A new record: Urban Melbourne's October 2015 crane count

Since the inception of the Urban Melbourne crane count, the number of tower cranes has never failed to decrease on a period to period basis.

This remains the case once more, with the second and final count of 2015 revealing a record number of tower cranes dotted throughout metropolitan Melbourne. At our best assertion, the current number stands at 144. This compares to an October 2014 count of 110 and a March 2015 figure of 131.

The continual movement of the figure upwards points toward the exceptionally strong residential sector, which accounts for a massive 81% of all tower cranes currently in use.

Sector Tower cranes
Residential 117
Commercial 17
Education / student housing 1
Hotel use 2
Demolition use 1
Health and medical research 2
Retail 4
Total 144

South east in form

Chadstone stands as a highly visible project under construction

Traditionally an area which has lagged behind more established construction hot spots, Melbourne's south eastern suburbs have come into their own in recent months, with 17 tower cranes in use over and area bound by Malvern East to Dandenong, and all the bayside suburbs found in between.

Underpinned by larger projects such as Chadstone and Caulfield Heath, the remaining tower cranes are employed on an increasing number of projects in suburbs where apartment living has began to flourish. Oakleigh for example has not been without a tower crane for two years, as one completed high density residential project is replaced by another under construction.

Projects which have recently received tower cranes in the south east include Holmes Hill, Caulfield Heath, Drummond Rise, Gascoigne and Monash University Clayton with all bar the latter residential projects.

All bar one

Marco Melbourne now looks less precarious than in recent times

The count is of course minus one unit, owing to the removal of the General Cranes machine which suffered a malfunction in August.

Over two months later, the remnants of both the tower crane and the crushed Lubeca jump form have been removed, with the exposed concrete lift well of the stalled western tower now set for a new jump form to be applied. Where the replacement tower crane will stand remains to be seen.

Future prediction

What can be said for the crane count heading into 2016? Aside from 80 Collins Street and the Rialto Towers Forecourt project, relatively few commercial projects are set for tower cranes over the next six months. The same can be said for health and retail uses as large-scale projects such as Monash Childrens Hospital, Chadstone and Eastland no longer requiring the use of tower cranes.

While residential projects will continue to absorb the majority of units, we predict the overall tower crane count employed throughout Melbourne over the next six months will remain steady or dip slightly.

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