39. 2005 – Three steel frames

It is such a mysterious place, the land of tears.

On 2 April 2004 Kevin Chahoud of the Council of the City of Sydney advised Mrs Voukelatos, the joint owner of 39 Glebe Point Road, that, while Council had not done done an audit of the property, Term 2 of the Emergency Order could now be carried out there.

On 14 April Council’s Bruce Ansted and Kevin Chahoud recorded in their files that Amir Bodenstein had raised issues regarding the south-eastern wall of the property and said that the wall was in danger of collapse.

Bodenstein’s claim that Phillip Johnston was a civil, and not a structural, engineer was confirmed by the Institute of Engineers.

Chahoud noted that Johnston’s structural design for the property was acceptable and that if there were any concerns re collapse of the wall, then a barricade should be erected with the distance of the barricade from the wall being equivalent to the height of the wall.

On 19 April Chahoud visited the property to meet Greg Baines of Waterfall Building Contractors which were undertaking bracing works there.

On 22 April Chahoud advised Mr and Mrs Voukelatos that Council considered it necessary that fencing (a barricade) be installed adjacent to the sidewall on the eastern boundary to increase site security and any risk to the public.

On 1 August Chahoud wrote an internal Council memo in which he recorded details of his conversations with Bodenstein and Johnston and noted that he had informed Bodenstein that “Council was looking at Term 3 of the order, which was approval of permanent structural works to the building”.

On 4 August Johnston updated the owners, Mr and Mrs Voukelatos, on the progress of works at 39 Glebe Point Road and advised that he had issued a certificate in relation to the Emergency Order of 23 March 2004.

Specifically he reported that in April reinforcement supports had been put in place and concrete poured and in July joints in the brickwork had been refilled and temporary connections provided between the timber stud frames and the steel posts.

On 11 August Council issued a Notice of Determination and on 24 March Johnston sent preliminary structural details to the owners.

On 15 October Mr Voukelatos replied to Johnston, attaching a letter from Council regarding the construction certificate and asking to meet him onsite.

On 22 November Johnston wrote back to Voukelatos, detailing the proposed alterations:

  • a new concrete slab on ground,
  • removal of an internal cross-wall, and provision of three steel frames to provide lateral support to the side walls,
  • leveling and stiffening of the first floor frame, and
  • timber framed internal walls at first floor level.

He noted that “the proposed work does not add any significant load to the existing structure”.

On the same day Council sent a construction certificate to Mr Voukelatos.

On 20 January 2005 Council’s Mrs Gorman advised him “the hinging mechanism should be able to withstand all loads and a certificate of compliance from your structural engineer confirming this will also be required to be submitted to Council prior to constructing the new steps”.

Contents
1. Term 2 can be carried out
2. Temporarily bracing
3. Three steel frames


1. Term 2 can be carried out

The structural details submitted to the Council are in response to Term No. 1 of the Emergency Order on the property at 39 Glebe Point Road.

02.04.04 Mr Kevin Chahoud (City of Sydney) to Mrs Voukelatos *MU 1, 505

“As per our telephone conversation, Council is in receipt of the proposed rectification details prepared by Phillip Johnston, Consulting Engineer, for the above address.

The details submitted to Council are in response to Term No. 1 of a recent Emergency Order placed on the above property, in that a full audit of the details was not done Council’s structural engineer has indicated that the work specified in the details are acceptable and that Term 2 of the Emergency Order can be carried out.”

14.04.04 Bruce Ansted (City of Sydney) Record of Conversation *MV 1, 506

“T. Dartnel signed emergency order (contact is Kevin Chahoud) re: unstable wall.

Owner supplied Temporary bracing details.”

14.04.04 Kevin Chahoud File Note *MW 1-3, 507-9

“Received phone call from Amir Bodenstein raising certain issues in relation to temporary bracing of south/eastern wall of building. His concerns were:

Danger to public from collapse of wall. Structural details accepted by Council were prepared by Phillip Johnston, who is not a structural engineer. Advised Mr Bodenstein that the issues raised be considered & followed up.   Rang Institute of Engineers who confirmed that Mr Phillip Johnston was a civil engineer and not registered as structural engineer.

Rang Kevin Chahoud on this and asked for recommendation re bracing design & potential collapse of wall.

Kevin advised that structural design was acceptable. If there were any concerns re collapse of the wall then a barricade should be erected with the distance of the barricade from the wall being equivalent to the height of the wall.

Sent e-mail to Mr Bodenstein to advise that I would be attending site tomorrow.”

19.04.04 Kevin Chahoud Internal File Note *MX 1, 510

“Visited the site at the above address on 19-04-04 (with Shane Kelly, Building Surveyor). The purpose of the visit was to meet with the construction contractors (Waterfall Building Contractors – Greg Baines) to discuss progress of bracing works being undertaken as a result of Council’s Emergency Order.”

22.04.04 Mr Chahoud to Baines & Voukelatos *MY 1, 511

“As per our recent telephone conversation and site visit, Council’s considers it necessary that fencing (barricade) is installed adjacent to the sidewall on the eastern boundary to increase site security and any risk to the public.

It is also considered necessary that works be completed as a matter of urgency and that the site’s engineer inspect the works regularly.”

01.08.04 Mr Chahoud Internal Memo *MZ1, 512

“Record of recent conversations with Amir Bodenstein and Phillip Johnston Structural Engineer.

26-7-04

Amir Bodenstein called, following a lengthy conversation, he was informed that Council was looking at Term 3 of the order, which was approval of permanent structural works to the building.

29-7-04

Spoke to Mr Bodenstein re Emergency Order, we discussed at length Notice issued by Bruce Ansted approx 2.5 years ago.”

2. Temporarily bracing

Mr Johnston issues a certificate in reference to the Emergency Order.

04.08.04 Mr Johnston to Mr & Mrs Voukelatos CQ 1, 141

“Refer – Emergency Order dated 29/3/04, File No S031391.

Structural Details for temporarily bracing dated 26/3/04, by Phillip Johnston

Structural Details. The details dated 26/3/04 showed the proposed temporary bracing. No alteration to the existing sandstone footing were considered advisable, as all of the walls in the building should be on similar footings and foundation material. Holes excavated beside the footing by a former tenant were backfilled with recycled concrete, tamped firmly into place.

Site inspections of Work.  Preparation for pouring the base slab and post anchorage were seen on 19th April 2004, when the plastic membrane reinforcement, and post anchor bolts were in place, and after completing some reinforcement supports, were satisfactory for pouring of concrete to proceed.

The completed bracing was seen on 29th July 2004.  Joints in the brickwork, partially removed when the interior render was removed by a former tenant, were refilled. Temporary connections were provided between the timber stud frames and the steel posts, and are adequate for the current purpose. The 150×75 shown in the details is to be provided as part of the proposed permanent construction under the recently approved D.A. The remaining work is in accordance with the approved details.”

D.A. Approval and construction certificate. The D.A. that Mr & Mrs Voukelatos lodged was approved. Mr Johnston is the Structural Engineer and City of Sydney is the Principal Certifying Authority.

11.08.04 Council’s Notice of Determination *OB 1, 515

“Consent is to operate from 11 August 2004”

24.09.04 Mr Johnston to Mr & Mrs Voukelatos *OC 1, 516

“Preliminary Structural Details”

15.10.04 Mr Voukelatos to Mr Johnston *OD 1-2, 517-8

“To Phillip Johnston
Structural Engineer

Dear Phillip

Re: 39 Glebe Pt. Rd., Glebe

I attach copy of council letter re the construction certificate & ask for your assistance regarding points (2) & (6). Please contact me when you are in a position to commence the work so I can meet you on site re the drainage levels.”

3. Three steel frames

19.11.04 Mr Voukelatos to Mrs Gorman (City of Sydney) *OE 1, 519

“6. Structural adequacy of the existing building – see attached letter and plans from Phillip Johnston.”

22.11.04 Mr Johnston to Mr Voukelatos *OF 1-2,p. 520-1

“Adequacy of Existing Structure

This is in response to Item 6 in a fax from Council dated 14th October 2004, requesting a letter on ‘the structure adequacy of the existing building to carry the new loads’.

The proposed alterations within the existing building comprise

-a new concrete slab on ground,

-removal of an internal cross-wall, and provision of three steel frames to provide lateral support to the side walls,

-leveling and stiffening of the first floor frame, and

-timber framed internal walls at first floor level.

This proposed work does not add any significant load to the existing structure.”

22.11.04 City of Sydney to Mr Voukelatos *OG 1-3, 522-4

“Construction Certificate

Cost of development:   $150,000.00

Date of determination: 22 November 2004

It is noted that Council has been appointed as the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) for this application.”

20.01.05 Mrs Gorman (City of Sydney) to Mr Voukelatos *OH 1, 525

“The hinging mechanism should be able to withstand all loads and a certificate of compliance from your structural engineer confirming this will also be required to be submitted to Council prior to constructing the new steps.”