639 Victoria Street Melbourne General View
This section of building displays a series of apartments that sit above a preexisting office space. In constructing these apartments the office space had to remain and be able to function unaffected throughout the construction process. As such, a concrete shell was effectively built around the office space as we can see at the bottom of the building. On top of the concrete, huge steel beams, almost one metre high were run horizontally across to provide the support required to continue the construction process above. The use of a large amount of concrete in this construction process for structural members also provides a good level of fire protection, which is important in a development of this size.
Underground Car Park In the underground car park at the base of the building, concrete features as the predominant building material. It forms both the floor and ceiling slabs, with insitu concrete columns supporting the roof structure. The concrete ceiling is very important in this section of the structure, as it is where most services of the building are passed through, including considerable amount of wiring. The fan visible in the bottom right of the image is used as an extraction fan, removing the fumes that would otherwise gather as a result of the exhaust from cars. Slatted metal screens will hide it from view.
Precast Concrete Wall Panels
wall Large precast concrete panels have been cast and cured off site before being delivered to the location and lifted into place by cranes, acting as primary structural elements. This method allows the sections to have consistency in terms of strength, durability and finish (Ching 2008, p.5.10). This technique also avoids the need for onsite formwork, resulting in a much quicker and more streamlined construction process that then reduces the labor required and therefore lowers the cost of the building process.
Floor Slabs Prestressed concrete has been used for the floor slabs, specifically the technique of posttensioning. Steel tendons have been stretched and tied at each end and then concrete has been cast around these tendons (Ching 2008, p.4.08). This allows the slabs to carry greater loads and span larger distances whilst also reducing the thickness required of the slabs. This is important for the structure as it minimizes the number of large columns needed and allows the developer to squeeze in as many levels as possible.
This image highlights the area of construction surrounding the pool. The framing that is going up around the pool to support the roof structure is galvanized steel. Any steel members that have the potential to come in contact with the swimming pool water must be completely galvanized, which is why the vertical columns must be completely galvanized to their full five meter height. The site manager showing us around described how a swimming pool is one of the biggest problems in apartment developments, particularly if it is raised above the ground or up any levels, as this one is. They are prone to leaking and this can obviously cause damage to any levels below and so must be heavily lined and waterproofed to try and avoid this issue.
Under Floor Membranes
This image shows a black soundproofing membrane, which is laid under the tiled area of the kitchen to avoid noise travelling to the apartment below. As well as soundproofing membrane, areas subject to increases contact with water must have a double layer of waterproofing membrane. In the apartments we were shown this includes the bathroom, and the balconies. Balconies are another problem area for builders, as they cannot control the amount of moisture they will be subjected to, and as such as well as having a double membrane must also have screed put down and sloped so that the water can be drained as best as possible.