It's hard to fathom the logistical gymnastics that take place every day on site of the $700 million Geocon behemoth, Republic, which is rising up from the shores of Lake Ginninderra in Belconnen.
There are hundreds of workers to coordinate, countless jobs to be done to transform what are now great slabs of concrete and intricately-scaffolded spaces into what the marketing images show as gleaming towers reaching high into the sky.
Geocon director of construction Damon Smith said the day-to-day manoeuvres were sometimes a daunting task.
"I think when you look at having to move 500 people around a site each day, bringing materials, personnel, to each work front and controlling how it all comes in, it is no easy task," he said.
"But when you've got a great team around you and you've got the professionals they employ at Geocon, it certainly makes life easier."
The largest mixed residential-commercial development now underway anywhere in Australia, Republic is almost putting another suburb on the map of Canberra.
Geocon calls it a "microcosm of a city", with open space, shops, a 152-room hotel, live performance theatre and Canberra's first Woolworths Metro supermarket in the mix.
Four towers are being built, creating 1213 apartments for a new population of around 2000 people.
The boarding along Eastern Valley Way hides a vast construction site with up to 550 workers on the ground.
Some Republic facts and figures:
- 380,000 tonnes of dirt has been removed, which equates to 13,500 loads with a truck and trailer;
- 41,325 cubic metres of concrete will be poured, which is the same as 22 Olympic swimming pools of concrete;
- 6125 tonnes of reinforcement are in the development - or the same as 437 ACTION buses;
- 60,000 square metres of facade are required - the same area as 133 standard residential blocks in new subdivisions;
- 720km of electric cabling is required, which could stretch from Canberra to Sydney almost three times;
- 350km of hydraulic pipework will be put in to the project
Geocon managing director Nick Georgalis said Republic would change the way people thought about 50-year-old Belconnen, enlivening the area.
"Republic is a big deal for Canberra and Geocon - both in way of sheer numbers and what it will bring to the immediate area," Mr Georgalis said.
"Local business has already enjoyed a distinct uplift thanks to the giant workforce which has assembled on site to pull this development into the sky.
"Things will get even busier once residents start moving in and the towers are home to more than 2000 people."
Geocon development manager Nathan Ross said stage one of the project - the Dusk and Republic buildings - were approaching the half-way point, on track for completion by the end of the year and the first residents due to settle on their apartments just before Christmas.
The town centre won't empty at 5pm when the large government departments close.Geocon managing director Nick Georgalis on the future of Belconnen.
Stage two, the two High Society towers, and the hotel, was just emerging from the ground, due to be finished in mid-2020.
Mr Smith said teams of workers were assigned to each tower, with meetings from 6am to plan out the day.
"So each day begins with a pre-start [meeting] as the whole job and then broken into individual sections on what each person has to do each day to meet our construction program," Mr Smith said.
There is a mini-warehouse on site to receive and allocate all the tonnes of materials.
"Other builders around town would import balustrades, windows, building materials from overseas but we've sourced that locally and are having it built in Hume," Mr Smith said.
"The total workforce, while it is around 500 on-site at the moment, the greater effect of that is more around 2000, 2500 across the life-cycle of the project.
"Designers, engineers, all the way through to our customer care team who hand everything over to the owner. When you put that into perspective, the economic impact that has on the ACT is rather large."
Mr Smith said the project will provide the tallest tower in Canberra, at 113 metres, rising seven storeys higher than another Geocon residential development, the 27-storey Wayfarer, across Eastern Valley Way, which when built in 2017, held the mantle of tallest residential tower in Canberra.
The High Society towers, at 113-metres and 100-metres high, are also 27-storeys but will rise higher than Wayfarer due to the raised ground level.
"Having been with Geocon for nine years now and watching the company grow from a residential cottage builder to a high-rise builder, has been a great journey, a very rewarding one, and to be delivering this project is certainly the highlight of my career thus far," Mr Smith said.