virtual reality provides the opportunity to stop those “it doesn’t look like I imagine/expected” conversations. Clients can access the “property”, explore every corner, confirm everything matches their expectations and needs, and then provide feedback to the design team. Miscommunication becomes almost impossible when utilising virtual reality.
Providing Remote Virtual Site Visits
On large projects, it can be hard to get the relevant people out to visit the site as frequently as contractors need them to. When VR is combined with a 3D camera, a contractor on site can stream a 360-degree real time video giving a site tour to those who need to monitor the progress of the build.
Training for Construction Workers
Training workers on heavy-equipment, or site-specific equipment can be expensive. Imagine giving your staff all the time they need to learn how to use dangerous equipment with no risks. With VR there is also no need to hire the equipment prior to construction – all training is done virtually.
Currently virtual reality is really starting to take hold in the beginning of the construction project where designers are using the technology to help clients and potential clients see how the project will come together. By utilising 3D models, combined with the virtual reality technology, clients can take a tour of the space, working out whether there is enough room for what they need, deciding on paint colours and layout.
With the ability to save money and speed up parts of the construction project, there is huge potential in virtual reality in the construction industry going forward.
With interest rates at an all time low, and expected to potentially drop further, it’s no wonder more people are weighing up whether buying now is right for them. Getting out of the rental market and having a property to call their own is important for many but getting the finance for a home loan isn’t as easy as it seems.
Phil Mikhail from Mortgage Port believes getting a loan from a bank is now more complex than it was prior to the introduction of Responsible Lending Lending legislation. Banks are doing more in-depth due diligence on borrower’s expenses and looking for borrowers who understand where and how their money is being spent.
It is that due diligence where a lot of people are tripping up on when they apply for a loan. Whereas in years gone pasts, banks may not have been too concerned about a late payment here and there, now, they are checking whether and how regularly you use services like AfterPay, ZipPay and Uber, as well as your credit history and whether you pay your bills on time.
Lenders also want to see good savings in your bank account that proves you can live within your means. This is all on top of the minimum 10% deposit that many lenders require borrowers to have before they even think of getting a home loan.
It is only after understanding that the lending criteria for banks have now dramatically changed, that first home buyers or those buying their first investment property start to wonder whether it’s worth it, or whether they should just keep saving for a little while longer.
Getting Your Budget Right
We’ve all heard how beneficial it is to do a budget. Done well, we know where our money is going and where we can cut back when we need to. But when buying a home, first home buyers need to establish whether they can afford not only the mortgage repayments, but rates, water, insurance and maintenance on top of their everyday living costs.
Phil Mikhail suggests that “for borrowers, it is essential to have a good understanding of where you spend your money. Prior to seeing your bank or broker, put together a budget which will give you a better understanding of your household expenses”.
Expert Advice is Essential
When considering purchasing a home, it is always a great idea to gain expert advice, whether that be from your accountant or your broker, or any other professional within the field. If you are using a broker, you need to choose someone who has plenty of experience.
When asked about multiple enquiries, Phil says that “ prospective borrowers should obtain a copy of their credit file through one of the credit agencies such as Equifax. Too many credit enquiries are not a good thing to have on your credit profile. It is certainly encouraged for borrowers to be aware of what is on their credit history and what might hurt their chances at home finance.”
Why a broker over a bank? Bank home loan experts tend to advise new buyers that they need at least 10% deposit, and in this current climate, some new home buyers are needing to find up to 30% deposits. A company like MortgagePort, will help you find a home loan that suits your needs as a borrower rather than solely suiting the lender’s policy, which is what you would typically get from a major bank.
You may well find that you don’t need a 10% deposit; in some circumstances, such as buying off the plan, you can sometimes pay as little as 5% up front, and then the remainder of payment on settlement. This can work both for and against a new home buyer – the longer lead time between deposit and settlement gives you more time to build up funds (which means less borrowed from a lender). On the other hand, finances can change quite considerably in that time, and you may find that you can no longer service the loan. This is where an experienced broker can help, ensuring you can still qualify for a loan long before settlement date.
Similarly, a 10% deposit may not be necessary with a family pledge. For example, parents can help out their children by putting down family property as the deposit or equity for the loan. Again, the need for someone reputable giving sound advice is critical in understanding exactly where you sit and what you can do to purchase property.
When you’re considering purchasing your new home, make the time to speak with an experienced broker who can give you the information you need to help you get into your new home sooner. Even if you’re just starting to think about buying, the earlier you talk to a professional, the more prepared you are going to be, and this will only make you better off in the long run.
Buying a new home can bring with it a range of emotions, from excitement about the prospect of moving into a new home, to fear about how to deal with maintenance and other repair issues. With how expensive property has become, more and more people are looking into buying apartments – and why not, new apartments offer the lifestyle features of living close to the city and close to work, while being more affordable.
Recent issues both here in Australia and overseas, have exposed some of the flaws in the construction industry, bringing a sense of doubt to unit buyers. So, with these issues occurring in the construction of new buildings, how can you feel confident in buying an apartment?
We’ve put together some tips to help you feel confident to go searching to a new apartment to live or invest in.
Who is the Builder?
Finding out who the builder is or was, and their track record is really important. If you are buying off the plan or into a relatively new apartment, you should be able to track these details down really easily. Once you have the details, hop online and find out what other projects they have done. From here, you’ll be able to do a search for that building and see if any issues have been reported in the news or the like. Alternatively, you may be able to contact the builder and ask for references and reviews from their builds.
Who is the Developer?
Finding out who the developer is an important factor as well. The developer will be the one who initially developed the land, laid down the essential services like sewer, water and electrics. Again, if it is a relatively new build or an off the plan, it should be easy enough to find details on other buildings they have worked on and if there have been previous or current issues.
For both the builder and developer, you may find that the sales agent has worked with these businesses before and will be able to provide some information on their previous work.
Get Your Strata Reports
Whatever state you’re in and however old the apartment that you are buying, it is essential to get the strata disclosure statement as part of your contract. This disclosure statement should list any defects or major repairs that have happened. All strata buildings should have a budget set out for proposed future works, and the sinking fund should be relatively high. If you find the sinking fund is low, make sure you ask why.
Get a Building Report Done
Many unit buyers tend to skip out on a building and pest report thinking that the strata or insurance will cover any works that need to be done. This isn’t always the case and having a building report done will give you some reassurance on what is happening inside the apartment you are looking to purchase. While a building report won’t cover the common areas, it will cover the internal and accessible external of the apartment. When combined with the disclosure statement from strata, you will be able to decide whether to go ahead with the purchase.
Doing some research into apartments before you buy is essential; you don’t want to be left with repairs that insurance won’t cover, and you certainly don’t want to be left without a home. Spend the time before you spend your money to be more confident in what you are purchasing.
Within two years since being founded, Laurus Projects are already developing three projects including The Balmain Leagues Club, Grandfield apartments Kellyville and Seascape Senior Retirement Living.
Laurus delivers an end-to-end service, covering all aspects of the project from concept development to completion, including identifying opportunities, planning, arranging funding partners, design, in-house sales and marketing, and project management and construction delivery.
The people behind the brand are the driving force behind Laurus. They're an established team of industry professionals who pride themselves on their highly focused development and project management skills.
Meet the people behind the Laurus brand, the driving force behind its progress.
Brian then moved on to Lendlease and later Hutchinson, where he established their Sydney presence, and grew it from nothing to a $400M turnover business.
Brian has been involved in the delivery of over $4 billion worth of work, including many award-winning projects, such as the Sydney Olympic Stadium, Bennelong Point, The Residences Hyde Park and Bondi Pacific. Over the years, Brian has established strong working relationships with designers and building partners and has a deep understanding of the political climate surrounding the construction and development industry, which those who partner with Laurus get the security of.
Laurus’ unwavering reputation for consistently delivering on their commitments has set them apart. With Brian being across all aspects of the project, the team’s expertise, in-house resources and ongoing commitment to the long-term operation, result in every project handled by Laurus being treated with the same level of professionalism and attention to detail.
Nathaniel Murray - Front End Design & Planning Outcomes
Nathaniel comes to the Laurus Team with a wealth of knowledge and credentials, winning the prestigious Planning Institute of Australia (PIA - NSW Division) Prize for Excellence in Integrated Planning - 2006. The PIA Prize for Integrated Planning is awarded to the student who has performed best in years 2, 3 and 4 of the Bachelor of Town Planning program.
Nathaniel has worked on some of Australia’s most significant projects, most notably the Building Education Revolution (BER) where he had a senior planning management role. Nathaniel’s role involves guiding the development team, through the complex legislative and political systems influencing the stakeholders projects, whilst also managing specialist sub consultant team members, report composition, stakeholder liaison and timeframe management. Nathaniel’s role is the delivery of projects and liaison with authorities and stakeholders.
Mark Boutros - Project Manager
Mark's experience includes the project management of concept schemes assists the development managers in planning proposals; preparation of statements of environmental effects, development applications, liaising with local councils, planning panels and other government authorities; and analysis of the planning feasibility of potential development sites.
Marks key function is the overseeing of the construction contractors monitoring project feasibilities, budgets, program timelines progress flow charts, and Quantity Surveyor reports.
Mark strives to ensure each project he is involved in meets its objectives on time while maintaining high quality standards. Mark holds a Bachelor of Planning from Macquarie University.
Stephen Ivanusa - Sales and Marketing
Stephen leads Laurus’ Sales and Marketing team. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his 15 years in the Real Estate industry.
Stephen has delivered numerous successful Project Sales & Marketing campaigns for some of Sydney’s most prestigious developments. His many years with Belle Property and more recently Belle Property International Sydney allow the combination of the boutique exclusive experience that Belle Property is renowned for with a complete suite of services that caters to international investor’s, buyers and developer’s needs.
During his tenure in real estate, Stephen’s goal has always remained the same – to change the way we think about real estate. To provide a concierge service that looks at protecting and safe guarding your property transaction, helping investors, big or small, and contribute to the flavour of a development that owners will enjoy for the life of their investment.
A big step forward in the development process of the Balmain Leagues Club has occurred. On Tuesday 25 June, the Inner West Council voted to adopt the new Development Control Plan for the Balmain Leagues Club site. This frees up the Development Application approval process for development to finally go ahead.
The development will include a residential, retail, commercial and club facility. The development located in Rozelle will include 173 apartments, a food and beverage retail precinct, commercial office space as well as being the home of the new Leagues Club.
The proposed development is located 15 minutes from Sydney CBD on Victoria Road, Rozelle. Within close proximity to the site are:
Grandfield Apartments in Kellyville is continuing to progress nicely with settlements likely in September / October. See press release below from Belle Property International.
Things have been humming along for Laurus in May.
The display unit at Grandfield Apartments Kellyville has been open and having visitors through. See the photos below. Also, follow this link to get a virtual tour of the apartment via a panorama put together by Diakrit, https://cdn.diakrit.com/product/panorama/8433583/61451/167600.
Laurus is dotting I’s and crossing T’s on some exciting new projects, which we can hopefully unveil next month. Stay tuned.
An action filled April has yielded more positive results for Laurus Projects.
The Grandfield Apartments project in Kellyville is progressing nicely. Scaffolding has started to be removed from the development, which gives the first hint of the final product to purchasers and the community.
In addition to this, the finished product is now on display on site - a completed apartment in the development. Purchasers are being invited to inspect the display unit to see what they’ve bought for the first time.
Managing Director Brian Hood is very confident to display and confirm the quality of the product.
“We’re happy to be able to show purchasers what they’ve bought. It’s a stand out product for the Kellyville area.”
The project is on track for a completion in the third quarter of this year.
Last year, Scott Carver designed the Laurus Projects office space. The space was designed to promote natural light and colours. The space houses a private office, boardroom, private call room, kitchen and plenty of desk space where Laurus Projects, Belle Property International and Diakrit work alongside each other in a vibrant environment. See the first public reveal of the office design below.