Kensington Gatehouse Facade & Balcony Repairs

Client Gatehouse Owners Corporation c/o Australian Property Management
Location Kensington, Melbourne
Scope Of Work Project Management of the rectification of timber balconies which were in a dilapidated condition
Schedule 3 stages of works over 2 years
Architect Nil

Project Detail

Predicted Cost: $1.4M + GST          Actual Cost: $600K + GST

Builder: Witbreuk Services Group     Year Completed: December 2016

The Gatehouse Complex, Kensington was built in 1903 as the Administrative, Quarantine and Workshop Complex within the Newmarket Saleyard.  The saleyard was established in 1861 and was decommissioned in 1985. The Administrative, Quarantine and Workshop Complex is one of the surviving buildings on the Newmarket Saleyard’s site and is situated on the northwest length of the Gatehouse complex.  Due to the building’s history and original use, the property is now covered under the Heritage Victoria Register heritage overlay, as a historically significant building. The townhouses surrounding the listed building, built during the 1990s as part of the Kensington Banks Development, are not affected by the heritage overlay.

The Gatehouse Owners Corporation Committee (OCC) at Stockmans Way, become aware of minor issues relating to the façades of their buildings and structural problems to their balconies. From extensive analysis carried out by SCS, the state of disrepair of certain balconies incurred safety and insurance issues.  The rectification of the balconies was therefore an urgent issue relating to the ability of the OC to maintain its mandatory insurance.

Balcony rectification works were undertaken in 3 stages. Stockmans Way balconies were the first stage as they were in the worst condition, but there was an opportunity to modify the balconies to make them more usable for the occupants. SCS helped the Owners Corporation prepare a Town Planning submission on behalf of the affected owners which was accepted by Council. These balconies were completed at the end of 2015. Stage 2 were the internal balconies which needed modification of the balustrade and sign off by a structural engineer that they were structurally adequate. Of these balconies, only 3 needed rebuilding. Stage 3 balconies were in good condition and needed no works.

The structural issues were centred around the cantilevered balconies where rotting timber was causing a major issue.  SCS helped document the project, included some value-added solutions involving the extension of some balconies to make them more user friendly; and decreasing the scope of work where it was not necessary. SCS was able to help the Owners Corporation achieve façade rectifications, balcony replacements and painting for half the original projected cost.

Key scope aspects included:

  • To rectify timber balconies to the satisfaction of the Owners Corporation Insurer
  • Reduced overall costs to the Owners Corporation to keep within budget;
  • Staging of the project to prioritise the structurally compromised balconies first;
  • Continued communication and engagement with the Owners Corporation and all owners.

Scope of works:

  • Rectification of the worst affected balconies through rebuild including extensions
  • Repairs to Non-Stockmans Way townhouse balconies, both minor and moderate repairs
  • Repairs to townhouse facades throughout
  • Independently appointed painter painted all facades throughout