Residential developments define the modern city – where and how we live drives urban spread, social cohesion, and plays a huge part in quality of life, for all of us.
Increased pressure on land availability, convenient connection with urban transportation nodes, and centralization of social infrastructure has also resulted in a trend from medium-density housing, to high-density apartment towers that keep on getting taller.
Specific Design Demands
Residential structures are fundamentally different from others, in that they have specific design demands that balance access to light and air, privacy, fire separation, and noise and acoustic control. These requirements drive fundamentally unique structural solutions to suit a building’s aspect, apartment mix, and climate. Structural and civil engineers play an important part in achieving these demands.
RBG provides a full range of engineering services for residential projects – from site evaluations and concept designs, through to detailed production information and construction methodology.
We work on tall an super-tall apartment towers, mid-rise and low-rise accommodation, aged care and retirement projects, high and low budget products, remote mining camps and defence accommodation projects.
What Makes A Great Residential Building?
Generally speaking, internal structures for residential buildings need to “get out of the way” so that clear height and open-plan configuration options are achieved, with the orientation and location of vertical structure particularly important in providing flexibility for various product mixes through the height of any tower.
In contrast, on the façade is where the structure of the building can be expressed and become a key part of the character of the building. As an example, patterned structural precast concrete façade design is an area of expertise that Robert Bird Group utilizes to create cost-efficient but architecturally striking buildings around the world.
Amenity is increasingly important to improve the quality of urban living, with balconies, winter-gardens, private terraces, sky-gardens, communal landscape and private leisure facilities becoming commonplace, depending on building configuration, location and market sector.
Residential in Urban Renewal Projects
On a broader scale, the imaginative use of constrained inner-city sites, and the re-purposing of existing buildings, provides opportunity to turn the most problematic of urban sites into a city’s crowning achievement. Successful urban regeneration projects that feature significant residential product must work cleverly around the often numerous site constraints (underground utilities and infrastructure, flooding) in order to achieve cost-effectiveness, create liveable buildings and public spaces, and attract people to the precinct to make it thrive. In these developments, below-ground planning of basements, and staged construction considerations, are key areas that Robert Bird Group focuses on to turn sites that seem commercially constrained for redevelopment, into real projects.
Designing Tall Residential Towers
For tall (over 120 metres in height) residential towers, occupant comfort is paramount, with control of tower movement in response to the wind being of prime concern. Designing the structural stability system to efficiently control the building’s dynamic response is a key part of Robert Bird Group’s contribution to the design of these tall towers.
Safety against fire and other extreme events requires an integrated approach by the whole client, design, and construction team to identify and mitigate risks.
Engineering tall slender residential towers is an area in which Robert Bird Group has significant expertise, including a number of projects with world-wide significance.
Designs for All Everywhere
Residential accommodation needs to be able to cater for a range of budgets and locations; from remote, low-cost barracks accommodation for armed forces personnel such as the Single Leap Defence Accommodation Programme, to re-purposed projects such as London 2012 Athletes Village, through to super-high-spec buildings with one apartment-per-floor – each with a swimming pool – such as Macrossan in Brisbane, and the Jade Apartments on the Gold Coast.
We believe in understanding the client’s brief intimately so that the end product hits the quality, design and price goals for the project, regardless of the target market.
Building Faster, Better and Sustainably
Modular construction is becoming more sophisticated and is particularly suited to some typologies of residential configuration. We have considerable experience with lightweight volumetric (UB system). pre-cast concrete component systems (190 Strand) and even CLT (cross-laminated timber) systems (Trafalgar Place and Forte, Melbourne). We are active in the ongoing development of systems in conjunction with a number of industry partners.