Helitec saves the façade of an iconic 1930’s apartment block from collapse
Raking shores were erected to provide emergency temporary support to façade brickwork. Wall plates and shores were used to support the dangerously bowed and unstable brickwork at this Bondi Rescue.
With the brick façade of their classic mid-20th century Bondi apartment block heritage in danger of collapse, the owners of this iconic building sought advice from an engineer, who quickly called in Helitec technicians for an urgent inspection.
Helitec found large gaps between the façade brickwork and the window reveals, where the external leaf of brickwork had moved outward from the structure.
After checking the alignment of the brickwork, our experts inspected the wall ties and immediately found that the reason the external skin had ‘bowed’ severely, due to wall tie corrosion where the rusted wall ties no longer offered any effective support to the wall.
A rescue plan was put in place. Helitec secured the façade with the ‘Helibeam®’ stainless steel reinforcement system and ‘ResiTie®’ remedial wall ties, installing them in an intense pattern throughout the façade (as you can see in the sequence of photographs below.)
Scaffolding was built completely independent to the façade brickwork to avoid any disturbance or de-stabilising of the façade.
Needles were constructed to support upper brick courses and lintels whilst replacement wall sections were built.
High tensile Helibeam® stainless steel reinforcement was retro-fitted in four locations to increase the in-plane and out-of-plane flexural strength of the masonry.
Although some demolition and re-building was required of the façade brickwork in the most severely affected areas, most of the façade was able to be salvaged and secured by installing stainless steel ResiTies® at a higher-than-usual density. Helitec builders also performed other important repairs at the time, including repointing some of the badly weathered mortar bed joints and replacing some of the window storm moldings and flashings where needed.
Not only was the façade was saved and the original character and appearance of the building preserved – the operation also delivered considerable cost savings and peace of mind for the building owners and occupants.