Originally the site of an orchard and nursery, natural elements played an important part in the design concept for this luxury townhouse development in the Melbourne suburb of Doncaster. Mixed materials carefully selected for style, value and durability are the secret to a successful build by Canny, local experts in medium-density development.
As an established suburb of Melbourne, Doncaster rarely has residential development sites available. When CEL Australia secured land from a former orchard and engaged RotheLowman to transform the sloping block into the Williamsons Estate, they planned for a luxury townhouse precinct featuring modern homes with a premium feel.
With an eye to both design integrity and value management, Canny selected a number of products from James Hardie™ as feature cladding for the build.
“Both Axon™ and Matrix™ are great examples of the design flexibility of James Hardie™ cladding” says Greg. “You can get a look that’s very simple and clean and then apply the same material in a different way for a more detailed and distinctive finish. It could be how you cut and layout the boards or panels, or the colours you use. There really are so many ways to achieve your architectural vision with these versatile cladding finishes.”
As a construction company working on multi-million dollar projects, Canny choose their supply partners carefully in order to protect their reputation as a business that consistently delivers quality.
“The value we get from a well-established operator like James Hardie™ goes beyond the design characteristics of their materials,” says Greg. “It’s also about mitigating the risks that can result from our statutory warranty obligations. The structural warranty period is for 10 years and the façade is considered part of that. So we seek a supply partner like James HardieTM who will stand by us if it should come to meeting a future liability on one of our projects.
For a project on the scale of the Williamsons Estate, there are real challenges to overcome in meeting deadlines at every stage of the project. “The construction phase was more complex because there were an unusually high number of different floor plans included,” says Greg. “You’d expect there to be maybe four or five different types of home to build, but we were working with more than ten designs. This reduces the efficiency you get when trades are repeating the same fabrication and assembly process.”
This variety of available designs was an important selling point for the project, but it left Canny with the challenge of cutting back on time and labour costs elsewhere. “This is where lightweight construction becomes so important to keeping overall project timeline and costs within limits,” says Greg.
“With James Hardie™ cladding you can achieve lock-up on your building quicker, and that has a flow-on effect for the rest of the construction program as your time with trades onsite is significantly less.”