Our structural and civil engineers were faced with an unusual challenge – design of apartments in a remote area subject to high wind loads, perched on the edge of a mountain, effectively abutting a cliff, with a requirement that the buildings were to be constructed in reinforced concrete and masonry.
The building was to be constructed in a high risk area on a steep site with a gradient approaching 30 degrees. After significant investigations, trial excavation, detailed analysis and risk assessment, a foundation and building structural system was designed to ensure the building constituted a ‘negligible risk’ option in terms of slope stability and landslide assessment. Bearing pressures were kept relatively low and passive rock dowels were installed through footings that were stepped down the slope to ensure adequate restraint of the structure.
The superstructure of the 3 storey buildings was detailed to allow the buildings to be constructed as a 3m cantilever from the leading edge footings using ‘deep wall’ reinforced masonry. The floor framing system incorporated a cantilevered steel beam system that reduced propping to a minimum and avoided propping back to ground. The lower level floor slab became a working platform for the upper level building and consisted of bondek slabs supported on steel beams and reinforced block masonry walls. The roof was designed as a conventionally framed timber roof to resist the significant wind pressures resulting from the topography of the site.
The progressive construction of the buildings was regularly inspected by L+R’s engineers to ensure comprehensive compliance with the detailed specifications. Our engineers worked with the Builder and Architect to ensure that the building program was maintained without any impact on the quality of the construction or finishes.
The success of the project has been recognised at the 2013 Institute of Architect’s Awards (Gold Coast / Northern Rivers), winning the following categories:
House of the year
People’s Choice Award
Scope of Services Provided
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