If you linger on the corner of Gibson and Fourth in the transformed neighbourhood of Bowden, you may catch a glimpse of the very first concrete slabs that will soon give rise to the precinct’s latest boutique housing estate.
The Guild Terraces – 41 new architecturally-designed townhouses – will shortly transform more than 6,000 square metres of vacant land into a chic and sustainable new city-fringe community.
Featuring unique external façades made from breeze blocks, recycled red bricks and aluminium, the Guild Terraces are designed to be sophisticated but earthy, capitalising on their proximity to the CBD but encouraging a village vibe.
Local developer Centina is ensuring that all terraces are 5 Star Green Star rated, which means they will be built to have a minimal environmental footprint and meet the Australian Excellence standard in sustainability, as rated by the Green Building Council of Australia. They will feature natural ventilation, sun shade and optimal room orientation to benefit from seasonal heating and cooling.
The new estate will be also be complemented by a creatively-designed, shared landscaped reserve.
But the construction of the Guild Terraces has not just been about facilitating green, modern living.
It has also provided a vital training ground for Renewal SA’s Works Program, which seeks to deliver work experience and employment opportunities through the state government’s urban renewal contracts.
As a result of the program, five local people have recently had the chance to undertake work experience with Centina at the Guild Terrace site and other locations and gain valuable hands-on skills in the construction industry.
One such work experience participant, 56-year-old Jacquie Wong, is now in paid employment with the developer.
“I knew I wanted to break into the construction industry and when I first heard about Renewal SA’s Works Program, I thought ‘here is my opportunity’,” says Jacquie, who is just as comfortable negotiating terms with sub-contractors as she is wielding a power tool.
For the past 20 years Jacquie has been in the finance business, but recently completed both her Certificate II in Civil Construction and her Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure through Carey Training, with a view to changing her life’s direction.
“As a result of the Works Program, I have been able to secure a role with Centina as a contract administrator and gain practical knowledge about building practices and processes that I would not have otherwise been exposed to,” Jacquie says.
“When I came to the role I was unemployed and older than those coming into the construction industry for the first time.
“As such I am very grateful to Renewal SA for facilitating my work experience opportunity, and to Centina for their willingness to give someone in my position a fair go.
“I’ve since had the chance to learn new skills, such as reading and interpreting plans, calculating metreage and other measurements, procuring and managing contracts and undertaking site inspections.
“I’ve also enjoyed collaborating with others, especially after being self-employed for so many years, and can’t wait to apply my learnings to my first passion, which is the purchase and subdivision of land,” says Jacquie.
As a woman in a male-dominated industry characterised by tough physical work, Jacquie’s days are sometimes colourful but always collaborative.
She says, “I’ve learned that you’ve just got to start somewhere and never be afraid to get your hands dirty.
“Once others see your commitment, they will forget that you are a girl and respect you as someone who wants to get the job done, regardless of gender.
“It is my hope that outdated perceptions of the construction industry are now starting to change.”
The first stage of the Guild Terrace development is expected to be completed late 2020 and will feature two and three-bedroom designs that are available with courtyard and balcony options.
Minutes from Bowden Town Park and the train and tram stop, the Guild Terraces are ideal for singles and couples who are looking for more space than a standard apartment but still want to be close to all that the city has to offer.
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