City of Melbourne Building Regulatory Requirements

Below is an extract of the regulatory requirements outlined in various documents by the City of Melbourne (See their web site and links provided) This is not an inclusive list and readers should undertake all necessary research in determining the what provisions may apply or not apply to any project within the city of Melbourne.

This  is guide only. Information is subject to change

Link: https://eservices.melbourne.vic.gov.au/ePathway/Production/Web/Applications/ApplicationTypes.aspx 

City of Melbourne Main web site: http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au

 

MELBOURNE CITY COUNCIL

ACTIVITIES LOCAL LAW 2009

Title
1.1 This Local Law is called the “Activities Local Law 2009”.
What are the objectives of this Local Law?
1.2 The objectives of this Local Law are to:
(a) promote a physical and social environment free from hazards to health, in
which the residents of and visitors to the municipality
can enjoy a quality of life that meets the general expectations of the community;
(b) control noise, behaviour, liquor consumption,animals, spruiking, busking,
advertising sign, works and obstructions on roads, street trading, the use of toy vehicles
and other activities;
(c) protect the use of public places and control activities in or near them;
(d) provide for safety in public place

..

Definitions
1.11 The words identified in italics throughout this Local Law are intended to have the

following meaning …

Building
” includes a part of a building and the whole or any part of a structure, temporary building or structure, fence, gate, wall, pavement light, outbuilding, service installation, mast, pole and other appurtenance of a building.
Building works 
“includes works, activities, events and practices for or in connection with the construction, alteration, demolition or removal of a building

..

Construction Management Plan
” means a description of the proposed strategy to be implemented in relation to the building works to ensure:
(a) public amenity and safety are maintained;
..
Fencing Vacant Land
2.12 An owner or occupier of vacant land which is wholly or partially unfenced must, as soon as practicable after being directed to do so by the Councilor an Authorised Officer, fence or cause to be fenced all or that portion of the vacant land which was the subject of the Council’s or the Authorised Officer’s direction 
PART 7 – BUILDING STANDARDS
Compliance with Code
7.1 A person must comply with any obligation imposed by the Code. Compliance with the Standards
7.2 A person to whom the Standards apply must comply with any obligation imposed by the Standards

 

Types of construction permits

The City of Melbourne issues many different permits for building and construction activities including:
..

Permits for safety and amenity

 Hoarding screens must be constructed of closely boarded timber or plywood between 1.8m to 2.4m in height to secure a building site and form a barrier against noise, dust and debris. Chain wire and corrugated iron fences are considered unsuitable for this purpose.

Hoardings are to be designed to withstand wind loads to AS 1170.2 with counterweights as necessary to prevent overturning. In addition hoardings adjoining excavations are to be designed to withstand a lateral line load of 0.75 kN/m applied at a height of 1 metre from the base and suitably guarded by barriers to prevent vehicular impact.
Hoardings and barricades must be in good condition, free from graffiti and maintained to the satisfaction of the Council. They should be painted in a uniform colour preferably white

Construction Management Plan guidelines

The City of Melbourne requires developers and builders to carefully manage excavation, demolition and building works within its municipal boundaries.
To achieve this, builders and developers are required to submit a construction management plan that takes into account all relevant aspects of demolition or building work.
The guidelines address a range of issues to be managed onsite, including:

All public domain protection permits such as hoardings, gantries, cranes, etc are issued by the City of Melbourne’s Construction Management Group (Site Services)
 …

1.5 Matters for Consideration
Fencing of Site
1.5.1 The site should be secured by a fence, hoarding or other suitable barrier constructed in accordance with Public Safety and Amenity – A Code of Good Practice at Construction Sites.
1.5.2 Ensure hoardings, perimeter fencing or other site barrier systems do not allow climbing or unauthorised entry.
1.5.3 Before and during building work, all excavations must be fenced so they do not pose a danger to life or property to the satisfaction of the relevant building surveyor.
1.5.4 Hoardings, barriers and other perimeter fencing must be suitably lined to limit public viewing to designated viewing areas. This will ensure pedestrian flow is not impeded and adequate site-public interaction is accommodated. Refer to the Public Safety and Amenity – A Code of Good Practice at Construction Sites.

1.5.16 Developers and builders must ensure there are no tripping hazards from the hoarding or perimeter fencing on nearby footpaths. Electrical, plumbing and other services extending over footpaths must be covered over, and pedestrian and disability access facilitated by a ramp. Ramps must have a non-slip surface, a handrail, and a minimum gradient of 1:14 unless the existing topography of the street or road requires some variation to this ratio

 ..  
1.5.32 Hoardings must be designed to reduce the likelihood of unauthorised bill postings and graffiti through the use of wire mesh guards, warning notices and/or public art. Graffiti and other posters or stickers on hoardings and fencing must be removed on at least a weekly basis, or immediately if it is offensive in nature

1.6 Applicable legislative references, local laws, etc:
a. Building Act 1993
b. Planning and Environment Act 1987
c. Melbourne Planning Scheme
d. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
e. Activities Local Law 1999:
i. 6.1 (Permit required for road interference)
ii. 8.1 (Notice to commence building work)
iii. 11.2 (Prohibition for vehicles remaining on street)
iv. 11.3 (Interfering with pedestrian sign)
v. 11.5 (General obstructions)

The Wall: Foundation of disaster and applied pressure

Memorial tribute to the victims of the walls collapse

The Swanston Street Square development site is under investigation to determine exactly why the wall had collapsed but most of the focus appears to be around the wall’s attached hoarding and the its unsupported southern edge.

Remaining concrete foundations of the masonry wall section

The foundations left behind appear to be intact and show no signs of rotation or sinking. This could not have been a point of failure.

Structural steal support on northern end of wall
where the wall remained in tact

The Nothern end of the wall that was left standing following the accident was supported by large steel piles that edged the walls driveway opening. The integrity of this part of the wall was not compromised.  It is the southern end that was the fault line and was relatively unsupported point that is of the greatest concern.  The walls collapse and point of failure appears to have been located here.

Photo showing the wooden hording following the collapse

Between the edge of the masonry wall and the building to the South was a 22 meter opening where there was no masonry wall, just the hoarding boards.  The hoarding in this section was supported by steel tubular poles that were lightly braced and fastened to the masonry wall to the north.  If the wind had caught this open section of the hoarding then it could have conceivably increased the rotational pressure on the unsupported masonry wall’s southern edge levering it over to point of collapse. It would only have had to moved a few centimeters to destabilize the wall and shift its center of weight.  The attached fixed hoarding bringing down the full length of the wall as one unit.

Rescue crews work to stable the site. Photo shows the section of the wall that collapsed and the
two edges of points of failure  The section of the wall on the right was supported by the steel column. The hoarding section on the left shows the point of failure in southern non masonry part of the wall
2009 Google Street view of the wall prior to the installation of the recent hoarding in 2012
Click on the above photo to access Google Street view

Typical connection detail of a
hoarding board to a tubular steal pole
(Photo not from the Swanston Street site)

Add to this the increased wind pressure applied to the hoarding that extended above the lower part of the masonry wall the lack of lateral structural support for the left edge and it all worked together to send the wall crumbing down, trapping the three innocent victims who were walking past .

It is also conceivable that had the hoarding been constructed in such a way that it would not have added applied load to the wall, if it was not one piece, it may not have brought the wall down. 

Debris from the hoarding left on site
Masonry wall foundation elevation

The absence of additional piers or lateral support to the southern end of the wall provided the weakest point of failure. If there was a return or solid bracing, as exists on the bluestone wall on Bouverie Street end of the site, then the wall could have withstood the live load forces that were applied.

According to the City of Melbourne Construction Management Plan Guidelines:

Item 4.1 Hoardings – General Requirements
..
Hoarding screens must be constructed of closely boarded timber or plywood between 1.8m to 2.4m in height to secure a building site and form a barrier against noise, dust and debris. Chain wire and corrugated iron fences are considered unsuitable for this purpose.

 

Hoardings are to be designed to withstand wind loads to AS 1170.2 with counterweights as necessary to prevent overturning. In addition hoardings adjoining excavations are to be designed to withstand a lateral line load of 0.75 kN/m applied at a height of 1 metre from the base and suitably guarded by barriers to prevent vehicular impact.

Hoardings and barricades must be in good condition, free from graffiti and maintained to the satisfaction of the Council. They should be painted in a uniform colour preferably white

Online commentator Butterpaper also suggests that the existence and location of  three story container stack used for advertising the site project may have deflected the 76Km winds recorded on the day concentrating the winds force at the weakest point on the wall and hoarding structure, the southern edge of the masonry wall



 Link: For more analysis on the wall’s history and its collapse by Butterpaper

The Wall:CCTV Camera’s last vision

Could this camera hold the vision to the collapse of the Swanston Street Square wall, killing three people?

Located on the wall of the RMIT Design Hub building  on the corner of Victoria Street and Swanston Street, the CCTV camera points directly along the footpath adjoining the Swanston Square development site.

If this camera was recording vision at the time it would most certainly have captured the last moments before the walls collapse.  Exactly what it would show is yet to be determined.

There are other CCTV cameras on the hotel opposite the construction site. It is understood that police have already inquired about their footage but they were not focused across the road and as such did not capture the walls collapse