A new challenge brings a new crane to Brady's Vision Apartments

The first physical iteration of a challenge that will confront a number of Melbourne's top end builders has appeared on the Melbourne skyline. Traditionally the work of luffing cranes, a top slewing tower crane has appeared on Brady Group's Vision Apartments project directly opposite Victoria Market.

With few if any top slewing tower cranes reaching such heights in Melbourne previously, the Potain unit is a direct response to Melbourne's ever increasing tower heights and the impact they have upon protected aviation airspace.

The different style of crane allows the same functions to be performed, albeit with considerably less penetration into the skies above Melbourne.

The Potain now stands as Melbourne's highest tower crane as the Favelle Favco is dismantled

The issue of aviation zones and built form overlapping one another has emerged as an issue for a number of Melbourne projects of late.

Covered previously on Urban Melbourne in articles by aviation consultancy specialist Ian Thompson and urban planner Nicholas Harrison, the dual prong issues of PANS-OPS and OLS have combined to both limit the height of proposed towers in Melbourne's CBD in particular and to also adjust the methods in which builders can deliver skyscrapers.

There are two types of prescribed airspace, an obstacle limitation surface (OLS) and PANS-OPS surface. It is important to emphasise that a planning permit granted by DTPLI does not enable a building to enter the prescribed airspace around an airport. Separate approval must be gained from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Ian Thompson
Height limits increase as distance from an aerodrome increases. Image supplied by Elenberg Fraser

In the case of Vision Apartments, Brady Group's luffing Favelle Favco would have strayed into protected airspace for an unacceptably long period of time, thus the need for a new unit to be assembled along the towers eastern flank.

Aviation issues aside Brady's Favelle Favco (which was operational until last weekend) would have continued to climb Vision's exterior, completed the necessary works and then gradually lowered itself down to a point where it would have been dismantled by way of a mobile crane.

As it stands the newly assembled Potain which has its base set upon the roughly level 60 setback will likely need an additional recovery crane to be assembled in order to remove it, creating additional time requirements and expense to the build.

Standing out, but not for long

Vision Apartments itself has only a handful of floor to be formed and poured prior to the structure being completed, with overall completion slated for approximately mid year.

Projects in the immediate vicinity such as Swanston Central, Lighthouse and Victoria One may well face the same challenges regarding obstacle penetration as has Brady with Vision Tower, given they are all within the 215-240 metre bracket. It's also likely that Brookfield Multiplex as the constructors of Melbourne's tallest building, Australia 108 which is in its construction infancy, will also need to consider the style of crane it employs as the tower over time approaches its ultimate height of 319 metres.


Ethan's picture

Emerald Tower? I think the author meant the green Vic One?

Back to top
Mark Baljak's picture

Indeed the author did

Back to top
My Real Estate Mate logo

Development & Planning

Friday, October 21, 2016 - 00:00
Following its acquisition of Waterfront City late in 2014, current owners Ashe Morgan have moved to further reinvent and reposition the precinct, which includes Harbour Town and the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel as major drawcards. The first stage of overhaul works which were concentrated on Harbour Town are concluding. These...

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 14:30
On Monday 24th of October, the iCities: World Class CBDs series conference kicks off. First held in Kuala Lumpur, this year's conference is to be held at the Langham Hotel on Southbank. iCities is owned and operated by iProperty Group, a network property under the REA Group umbrella brand. Over...


Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 17:00
Melbourne’s architectural landscape is a wonderful juxtaposition of modern and Victorian architecture. Although the CBD has been peppered with many skyscrapers, its historical structures have won Melbourne the title of “Australia’s most European city”. Perhaps the most striking example of this juxtaposition between old and new is the Coops Shot...

Transport & Design

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 07:00
108 Leicester Street is a collection of eight multi-level Fitzroy townhouses that have been designed to respond to the changing face of multi-residential living in Melbourne. The hybrid inner-city dwellings combine developer/builder FOURSQ with Melbourne firm BKK Architects. The design acknowledges the housing typologies of the development's Fitzroy neighbourhood with...

Sustainability & Environment

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 00:00
The proposed new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) on Sturt Street is shaping to become much more than a cutting edge venue. While the project has been given coverage to date across a range of mediums, very little has been said regarding the project playing an integral part in the...