There will be no Mascot or Opal towers style evacuations but four blocks comprising 900 new apartments in Sydney’s Macquarie Park are at risk of eventually collapsing due to “serious damage” to the concrete in the basement, the NSW Building Commission says.
Inspections at Lachlan’s Line at 23 Halifax Street have revealed “serious damage and spalling of the concrete slab at the joint locations in basements and the ground floor” according to reports on ABC News and in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Spalling, more commonly known as concrete cancer, occurs when steel reinforcements inside concrete rust and expand weakening the surrounding materials. Warning signs are rusty discolouration and cracks in the concrete.
The spalling in concrete at the base of the building was caused by defective workmanship, according to Matt Press, the acting assistant building commissioner, who issued urgent work rectification orders to developer Greenland.
“This is a defect in a building product or building element that causes or is likely to cause the basement slab to fail, namely, to fracture and collapse, leading to the destruction of the building or any part, or the threat of collapse of the building or any part,” he wrote.
The reported defect would likely mean the concrete slab would eventually be unable “to withstand the carpark and ground floor loads” however the defects present no immediate danger to residents and related to “the long-term durability of the basement levels of the building only, not to any units within the complex”.
The Lachlan’s Line precinct was completed in 2019, consisting of four buildings containing a total of 900 apartments, with a retail village on the ground floor.
The high-rise buildings above ground as well as the retail village on the ground floor, share the basement area.
The order was released on Monday, calling on Greenland to “remediate the serious and/or potential serious defects” identified.
Greenland has been given eight months to rectify the concerns. In a statement, the company said it had been following all directions made by the commission to resolve the situation, and that no other buildings it had developed were impacted.
“There is no serious damage or serious structural defects at the project,” Greenland said, after working with engineering consultants to investigate the matter.
Greenland Group was founded in Shanghai, China, in 1992 and operates in nine countries.
It describes itself as a “leader” in ultra-high-rise buildings, specialising in “developing large-scale projects while prioritising quality and efficiency” on its Australian website, which was inaccessible on Wednesday afternoon.
The group has 23 projects under construction or completed internationally, and established its Australian arm in 2013, based in Sydney.
“Greenland Australia has become known as one of the country’s leading developers of residential communities,” its website said.