Newly appointed NSW building commissioner David Chandler has slammed Sydney’s troubled Mascot Towers as one of the most “poorly built” apartment buildings he has seen.
The inaugural building commissioner was speaking at the inquiry into the building industry, following incidents involving damaged apartment buildings including the likes of the Opal Tower and Mascot Towers.
“My personal observation of the engineering design is that it’s poor,” Chandler said of the Mascot Towers.
Chandler, who appeared before the upper house’s public accountability committee on Friday as part of the inquiry into the regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes, had visited the Mascot Towers the day prior.
“I’ve built a lot of buildings, and I have to say when I walked across that job yesterday I don’t think I’ve seen many buildings as poorly built as that,” Chandler said.
“Second of all, I’m quite certain that the builder didn’t know how to read any construction plans, because the faults that are in that building are simply [from] someone who didn’t pay any attention to them.
“The control joints and cracking that’s in there are fixable, but its going to take a lot of work to fix,” Chandler said.
While the NSW government has provided residents of the Mascot Towers assistance for temporary accommodation for up to three months, the commissioner said it could take much longer for residents to return to their homes.
“If I was one of those residents, I would be putrid. I would be absolutely putrid,” he said.
Residents of the 132-apartment Mascot Towers were evacuated in June due to concerns about cracks in the 10-year old building’s primary support structure.
The Mascot Towers evacuation marked the second major evacuation for New South Wales in six months, after 3,000 residents of the Opal Tower in Sydney Olympic Park were evacuated from the building due to cracking and reports of movement.
The NSW government appointed Chandler, for an initial two-year term, as the state's first building commissioner earlier this month.