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Do Read-Sub-Standard Tall Building Design In Australia-Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer
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alpa_sheth
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:29 am    Post subject: Do Read-Sub-Standard Tall Building Design In Australia-Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer Reply with quote

Dear All:  
Am sharing this story about the state of structural engineering in Australia! As a converse to "there is treasure everywhere", "there also is s*** everywhere".
best regards,
Alpa Sheth  




*****************
Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer
By Elizabeth Farrelly 18 January 2019 4:00pm



I'm sorry, run that by me again? We don't require engineers to be licensed, qualified or registered? So the hundreds of shonky-looking resi-towers newly metastasising across our city don't just look like slums-in-waiting but may have no structural or fire integrity to speak of because anyone, including my great aunt Cecily's dog Tozer, can sign their engineering certificates. Seriously?


  
Illustration: Simon LetchCREDIT:  

Tuesday's interim report on the twice-evacuated Opal tower, by engineering professors Hoffman, Cart and Foster, tells us the building is structurally sound, in that it (probably) won't fall down, but has major damage. Two causes are pinpointed: faulty design, using lower-than-required safety factors, and poor construction, deviating from both design and good practice.

The building, as you know, is pretty ornery to look at. A green glass faceted triangle far taller than any neighbours, its look of soulless oppression is relieved only by a number of tall "slots" or "vertical gardens", walled in six-storey pre-cast load-bearing concrete. It's in these walls, and the beams supporting them, that the damage has principally occurred.
But what's fascinating about this appalling concatenation of errors and deceits is the degree to which it is systemic. We don't know how widespread building disasters are because no-one is collecting data, but as the UNSW City Futures Research Institute recently wrote, our "system allowing defective apartment buildings" creates huge social and economic risks for the new compact city.

In our world, building is driven by profit. Beneath that, three systems intersect: legal, planning and engineering. If I owned a new Sydney apartment – which thank God I don't – all three would be keeping me awake at night.
One, the legal situation. Although Opal may not collapse, the hundreds of owners currently embarking on a "no win no fee" class action may yet wish it had. At least then they'd be covered.
You buy an apartment trusting it to be sound, waterproof and safe. But the odds heavily are against you. Not only do studies show that almost three-quarters of apartment buildings have owner-reported defects (the figure rises to 85 per cent for buildings built after 2000) but the owners' capacity to claim against the builder/developer is restricted to near-futility.
In 2015, amendments to the NSW Home Building Act reduced the standard seven-year liability period to six years for "major" defects – defined as a fault in a major element such as a roof or load-bearing structure that prevents a building being lived in – and a mere two years for everything else. Ostensibly, this was about reducing red tape, but those with a mere hundred-litre stormwater dam in their living room or a rotting front door had better be quick.
Any boom encourages fly-by-night developers, tempting them with quick bucks to employ underqualified and inexperienced architects, builders and subbies, who are more available and cheaper. Look around. Anyone with half an architectural eye can see defects everywhere – roof, window, balustrade and wall-capping details that invite water entry; structural sizings that are self-evidently inadequate; stuck-on plastic claddings. Such defects are often "latent" – which is to say they may not present for years and may take further years to diagnose. At least if your building collapses you have six years, not two.

Even so, your chances of legal remedy are remote. The 2014 High Court finding in the case of Brookfield Multiplex v Owners Corporation Strata Plan followed serious defects in a Chatswood resi-tower. The High Court found that, even with a building rendered uninhabitable, the developer-builder owed no duty of care to purchasers, who apparently should have been able to negotiate protections into their original contract. This, combined with the excruciating cost of litigation, helps explain why so few such cases go to court and why, although it's manifestly unfair, most owners end up footing ongoing rectification costs themselves.
Then there's the planning system. Opal Tower, designed by Bates Smart, looks cheap. It wasn't, a one-bedroom apartment selling off the plan for $720K, but it has the mean, undernourished look of the badly detailed and existentially insecure. So I was staggered to learn both that it had been approved as a State Significant Development and had achieved several storeys over the local height limit due to "design excellence".
State Significant? Design Excellence? How could a private residential tower amid a record building boom be state significant? And how could a nasty concoction of green glass and faceted spandrels be "design excellence"? The answer lies wedged into the chasm between rhetoric and motive.
SSD pretends to stop cowboy councils playing silly buggers with development but actually delivers the unfettered ministerial discretion necessary for rampant cronyism. With no requirement for ministers to justify the "state significant" designation, SSD enables an asset-stripping government to slide all crown and public lands under its own jurisdiction, then frantically up-zone for maximum profit.


Right now, this includes the Bays Precinct, Darling Harbour, Honeysuckle, Luna Park, Fox Studios, Taronga, Redfern-Waterloo, Barangaroo, the Rocks, the 17-storey Parramatta Eels hotel now proposed on crown land at Parramatta Park and – surprise – Olympic Park.
A developer need only propose something sufficiently gargantuan on public land and, presto! – straight to Minister Lunchalot. Said minister, if questioned, will likely point to the "Design Excellence" process that purports to ensure such outsize buildings are at least well designed. Except, well, Opal.
But by far the scariest of this week's Opal revelations is the fact that – excepting Queensland – Australia's engineers are entirely unregulated. Engineers Australia is the professional body. "Anyone can claim to be an engineer, provide engineering services and use it in their marketing without any regulation," its website says. The only register is voluntary. If EA strikes someone off for shonky practice, they can self-resurrect the next day, no questions asked.
This is nuts. Engineers – fire, structural and civil – we trust with our lives. In boom situations, where local firms are routinely swallowed by international conglomerates (such as WSP which engineered Opal), where the market is flooded with shonky materials and practices are self-certified, unregulated engineering makes sense like unregulated brain surgery. Welcome to Faulty Towers.
Source: https://www.smh.com.au/national/welcome-to-the-faulty-towers-state-where-any-mug-s-an-engineer-20190117-p50s14.html


  

  • Elizabeth Farrelly is a Sydney-based columnist and author who holds a PhD in architecture and several international writing awards. A former editor and Sydney City Councilor, she is also Associate Professor (Practice) at the Australian Graduate School of Urbanism at UNSW. Her books include 'Glenn Murcutt: Three Houses', 'Blubberland; the dangers of happiness' and ‘Caro Was Here', crime fiction for children (2014).

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:30 am    Post subject: Do Read-Sub-Standard Tall Building Design In Australia-Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer Reply with quote

It’s shocking and an eye opener Alpa, thanks for sharing. Makes me feel less bitter about the design blunders which we routinely come across while reviewing well known Consultant designs.




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Sangeeta Wij
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SD Engineering Consultants LLP
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H333 New Rajinder Nagar(Lower Ground Floor),
New Delhi-110060
Ph:9811776210;01145128530


From: alpa_sheth [mailto:forum@sefindia.org]
Sent: 29 January 2019 13:02
To: general@sefindia.org
Subject: [SEFI] Do Read-Sub-Standard Tall Building Design In Australia-Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer



Dear All:
Am sharing this story about the state of structural engineering in Australia! As a converse to "there is treasure everywhere", "there also is s*** everywhere".
best regards,
Alpa Sheth




***********
Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer
[img]https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/BKRBbAyc43q19tzlJWw2Tyt9WSFp-tsIziURxrjtKTMrFuv8CLFAy6C9--fRdoDJqQybMg0yJdXHjlraeM--JjWG_ZIgC2jVQ3eXucxlp0Gq4RO687KzFRGFmvkP4fRef0CgaK6LBV-BJEkC_KWOwgEM4X1yYr4v-foPVSxDevVY6sRQTQQr4d6tdGD03rcKH-CdSzZ__mI=s0-d-e1-ft#https://static.ffx.io/images/%2C/t_crop_fill/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/f599a63250636446e6354614cd78884cd247a65e[/img] By Elizabeth Farrelly 18 January 2019 4:00pm







I'm sorry, run that by me again? We don't require engineers to be licensed, qualified or registered? So the hundreds of shonky-looking resi-towers newly metastasising across our city don't just look like slums-in-waiting but may have no structural or fire integrity to speak of because anyone, including my great aunt Cecily's dog Tozer, can sign their engineering certificates. Seriously?



Illustration: Simon LetchCREDIT:

Tuesday's interim report on the twice-evacuated Opal tower, by engineering professors Hoffman, Cart and Foster, tells us the building is structurally sound, in that it (probably) won't fall down, but has major damage. Two causes are pinpointed: faulty design, using lower-than-required safety factors, and poor construction, deviating from both design and good practice.
The building, as you know, is pretty ornery to look at. A green glass faceted triangle far taller than any neighbours, its look of soulless oppression is relieved only by a number of tall "slots" or "vertical gardens", walled in six-storey pre-cast load-bearing concrete. It's in these walls, and the beams supporting them, that the damage has principally occurred.
But what's fascinating about this appalling concatenation of errors and deceits is the degree to which it is systemic. We don't know how widespread building disasters are because no-one is collecting data, but as the UNSW City Futures Research Institute recently wrote, our "system allowing defective apartment buildings" creates huge social and economic risks for the new compact city.


In our world, building is driven by profit. Beneath that, three systems intersect: legal, planning and engineering. If I owned a new Sydney apartment – which thank God I don't – all three would be keeping me awake at night.
One, the legal situation. Although Opal may not collapse, the hundreds of owners currently embarking on a "no win no fee" class action may yet wish it had. At least then they'd be covered.
You buy an apartment trusting it to be sound, waterproof and safe. But the odds heavily are against you. Not only do studies show that almost three-quarters of apartment buildings have owner-reported defects (the figure rises to 85 per cent for buildings built after 2000) but the owners' capacity to claim against the builder/developer is restricted to near-futility.
In 2015, amendments to the NSW Home Building Act reduced the standard seven-year liability period to six years for "major" defects – defined as a fault in a major element such as a roof or load-bearing structure that prevents a building being lived in – and a mere two years for everything else. Ostensibly, this was about reducing red tape, but those with a mere hundred-litre stormwater dam in their living room or a rotting front door had better be quick.
Any boom encourages fly-by-night developers, tempting them with quick bucks to employ underqualified and inexperienced architects, builders and subbies, who are more available and cheaper. Look around. Anyone with half an architectural eye can see defects everywhere – roof, window, balustrade and wall-capping details that invite water entry; structural sizings that are self-evidently inadequate; stuck-on plastic claddings. Such defects are often "latent" – which is to say they may not present for years and may take further years to diagnose. At least if your building collapses you have six years, not two.


Even so, your chances of legal remedy are remote. The 2014 High Court finding in the case of Brookfield Multiplex v Owners Corporation Strata Plan followed serious defects in a Chatswood resi-tower. The High Court found that, even with a building rendered uninhabitable, the developer-builder owed no duty of care to purchasers, who apparently should have been able to negotiate protections into their original contract. This, combined with the excruciating cost of litigation, helps explain why so few such cases go to court and why, although it's manifestly unfair, most owners end up footing ongoing rectification costs themselves.
Then there's the planning system. Opal Tower, designed by Bates Smart, looks cheap. It wasn't, a one-bedroom apartment selling off the plan for $720K, but it has the mean, undernourished look of the badly detailed and existentially insecure. So I was staggered to learn both that it had been approved as a State Significant Development and had achieved several storeys over the local height limit due to "design excellence".
State Significant? Design Excellence? How could a private residential tower amid a record building boom be state significant? And how could a nasty concoction of green glass and faceted spandrels be "design excellence"? The answer lies wedged into the chasm between rhetoric and motive.
SSD pretends to stop cowboy councils playing silly buggers with development but actually delivers the unfettered ministerial discretion necessary for rampant cronyism. With no requirement for ministers to justify the "state significant" designation, SSD enables an asset-stripping government to slide all crown and public lands under its own jurisdiction, then frantically up-zone for maximum profit.


Right now, this includes the Bays Precinct, Darling Harbour, Honeysuckle, Luna Park, Fox Studios, Taronga, Redfern-Waterloo, Barangaroo, the Rocks, the 17-storey Parramatta Eels hotel now proposed on crown land at Parramatta Park and – surprise – Olympic Park.
A developer need only propose something sufficiently gargantuan on public land and, presto! – straight to Minister Lunchalot. Said minister, if questioned, will likely point to the "Design Excellence" process that purports to ensure such outsize buildings are at least well designed. Except, well, Opal.
But by far the scariest of this week's Opal revelations is the fact that – excepting Queensland – Australia's engineers are entirely unregulated. Engineers Australia is the professional body. "Anyone can claim to be an engineer, provide engineering services and use it in their marketing without any regulation," its website says. The only register is voluntary. If EA strikes someone off for shonky practice, they can self-resurrect the next day, no questions asked.
This is nuts. Engineers – fire, structural and civil – we trust with our lives. In boom situations, where local firms are routinely swallowed by international conglomerates (such as WSP which engineered Opal), where the market is flooded with shonky materials and practices are self-certified, unregulated engineering makes sense like unregulated brain surgery. Welcome to Faulty Towers.
Source: https://www.smh.com.au/national/welcome-to-the-faulty-towers-state-where-any-mug-s-an-engineer-20190117-p50s14.html


[img]https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/BKRBbAyc43q19tzlJWw2Tyt9WSFp-tsIziURxrjtKTMrFuv8CLFAy6C9--fRdoDJqQybMg0yJdXHjlraeM--JjWG_ZIgC2jVQ3eXucxlp0Gq4RO687KzFRGFmvkP4fRef0CgaK6LBV-BJEkC_KWOwgEM4X1yYr4v-foPVSxDevVY6sRQTQQr4d6tdGD03rcKH-CdSzZ__mI=s0-d-e1-ft#https://static.ffx.io/images/%2C/t_crop_fill/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/f599a63250636446e6354614cd78884cd247a65e[/img]



Elizabeth Farrelly is a Sydney-based columnist and author who holds a PhD in architecture and several international writing awards. A former editor and Sydney City Councilor, she is also Associate Professor (Practice) at the Australian Graduate School of Urbanism at UNSW. Her books include 'Glenn Murcutt: Three Houses', 'Blubberland; the dangers of happiness' and ‘Caro Was Here', crime fiction for children (2014).

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Anand_Kher
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:30 am    Post subject: Do Read-Sub-Standard Tall Building Design In Australia-Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer Reply with quote

Dear Alpaji,Thanks for the share and the story very well fits at home too atleast in certain aspects. Scare runs deep in the occupants of high rise buildings due to the recent frequent fire incidences.
Regards, 
Anand Kher 


On Tue, 29 Jan 2019, 1:02 pm alpa_sheth <forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org) wrote:

Quote:
           Dear All:
Am sharing this story about the state of structural engineering in Australia! As a converse to "there is treasure everywhere", "there also is s*** everywhere".
best regards,
Alpa Sheth




***********
Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer
]https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/BKRBbAyc43q19tzlJWw2Tyt9WSFp-tsIziURxrjtKTMrFuv8CLFAy6C9--fRdoDJqQybMg0yJdXHjlraeM--JjWG_ZIgC2jVQ3eXucxlp0Gq4RO687KzFRGFmvkP4fRef0CgaK6LBV-BJEkC_KWOwgEM4X1yYr4v-foPVSxDevVY6sRQTQQr4d6tdGD03rcKH-CdSzZ__mI=s0-d-e1-ft#https://static.ffx.io/images/%2C/t_crop_fill/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/f599a63250636446e6354614cd78884cd247a65e"> By Elizabeth Farrelly 18 January 2019 4:00pm







I'm sorry, run that by me again? We don't require engineers to be licensed, qualified or registered? So the hundreds of shonky-looking resi-towers newly metastasising across our city don't just look like slums-in-waiting but may have no structural or fire integrity to speak of because anyone, including my great aunt Cecily's dog Tozer, can sign their engineering certificates. Seriously?



Illustration: Simon LetchCREDIT:

Tuesday's interim report on the twice-evacuated Opal tower, by engineering professors Hoffman, Cart and Foster, tells us the building is structurally sound, in that it (probably) won't fall down, but has major damage. Two causes are pinpointed: faulty design, using lower-than-required safety factors, and poor construction, deviating from both design and good practice.
The building, as you know, is pretty ornery to look at. A green glass faceted triangle far taller than any neighbours, its look of soulless oppression is relieved only by a number of tall "slots" or "vertical gardens", walled in six-storey pre-cast load-bearing concrete. It's in these walls, and the beams supporting them, that the damage has principally occurred.
But what's fascinating about this appalling concatenation of errors and deceits is the degree to which it is systemic. We don't know how widespread building disasters are because no-one is collecting data, but as the UNSW City Futures Research Institute recently wrote, our "system allowing defective apartment buildings" creates huge social and economic risks for the new compact city.


In our world, building is driven by profit. Beneath that, three systems intersect: legal, planning and engineering. If I owned a new Sydney apartment  which thank God I don't  all three would be keeping me awake at night.
One, the legal situation. Although Opal may not collapse, the hundreds of owners currently embarking on a "no win no fee" class action may yet wish it had. At least then they'd be covered.
You buy an apartment trusting it to be sound, waterproof and safe. But the odds heavily are against you. Not only do studies show that almost three-quarters of apartment buildings have owner-reported defects (the figure rises to 85 per cent for buildings built after 2000) but the owners' capacity to claim against the builder/developer is restricted to near-futility.
In 2015, amendments to the NSW Home Building Act reduced the standard seven-year liability period to six years for "major" defects  defined as a fault in a major element such as a roof or load-bearing structure that prevents a building being lived in  and a mere two years for everything else. Ostensibly, this was about reducing red tape, but those with a mere hundred-litre stormwater dam in their living room or a rotting front door had better be quick.
Any boom encourages fly-by-night developers, tempting them with quick bucks to employ underqualified and inexperienced architects, builders and subbies, who are more available and cheaper. Look around. Anyone with half an architectural eye can see defects everywhere  roof, window, balustrade and wall-capping details that invite water entry; structural sizings that are self-evidently inadequate; stuck-on plastic claddings. Such defects are often "latent"  which is to say they may not present for years and may take further years to diagnose. At least if your building collapses you have six years, not two.


Even so, your chances of legal remedy are remote. The 2014 High Court finding in the case of Brookfield Multiplex v Owners Corporation Strata Plan followed serious defects in a Chatswood resi-tower. The High Court found that, even with a building rendered uninhabitable, the developer-builder owed no duty of care to purchasers, who apparently should have been able to negotiate protections into their original contract. This, combined with the excruciating cost of litigation, helps explain why so few such cases go to court and why, although it's manifestly unfair, most owners end up footing ongoing rectification costs themselves.
Then there's the planning system. Opal Tower, designed by Bates Smart, looks cheap. It wasn't, a one-bedroom apartment selling off the plan for $720K, but it has the mean, undernourished look of the badly detailed and existentially insecure. So I was staggered to learn both that it had been approved as a State Significant Development and had achieved several storeys over the local height limit due to "design excellence".
State Significant? Design Excellence? How could a private residential tower amid a record building boom be state significant? And how could a nasty concoction of green glass and faceted spandrels be "design excellence"? The answer lies wedged into the chasm between rhetoric and motive.
SSD pretends to stop cowboy councils playing silly buggers with development but actually delivers the unfettered ministerial discretion necessary for rampant cronyism. With no requirement for ministers to justify the "state significant" designation, SSD enables an asset-stripping government to slide all crown and public lands under its own jurisdiction, then frantically up-zone for maximum profit.


Right now, this includes the Bays Precinct, Darling Harbour, Honeysuckle, Luna Park, Fox Studios, Taronga, Redfern-Waterloo, Barangaroo, the Rocks, the 17-storey Parramatta Eels hotel now proposed on crown land at Parramatta Park and  surprise  Olympic Park.
A developer need only propose something sufficiently gargantuan on public land and, presto!  straight to Minister Lunchalot. Said minister, if questioned, will likely point to the "Design Excellence" process that purports to ensure such outsize buildings are at least well designed. Except, well, Opal.
But by far the scariest of this week's Opal revelations is the fact that  excepting Queensland  Australia's engineers are entirely unregulated. Engineers Australia is the professional body. "Anyone can claim to be an engineer, provide engineering services and use it in their marketing without any regulation," its website says. The only register is voluntary. If EA strikes someone off for shonky practice, they can self-resurrect the next day, no questions asked.
This is nuts. Engineers  fire, structural and civil  we trust with our lives. In boom situations, where local firms are routinely swallowed by international conglomerates (such as WSP which engineered Opal), where the market is flooded with shonky materials and practices are self-certified, unregulated engineering makes sense like unregulated brain surgery. Welcome to Faulty Towers.
Source: https://www.smh.com.au/national/welcome-to-the-faulty-towers-state-where-any-mug-s-an-engineer-20190117-p50s14.html


]https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/BKRBbAyc43q19tzlJWw2Tyt9WSFp-tsIziURxrjtKTMrFuv8CLFAy6C9--fRdoDJqQybMg0yJdXHjlraeM--JjWG_ZIgC2jVQ3eXucxlp0Gq4RO687KzFRGFmvkP4fRef0CgaK6LBV-BJEkC_KWOwgEM4X1yYr4v-foPVSxDevVY6sRQTQQr4d6tdGD03rcKH-CdSzZ__mI=s0-d-e1-ft#https://static.ffx.io/images/%2C/t_crop_fill/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/f599a63250636446e6354614cd78884cd247a65e">
  • https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Femfarrelly%3Flang%3Den&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGYGGvACPoHh7DUDd9Qa3rHB6zErQ][/url]


Elizabeth Farrelly is a Sydney-based columnist and author who holds a PhD in architecture and several international writing awards. A former editor and Sydney City Councilor, she is also Associate Professor (Practice) at the Australian Graduate School of Urbanism at UNSW. Her books include 'Glenn Murcutt: Three Houses', 'Blubberland; the dangers of happiness' and ‘Caro Was Here', crime fiction for children (2014).
     



     



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:30 pm    Post subject: Do Read-Sub-Standard Tall Building Design In Australia-Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer Reply with quote

shockingFrom: "alpa_sheth" <forum@sefindia.org>Sent: Tue, 29 Jan 2019 13:28:24To: general@sefindia.orgSubject: [SEFI] Do Read-Sub-Standard Tall Building Design In Australia-Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineerDear All:Am sharing this story about the state of structural engineering in Australia! As a converse to "there is treasure everywhere", "there also is s*** everywhere".best regards,Alpa Sheth***********Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer]https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/BKRBbAyc43q19tzlJWw2Tyt9WSFp-tsIziURxrjtKTMrFuv8CLFAy6C9--fRdoDJqQybMg0yJdXHjlraeM--JjWG_ZIgC2jVQ3eXucxlp0Gq4RO687KzFRGFmvkP4fRef0CgaK6LBV-BJEkC_KWOwgEM4X1yYr4v-foPVSxDevVY6sRQTQQr4d6tdGD03rcKH-CdSzZ__mI=s0-d-e1-ft#https://static.ffx.io/images/,/t_crop_fill/t_sharpen,q_auto,f_auto/f599a63250636446e6354614cd78884cd247a65e"> By Elizabeth Farrelly 18 January 2019 4:00pmI'm sorry, run that by me again? We don't require engineers to be licensed, qualified or registered? So the hundreds of shonky-looking resi-towers newly metastasising across our city don't just look like slums-in-waiting but may have no structural or fire integrity to speak of because anyone, including my great aunt Cecily's dog Tozer, can sign their engineering certificates. Seriously?Illustration: Simon LetchCREDIT:Tuesday's interim report on the twice-evacuated Opal tower, by engineering professors Hoffman, Cart and Foster, tells us the building is structurally sound, in that it (probably) won't fall down, but has major damage. Two causes are pinpointed: faulty design, using lower-than-required safety factors, and poor construction, deviating from both design and good practice.The building, as you know, is pretty ornery to look at. A green glass faceted triangle far taller than any neighbours, its look of soulless oppression is relieved only by a number of tall "slots" or "vertical gardens", walled in six-storey pre-cast load-bearing concrete. It's in these walls, and the beams supporting them, that the damage has principally occurred.But what's fascinating about this appalling concatenation of errors and deceits is the degree to which it is systemic. We don't know how widespread building disasters are because no-one is collecting data, but as the UNSW City Futures Research Institute recently wrote, our "system allowing defective apartment buildings" creates huge social and economic risks for the new compact city.In our world, building is driven by profit. Beneath that, three systems intersect: legal, planning and engineering. If I owned a new Sydney apartment &ndash; which thank God I don't &ndash; all three would be keeping me awake at night.One, the legal situation. Although Opal may not collapse, the hundreds of owners currently embarking on a "no win no fee" class action may yet wish it had. At least then they'd be covered.You buy an apartment trusting it to be sound, waterproof and safe. But the odds heavily are against you. Not only do studies show that almost three-quarters of apartment buildings have owner-reported defects (the figure rises to 85 per cent for buildings built after 2000) but the owners' capacity to claim against the builder/developer is restricted to near-futility.In 2015, amendments to the NSW Home Building Act reduced the standard seven-year liability period to six years for "major" defects &ndash; defined as a fault in a major element such as a roof or load-bearing structure that prevents a building being lived in &ndash; and a mere two years for everything else. Ostensibly, this was about reducing red tape, but those with a mere hundred-litre stormwater dam in their living room or a rotting front door had better be quick.Any boom encourages fly-by-night developers, tempting them with quick bucks to employ underqualified and inexperienced architects, builders and subbies, who are more available and cheaper. Look around. Anyone with half an architectural eye can see defects everywhere &ndash; roof, window, balustrade and wall-capping details that invite water entry; structural sizings that are self-evidently inadequate; stuck-on plastic claddings. Such defects are often "latent" &ndash; which is to say they may not present for years and may take further years to diagnose. At least if your building collapses you have six years, not two.Even so, your chances of legal remedy are remote. The 2014 High Court finding in the case of Brookfield Multiplex v Owners Corporation Strata Plan followed serious defects in a Chatswood resi-tower. The High Court found that, even with a building rendered uninhabitable, the developer-builder owed no duty of care to purchasers, who apparently should have been able to negotiate protections into their original contract. This, combined with the excruciating cost of litigation, helps explain why so few such cases go to court and why, although it's manifestly unfair, most owners end up footing ongoing rectification costs themselves.Then there's the planning system. Opal Tower, designed by Bates Smart, looks cheap. It wasn't, a one-bedroom apartment selling off the plan for $720K, but it has the mean, undernourished look of the badly detailed and existentially insecure. So I was staggered to learn both that it had been approved as a State Significant Development and had achieved several storeys over the local height limit due to "design excellence".State Significant? Design Excellence? How could a private residential tower amid a record building boom be state significant? And how could a nasty concoction of green glass and faceted spandrels be "design excellence"? The answer lies wedged into the chasm between rhetoric and motive.SSD pretends to stop cowboy councils playing silly buggers with development but actually delivers the unfettered ministerial discretion necessary for rampant cronyism. With no requirement for ministers to justify the "state significant" designation, SSD enables an asset-stripping government to slide all crown and public lands under its own jurisdiction, then frantically up-zone for maximum profit.Right now, this includes the Bays Precinct, Darling Harbour, Honeysuckle, Luna Park, Fox Studios, Taronga, Redfern-Waterloo, Barangaroo, the Rocks, the 17-storey Parramatta Eels hotel now proposed on crown land at Parramatta Park and &ndash; surprise &ndash; Olympic Park.A developer need only propose something sufficiently gargantuan on public land and, presto! &ndash; straight to Minister Lunchalot. Said minister, if questioned, will likely point to the "Design Excellence" process that purports to ensure such outsize buildings are at least well designed. Except, well, Opal.But by far the scariest of this week's Opal revelations is the fact that &ndash; excepting Queensland &ndash; Australia's engineers are entirely unregulated. Engineers Australia is the professional body. "Anyone can claim to be an engineer, provide engineering services and use it in their marketing without any regulation," its website says. The only register is voluntary. If EA strikes someone off for shonky practice, they can self-resurrect the next day, no questions asked.This is nuts. Engineers &ndash; fire, structural and civil &ndash; we trust with our lives. In boom situations, where local firms are routinely swallowed by international conglomerates (such as WSP which engineered Opal), where the market is flooded with shonky materials and practices are self-certified, unregulated engineering makes sense like unregulated brain surgery. Welcome to Faulty Towers.Source: https://www.smh.com.au/national/welcome-to-the-faulty-towers-state-where-any-mug-s-an-engineer-20190117-p50s14.html]https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/BKRBbAyc43q19tzlJWw2Tyt9WSFp-tsIziURxrjtKTMrFuv8CLFAy6C9--fRdoDJqQybMg0yJdXHjlraeM--JjWG_ZIgC2jVQ3eXucxlp0Gq4RO687KzFRGFmvkP4fRef0CgaK6LBV-BJEkC_KWOwgEM4X1yYr4v-foPVSxDevVY6sRQTQQr4d6tdGD03rcKH-CdSzZ__mI=s0-d-e1-ft#https://static.ffx.io/images/,/t_crop_fill/t_sharpen,q_auto,f_auto/f599a63250636446e6354614cd78884cd247a65e">
         
  • ]https://www.google.com/url?q=https://twitter.com/emfarrelly?lang=en&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGYGGvACPoHh7DUDd9Qa3rHB6zErQ]
Elizabeth Farrelly is a Sydney-based columnist and author who holds a PhD in architecture and several international writing awards. A former editor and Sydney City Councilor, she is also Associate Professor (Practice) at the Australian Graduate School of Urbanism at UNSW. Her books include 'Glenn Murcutt: Three Houses', 'Blubberland; the dangers of happiness' and &lsquo;Caro Was Here', crime fiction for children (2014). --

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abhio
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

The High Court found that, even with a building rendered uninhabitable, the developer-builder owed no duty of care to purchasers, who apparently should have been able to negotiate protections into their original contract.


I can't even begin to wrap my head around this. A layman buyer is supposed to negotiate contingency protection from a seller who can hire 10 times the number of lawyers the buyer can? And how is the layman buyer supposed to word his "contractual protections" without technical knowledge of possible failures? Is it his job to list every possible failure? Does he have to retain a structural engineer to negotiate with the seller?

Dickens was right. The law is a ass.
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ahujavipul
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:12 pm    Post subject: Do Read-Sub-Standard Tall Building Design In Australia-Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer Reply with quote

This seems to be a problem accross Commonwealth countries except perhaps Canada, which being influenced greatly to standardize with the US, has a Licensed Structural Engineers regime. If anyone was to emulate GB's practices today they would first need to destroy their constitution book.

Regardless, the article strings a chord with most structural engineers accross India due to similar (mal) practice. I really hope that the new effort by the goverment today in shaping an engineer's bill bears fruit--though the move came so close to election time it almost seems as a bait to vote.

Regards

Vipul Ahuja


abhio wrote:
Quote:

The High Court found that, even with a building rendered uninhabitable, the developer-builder owed no duty of care to purchasers, who apparently should have been able to negotiate protections into their original contract.


I can't even begin to wrap my head around this. A layman buyer is supposed to negotiate contingency protection from a seller who can hire 10 times the number of lawyers the buyer can? And how is the layman buyer supposed to word his "contractual protections" without technical knowledge of possible failures? Is it his job to list every possible failure? Does he have to retain a structural engineer to negotiate with the seller?

Dickens was right. The law is a ass.
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devendrabjoshi
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:30 pm    Post subject: Do Read-Sub-Standard Tall Building Design In Australia-Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer Reply with quote

Sangeeta's comment on Well Known Consultant is not called for and in very bad taste. In fact it is outrageous.

Devendra Joshi


On Tue 29 Jan, 2019, 6:26 PM sangeeta_wij <forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org) wrote:

Quote:
It s shocking and an eye opener Alpa, thanks for sharing. Makes me feel less bitter about the design blunders which we routinely come across while reviewing well known Consultant designs.




Best Regards
Sangeeta Wij
President,WISE India
Managing Partner
SD Engineering Consultants LLP
Vice President(North),Indian Association of Structural Engineers,
Fellow and Chartered Engineer, Institution of Engineers
H333 New Rajinder Nagar(Lower Ground Floor),
New Delhi-110060
Ph:9811776210;01145128530


From: alpa_sheth [mailto:forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)]
Sent: 29 January 2019 13:02
To: general@sefindia.org (general@sefindia.org)
Subject: [SEFI] Do Read-Sub-Standard Tall Building Design In Australia-Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer



Dear All:
Am sharing this story about the state of structural engineering in Australia! As a converse to "there is treasure everywhere", "there also is s*** everywhere".
best regards,
Alpa Sheth




********
Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer
[img]https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/BKRBbAyc43q19tzlJWw2Tyt9WSFp-tsIziURxrjtKTMrFuv8CLFAy6C9--fRdoDJqQybMg0yJdXHjlraeM--JjWG_ZIgC2jVQ3eXucxlp0Gq4RO687KzFRGFmvkP4fRef0CgaK6LBV-BJEkC_KWOwgEM4X1yYr4v-foPVSxDevVY6sRQTQQr4d6tdGD03rcKH-CdSzZ__mI=s0-d-e1-ft#https://static.ffx.io/images/%2C/t_crop_fill/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/f599a63250636446e6354614cd78884cd247a65e[/img (https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/BKRBbAyc43q19tzlJWw2Tyt9WSFp-tsIziURxrjtKTMrFuv8CLFAy6C9--fRdoDJqQybMg0yJdXHjlraeM--JjWG_ZIgC2jVQ3eXucxlp0Gq4RO687KzFRGFmvkP4fRef0CgaK6LBV-BJEkC_KWOwgEM4X1yYr4v-foPVSxDevVY6sRQTQQr4d6tdGD03rcKH-CdSzZ__mI=s0-d-e1-ft#https://static.ffx.io/images/%2C/t_crop_fill/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/f599a63250636446e6354614cd78884cd247a65e[/img)] By Elizabeth Farrelly 18 January 2019 4:00pm







I'm sorry, run that by me again? We don't require engineers to be licensed, qualified or registered? So the hundreds of shonky-looking resi-towers newly metastasising across our city don't just look like slums-in-waiting but may have no structural or fire integrity to speak of because anyone, including my great aunt Cecily's dog Tozer, can sign their engineering certificates. Seriously?


[Image: https://www.sefindia.org/forum/files/146b3cbbccc89357dea0ad5a1d5b9974032bfea8_177.jpeg ]
Illustration: Simon LetchCREDIT:

Tuesday's interim report on the twice-evacuated Opal tower, by engineering professors Hoffman, Cart and Foster, tells us the building is structurally sound, in that it (probably) won't fall down, but has major damage. Two causes are pinpointed: faulty design, using lower-than-required safety factors, and poor construction, deviating from both design and good practice.
The building, as you know, is pretty ornery to look at. A green glass faceted triangle far taller than any neighbours, its look of soulless oppression is relieved only by a number of tall "slots" or "vertical gardens", walled in six-storey pre-cast load-bearing concrete. It's in these walls, and the beams supporting them, that the damage has principally occurred.
But what's fascinating about this appalling concatenation of errors and deceits is the degree to which it is systemic. We don't know how widespread building disasters are because no-one is collecting data, but as the UNSW City Futures Research Institute recently wrote, our "system allowing defective apartment buildings" creates huge social and economic risks for the new compact city.


In our world, building is driven by profit. Beneath that, three systems intersect: legal, planning and engineering. If I owned a new Sydney apartment   which thank God I don't   all three would be keeping me awake at night.
One, the legal situation. Although Opal may not collapse, the hundreds of owners currently embarking on a "no win no fee" class action may yet wish it had. At least then they'd be covered.
You buy an apartment trusting it to be sound, waterproof and safe. But the odds heavily are against you. Not only do studies show that almost three-quarters of apartment buildings have owner-reported defects (the figure rises to 85 per cent for buildings built after 2000) but the owners' capacity to claim against the builder/developer is restricted to near-futility.
In 2015, amendments to the NSW Home Building Act reduced the standard seven-year liability period to six years for "major" defects   defined as a fault in a major element such as a roof or load-bearing structure that prevents a building being lived in   and a mere two years for everything else. Ostensibly, this was about reducing red tape, but those with a mere hundred-litre stormwater dam in their living room or a rotting front door had better be quick.
Any boom encourages fly-by-night developers, tempting them with quick bucks to employ underqualified and inexperienced architects, builders and subbies, who are more available and cheaper. Look around. Anyone with half an architectural eye can see defects everywhere   roof, window, balustrade and wall-capping details that invite water entry; structural sizings that are self-evidently inadequate; stuck-on plastic claddings. Such defects are often "latent"   which is to say they may not present for years and may take further years to diagnose. At least if your building collapses you have six years, not two.


Even so, your chances of legal remedy are remote. The 2014 High Court finding in the case of Brookfield Multiplex v Owners Corporation Strata Plan followed serious defects in a Chatswood resi-tower. The High Court found that, even with a building rendered uninhabitable, the developer-builder owed no duty of care to purchasers, who apparently should have been able to negotiate protections into their original contract. This, combined with the excruciating cost of litigation, helps explain why so few such cases go to court and why, although it's manifestly unfair, most owners end up footing ongoing rectification costs themselves.
Then there's the planning system. Opal Tower, designed by Bates Smart, looks cheap. It wasn't, a one-bedroom apartment selling off the plan for $720K, but it has the mean, undernourished look of the badly detailed and existentially insecure. So I was staggered to learn both that it had been approved as a State Significant Development and had achieved several storeys over the local height limit due to "design excellence".
State Significant? Design Excellence? How could a private residential tower amid a record building boom be state significant? And how could a nasty concoction of green glass and faceted spandrels be "design excellence"? The answer lies wedged into the chasm between rhetoric and motive.
SSD pretends to stop cowboy councils playing silly buggers with development but actually delivers the unfettered ministerial discretion necessary for rampant cronyism. With no requirement for ministers to justify the "state significant" designation, SSD enables an asset-stripping government to slide all crown and public lands under its own jurisdiction, then frantically up-zone for maximum profit.


Right now, this includes the Bays Precinct, Darling Harbour, Honeysuckle, Luna Park, Fox Studios, Taronga, Redfern-Waterloo, Barangaroo, the Rocks, the 17-storey Parramatta Eels hotel now proposed on crown land at Parramatta Park and   surprise   Olympic Park.
A developer need only propose something sufficiently gargantuan on public land and, presto!   straight to Minister Lunchalot. Said minister, if questioned, will likely point to the "Design Excellence" process that purports to ensure such outsize buildings are at least well designed. Except, well, Opal.
But by far the scariest of this week's Opal revelations is the fact that   excepting Queensland   Australia's engineers are entirely unregulated. Engineers Australia is the professional body. "Anyone can claim to be an engineer, provide engineering services and use it in their marketing without any regulation," its website says. The only register is voluntary. If EA strikes someone off for shonky practice, they can self-resurrect the next day, no questions asked.
This is nuts. Engineers   fire, structural and civil   we trust with our lives. In boom situations, where local firms are routinely swallowed by international conglomerates (such as WSP which engineered Opal), where the market is flooded with shonky materials and practices are self-certified, unregulated engineering makes sense like unregulated brain surgery. Welcome to Faulty Towers.
Source: https://www.smh.com.au/national/welcome-to-the-faulty-towers-state-where-any-mug-s-an-engineer-20190117-p50s14.html (https://www.smh.com.au/national/welcome-to-the-faulty-towers-state-where-any-mug-s-an-engineer-20190117-p50s14.html)


[img]https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/BKRBbAyc43q19tzlJWw2Tyt9WSFp-tsIziURxrjtKTMrFuv8CLFAy6C9--fRdoDJqQybMg0yJdXHjlraeM--JjWG_ZIgC2jVQ3eXucxlp0Gq4RO687KzFRGFmvkP4fRef0CgaK6LBV-BJEkC_KWOwgEM4X1yYr4v-foPVSxDevVY6sRQTQQr4d6tdGD03rcKH-CdSzZ__mI=s0-d-e1-ft#https://static.ffx.io/images/%2C/t_crop_fill/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/f599a63250636446e6354614cd78884cd247a65e[/img (https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/BKRBbAyc43q19tzlJWw2Tyt9WSFp-tsIziURxrjtKTMrFuv8CLFAy6C9--fRdoDJqQybMg0yJdXHjlraeM--JjWG_ZIgC2jVQ3eXucxlp0Gq4RO687KzFRGFmvkP4fRef0CgaK6LBV-BJEkC_KWOwgEM4X1yYr4v-foPVSxDevVY6sRQTQQr4d6tdGD03rcKH-CdSzZ__mI=s0-d-e1-ft#https://static.ffx.io/images/%2C/t_crop_fill/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/f599a63250636446e6354614cd78884cd247a65e[/img)]      (https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Femfarrelly%3Flang%3Den&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGYGGvACPoHh7DUDd9Qa3rHB6zErQ)



Elizabeth Farrelly is a Sydney-based columnist and author who holds a PhD in architecture and several international writing awards. A former editor and Sydney City Councilor, she is also Associate Professor (Practice) at the Australian Graduate School of Urbanism at UNSW. Her books include 'Glenn Murcutt: Three Houses', 'Blubberland; the dangers of happiness' and  Caro Was Here', crime fiction for children (2014).









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VPandya
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:06 pm    Post subject: CITY OF BOSTON AND CHICAGO IN USA WILL NOT GIVE CONSTRUCTION PERMIT WITHOUT PEER REVIEW. Reply with quote

Er . Alpaji ,
Solution  used  for this problem in HIGH RISE TOWER  DESIGN is that City Building Permit Department of  BOSTON  and  CHICAGO  in  USA ,  will not issue construction permit till entire High Rise Tower Design and Construction Documents have gone through SECOND LEVEL REVIEW ( PEER  REVIEW  OR  PROOF  CHECKING )  by a an INDEPENDENDENT  QUALIFIED  STRUCTURAL  ENGINEERING  CONSULTANT .  NO EXCEPTIONS .

BOSTON CITY  LEARNED  THIS HARD WAY  AFTER HAVING MAJOR PROBLEMS  IN A 60 STORY  HIGH RISE BUILDING.

Regards.

Vasudeo  Pandya P.E.
Structural Engineer  


Last edited by VPandya on Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:29 am; edited 2 times in total
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punith kumar m r
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:30 am    Post subject: Do Read-Sub-Standard Tall Building Design In Australia-Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer Reply with quote

On Jan 29, 2019 6:29 PM, "sangeeta_wij" <forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)> wrote:
Quote:
           It’s shocking and an eye opener Alpa, thanks for sharing. Makes me feel less bitter about the design blunders which we routinely come across while reviewing well known Consultant designs.




Best Regards
Sangeeta Wij
President,WISE India
Managing Partner
SD Engineering Consultants LLP
Vice President(North),Indian Association of Structural Engineers,
Fellow and Chartered Engineer, Institution of Engineers
H333 New Rajinder Nagar(Lower Ground Floor),
New Delhi-110060
Ph:9811776210;01145128530


From: alpa_sheth [mailto:forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)]
Sent: 29 January 2019 13:02
To: general@sefindia.org (general@sefindia.org)
Subject: [SEFI] Do Read-Sub-Standard Tall Building Design In Australia-Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer



Dear All:
Am sharing this story about the state of structural engineering in Australia! As a converse to "there is treasure everywhere", "there also is s*** everywhere".
best regards,
Alpa Sheth




********
Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer
[img]https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/BKRBbAyc43q19tzlJWw2Tyt9WSFp-tsIziURxrjtKTMrFuv8CLFAy6C9--fRdoDJqQybMg0yJdXHjlraeM--JjWG_ZIgC2jVQ3eXucxlp0Gq4RO687KzFRGFmvkP4fRef0CgaK6LBV-BJEkC_KWOwgEM4X1yYr4v-foPVSxDevVY6sRQTQQr4d6tdGD03rcKH-CdSzZ__mI=s0-d-e1-ft#https://static.ffx.io/images/%2C/t_crop_fill/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/f599a63250636446e6354614cd78884cd247a65e[/img] By Elizabeth Farrelly 18 January 2019 4:00pm







I'm sorry, run that by me again? We don't require engineers to be licensed, qualified or registered? So the hundreds of shonky-looking resi-towers newly metastasising across our city don't just look like slums-in-waiting but may have no structural or fire integrity to speak of because anyone, including my great aunt Cecily's dog Tozer, can sign their engineering certificates. Seriously?



Illustration: Simon LetchCREDIT:

Tuesday's interim report on the twice-evacuated Opal tower, by engineering professors Hoffman, Cart and Foster, tells us the building is structurally sound, in that it (probably) won't fall down, but has major damage. Two causes are pinpointed: faulty design, using lower-than-required safety factors, and poor construction, deviating from both design and good practice.
The building, as you know, is pretty ornery to look at. A green glass faceted triangle far taller than any neighbours, its look of soulless oppression is relieved only by a number of tall "slots" or "vertical gardens", walled in six-storey pre-cast load-bearing concrete. It's in these walls, and the beams supporting them, that the damage has principally occurred.
But what's fascinating about this appalling concatenation of errors and deceits is the degree to which it is systemic. We don't know how widespread building disasters are because no-one is collecting data, but as the UNSW City Futures Research Institute recently wrote, our "system allowing defective apartment buildings" creates huge social and economic risks for the new compact city.


In our world, building is driven by profit. Beneath that, three systems intersect: legal, planning and engineering. If I owned a new Sydney apartment  which thank God I don't  all three would be keeping me awake at night.
One, the legal situation. Although Opal may not collapse, the hundreds of owners currently embarking on a "no win no fee" class action may yet wish it had. At least then they'd be covered.
You buy an apartment trusting it to be sound, waterproof and safe. But the odds heavily are against you. Not only do studies show that almost three-quarters of apartment buildings have owner-reported defects (the figure rises to 85 per cent for buildings built after 2000) but the owners' capacity to claim against the builder/developer is restricted to near-futility.
In 2015, amendments to the NSW Home Building Act reduced the standard seven-year liability period to six years for "major" defects  defined as a fault in a major element such as a roof or load-bearing structure that prevents a building being lived in  and a mere two years for everything else. Ostensibly, this was about reducing red tape, but those with a mere hundred-litre stormwater dam in their living room or a rotting front door had better be quick.
Any boom encourages fly-by-night developers, tempting them with quick bucks to employ underqualified and inexperienced architects, builders and subbies, who are more available and cheaper. Look around. Anyone with half an architectural eye can see defects everywhere  roof, window, balustrade and wall-capping details that invite water entry; structural sizings that are self-evidently inadequate; stuck-on plastic claddings. Such defects are often "latent"  which is to say they may not present for years and may take further years to diagnose. At least if your building collapses you have six years, not two.


Even so, your chances of legal remedy are remote. The 2014 High Court finding in the case of Brookfield Multiplex v Owners Corporation Strata Plan followed serious defects in a Chatswood resi-tower. The High Court found that, even with a building rendered uninhabitable, the developer-builder owed no duty of care to purchasers, who apparently should have been able to negotiate protections into their original contract. This, combined with the excruciating cost of litigation, helps explain why so few such cases go to court and why, although it's manifestly unfair, most owners end up footing ongoing rectification costs themselves.
Then there's the planning system. Opal Tower, designed by Bates Smart, looks cheap. It wasn't, a one-bedroom apartment selling off the plan for $720K, but it has the mean, undernourished look of the badly detailed and existentially insecure. So I was staggered to learn both that it had been approved as a State Significant Development and had achieved several storeys over the local height limit due to "design excellence".
State Significant? Design Excellence? How could a private residential tower amid a record building boom be state significant? And how could a nasty concoction of green glass and faceted spandrels be "design excellence"? The answer lies wedged into the chasm between rhetoric and motive.
SSD pretends to stop cowboy councils playing silly buggers with development but actually delivers the unfettered ministerial discretion necessary for rampant cronyism. With no requirement for ministers to justify the "state significant" designation, SSD enables an asset-stripping government to slide all crown and public lands under its own jurisdiction, then frantically up-zone for maximum profit.


Right now, this includes the Bays Precinct, Darling Harbour, Honeysuckle, Luna Park, Fox Studios, Taronga, Redfern-Waterloo, Barangaroo, the Rocks, the 17-storey Parramatta Eels hotel now proposed on crown land at Parramatta Park and  surprise  Olympic Park.
A developer need only propose something sufficiently gargantuan on public land and, presto!  straight to Minister Lunchalot. Said minister, if questioned, will likely point to the "Design Excellence" process that purports to ensure such outsize buildings are at least well designed. Except, well, Opal.
But by far the scariest of this week's Opal revelations is the fact that  excepting Queensland  Australia's engineers are entirely unregulated. Engineers Australia is the professional body. "Anyone can claim to be an engineer, provide engineering services and use it in their marketing without any regulation," its website says. The only register is voluntary. If EA strikes someone off for shonky practice, they can self-resurrect the next day, no questions asked.
This is nuts. Engineers  fire, structural and civil  we trust with our lives. In boom situations, where local firms are routinely swallowed by international conglomerates (such as WSP which engineered Opal), where the market is flooded with shonky materials and practices are self-certified, unregulated engineering makes sense like unregulated brain surgery. Welcome to Faulty Towers.
Source: https://www.smh.com.au/national/welcome-to-the-faulty-towers-state-where-any-mug-s-an-engineer-20190117-p50s14.html


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Elizabeth Farrelly is a Sydney-based columnist and author who holds a PhD in architecture and several international writing awards. A former editor and Sydney City Councilor, she is also Associate Professor (Practice) at the Australian Graduate School of Urbanism at UNSW. Her books include 'Glenn Murcutt: Three Houses', 'Blubberland; the dangers of happiness' and ‘Caro Was Here', crime fiction for children (2014).
     



     



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Rudra Nevatia
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Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Posts: 206
Location: Mumbai

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:30 pm    Post subject: Do Read-Sub-Standard Tall Building Design In Australia-Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug's an engineer Reply with quote

Hi Devendra,

I support Sangeeta unequivocally. 


In fact, bigger the name, bigger seems to be the blunder. There are two possible reasons : 


1. As the Consultant grows big so does his/her hubris and that is when learning stops.


2. Big Consultants are inundated with work which is mostly left to juniors.


Regards,


Rudra Nevatia




PS : Devendra, hopefully you won't be outraged again by my support for Sangeeta. After all you and I have been pals for more than half a century.

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