Leaky Building Syndrome Goes Sky High

The Nautilus Building, some call it a blot on the Orewa landscape, others are less kind.

You can’t miss it – it’s the tallest and most out of character construction for miles around, rising from the low lying urban sprawl of the little seaside town like a carbuncle that would have a Prince of the House of Windsor reaching for a well oiled lance. Many of the residents would too.

In common with many homes of its era the Nautilus is said to be suffering from the bete noir of the NZ building industry – Leaky Building Syndrome and its going to cost millions to put it right, that is once the combatants have worked out who to pin the blame on. Mr Martin, of the Cornerstone Group who developed the building is blaming in on Brookfield Multiplex who built it and on maintenance that hadn’t been done properly.

Many would ask if its worth spending another cent on, perhaps it’s better to draw a veil over the whole sorry saga, demolish it build something decent in its place. Something worthy of the 21 Century but more in keeping with its surroundings.

A report in the Herald said that “Mr Martin said three years ago that out of more than 1000 units he had built, only about 100 leaked.”

But three years ago the Herald reported Mr Martin also saying that three Cornerstone Group apartment projects on the North Shore had leak problems

“The 41-unit Oyster Cove at Gulf Harbour on the Whangaparaoa peninsula, the 40-unit complex at 282 Main Beach at Orewa, and an Albany apartment project all leaked to varying degrees, he says.

Claddings were a major contributor to problem, and he has banned the use of all fibre-cement plaster-coated monolithic sheet cladding products from all projects.

“I wouldn’t put another sheet of that stuff up. There will never be a sheet of monolithic cladding put on anything we do. We’re paranoid about it.”

This is how the OREWA RATEPAYERS & RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION Committee saw the Nautilus in 2006.

“We know that some of the developers are going to miss out on their million dollars profit, but “you speculate in the hope to accumulate, but sometimes you lose” This is what has to happen in Orewa if we are to survive the onslaught of vulgar, ill-built high-rise buildings like the Nautilus – which has been an eyesore since it was built and virtually empty ever since with only about 40% occupancy – this must tell the developers that people do not want high-rise. “

I have a feeling this one will run and run.