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Elective Pamphlets

Contemporary Industry Tutor: Nigel Bertram

A study of contemporary industrial structures and their urban contexts. Contents 01. Subdivision 02. Ware-house 03. New small industrial block 04. Industrial terrace 05. One steel 06. Super warehouse 07. Industrial landscape 08. Warehouse storage systems 09. Industrial urbanity 10. Traditional industrial complex 11. Suburban industrial block

Michael Hubbard Anna Jankovic Don Kong Wah Fu Riccardo Buelli Nicolas Pratt Sethy You Paulo de Costa Ariana Belleli Elena Covili Don Kong Wah Fu Jit Loh

Location Map












CBD Don Paulo Ariana









Sethy Don

Riccardo Anna Elena Michael


1. subdivision Michael Hubbard Eastlink runs through existing agricultural farmland. A new industrial estate springs up, efďŹ ciency in construction means farmland becomes industry in a short period of time. Nature and history still have their parts to play, dictating the layout of lots and location of roads. Prime factory real estate creeps towards a newly created residential estate. Soon they will meet. An easement buffer has been created at the interface. What happens when they intersect?

Carrum Downs Year: 1960 (assumed)

Carrum Downs Year: 2000

Carrum Downs Year: 2009

Carrum Downs Year: 2011(assumed)

4 3 1


Factory/ Residential Estate Interfaces

1. factory: street: factory

2. residence: street: residence

3. residence: fence: factory

4. factory: fence: factory

1. factory: street: factory

2. residence: street: residence

3. residence: fence: factory

4. factory: fence: factory

Existing Carrum Downs Industrial Estate Small factory lots with attached showrooms replace larger scale factories. Factories are not just used for production but as ofďŹ ces and showrooms. Gated fences secure each lot. Manufacturers, Wholesalers, Distributers and Accountants share the footpaths, lakes and bbq areas. Vegetation softens the concrete panels.

Existing Carrum Downs Housing Estate House facades open to the street, Fences only exist between side boundaries. Shrubs are beginning to grow. Cars dominate front yards. Kids hide behind curtains.

Subdivision Easements An easement buffer is created to give the residents perceived space? A wasted opportunity!

Carrum Downs Alternate Estate Proposal Can factories and houses coexist on the same street? A factory lot: - Front facade, - Street setback, - Tree height, - Open Area is 1.5 times the size of a housing lot. Lightpoles, cars, driveways and people are constant. A factory operates from 7am-4pm. A house operates 6-9am, 5-10pm. Opportunities are endless.

Site plan - Duplex Warehouse (A) 1:5000

2. ware-house Anna Jankovic The ‘duplex warehouse’ is one of many variations in the ‘industrial park’. No longer are businesses limiting themselves to the commonly large end of industry, they are now preparing for the everyday consumer to interact with their process of moving goods. The ‘source’ is now the point of purchase.

These ‘sheds’ don’t just store product anymore, they are a hub for selling. Likewise the facades of these buildings now take on a small scale aesthetic, dare we say a domestic scale. The warehouse/office hybrid has many characteristic that we associate with a more urban condition;

standard windows, staircases, kitchens and amenities, and the ‘garage’ door. The ‘duplex’ model is analogous to terrace houses of old and utilises the idea of a shared public space, the front yard. Where the party wall was once made of bricks and mortar, it now takes the form of a concrete panel.








A. Duplex Warehouse with shared yard 1:500




20 m








B. Duplex Warehouse with separate yards 1:500




20 m

Site plan - Double Warehouse (C) 1:5000

The single volume warehouses vary considerably in scale. This model appears frequently throughout the Eastlink Business Park, yet its modes of use vary from storage to manufacture, all at a relatively small scale for flexibility fo movement. The tilt construction now works with panels horizontally stacked to support the increased roof span. While similar to the ‘Duplex’ warehouse a ‘front-ofhouse’ office unit acts as the public zone for the building, where contemporary commercial industry thrives.

Internal Detail

Warehouse in construction




C. Double Warehouse 1:500



20 m


3. new small industrial block Don Kong Wah FU The site is located at 10 Ordish Road, Dandenong South which is beside the new Eastlink freeway. There is a new estate of industrial blocks under construction now. The total dimension of this site is about 88 meters deep and 30 meters wide. It is a small twin’s block in the industrial estate. It shows a common typology of small/ medium industrial buildings around Eastlink. The industrial buildings there have a similar configuration: A small office block attaches to a huge warehouse. The difference can be defined by treatment of the exterior façade. The colourful glass wall with formal entrance and landscaping for guests and staff entrance are at the front. Another large roller shutter access is for trucks, directly beside the office entrance. There are different textures and colour tones, and different layouts and design intentions for the office portion and the warehouse. It seems that they are two different buildings, with no response or coherence in façade design between office portion and warehouse.



West Elevation


East Elevation


North Elevation

The white block is the connection between ofďŹ ce and warehouse

The image shows the building under construction

The white block is the connection between office and warehouse

Office portion and warehouse can be defined by their façade treatments

The metal structural system and services ducts can be seen in the interior of warehouse. Another access between ofďŹ ce and warehouse can be found for the management and operation between the ofďŹ ce staff and worker.

Steel portal-frame structure provides a huge exible empty space and services ducts can be seen in the interior of the warehouse.

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5. one steel Nicolas Pratt Utilized for the production, storage and dispatch of steel, this building is a highly customized machine. Built around a series of 3-axis cranes, which inhabit both the entire building and some back of house areas, the steel structure relies upon and supports the mobile cranes. With a central loading strip for truck entry and thoroughfare standing out in its red colouring, the internal components of this machine rely upon distinguishing colours for the safer use of the cranes and internal transportation. Every detail of the structure is customized to allow for full crane mobility and accessibility. With very little external features, other than a front truck weigh station, this building is very inwardly focused, determined to fully support the needs of truck pick-up and dispatch. Located next to the newly ďŹ nished Eastlink freeway, this building is in a prime position to efďŹ ciently accomplish its goal of a streamlined steel production and delivery process.

Northen Elevation

Storage yard


Northern Section 1:1,000


Eastern Elevation


OfďŹ ce

Exploded Perspective

Crane Bracing. The crane structure is supported from the buildings primary structure. This bracing is mirrored on either side of the central truck thoroughfare to avoid blocking passing vehicles.

Primary structure and C-purlin. The steel portalframe structure plateau’s at the peaks of the roof line. C-purlins rest between the primary steel beams and the colorbond roof. Small L braces assist in the beam to purlin join at every 4th Cpurlin.

Cross Bracing. Tertiary cross bracing is applied between steel columns in front of the colorbond skin of the building. This skin is attached to horizontal steel girts attached to the primary beams.

Crane Structure Alterations. Across and above the internal road, the primary crane structure is thickened. This is due to a greater span between beams either side of the road, than usually found within the rest of the structure.

Internal View External View

Secondary Cross Bracing. Steel L bracing is applied is segments between columns throughout the building. In this drawing both a regular cross brace is applied, as is a customized brace to allow machinery to ďŹ t underneath.

Crane System. The multi-axial cranes are mobile in three directions. The cranes themselves span between columns in a lengthways direction, two spanning cranes between each row of columns. These spans move width ways across the building.

Crane System. On top of the spanning crane, smaller units (in which the crane chain is located) sit which release or contract the chain to lift or drop accompanying steel. These units also move along the structure on which they rest.

Drainage and support system. Downpipes are located in segments on every second row of columns, where the roof points are at their lowest. C-purlin bracing is customised to accommodate the downpipes.

Internal Render External Render

6. Super Warehouse Sethy You

Located in South Park Industrial Estate, at 230 - 240 South Park Drive Dandenong South, this industrial building currently under construction will serve as the warehouse and office for a packaging company called “Restore”. The building is 230m x 90m excluding two external offices and a cafe on the land of 270m x 130m. Approximate height is 9m to eave and 9.9m to ridge. It is an example of the mega-size contemporary industrial building constructed to maximize storage volume. Its large width requires only one middle row of steel columns to support which creates not only a large storage volume but also easy movement of trucks, cranes as well as stock replacement. According to the construction team supervisor, this 20,700 m2 warehouse, and approximately 1,800 m2 offices and cafe take about 5 to 6 months to construct and costs about $11 million (average $488/m2).

Overall building structure which can be divided into roof structure, wall structure, docks structure, and ofďŹ ces. Noticeably, roof beams can span 45 m that allows designer to use only 3 rows of columns to support whole structure.

East elevation


North elevation

ofďŹ ce


West elevation


ofďŹ ce South elevation


Interior structure showing skylights, firefighting pipes undeneath roof structure, internal office and large storage space.

The design of this type of contemporary structure incorporates the office and display room with the warehouse where part of the office/ display room is footed in the warehouse perimeter and the other part is located outside the warehouse, connected with a door. It is a convinient way of shortening business transection as costumers can order and get immediate service deliveries after visiting display room.

The interesting sustainable design approaches of the warehouse are the effective capture of natural light and the recycling of rain water. The warehouse captures the majority of natural light through its hundreds of skylights which result in the minimal use of artificial light. A large round rain water tank is installed outside at the front of the warehouse and is connected to the fire service pipes (red coloured pipes) in an array beneath the roof structure. These pipes also work as roof bridgings. The creation makes this building unique from other visited contemporary industry buildings.

There are four loading docks constructed at the front of the warehouse. Two docks are designed for unloading goods where trucks are allowed to drive into the warehouse through the 4m wide x 4.5m high roller doors. The other two docks are designed for uploading the goods where there is an adjustable lifter to load the goods into different sized trucks. Trucks enter to upload goods via a sloped driveway excavated 1m into the ground. This design allows for a convenient method to upload goods because it does not need to be lifted up by cranes in order to be loaded into the trucks i.e. goods just need to be put onto rolling lifters at ground level of the warehouse in order to load them into a truck.

william angliss dr

photo taken at laverton north showing easement (glassland reserve) at the forground and industustial ware-house at the background

weddel ct

oban ct

william angliss dr

7. industrial-landscape Paulo Da Costa

The approach taken to analyse and design the industrial structure(s) is based in the concept of looking into a broader area of the site and then looking into a very close detailed structure. Site conditions such as easement and green areas have influenced tremendous the outcome of the design resolution. The site is industrial in the middle of vast green fields, very low in density, with very few transport roots, and no public transport access. The site also has an easement (William Angliss Native Grassland reserve) which regulates the order of its surrounding infrastructures such as the warehouses, roads etc. therefore there is this monolithic flow of structure flowing in the same angle and direction.

Site context - easement regulating the order of its surrounding infrastructure, and green ďŹ eld. It is a low density site, with a contrast between the deďŹ ned buildings and the very subtle vast land with an easement.

1:7500 0


1020000 m
















Furntree Gully Road

Koornang Road

8. warehouse storage systems 7. Ariana Belleli S3083134 Ariana Belleli

As the demands on the industry continue to escalate, the need for fast, accurate storage, handling and distribution is becoming increasingly critical to warehouse performance. This pamphlet analyses the storage system in a precedent warehouse and looks at the particular elements of the system design that makes the building function more productively and proďŹ tably. The subject warehouse is located at 27 Koornany Road Scoresby and has been selected as a precedent because it uses a generic storage system that can be integrated into most warehouse buildings with similar programs.

Storage >Pallet Racking This particular type of pallet rack storage system provides access to every pallet and is adjustable and adaptable. The storage density is low, 35 % of oor space used and 25 % cubic space used on average. Stock is stored on racks with bar codes. Each isle and bar code is linked to stock levels stored on the computer system. When stock is removed from the racks, the bar code is scanned and information is sent to the computer. The base system consists of two steel upright members joined together by bolted bracing. Beams run horizontal and are load bearing members that slot into the upright members

Storage >Raised The warehouse uses a raised storage system whereby extra oor space is added within the shell of the existing building. The raised storage area creates a separate zone that is used for slow moving stock. The space beneath the structure is used for pick face shelving

Pick Face The pick face design is similar the pallet rack system. However, the pick face beams are lighter weight and carry a lesser load. Staff members follow electronic computer instructions that appear on a hand held scanner. It tells them what isle and row to collect the product from. Once the product is removed from shelf is scanned. The data is undated in computer system for stock levels

Packaging >Benches All the small parts needed to complete the packaging stage is neatly stored in the bench. The benches are located next to the conveyor belt and boxes placed on the conveyor belt to be rolled through a ‘check-out’ scanner and sent to the loading bay



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10. Traditional Industrial Complex Don Kong Wah FU The site is located at Simcock-Avenue, Spotswood beside the harbour of Port Melbourne. It is a traditional large-scale industrial complex. The whole site is currently abandoned, and unoccupied. The total dimension is about 200meters deep by 140 meters wide. It is a huge factory estate made up of several different buildings with various elevations. It is an old typology of industrial building complex constructed with traditional red brick walls and steel window frames. The “sawWRRWK´URRISURÂżOHLVIDFLQJVRXWKVRGD\OLJKWFDQEHSURYLGHGWRWKH interior and preventing direct sunlight from the north, so that the interior environment can be easily maintained at a suitable temperature level. 7KHRIÂżFHEORFNLVVLWXDWHGDERYHWKHPDLQDFFHVVIRUWUXFNV,W acts likes the control tower of an airport to control and secure the entrance and manage the operation of the whole complex. The different buildings have a similar architectural language, WH[WXUHFRORXUWRQHDQGVDZWRRWKURRISURÂżOH2YHUDOOWKH\IRUPD coherent image for the whole complex. There are same architecture language by same texture, colour tone and “Zigzagâ€? roof showing in all different block. They have the coherent and response for whole complex.







Sawtooth roof allows south-facing daylight into the interior


The whole site is a combination of several different buildings with various elevations.



11. suburban industrial block Jit Loh This is one example of an old industrial building in Melbourne. It is built around the 1960s located at Braybrook, an old industrial part of Melbourne. Bricks and steel cladding are the main construction materials. The building is currently occupied by the Peerless Food manufacturing company.

This building was built in a division of six units. The buildinvg’s front facade has six single door entries to each of the unit and the loading zone entrance is located at the back of house. Therefore, compare to the contemporary industrial typologies which mainly locate its loading zone entrance at the front, thus surrounded with fences for safety and security purposes. Today, there are only ďŹ ve units appear in the building. This is a result of changes and extensions to the building overtime. The front entries are no longer used and the back of house has become the core area. However, one will not notice there is a big contrast between the front and the back as the brick surface has become a disguise to assimilate into this industrial suburban area.

West Elevation Plan

1 : 500 East Elevation

North Elevation

North Elevation

View From Evans Street

East View

North View

Aerial View

blue pallets turbine ventilator water heating unit wheelbarrow ďŹ re hose box roller doors

Loading Zone Entrance

Elective Pamphlets

Title: Contemporary Industry Tutor: Nigel Bertram Pole: Urban Architecture Date: Semester 01, 2009 This and other documented examples of elective subjects run as part of the RMIT University Architecture program can be found on

Contemporary Industry.  

Elective Leader: Nigel Bertram, Director, RMIT Urban Architecture Laboratory. Practice Director: NMBW. Urban Architecture Elective, Master...

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