Precast column movement concerns stops work at CBUS 447 Collins Street, Pantscraper twin tower project

Precast column movement concerns stops work at CBUS 447 Collins Street, Pantscraper twin tower project
Precast column movement concerns stops work at CBUS 447 Collins Street, Pantscraper twin tower project

Multiplex has halted construction work at CBUS's high-rise jewel, the 447 Collins Street project after possible movement in precast structural columns on the half-built twin-tower project.

The concerns have triggered an urgent investigation by engineers at Collins Arch.

The decision comes after Sydney's Opal Tower issues with precast over the Christmas-New Year period.

The exact nature of the Pantscraper problem was not clear, according to a report by Nine Enertainment, with neither Multiplex nor its consultant engineers 4D Workshop giving more than limited details.

"A small number of minor column settlements have been identified on the 447 Collins Street project currently under construction," the companies said.

"The builder, Multiplex, places the utmost importance on safety and quality and has already commenced a detailed investigation into the cause, with structural design engineers currently inspecting the columns. As a precaution, work has temporarily stopped while that investigation takes place.”

Rob DiBlasi, 4D Workshop director, assured Collins Street pedestrians that the building was safe.

"There’s no issue with the structural integrity of the building," he told The Australian Financial Review.

"There are some minor issues with regard to precast columns."

CBUS has boasted Melbourne's skyline was to be transformed following the construction of a $1 billion luxury high-rise.

Called the "Pantscraper", after its twin towers joined by a sky bridge, Cbus Property's 42-storey mixed-use development comprises 49,000 square metres of premium-grade office space, a five-star W Hotel and 202 residential apartments.

Designed collaboratively by Melbourne-based Woods Bagot and New York-based SHoP Architects, the Pantscraper will dominate the skyline given its unique silhouette.

Three major legal firms, including King & Wood Mallesons, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers, and Gadens have committed to office space.

Completion was anticipated for late 2019.

The current design is the third, after earlier plans for a 100-storey tower and then a 47-storey tower were rejected, in part because of the shadow they would have cast on the nearby Yarra River.

Heritage groups have criticised the proposed park for being smaller than the 2800-square-metre plaza in front of the previous revered brutalist-style building on the site.

Above ground, the two towers meet at level 33. 

The possible fault of precast concrete on a $1.2 billion project in the heart of Melbourne's CBD will ignite to calls for reforms to Australia's construction industry.

The state have yet  to implement recommendations of last year's Shergold-Weir Building Confidence report.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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