Metal roofs cost $3 million to make in Melbourne and could cost more if they are approved for construction, an Australian Financial review has found.
A new report by the Landscape Architecture and Design Foundation (LADF) and a group of local experts has found the cost of the roofing, which is designed to hold rainwater, could reach $5 million if it is built at a time when demand is high and there are shortages of supply.
In a joint research report, the LADF said it had calculated the cost to install an average metal roofing in Melbourne at a cost of $4 million, and that, even if all of the material were made by a single manufacturer, it would cost more than $3.5 million to build.
“If the roof is made in the right way, the materials are cost-effective and the roof can be completed in a very short time, it is possible to build a roof with a cost per roof,” LADB president Andrew McWilliams said.
“The more material that is used in a roof, the higher the price is.”
Mr McWilliams called on the state government to consider a cap on the amount of material used in the construction of roofing to avoid the roof being built at high prices.
“In terms of what we have heard from the state, there’s a lot of talk about this issue and there’s also talk about the potential for some of the existing material being taken out of the system and being replaced with other materials, which could create a big cost increase,” he said.
The State Government said it did not believe that any specific material had been used in Melbourne’s new roofing and the new report’s authors also rejected claims that the project was a “waste of taxpayer money”.
The state government said the roof was being developed to meet the needs of Melbourne’s growing population and was expected to have a “significant impact on local land use”.
“We know that Melbourne is becoming a very urban city with more people and this is part of the plan for the future, particularly as we transition from the coal-fired power sector to renewable energy,” State Government chief executive Dr Michael Woodhouse said.
He said the state would work with the federal government to determine the best way to develop and support the roof.
“This new roof will allow for the development of a range of other areas of the state and its surrounding communities,” Dr Woodhouse told reporters.
“I am confident that the new roof is a very strong piece of regional development in Melbourne.”
The project has attracted a range in community groups, the Victorian Association of Landscape Architects and the Victorian Government to support it.
“We would encourage the state to consider setting a cap to the total amount of roof material that could be used in building the roof, as we would expect to see that cost increase as more material is required,” LADA spokesman David Wilson said.
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