The term “megaproject” is certainly an extravagant one and when one actually starts to look at the definition, everything starts to click into place.
The construction industry view a megaproject as anything which costs over $1 billion dollars and has substantial impact on anything ranging from communities to the environment. Suffice to say, few fall into this category and those that do often carry a lot of attention.
In the case of Australia, there are currently two that are in the pipeline. Suffice to say, with billions of dollars and a lot of reputations at stake, it means that not all of the details of both are yet available. Nevertheless, in general the feedback is very positive and the likes of Lisa Dudzik have welcomed huge investment into the construction industry.
Megaproject #1 – Barangaroo
Something that will become clear with these megaprojects is that they aren’t necessarily one building. In fact, in the case of this first one, Barangaroo is actually a whole suburb of Sydney.
For a long time it was mainly an area for shipping, which was hardly surprising considering its proximity to Sydney Harbour Bridge. However, in 2003 it was decided that major redevelopment plans would be initiated, with the government deciding that more recreational space was needed, as well as additional office space.
The fact that this is an 11-year project highlights just how vast the plans are. Additionally, when one sees the $6 billion price tag, little else in this regard needs to be said.
The aim of the project is to add an extra 120,000 square meters of office space. It will be comprised of three separate precincts; Barangaroo South, Central and Reserve. The South area includes office buildings, shops, apartments and a hotel. Central meanwhile is generally reserved for low-rise buildings honing in on the residential, civic and commercial sectors, while Barangaroo Reserve is 15 acres and formed of a headland park.
Megaproject #2 – Central Station to Eveleigh Airspace Development
The big difference with this next project is that work hasn’t actually begun. In fact, it’s all just proposals for now, although with the estimated cost already being around $10 billion it should give a good indication of the sheer scale of this potential work.
The project focusses on the airspace above Sydney’s central station, meaning that once again it’s been the New South Wales Government who are responsible.
In simple terms, the proposals involve high-rise buildings being constructed over the platforms which run in Central station. It will run along the Belmore Park perimeter, meaning that it should cover approximately 3km of land.
The reasoning behind the project is simple; NSW Government is attempting to take advantage of “dead space”. The fact that absolutely nothing is being used in this space is regarded as a huge opportunity, particularly when one considers that new floor space would equate to something twice the size of Barangaroo. The Australian authorities are attempting to mimic similar concepts which have been used in the likes of New York and London, which have also benefited from dead space.