Media Release


UDIA 2011 Awards for Excellence Reflects High Standards of Residential Development in Victoria



The Urban Development Institute of Australia (Victoria) today said the winners of its annual Awards for Excellence for 2011 reflected the high standard of residential development in Victoria. 


Tony De Domenico
Executive Director 

Tony De Domenico, Executive Director, UDIA (VIC) said the development industry employs directly and indirectly 200,000 Victorians and represents 12% of Victoria's economic activity, and continued to increase the quality of the residential developments.

There were nine developments awarded the highest accolade in their categories, of:

Residential Development 250 lots or fewer
Skye Valley Community by Peet Limited - south east at Skye

More than 250 lots
Arndell at Truganina by Devine Limited - Melbourne's west

Lyndarum by AVJennings - Whittlesea

Medium Density
The Garden House by Piccolo

Laureate by Mirvac

High Density
Triptych by the Stable Group - Southbank

Affordable Living
Harmony Village Dandenong by CEHL - Dandenong

Urban Renewal
Valley Lake by Places Victoria - Keilor East

Environmental Excellence
Triptych by the Stable Group - Southbank

Integrated Water Management Award
Settlers Run by Medallist - City of Casey

Special Purpose Living
Martha's Point by Lend Lease - Mornington Peninsula

Peet Limited has won the best development under 250 lots with its Skye Valley Community.

Devine Limited has taken off the award for the best development over 250 lots with its Arndell development at Truganina with AVJennings receiving a commendation for its Lyndarum project.

The Stable Group has taken out two awards with the Triptych project, a residential tower in Southbank being awarded the UDIA High Density and Environmental Excellence awards.

Mr De Domenico said, "The standard of entries this year was very good with some exceptional projects".

"There is little doubt that the awards lead to recognition of 'best practice' which in turn soon becomes common practice as we have seen with major achievements and standards being reached in environmental planning and management."

"Finding techniques and innovations to achieve a market advantage promotes competition and ensures a healthy future for the industry and considerable benefits for the community."

The Awards are in their 16th consecutive year and are generally held to be among the best and most sought-after of their kind in the industry. The Victorian submissions will be amongst the nominations for the national awards, which are decided in March 2012. Five judges, all of whom are skilled practitioners within the industry spent three days traversing inner suburban as well as greater metropolitan areas.

Chairman of the Judges and past UDIA (Vic) board member Mark Bartley commented, "We continue to see increased levels of quality in the projects submitted."

Mark Bartley, partner at law firm DLA Piper was joined by returning judges Mike Brickell, who is an architect and town planner; Kathy Mitchell, Chief Panel Member of Planning Panels Victoria (PPV) and President and a Fellow of the Victoria Planning and Environmental Law Association (VPELA); Bernard McNamara, principal of BMDA Development Advisory, and; David Whitney, sessional member of PPV and past President of the Planning Institute of Australia (Victoria).

Mr Bartley believes the awards play a very important role in advancing innovations within the industry and stressed the level of difficulty that sometimes takes place in judging projects.

"Applicants should understand that there is often great difficulty in comparing projects in the same category, particularly in respect to urban renewal and affordable living projects. This sometimes occurs in respect to the financial performance of projects where some have had government assistance. We recognise that it is not always a level playing field".

"This raises an interesting and important issue in relation to projects undertaken by Places Victoria (previously VicUrban). We acknowledge that some projects with high up front capital costs or other challenges may not stack up for a private developer".

"One key role for Places Victoria, (who is the recipient of two awards this year) is to deal with problem sites. In other circumstances it may be the ability to deliver affordable or innovative housing or to pioneer untested new design ideas that distinguish a public sector role from the traditional role of developers. The recognition of these projects should not be seen to diminish the great work of many developers."

Mr Bartley added, "Regarding entry materials, applicants still resist providing local context plans. The judges frequently have to ask basic questions like where is the local school or local shop? This counts against projects when it is apparent from the materials provided and the explanation onsite that the project design and delivery ignores the broader context."

"Also, it is critical to ensure that there are no obstacles to inspecting an entry which relies heavily on internal design criteria such as in the case of medium and high density housing."

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, UDIA (VIC) - Mobile: 0417 329 201