Situated in the heart of Wentworth St in Burwood is a residential building with a storied past dating back to 1976. With its 60 units, the structure, made from reinforced concrete slabs with infill masonry walls, proudly displays a masonry brick facade (cavity walls) topped by a concrete slab flat roof.
As the years went by, the building began to manifest various signs of aging. These encompassed a range of facade defects such as window leaks, weakening balustrades, an eroding roof membrane, spalling render, concrete, and unsettlingly, structural movement within the infill cavity walls. The severity of these issues prompted the council to intervene, issuing a hazard rectification order, underscoring the immediate safety concerns to the public.
Upon engagement, the TBES team took immediate action, deploying a thorough inspection regimen that covered the internal unit areas, shared communal spaces, and the external facade. What we found confirmed our concerns: notable safety hazards, especially concerning the balustrades and loose facade materials. Swiftly, TBES organised urgent safety interventions. With the aid of rope access specialists, we secured the facade's unstable elements and temporarily reinforced the vulnerable balustrades.
To delve deeper into the issues, a comprehensive facade survey was commissioned, using rope access techniques. This hands-on approach by our facade engineer, which involved detailed inspections and intrusive evaluations, provided invaluable insights into the building's hidden challenges.
Armed with this data, and in tandem with the immediate measures we implemented, we negotiated an extension with the council. This allowed us the time to develop a well-rounded remediation plan.
TBES's strategy was rooted in both repair and rejuvenation. After extensive calculations and research, we devised a tailored technical specification dedicated to full facade restoration. Keeping in line with industry best practices, our designs and plans were stringently aligned with the demands of the Design and Building Practitioner's Act.
Through our comprehensive efforts, a building that once faced myriad challenges is now on a clear trajectory towards revitalisation and safety.