In The News: Victorian Body Corporate Services

Discussion in 'Social & Local community news' started by 166news, May 1, 2017.

  1. 166news

    166news Active Member Staff Member

    South Yarra balcony collapse: Apartment blocks across Melbourne potentially unsafe, experts warn

    [​IMG] Liam Mannix

    Apartment balconies across Melbourne are potentially unsafe, engineers say.

    The warning comes after a young woman was critically injured when she fell from a crumbling balcony in South Yarra on Saturday night.
    The host of a house party in South Yarra has been injured after the wall to her third floor balcony partially collapsed.

    Engineers warned on Monday badly designed, unreinforced, unmaintained and unsafe balconies were common in apartments across the city.

    "I see it enough to say it does not surprise me when these balconies collapse," said Karl Apted, vice-president of the Association of Consulting Structural Engineers Victoria.

    "I'm surprised you don't hear of more collapses."

    Paramedics were called to a Toorak Road apartment about 11pm on Saturday, after a 27-year-old woman fell two storeys during a house-warming party.

    The woman's fall was broken by tree branches. She was pulled from the rubble by paramedics and taken to The Alfred hospital in a critical condition.

    City of Stonnington municipal building surveyor Ian Robson was sent in to inspect the balcony after the collapse.He said poor building standards were widespread in 1960s apartments in the area.

    "Buildings of this area can be hit and miss, there was a boom in the 1960s and some of them weren't built that well. The whole building will have to be reviewed now. It was never strong enough when it was built, that's the thing, but it's probably deteriorated."

    With so much poor work on existing buildings, apartments should be required by law to have their balconies checked annually by an engineer, said Wayne Liddy national vice president of the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors.
    "I don't believe that balconies are given the attention they deserve. There is no statutory requirement.The older the building is the more they slip outside any regulatory requirement."

    With any boom time, the '60s or current times, there are buildings going up very quickly, there are components that get through the system.

    "When you've got life safety issues, the best way is to legislate."While fire hydrants and exits in an apartment building must be checked annually by law, no such laws apply to balconies, he said.

    Victorian Body Corporate Services, who manage the building's owners' corporation, did not respond to requests for comment by deadline.

    Last edited: May 1, 2017

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