KENT ST PROJECT
Situated in the heart of Sydney, Kent Street is a structure built in the year 2000 that exudes a sense of modernist charm. With its architectural framework made up of concrete columns and slabs and a façade predominantly built as non-cavity masonry blockwork infill walls, this building, over 20 years old, presents a unique study in urban construction methods. However, due to age-related deterioration and some shortcomings in the original craftsmanship, the building began to manifest a series of façade leaks and other minor defects, necessitating expert intervention.
TBES was commissioned to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the building’s façade in response to a multitude of existing leaks and to provide general recommendations for rectification and future maintenance works. Upon completion of our inspection - which involved meticulous moisture readings in approximately 100 of the 130 lots - we identified a pattern of leaks through window frames, spalling concrete on the façade, improperly detailed render expansion joints, and local paint and render defects, among other age-related façade deterioration.
Understanding the importance of a thorough and accurate evaluation, TBES combined drone surveys with high-zoom cameras to create a detailed façade condition report. This innovative approach allowed us to identify all the leaking windows and establish the extent of other defects. In addition to the condition report, we developed a two-phase rectification plan to tackle the immediate needs and ensure the long-term integrity of the building.
The short-term works involved the use of a rope access contractor to inspect and repair several elements as needed. This included realigning slab edges and infill walls, addressing wide expansion joints, investigating façade cavity walls, and assessing the condition of sealants at expansion joints. For mid to long-term works, we proposed façade spalling concrete repairs, render repairs, expansion joint repairs and retrofitting, re-painting of the whole façade, and remedial works to all leaking windows.
Furthermore, we recommended additional façade repairs, replacement of level 1 corbel and corbel frame, and waterproofing of the upper-level plant room.
Currently, TBES is in the process of discussing the feasibility of the project with the owners to deliver the best possible outcome, considering the possible need for a staged approach due to funding constraints.