Brownfield Street Development

Integrating Existing Landscape

Arbor Survey were selected to undertake a report on the trees on a development site in Brownfield Street, Mordialloc to determine which trees were of good condition and worthy of retention. At this stage there was no concept plan or preconceived development earmarked for the site and the owners wanted to create a development that was integrated into the existing landscape. There was one tree on the site that was in good condition overall, a Corymbia maculata (Spotted Gum), and we recommended that it be retained and incorporated into any development design.

Our Approach

This project had its complexities. The shape of the block was ‘L’ shaped, but even more complex was the location of the tree – in the centre of the block. After numerous meetings with the client (the owners of the land), the architect, the builder and the structural engineer we helped develop a bridging system for the driveway above the root system of the tree.

The system was relatively simple and involved placing steel ‘I’ beam or ‘H’ beam around the majority of the tree protection zone and placing treated pine sleepers within the ‘I’ beam. The sleepers were spaced apart to allow water and oxygen to the root system. The ‘I’ beams were suspended above the root system by approximately 100 – 200mm and placed on piers that were installed after careful hand excavation by the project arborist. The system is basically a ‘pier and beam’ system that is commonly specified in building projects that involve the protection of trees.

Innovative Solutions

The unique part of this system is that it was used for a driveway and within very close proximity to the tree. The project arborist was involved through every step of the project and thankfully the builder and all contractors were informed about the protection of the tree – only at the last stage of the development was the tree protection fencing removed and the driveway bridge was constructed.

This project is one that Arbor Survey are proud of as it is an example of how trees can be kept on a development site and how collaboration between all parties involved in the project have lead to a significant achievement on a standard multi unit development site – and at no real extra cost to the development

“Arbor Survey have worked with us for the last 2 years. During this time Mark and the team have provided high quality arborist reports and expert arboricultural advice that meet the necessary guidelines and have enable us to protect and enhance the urban and regional environment.”

Director, Kingston City Council