The developer of a 16-storey apartment tower in western Sydney, which has been identified by NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler as among of the worst he has inspected, has been ordered to repair severe defects.

The tower at 93 Auburn Road in Auburn stands among a growing list of apartment buildings ordered recently as the commissioner escalated efforts to eliminate bad work and build public confidence in an industry still recovering from structural defects in Sydney’s Opal and Mascot towers.

The orders to repair “serious defects” in the Auburn tower have been sent to Goldenia Developments, whose only director is a creator of Sydney property developer and builder Merhis.

The structure at 93 Auburn Road is one of dual towers called Aya Eliza on a site in Auburn’s town centre which Merhis called “architectural landmarks of the finest standard” on its website in 2020. The firm’s website now does not reference the 251-unit development.

Karen Stiles, executive officer of the non-profit Owners Corporation Network, which represents apartment owners, stated that it’s beyond belief that buildings so ineptly constructed got occupation certificates that permitted developers to settle on apartments.

She said that the apartments were not suitable for habitation. The freshened powers given the NSW Building Commissioner are important to morphing the toxic building culture has left purchasers confronted with years of financial and emotional travails fighting to attain the building quality they paid for initially.

In September, the Building Commissioner gained the power to walk into and inspect building sites, block the issuance of occupation certificates, request documents demand work be halted.

Chandler stated the defects discovered in the Auburn tower stood at the “upper end of the range” compared to other inspected structures.

[The] present focus lies on the remediation of the severe defects present in the building.

Chandler stated that owners and tenants could stay in the Auburn building while the repairs were underway as it was safe to occupy.

He has said that the tower, which he has declared likely the worst he has inspected, was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” in convincing the state government to put into action stronger powers to shield apartment owners.

He said he was stunned when he initially visited the structure in October 2019, after Fire and Rescue NSW invited him to inspect the tower because of fire safety concerns. Only one of its two lifts worked, and the other shaft was too small to accommodate its lift because of construction flaws.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Image credit: Kate Geraghty