The newly completed Aurora Melbourne Central is arguably the most exciting mixed use development in Melbourne. Situated on the northern edge of the city’s central business district, Aurora Tower boasts 92 floors of exclusive residential living mixed with executive office spaces and high end retail. In an unrivalled position and with direct access to the renowned Melbourne Central, Aurora Tower stands out not only for its sophistication and class but also for its formidable size being the second tallest building in Melbourne and highest residential development.
A project of this size requires a variation in sealant capabilities and APTC Australia was proud to be able to offer the majority of them to the developer Probuild. Sealants used on the project included the BLN 193 Black silicone for the external door and window frames, DowSil 795 Black Structural Silicone for the facade framework and fire rated polyurethane for between the curtain walls and facade. Offering a mix of technical support and testing, APTC Australia’s Sealant Portfolio Manager Athol Clayton was present both before and during the building process offering specialist technical advice and substrate testing pertaining to structural bite preparation and movement capabilities.
“Due to the sheer size and height of Aurora Tower the panels of glass come under extreme pressure from both the weather and their role as a structural element in the tower” explains Athol. “The panels basically have to be able to breathe with the building and accommodate the natural movement that a tower of that size experiences so we had to be extra careful with the glazing process; we can’t have panels falling out of the facade! From the beginning the choice of product was easy; Both the BLN 100 series and DowSil Structural silicones are superior products for their respective purposes. The added bonus with both of them is that they form part of a certified system and we are able to test and provide warranties for them”.
Testing began before the project had even started, beginning with peel and adhesion testing completed on various metal substrates used in the façade metal work as well as in the pool area and kitchens. This was undertaken by Athol in house at APTC Australia’s head office before the project began and he explains what happens; “It basically involves gunning out the silicone onto the proposed substrate, waiting for it to cure then slicing through it to see whether it has adhered or not. Some substrates can be ruled out whilst for others it may just need a primer, such as the DowSil 1200 Primer, to help it adhere”.
Once the project was underway destructive deglazes were the next step. Deglazes involve checking the mix of structural silicone for its performance and any non-compliance and can be conducted both in factory and on site. “This is a really important step” explains Athol. “If the panels fail the deglazing they cannot be used, as simple as that! For the factory deglazes we cut out the already glazed panel of glass from it frame and check the cured silicone inside. I look at both the primary and secondary seals for any voids, swirls or honeycombing and if any of these imperfections are present it’s an instant fail. My next step is to check that the structural bite (the part holding the glass panel in) is greater than 8mm. Again if it doesn’t meet the requirements it is an instant failure and the silicone has to be cut out and the whole thing reglazed”. Athol also completed on site deglazing for curtain wall remedial works and the same process was followed.
“It’s part of my job to ensure the integrity of the silicone on projects such as this and I have to adhere to the same high standards whatever I am doing, there are no grey areas” he said.
Aurora Tower is now complete and lays claim to having one of the fastest build times for a tower its size at just over 18 months from conception to completion. APTC Australia was proud to be involved in the behind the scenes development of a project of this size and looks forward to working on similar sized projects in the future.
For more information on any of the products or testing used in this project please contact us on 1300 394 239, refer to the products section on our website or download the Aurora Fact Sheet.