Tasked with creating 25 studio apartments, a garden courtyard and a retail space on a 10 metre by 45 metre site on Sydney’s busy Parramatta Road in Annandale, architects Environa Studio and builders PRA Constructions found Dincel Structural Walling really helped them out in a tight spot.
Purpose-built for affordable yet stylish inner-city living, the four-storey McCarthy Maisonettes project was designed by Rory Toomey, Senior Architect at Environa Studio — one of Australia’s leading sustainable architecture practices.
“We’d worked with another client on a project where he’d started building the basements with Dincel Structural Walling and was so impressed he constructed the entire three storeys with it," explains Rory Toomey. "When this project came along, Dincel was ideal for the loadbearing structure we required."
The lightweight and easy-to-use system also proved ideal for the limited site access from a rear lane. According to Toomey, Dincel was used for the boundary and party walls and the panel sizes were easily delivered by truck to the lane and manually carried onto site by the builders, who passed them up the scaffold by hand all the way to level four.
While this proved a big advantage, Toomey emphasised that the benefits of Dincel go well beyond easy and cost-effective construction.
“Everything is precision manufactured, so the accuracy is wonderful,” he said. “Being an armature that restrains the concrete into a consistent and modular form, Dincel is very easy to design with because we know that so many panels will go through a certain area and they’ll all be straight."
“On this project, the exposed Dincel panels within living spaces also provided an attractive finish with just a coat of paint, so we now consider Dincel a perfectly useful interior material for projects of this type and are recommending it to other residential clients."
“Dincel is a real game-changer; we’re very happy to have found it,” Toomey concluded.
PRA Constructions, who built the McCarthy Maisonettes and were awarded two MBA Excellence in Building 2016 Awards for the development, were also impressed with what was their first experience with Dincel Structural Walling.
“It’s a good system,” said Brad Mulcahy, Builder/Project Manager for PRA Constructions. “It wasn’t a site with a lot of scope for big production times and manpower, so the fact it’s a lightweight product we could handle ourselves was good."
“The direct correlation is with masonry core filled cement block walls, however, bricklayers are becoming scarce and more expensive; we’ll keep using Dincel Structural Walling because it’s a very good alternative,” Mulcahy concluded.
Dincel is distributed in New Zealand by Jacobsen Creative Surfaces. A private, family business established in 1962, Jacobsen has a reputation for quality products and has been providing expert service to the industry in New Zealand for over 55 years.