A large housing estate developed by CSR Property in outer Melbourne is a spectacular showcase of CSR products including Cemintel® and Hebel.

Designed by McCabe Architects and built by Burbank Urban, the residential housing development is located at Chirnside Park, 32km northeast of the CBD. The estate consists of 581 lots, including about 140 townhouses with CSR Property in the process of completing the last 43 townhouses.

The whole process took about 12 years, says Robert Fonseca, commercial manager – property at CSR, starting with a land swap with a local golf course for an old disused quarry that CSR owned and finishing with the construction of homes in stages.

Managed by the property group, the redevelopment of the golf course land included construction of what is almost a new suburb, with all new homes using a majority of CSR products including Hebel, Cemintel, Gyprock and Bradford Insulation in their construction.

It was a long process, but a rewarding one – all properties in the development sold quickly off the plan with early releases creating a blueprint for later projects, allowing potential buyers of the new townhouses an opportunity to see the CSR products used in real life before signing on the dotted line.

Fonseca says that it was rewarding to design and create new builds that showcased the beauty of Hebel and Cemintel in particular, resulting in contemporary facades that have been very popular with potential homeowners.

The townhouses were designed by Michael McCabe of McCabe Architects, but the project was managed by CSR, which dealt with local authorities, secured the DA and prepared a tender for builders, giving them the option to build onsite, or offsite in a factory, before assembling it at Chirnside Park.

The successful builder, Burbank Urban, built them onsite, creating a real-life showcase of CSR building products.

“As part of the tender, we mandated that the successful builder would use all CSR products where possible,” explains Fonseca. “So everything in those homes is CSR, apart from electricals and the roof. It's all Hebel, Cemintel, Gyprock, Bradford Insulation and where there's brick, there's PGH Bricks. Everywhere you look, it's fair to say there’s a CSR product.”

The dramatic facades are a striking mix of Cemintel Territory and Hebel, creating a contemporary aesthetic that matches the carefully designed townhouses and suits the high-end price-point of the development. Products chosen include Cemintel Territory lightweight cladding in both vertical and horizontal styles, used to make a point of difference, along with Hebel panels rendered in Colorbond Surfmist and Dulux Vivid White for contrast.

Hebel was mostly used for the ground floor of the townhouses, complemented by Cemintel Territory for the first floors. The choice of Hebel also helped to provide superior thermal and sound insulation, which helped to give each townhouse additional privacy and energy efficiency. Hebel’s PowerPanel wall systems were also used as a party wall, adding to the privacy provisions.

The Cemintel Territory Woodlands series was chosen for its ease of application and speed of installation. Pre-finished, it also has non-combustibility properties (an important requirement in modern medium density housing) and even includes a self-cleaning element for the ultimate in low maintenance.

“They are all large architecturally designed homes,” says Fonseca. “Each features an open-plan living area and ranges in size from three to five bedrooms, all with three bathrooms, two garages and a courtyard or yard.”

It was a great project to be part of, he adds. “It was exciting to design attractive, usable, practical homes from the ground up, that we could sell off the plan,” he says. “They were all sold in record time. We had a track record for delivering other townhouses in the area, which made it easy, because buyers could have a look at the development as well as offer a really attractive product. We built some high-end duplexes in the estate that had the same finishes, so people were able to look across the road and see the types of things that they would get in the townhouses.”