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Australia Towers: maximising amenity in apartments for the 21st century

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Australia Towers

With the boom in demand for Sydney housing, and the subsequent exponential increase in the number of apartment buildings being constructed, all eyes are on the type of developments that will come to characterise the city’s skyline. What will the apartment buildings of the 21st century deliver? Many hope it will be more than simply meeting demand with floors and floors of small, boxy dwellings.

That’s where the Australia Towers project stands out. The two buildings comprise more than 800 apartments and are now home to around 2,000 residents. Although the project is large, it has been designed to deliver beautiful, spacious, comfortable and amenity-rich living spaces, not just more space-saving, run-of-the-mill apartments.

Part of the amenity of any building is its acoustics. The team at Renzo Tonin & Associates, led by director Nicholas Tselios, was brought on board right from the project’s inception to ensure the highest quality sound and vibration standards were achieved for the two buildings.

“We were there from the start – from the development application right through to the final stages of construction,” says Nicholas.

“From the beginning, the biggest issue was the proximity to the nearby Olympic Park railway line.”

Located forty minutes from Sydney CBD, Australia Towers is the first residential development in Sydney’s iconic Olympic Park, and is set just 200 metres from Olympic Park train station.

“We had to determine whether the building would need special acoustic treatment to make sure residents weren't disturbed by vibrations from the nearby trains. This meant conducting extensive vibration measurements and tests. Based on these measurements, we found the building would not need rail vibration isolation treatment,” Nicholas notes.

“The client saw the value in engaging us and spending the money on these on-site studies prior to construction – not having to put the rail treatment in saved them a lot of money.”

Once initial measurements were completed, our acoustical engineers began advising the client on the design process. For example, developer Ecove wanted to make sure the apartments could provide home buyers with high quality interiors, including a choice of alternative hard flooring materials such as stone and timber. Ecove were targeting a market where buyers were very concerned about noise between apartments.

“It was a compromise between cost and design,” says Nicholas.

“We looked at intertenancy walls between apartments, and other solutions for the client to give them the best options for the design of the building, and for the eventual buyers.”

Moving to the construction phase, Renzo Tonin & Associates organised a workshop with the builders, Parkview, to identify and pre-empt any construction issues that might affect the buildings’ acoustics.

“It’s all very well to have it designed on paper, but if you don’t build it well, it’s not going to work,” says Nicholas.

“The workshop for the builders is good for us, and good for the builders – it’s an opportunity for both parties to learn more about the different aspects of building acoustics, and to understand what the potential problems are.”

“There’s a lot of value in it, because it streamlines the process and can avoid costly mistakes that might require remedial work because it doesn't work acoustically.”

Renzo Tonin & Associates is delighted to have been involved in this landmark project, which has been successful in delivering top-quality apartments to the Sydney market. Construction of the two elliptical towers was completed in December 2015.

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