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    Australia’s tallest prefab tower tops out

    Nicholas Rider

    The tallest prefabricated tower ever to be constructed in Australia has reached full height, prompting the designers to praise the efficiency and relevancy of the construction method.

    The 133 metre, 44 level La Trobe Tower apartment building is designed by Rothelowman, the largest prefabricated project undertaken by the firm in its history, and uses a new prefabricated construction method developed by Hickory Group.

    Hickory and Rothelowman’s strategy saw prefabricated building elements, including modular bathroom pods, precast concrete slabs and pre-attached windows, trucked into site and craned into place, a method that is estimated to have knocked eight months of the construction time.

    As it stands, all structural elements on the La Trobe Tower project have been completed, with only interior fit out works remain to be completed.

    Rothelowman Principal Stuart Marsland says that the prefab method is an entirely new way of thinking, with designers working much more closely alongside the construction team than in a traditional build.

    More importantly, he says, the new system can be applied retrospectively to buildings which have already been designed.

    All up, the building will have 206 one and two bedroom apartments, a common area on level 15 featuring a lounge, outdoor terrace, kitchenette and gymnasium.  

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