The South Australian (SA) government is recruiting private sector architects and designers in a bid to create a new economically sound apartment complex for a local community.

As a part of the Renewal SA initiative, which encourages community and private sector involvement in public projects, the new Apartment Construction Cost Demonstration (ACCD) project will go further by creating a team of architects and designers to create public infrastructure.

A neighbourhood renewal development at The Square at Woodville West will test the grounds for this initiative and Renewal SA are now calling on architects and designers to lodge expressions of interest to lodge their own design team.

The first stage of the neighbourhood renewal is now complete, with expressions of interest for the role of building developer having already closed.

Renewal SA General Manager, Major and Residential Project Delivery, Michael Buchan said the second stage of the process, beginning today, is to find a suitably qualified design team to work with the preferred builder.

“The design team will be crucial to making this project a success as it depends on innovation and collaboration with the builder, Renewal SA and industry,” Buchan said. 

“Together they will explore elements including building and site layout, construction methodology and choice of materials, with the aim of helping to reduce the purchase costs, so that more South Australians will be able to afford houses in areas of their choice.”

Renewal SA has said they will fund construction of a four- to five-storey apartment building potentially comprising 16 to 20 homes at the Square at Woodville West.

Buchan believes that the ACCD designed Woodville West project will set a precedent for future affordable apartment construction in SA.

“Innovations that achieve lower apartment construction costs will be shared with the building and development sector to ensure the widest possible dissemination of affordable apartment construction techniques in South Australia to deliver more affordable housing,” he explains.

The project will receive advice from representatives of the major industry bodies through an Industry Reference Group.

As part of the Expression of Interest process, proponents must nominate their full design team covering architecture, engineering (civil, structural, mechanical, electrical), landscape design and other specialists.

The Expression of Interest to find a design team is published on the Tenders SA website  and closes on 31 July 2014. Building at the Square at Woodville West is expected to start in mid-2015.