633 Church Street, Richmond, Victoria


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 Typical balcony, showing water penetration thru slab above the window

Typical balcony, showing water penetration thru slab above the window

 Investigation adjacent window showing lack of effective membrane

Investigation adjacent window showing lack of effective membrane

 Badly corroded balustrade post support

Badly corroded balustrade post support

REHABILITATION OF HIGH RISE BUILDING BALCONIES
633 Church Street, Richmond, Victoria
CLIENT: ICONIC STRATA MANAGEMENT PTY LTD FOR THE OWNERS CORPORATION

Constructed in 1999, 633 Church St Richmond is a prominent eight-storey building that houses a restaurant on the ground floor and residential apartments from levels 2-8. The building features 84 reinforced concrete balconies which cantilever out on all sides of the building. Major problems identified by the owners included storm water penetration into the apartments and through the balcony slabs and severe corrosion to the steel balustrade support posts.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

• Condition assessment, repair design/specification and project management of repairs
• 84 balconies and balustrades rehabilitated
• Rope access by Infracorr engineers for condition assessment
• Balcony waterproofing membrane failure, moisture entry into apartments and cracked balcony slabs
• Severe corrosion of steel balustrade support posts
• Major project to waterproof balconies and replace all glass balustrading to authority requirements

CHALLENGES

Access through the apartmentswas considered too intrusive to the residents. Hence, all works needed to be conducted from the building’s exterior. Water penetration into the apartments was occurring mainly via a construction joint between the balcony slab and the concrete ‘hob’ upon which the window is founded. The design needed to correct this issue. Water penetration into the apartments during the works was a potential risk. Hence it was imperative that the design provided minimum delays/cure between the work items. Corrosion of the existing balustrade support posts was largely occurring at or below the level of the tiles. The design needed to ensure this did not recur. Issues during the construction phase required Infracorr to:
• Liaise with local council to obtain the necessary permits.
• Ensure that the contractor’s works were performed in accordance with Infracorr ‘s specification.
• Project manage the works for the Owners Corporation

SOLUTION

Testing included balcony slab Half Cell Potential mapping and Ultrasonic Thickness Testing (UTT) to the steel balustrade posts. Infracorr performed the investigations utilising its IRATA trained rope access engineers. No structural problems were detected. The investigations enabled the preparation of a design for the rehabilitation works.
To ensure no recurrence of any water penetration, the design specified slab crack/joint sealing and two layers of cementitious membrane.
The initial membrane was required to be applied to the balcony slab and the second membrane to be applied to the new grading screed to be constructed over the initial membrane layer. Special requirements at the slab/window ‘hob’ and at all slab/wall joints were detailed.
Aluminium balustrading structural members were specified by Infracorr, with special waterproofing details required at the base of the posts.

RESULTS

The repair contractor divided the project into two stages:
Stage 1: Commenced in May 2017. Demolition works confirmed the findings of the investigation that virtually no effective waterproofing membrane was present.
Stage 2: The works commenced in September 2017 and are planned for completion by end of 2017. Infracorr’s inspections during the works indicated that the required quality is being achieved by the contractor, Asset & Rehabilitation Services.

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