Current at: 10 July 2006
Builders, designers, contractors and consumers will need to have strong working relationships if the growing trend towards apartment living is to be managed successfully, a key adviser to the NSW Government told the Housing Industry Association Technical Luncheon today.
HIA’s NSW Executive Director, Wayne Gersbach, said almost 62 per cent of Sydney’s 4000 new home approvals in the March quarter were for multi-unit projects. "The NSW Government plans to contain 70 per cent of new housing over the next 25 years within established urban areas," he said.
Professor Marton Marosszeky, an industry consultant to the NSW Office of Fair Trading, said it was crucial to the viability of Sydney’s future residential apartment projects that they meet the high expectations of the consumer.
"Accommodating the lifestyle and quality expectations of the consumer within an apartment living environment has its challenges.
"Issues such as noise, both between dwellings and from street-level, waterproofing, energy efficiency, the suitability and maintainability of materials and the increasing desire to incorporate sustainability features into everything residential are just some of the considerations that need to be factored into apartment living."
According to Professor Marosszeky "local and overseas studies have shown a marked reduction in the number of workmanship and quality issues where builders have maintained a good, long-term working relationship with a set of experienced and trusted contractors."
His words were echoed by a senior executive of one of the state’s biggest residential developers; Australand. Pierre Abrahamse, the company’s NSW Manager for Apartments, said on top of the relationship with the contractors it is important to forge relationships with the consumer. "With multi-storey construction we need to accommodate the expectations of the consumer by taking advantage of the innovative design and materials that this type of accommodation allows," he said.
Mr Gersbach said forums such as the HIA Technical Luncheon are successfully promoting discussion between the building industry and regulators on a number of fronts. "They provide an environment where industry can communicate to governments a practical approach to construction issues which meet the needs of consumers. It is interesting that both speakers today agreed that the current adversarial approach to resolving building issues was not particularly helpful," he said.