Interim report from Opal Tower investigation released

An interim report presenting the preliminary findings of an ongoing investigation into defects in the Opal Tower apartment building in Sydney has been published by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

The investigation was commissioned by NSW planning minister Anthony Roberts after cracks in the building were observed at the tower over the Christmas period and approximately 3,000 occupants evacuated. The 36-storey building, in Sydney’s Olympic Park, had been completed in 2018.

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The report, by professors John Carter, Mark Hoffman and Stephen Foster, stresses that “Further information is required to enable definitive conclusions to be made about the cause or causes of the damage to this structure and the proposed remediation.”

It does, however, lay out a number of findings. Among these is that while the building is “overall structurally sound and not in danger of collapse, significant rectification works are required to repair and strengthen damaged hob beams and in some cases panels that rest on them.”

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The report concludes, “We have identified a number of design and construction issues, a combination of which probably caused the observed damage to some structural members in the Opal Tower building.”

According to the report, the major structural design of the building was carried out by WSP and the building was constructed by Icon. The post-tensioned concrete floors were designed by Australasian Prestressing Services and the precast wall panels were fabricated by Evolution Precast Systems. Bates Smart produced the architectural design.

The full interim report can be read here.

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