Beams at Sydney’s infamous Opal Tower were “prone to failure” a Government probe into the newly-constructed apartment complex has found.
The independent report found multiple design and construction faults led to damage at Opal Tower, in western Sydney’s Olympic Park. The block was evacuated at Christmas after cracks began to appear.
It’s thought at least 250 of the 400 units remain empty months after residents were told to leave. Some residents have said they will never return.
The NSW government-commissioned report found that while the building was structurally sound overall, horizontal support beams in the building were of inferior strength and were not compliant, The Australian reported.
The decision to only partially grout between the beams and panels added to the problem.
“A number of structural design and construction issues, including noncompliance with national codes and standards were responsible for the observed damage at Opal Tower,” The Australian quoted the report as saying.
“We found some of the hob beams and panel assemblies were under-designed according to the National Construction Code and Australian Standards, leaving the beams prone to failure.
“We consider the building is overall structurally sound and the localised damage to the building can be rectified.”
The expert engineers’ report recommended creating databases of registered engineers and NSW building certifications, along with a building structure review board to monitor known property design flaws and shape future building codes.
About 170 Opal Tower apartments have been deemed fit for reoccupation but 224 units were still unfit earlier this month, with dozens of families still left in temporary accommodation.
More to come
– with AAP