John Curtin Gallery Facade Remediation

John Curtin Gallery Facade Remediation
May 6, 2020 hoskins_2sWneSj62l7

Client: Curtin University
Designer: Armstrong Parkin
Services Consultant: BG&E

FOLLOWING ON FROM STRUCTURAL INVESTIGATIONS CARRIED OUT BY BG&E, WE WERE ENGAGED BY CURTIN UNIVERSITY TO UNDERTAKE THE WORKS THAT WOULD ENSURE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY FOR THIS PROMINENT BUILDING IN THE HEART OF THE BENTLEY CAMPUS. INITIAL INVESTIGATIONS SHOWED THAT THE STRUCTURAL FAILINGS WERE CAUSED BY THE LACK OF BRICK TIES BETWEEN THE WALLS, EFFECTIVELY CAUSING THE FAÇADE TO PULL AWAY FROM THOSE INTERNALLY.

Features of this project included:

With the gallery needing to be operational throughout, we worked closely with the stakeholders to ensure entries, escape routes and delivery points for artworks were maintained despite the requirements for full scaffolding surrounding the building.

Not only was the gallery to remain operational so to were the surrounding buildings and tenants including Aroma Café, the Hive and CITS meaning that all works occurred out of hours. The gallery was also open on Sundays, reducing what is classically out of hours works. We were also flexible to last minute requests for planned works to be changed to accommodate visiting dignitaries and groups.

Upon commencement it become clear that the existing brick capping was lift and flashings were breaking bonds between the bricks below causing water ingress and rusting the brick ties that were there.

This capping was removed and systematically over 5000 thorhelical ties were either replaced or installed as well as new structural bracing to support the parapet wall. During tender it was thought that 2000 ties would be needed.

During these works we also investigated large cracks that were identified prior but their cause not determined. By removing bricks surrounding the cracks and inserting cameras we were able to find the causes including the lack of structural steel supports and brick ties that only existed in parts of the wall.

These investigations also uncovered missing window and door lintels or those that were not providing the necessary support. We remediated these and installed where required. This also required a new awning to the café tenancy.

The brick capping was replaced by polished concrete cappings that were installed via crane lifts that were staged to minimise closure to walkways and therefore disruption.

During the works, we also worked collaboratively with Curtin and the engineers to investigate adjacent buildings, providing buildability advice and temporary structural support.