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  • $19m leaks bill for seaside tower block

    $19m leaks bill for seaside tower block

    4:00AM Saturday May 30, 2009
    By Anne Gibson
    Photo / NZ Herald


    EXCLUSIVE: One of New Zealand's most controversial apartment blocks, the $65 million Nautilus apartment tower in Orewa, is the latest victim of leaky-building syndrome.

    Leak specialist Prendos has been called in to investigate problems at the 12-level tower, which dominates the beachside town.
    One source said the repair bill was expected to reach $19 million, which would make it New Zealand's most expensive leaky building.
    The Nautilus tower dominates otherwise low-rise Orewa's skyline, and was widely opposed by residents when developer Rick Martin sought planning permission for it.
    This week, Mr Martin acknowledged the building had problems, and blamed international builder Brookfield Multiplex.
    Maintenance had not been done properly, Mr Martin claimed, and if the blame lay anywhere it was not with his Cornerstone Group.
    John Pringle, who owns an apartment on level eight of the tower and heads the Nautilus owners' committee, said all inquiries about problems were being handled by the body corporate secretary, Centurion Management.

    Asked about leaks, Mr Pringle would only say: "We haven't had any report back yet."
    Philip O'Sullivan, of Prendos, yesterday said his firm had been engaged to complete a detailed analysis.
    Prendos has specialised in investigating complicated leaky-building problems, believed to have affected between 30,000 and 80,000 New Zealand properties, including many multi-unit blocks built within the past nine years.
    The 152-unit Nautilus at 9-13 Tamariki Ave was built six years ago and units sold from about $250,000 each.
    It is not yet known how many units are affected.
    One source who knew about the tower's problem said Nautilus repairs could make that block the subject of the country's largest weathertightness dispute.
    "The building has had a failure of the alucobond cladding, and all cladding, substrates and deck finishings have to be ripped off and replaced," he said
    Work on the project had started.
    "The cost is $133,000 per unit, which is approximately $18 million to $19 million."
    Dan Ashby, managing director of Brookfield Multiplex Construction (NZ), which built the tower, said that in November, he had offered to meet those involved but had heard nothing since.
    Around that time, he was sent extracts from a Prendos report indicating "systemic and global failures" at the tower and maintenance and design detail problems.
    These allegations were sweeping generalisations, he said, and not helpful.
    Mr Ashby is understood to have written to Mr Martin, challenging the Prendos report and saying Brookfield was not responsible for the tower's design.
    Mr Ashby said he was willing to discuss the issue, but the builder's job had finished years ago, and his company had received no notification of any claim against it.
    A Rodney District Council spokesman said he knew investigations had been done, but the council was not involved because no application had been made for repairs or recladding and no litigation issues had been raised.
    Cornerstone, Multiplex Construction, Walker Architects and Rodney District Council were all involved when the building went up, he said.
    Many Nautilus units are for sale or rent. Some are advertised on a website that is offering some nights free.
    Mr Martin said three years ago that out of more than 1000 units he had built, only about 100 leaked.
    Claddings were a major contributor to the problem and he had banned the use of all fibre-cement plaster-coated monolithic sheet cladding products from all projects.
    BIGGEST CASES
    NZ's most expensive leaky buildings:
    $11 million won by owners of the 153-unit Sacramento complex in Botany Downs.
    $15 million sought by owners of Farnham Terrace, a 41-unit Parnell block.
    $18-19 million? estimated cost to fix the Nautilus tower in Orewa.


    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/n...0575474&pnum=0
    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

  • #2
    Nautilus tower 'in no danger'

    4:00AM Monday Jun 01, 2009
    By Anne Gibson
    Rick Martin. Photo / Herald file
    Rick Martin, who developed Orewa's Nautilus high-rise apartment block, says the tower is not rotting and is not typical of most leaky buildings.
    "If the building has been leaking then at least it's not going to rot and fall down. Even all the decks are concrete," Mr Martin said.
    The Weekend Herald uncovered huge problems at the controversial tower in the beachside town that building consultants Prendos, which specialises in diagnosing weathertightness issues, was investigating. The tower's owners, through its body corporate, have been in meetings for years, and are now trapped between the builder and developer.
    Mr Martin, of Cornerstone Group, acknowledged there were problems, and confirmed the Prendos probe, but said the 12-level tower was in no danger.
    "The one thing that I'd like to point out is the big difference between the Nautilus and the normal leaky building is that it's built out of concrete, steel and treated timber," he said.
    "As far as I know there was no untreated timber used on the Nautilus. By the time of its construction, I had told the architect and builders that no untreated timber was to ever be used on any Cornerstone projects. We even had some of the timber samples sent away for testing and all tests showed that it was treated timber."
    Mr Martin took issue with comments from Dan Ashby, head of Brookfield Multiplex Constructions (NZ), whose firm put up the tower. Mr Ashby said he had heard nothing since late last year when he offered to meet parties involved, after receiving extracts from the Prendos report on the tower citing "global and systemic" issues.
    "Dan's comments are a joke. As far as I know the body corporate have been on to Multiplex about this for years. All of it should have been fixed long before now under the building warranty. It's hard to believe that I've spent nearly a $100 million with Multiplex," Mr Martin said.
    Multiplex built many of Cornerstone's big developments including the North Shore's tallest tower, the 30-level Sentinel apartment and shopping block in Takapuna's heart.
    Mr Ashby partly blamed poor maintenance at Nautilus for issues thought to particularly affect the cladding. One source claimed the tower's body corporate was planning a claim of $18 million to $19 million which would make it New Zealand's largest defective building dispute.
    Brookfield Multiplex did have warranty provisions in its contract to build the tower, he said, but these did not include fixing it because it had been badly maintained.
    It is understood Brookfield Multiplex has engaged its own building expert, Brian Duffy of consultants Contrado, to mount a separate investigation.
    Mr Ashby said lack of maintenance, problems with the design detailing in the tower's original plans and the materials which had been selected for the tower were issues which deserved examination.
    He said he was happy to meet the parties who had concerns. But since extending this offer in November, he had heard nothing.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/n...ectid=10575751
    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

    Comment


    • #3
      This guy doesn't know much about the effect of water: Concrete is porous. Water, if allowed to remain next to the concrete for long periods, is absorbed into the concrete. Eventually, it reaches the steel reinforcing and causes the steel to rust. When steel rusts, it expands, and starts pushing pieces of concrete off the outside of the beams, thereby increasing the exposure to water, thereby making the problem worse.

      Does anyone know anything about "alucobond" cladding?

      Comment


      • #4
        Didn't PJ buy a apartment here some time ago too?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by whitt View Post
          Didn't PJ buy a apartment here some time ago too?
          Matt Gilliagan bought a couple "at a discount to market" after completion. Not sure if he still owns them.

          Comment


          • #6
            The real point here is that the building, once the cladding is fixed, will be unique for the next 10-15 years and should earn the appropriate yield.

            The Herald reports an average cost of 140k per unit.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Green Fish View Post
              This guy doesn't know much about the effect of water: Concrete is porous. Water, if allowed to remain next to the concrete for long periods, is absorbed into the concrete. Eventually, it reaches the steel reinforcing and causes the steel to rust. When steel rusts, it expands, and starts pushing pieces of concrete off the outside of the beams, thereby increasing the exposure to water, thereby making the problem worse.

              Does anyone know anything about "alucobond" cladding?

              apparently it is what you use to cover cracked concrete

              Many developments now suffer from stained concrete, cracked masonry, falling render and other time related problems. Inevitably this results in an unattractive appearance and a fall in commercial value. An ALUCOBOND® over cladding system will dramatically improve the visual effect of an old building and restore the property's value. ALUCOBOND® offers outstanding protection from the weather, will withstand the effects of industrial pollution and will save energy. It is lightweight, quick to install and easy to maintain. ALUCOBOND® is available in a range of colours and sizes.

              http://www.skypanel.com.au/architect.html
              have you defeated them?
              your demons

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Green Fish View Post
                This guy doesn't know much about the effect of water: Concrete is porous. Water, if allowed to remain next to the concrete for long periods, is absorbed into the concrete. Eventually, it reaches the steel reinforcing and causes the steel to rust. When steel rusts, it expands, and starts pushing pieces of concrete off the outside of the beams, thereby increasing the exposure to water, thereby making the problem worse.
                Check out the Tolaga Bay wharf for a visual example of this.

                Comment

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