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Mascot Towers plagued with defects since 2011

Mascot Towers plagued with defects since 2011
Owners of Sydney’s residential building Mascot Towers have battled building defects including “structural movements” since 2011, new documents show.

Strata minutes for the building show that in March 2011, owners of the tower, which was evacuated last Friday following safety concerns, called an extraordinary meeting to commission engineer MES Consulting to investigate defects following the discovery of basement cracks and leaks in the carwash bay.

The 131-unit building at 1-5 Bourke Street was completed around 2009. 

Peak Towers at 27 Church Avenue (L) side by side with Mascot Towers (R). Wolter Peeters

MES Consulting’s investigations also revealed there were faulty gas meters and leaks in common area corridors.

Leaks were later found to have been caused by “poor sealing practice at construction and in the construction joists”.

“Consulting plumbers had identified that no hot water pumps had been installed to drive heated water into the upper levels of both towers resulting in very poor pressure for those residing in upper levels,” documents said.

Builder J & B Elias had agreed to fix the defects at no cost to the owners, and a “spirit of co-operation of existed between the owner’s corporation and the builder”.

However, the defects returned after the repairs ,which were found to be “below general industry and Building Code of Australia standards and that problems were arising again subsequent to completion”.

“The committee noted its serious concerns in the builder’s commitment and ability to address these issues,” documents said.

The owners’ engineer said many of the “interior apartment defects” were “repetitive in nature” and that the “volume of work required to correct was very significant”.

J & B Elias could not be contacted.

Mascot Towers boarded up.  Wolter Peeters

Aland Developments, developer of the tower next door, Peak Towers, told The Australian Financial Review exclusively they too discovered the existing defects in Mascot Towers long before they started their construction at Peak Towers, which was recently completed.

Earlier this week, the Financial Review revealed owners wanted to seek compensation from the builders and service providers constructing the tower next door, Peak Towers at 27 Church Avenue, alleging the problems were caused by works being done.

Photos from Aland’s pre-construction dilapidation report conducted by an engineering consultancy show the same cracks that are now seen in the tower’s basement existed in 2017.

“The dilapidation report from Australian Consulting Engineers as well as revelations of legal action by the owners corporation of Mascot Towers against several parties including an engineering firm over ‘new slip joint defects’ as far back as July last year confirm the structural issues with Mascot Towers is completely unrelated to work on Aland’s Peak Towers,” Aland Developments managing director Andrew Hrsto told the Financial Review.

“We have intentionally limited our commentary about the structural damage to Mascot towers to date to allow the independent technical investigation being undertaken to run its course without interference.

“However, we feel compelled to respond to some of the reckless commentary and speculation in recent days that has sought to pre-empt and in some cases shape the outcome of investigations.”

Residents are only allowed to collect items from their apartments. Louise Kennerley

Mascot Tower owners who have been evacuated from the building have not yet received further information about the condition of their building or causes of the cracks that led to Friday’s evacuation.

Credit: Financial Review Su-Lin Tan 20Jun19

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