Featured in Architecture & Design: Nine storey Melbourne apartment goes up in just five days

A nine storey apartment building in Melbourne by Amnon Weber Architects was constructed in a span of five days – a mere 120 hours. 

Constructed by Vaughan Construction using the Hickory Group’s Unitized Building (UB) system, the One9 apartment tower is located in Melbourne’s inner fringe, and consists of 34 one and two bedroom apartments.

The speed of the installation, however, has not compromised building quality, with the block featuring a clean architectural style, contemporary interiors, and a 6 Star energy rating.

According to the Hickory Group, the company was subcontracted to deliver the 36 modules fitted out with a combination of natural timber floors and carpets, built in robes and full length balconies.

The modules are complete with facades, which are built with a combination of Aluminium Composite and Designer Panels Diversa Clad System. The façades also incorporate sliding privacy screens for sun protection to the western elevation, as well as a floating portal frame to the north elevation.

Cantilevered terraces are furthermore featured on all levels.

“We can manufacture units to almost any dimension, and include the façade on the unit in the factory. This helps us stay true to the architects’ vision,” notes Michael Argyrou, director of Hickory Group and UB (Australia).

Environmentally sustainable benefits of the UB system are at the heart of One9, which has double glazed windows for thermal and acoustic performance, grey water recycling, and solar hot water panels on the roof.

Hickory’s UB system is a prefabricated technology developed by Nonda Katsalidis, director of Fender Katsalidis. Created with affordability and the environment in mind, the benefits of the system is evident in One9, and ranges from faster construction times and more cost savings, to greater flexibility with lighter weight construction.

Delivering the advantages of modular construction, Hickory does not provide a fixed module size, but works with architects, developers and engineers to create prototype modules to suit a particular building design.

Although nine storeys is by far the tallest building they have constructed, they say that “Hickory modular construction has no theoretical height limitation and is currently being specified on buildings up to 70 storeys.”

The Little Hero project in Melbourne was the first UB project the company completed, and took approximately nine months using parallel on-site/offsite construction. Since then, they have completed 16 other buildings and over 1200 UB units.



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