The inner-Sydney suburb of Waterloo is set to be transformed into a sub-tropical jungle thanks to a $400-million multi-residential development that will also include a fully-functioning seven-storey waterfall.

Designed by Sydney-based architects SJB, the aptly-named ‘Waterfall’ development by Crown Group will comprise 331-apartments across three seven-storey buildings and will included what is being touted as an “iconic 20-storey sculptural tower overlooking lush, tropical landscaping and a beautiful water garden.”

Although construction of the waterfall itself is yet to begin, a full-scale prototype was tested recently in order to select the desired weir design.

Experts tested four different types of waterfall weirs (Piano Keys Weir, Radius Weir, Wave Weir and Saw Tooth Weir) to see which one was both visually pleasing whilst also being able to pass all the construction tests. 

During testing, the team altered the type of weir, and the volume of water coming over the edge.

The testing of the weir configurations also helped to refine the design and the optimum flow rate of water and was more focused on the weir shapes and the affects that occurred to the water. 

Tests were also carried out on the blade walls surrounding the waterfalls which will contain the drift of the spray.

In the final version, four weirs will be used in total, creating four separate waterfalls at varying heights up the building. 

Wind monitors will also be installed on the waterfall so as to monitor wind speeds which may then vary the volume of water being discharged and which would allow some waterfalls to be switched off in periods of high wind.

According to Crown Group national construction director Craig Elgie, the testing was “successful in gathering information on many aspects such as water volumes, water trajectory and the performance of the various types of weirs.”

“Based on the result we will make some minor adjustments to the design, so we can begin construction of the final waterfall,” he says.

The company said they will also be installing variable speed pumps so will be able to adjust the flow rates in the permanent installation.

From the point of sustainability, the water used in the waterfall will be recycled on a loop system to be pumped to the top of the waterfall before it falls again. 

At the same time, the waterfall was not designed to be a mechanism to increase sustainability but rather has been “designed with sustainability in mind,” according to Crown Group.

The final waterfall will be positioned on the exterior wall of one of the seven-story buildings in the development complex.

Set to be completed in 2020, the entire project will also include public art by Mika Utzon Popov, grandson of Sydney Opera House architect Jørn Utzon.