As the structural engineers of Opal Tower, global professional services firm, WSP, says its priority is the safety of the residents.


Guy Templeton, President and CEO of Australia & New Zealand says, “The building is not and has not been in danger of collapse, but we require complete access while it is unoccupied to enable engineers and builders to thoroughly assess the building and remediate affected parts, and do this in the safest way possible.”


Opal Tower is a 39-storey  residential building which is located at the southern end of Sydney’s Olympic Park Parkview Precinct at Homebush. Opal Tower has 392 apartments and provides 270-degree views of the surrounding district. It was delivered by Ecove (developer), Icon Co (builder/contractor), Bates Smart (architect), WSP (structural engineers), Wood & Grieve Engineers (hydraulic consultants) and McKenzie Consulting Group (building certifier), among others.


Mr Templeton added, “After being on-site I’ve seen first hand how hard our structural team is working to resolve this matter for the residents. Our team mobilised within an hour of an issue being known on Christmas Eve, and worked through Christmas Day and each day since to expedite the investigation and identify potential remedial solutions. Our on-site technical team is complemented by 12 technical staff off-site, and both teams are working in shifts, around the clock, to analyse findings and develop solutions.”


WSP continues to work diligently with Ecove, Icon Co, Cardno (Residents’ appointed independent engineer) and the 120-strong on-site team.


The firm is also working collaboratively with the New South Wales Minister for Planning, Minister for Housing & Special Minister for State, Anthony Roberts’, independent engineers – Professor Mark Hoffman and Emeritus Professor John Carter.


WSP reiterates that the damaged section of the building on level ten has been reinforced with props as a precautionary measure.


The latest inspections also identified some damage on level four. However, this is considerably less significant than the damage on level ten and has also been propped as a precautionary measure.


Since Christmas Eve when the first issue with the building arose, surveyors have been carrying out 24-hour monitoring of the building’s movement and they advise that no movement has been observed.


We are conscious of timeliness to minimise the impact on residents and we are equally mindful of the professional diligence that is required to deliver the right solution” Mr Templeton said.


WSP anticipates that the thorough assessment of the building, and the design for temporary and permanent remedial works will be completed within the next eight days.


WSP provides residents with regular updates as they come to hand, via Icon Co.


Around the world, WSP is a renowned leader in high-rise buildings. The firm’s portfolio includes globally recognised landmarks such as: One World Trade Center in New York; The Shard in London; China’s tallest building, Shanghai Tower; the world’s tallest twin towers Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur; and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.


WSP’s projects range from high-quality commercial and mixed-use mega-towers across Asia such as China Zun Tower in Beijing and Seoul’s Lotte World Tower, to some of the most desirable, super-slender high-rise residential developments in New York including 432 Park Avenue, 111 West 57th Street, 56 Leonard and 53W53. The firm is also at the forefront of London’s and Melbourne’s high-rise developments, having worked on 22 Bishopsgate, One Blackfriars, Newfoundland and Principal Place Tower in London, Aurora and Premier Tower, Swanston Central and 350 Queen Street in Melbourne.


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