Senior Lawyer, Adrian Mueller reminisces…
“In 1980 my parents took me to the Gold Coast for a holiday. It was my first adventure in Queensland. I was 2 years old. We stayed at the (in)famous Iluka hotel.
The Iluka was built in the 1970’s. It was an iconic building – one of the Gold Coast’s first high rises. It had 72 luxury apartments and was a stone’s throw from Cavill Avenue.
It held fond memories for me and, I imagine, many families who enjoyed wonderful times together at the Iluka.
You can imagine my horror when I recently discovered that the Iluka has been demolished. Why? Because of concrete cancer.
You see the owner of the building was faced with a dilemma. Repair the concrete spalling which had been left untreated for decades at exorbitant cost or demolish the building. The owner chose to demolish.
A leading architect Professor Holden, Head of Architecture at the Griffith University in Qld, has said that high rises built in the 1970’s have an average lifespan of 40 years.
That is a sobering thought for apartment owners many of whom cannot afford special levies to repair widespread concrete spalling.
So what is the solution? For some buildings, it may simply be too late. The Iluka is a case in point.
For other buildings, the key is preventative maintenance. As unpalatable as it might be, apartment owners need to realise that spending a little to detect and treat concrete spalling at an early stage saves money in the long run.”
Adrian Mueller also acknowledges that the challenge for strata managers and other stakeholders is to convince owners to invest in proactive maintenance to protect their investment by spending a little in the short term to save big money down the track.
Says Adrian “Convincing owners to spend now to save later is no mean feat. But it is achievable. And doing so can avoid potential disasters.
I will miss the Iluka.”
Adrian specialises in strata law and those areas of the law that particularly deal with building defects.
“An apartment is someone’s home and most valuable asset. That is something worth protecting and knowing where you stand is vital” says Adrian.
For NSW strata legal or levy collection advice please contact us here or call 02 9562 1266, we’re happy to assist.