Property Development

Property developers: How to deliver the NSW TOD program

The critical factors for property developers to successfully deliver the Transport Oriented Development (TOD) program.

Andrew Giles16 May 2024
Transport Oriented Development using Blink DMI

As a Modern Method of Construction (MMC), Blink DMI® can enable NSW property developers to achieve the goals of the Transport Oriented Development (TOD) program amid the entrenched construction and affordability crisis.

Background – What is the TOD program?

The Transport Oriented Development (TOD) program in NSW is a government initiative aimed at boosting housing supply and development density around major transport hubs across the state. The key details are:

  • It will amend planning controls to allow higher-density residential development within 400 meters of 37 metro and rail stations across NSW.

  • The rezoning will permit residential flat buildings in residential zones, shop-top housing in commercial zones, increased building heights up to 22-24m, and increased floor space ratios up to 2.5:1.

The program is being rolled out in two parts:

It aims to leverage Sydney's new metro system and existing rail infrastructure to create higher-density, walkable communities close to public transport. The program includes a mandatory 2% affordable housing contribution for developments over 2000 sqm. In essence, the TOD program seeks to address housing supply shortages by facilitating higher-density residential development concentrated around major transport nodes across NSW, while integrating affordable housing requirements.

Crucially, the plan relies on private-sector property developers to deliver the properties in sufficient numbers, at a pace that has been previously unachievable and in commercially viable ways. Furthermore, it must take place in the context of record-high builder insolvencies, a chronic skilled labour shortage, high interest rates and materials costs.

How does Blink DMI help achieve property developers’ goals?

For property developers, the benefits of the Blink DMI process focus on reducing risk and maximising productive output and financial return as follows:

1. Accelerated project timelines:

Blink DMI targets at least 40% faster delivery of multi-storey housing projects by:

  • Designing for manufacture;

  • Manufacturing building components offsite concurrently; and

  • Integrating them onsite with speed, precision and minimal labour.

This accelerated timeline is critical for providing the required housing density around new transport nodes promptly under the TOD program.

To understand the depth of the crisis, media report that the NSW government's departmental briefing documents show that NSW will deliver only around 180,000 new homes over the next 5 years, which is just 36,000 per year. However, based on NSW's population share, the state needs to build 314,000 new homes over that period, or 62,800 per year, to meet demand. This amounts to a projected shortfall of around 134,000 homes over the next 5 years, or a deficit of 26,800 homes per year compared to the required supply.

According to the Property Council of Australia, Sydney specifically is facing a large housing deficit that will rise to 190,000 homes unless the supply issue is addressed.

There is also a substantial and growing shortfall in social and affordable housing, estimated at 221,500 dwellings currently, with over 56,000 households on the social housing waitlist facing up to 10-year wait times.

These figures do not account for the fact that population growth currently exceeds the estimates upon which the targets are based. In short, we have to build faster.

2. Higher productivity and output:

By leveraging offsite manufacturing and minimising onsite work, Blink DMI significantly boosts construction productivity by aiming to halve project time. This increased output allows more housing units to be built with the same labour resources to meet TOD housing targets.

This is important because the construction industry is facing a severe and chronic shortage of skilled trade workers worldwide, including in NSW. This labour crunch can significantly slow down the pace of housing delivery under the TOD program. Key factors contributing to the shortage include:

Without enough carpenters, electricians, plumbers and other trades, traditional construction timelines get extended, directly impacting housing supply.

Offsite manufacture, on the other hand, is a process-driven methodology that enables far greater workforce participation rather than relying solely on skilled trades. This means that tasks can be broken down and performed by unskilled workers who are trained to perform functions within a controlled environment that ensures quality just as an automobile or aircraft production line does.

3. Enabling urban infill developments:

A core TOD principle is maximising development around transport hubs through urban infill. Among its many benefits, PT Blink’s structural Blink Backbone® technology enables efficient airspace developments over existing assets without disrupting surroundings or adding to environmental waste through unnecessary demolition.

Urban infill such as airspace development is a win on several fronts as it facilitates adding housing density in established areas while protecting the environment and reducing development cost.

4. Mass customisation and developer-ready TOD designs:

By combining configurable manufactured components, flexible parametric design capabilities, offsite precision manufacturing, and an integrated ecosystem, Blink DMI allows developers to offer mass customisation of residential buildings without compromising on efficiency, quality or timelines. This enables delivering unique, architecturally designed housing products at scale.

TOD-ready designs can be quickly adapted using parametric design

In addition, PT Blink also has a range of pre-designed residential building options to suit various TOD block sizes that can serve as the starting point for developers to accelerate their timelines.

5. Superior quality and reduced defects:

The precision manufacturing of Blink DMI results in extremely tight tolerances, minimising delays from costly rework. Components are certified before leaving the factory for integration on-site. This quality assurance helps keep TOD projects on schedule.

6. Faster return on investment:

By dramatically reducing project timelines, developers can realise asset value sooner with Blink DMI, boosting internal rates of return (IRR) by up to 50%. This financial incentive encourages more TOD developments.

Without an innovative construction approach like Blink DMI, the ambitious TOD program risks failing to provide the required housing density and supply around new NSW transport infrastructure in a timely and cost-effective manner. Blink DMI's accelerated delivery, higher productivity, urban infill capabilities, and quality control make it an enabling solution for property developers to achieve NSW's TOD housing goals.

Property developers - Contact PT Blink to discuss your development project today.

See your site's multi-storey development potential with a Blink DMI Explore study

Related article:

- The unique Blink Backbone® structural technology in action

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