Assessment & Project Examples

Bridge Impact

The Monash Freeway is a major arterial road link which joins the suburbs on the east side of Melbourne with the CBD.  The Freeway was closed to all traffic on the 13th December 2011, when the central bridge pier of the Ferntree Gully Road on-ramp, which crosses above the freeway was impacted by a large concrete bridge girder, being transported by truck.  The pre-cast bridge girder, which weighed 58 tonnes and was approximately 30m long, veered into the median strip between the carriageways.  The load then jack-knifed across the median strip and struck the central pier of the bridge.   Both carriageways of the Monash Freeway, together with the Ferntree Gully Road on-ramp bridge, were closed during peak hour following the impact, pending a structural assessment of the bridge and removal of the wreckage and debris.

Censeo was immediately engaged to inspect the damage and review the repairs.  We were also required to liaise with VicRoads to review and Report on the repair Scope; and to review and approve repair costs.

Censeo have recorded all of the damage associated with the accident so that an accurate repair Scope can be finalised and agreed.  Censeo have also recommended the methods of repair, and provided an accurate cost estimate.

Road Construction

As a result of nine separate storm events occurring in the period from February 2009 to March 2010 damage occurred to the Contract Works of the upgrading of the existing Pacific Highway between Coopernook to Herons Creek NSW.  The series of severe storms during the construction process caused saturation of partially completed road works, siltation, erosion and inundation of works to approximately 32 km of dual carriageway. We were appointed to review the documentation provided in order to ascertain the claimed costs in accordance with the policy.

Censeo completed a detailed review of the claim which involved:

  • Application of the relevant limits under the policy;
  • Review of the Contract drawings;
  • Review of all submitted claim documentation;

We prepared a complex and detailed spreadsheet to capture the 50 folders of submitted invoices, timesheets and other contract documentation allowing us to assign costs by events, location, type and policy limits.  The submitted claim approximated $20 million; however following our review the claim was agreed at approximately $10 million.

Hotel Fire – Queensland

The Royal Hotel is one of the oldest Hotels in Queensland, located in the main Street of Ingham. The Hotel was extensively damaged by fire on the 5th November 2011.

The fire caused extensive damage to the central and rear sections of the Hotel, including the gaming room, kitchen and main amenities. A separate, heritage-listed building at the rear of the property, including storerooms, cool stores and historic accommodation rooms was badly damaged and was subsequently demolished. The remainder of the ground floor of the Hotel complex, including the main bar, dining area and function rooms were affected by smoke. 

Censeo was appointed to report on the extent of damage and to review and provide recommendations regarding all structural issues associated with the fire. Engineering staff were mobilised to Ingham, Queensland to inspect the damage. Censeo was also requested to provide a detailed estimate of the replacement cost of the Hotel premises, for comparison with the Sum Insured. 

Censeo’s Report provided detailed recommendations concerning structural and planning issues associated with the reconstruction of the rear building at the premises. In addition, Censeo also highlighted the extent of repairs required to the main section of the Hotel including the requirements for statutory upgrades to the cyclone-area tie down of the roofing within the damaged section above the gaming room, amenities and kitchen areas.  Censeo also provided a detailed estimate of the likely repair costs, for the establishment of a reserve.

Censeo also recommended that repairs should be separated into 2 Stages. The main bar, function rooms, gaming room, amenities and main kitchen were to be repaired immediately, to enable the Insured to reopen the Hotel and thereby reduce the extent of the Business Interruption Loss. This would allow time to review the rear building and to discuss the available options with the Insured.

Censeo completed a Scope of Works for all urgent repairs. This was issued for Tender using Censeo’s “Managed Cost-Plus” form of tender, which allows Builders to tender rates and mark-up only, thereby reducing the duration of the tender process. This enabled rapid appointment of the Builder and early commencement of the works.

Hotel Fire – Victoria

This claim concerned a major fire at the historic Victorian Hotel, occurring on the 28th August 2010 resulting in substantial damage to the kitchen, bistro area, main amenities area, stores and a number of the upstairs rooms.  Censeo was initially engaged to inspect and report on the condition of the building following the fire; and to provide recommendations for demolition and repairs.  As the Project progressed, Censeo was further engaged to oversee and Project Manage the repair works from start to finish.  The project included (but was not limited to) the following activities:

  • Conducting Hazardous Materials audit of independent sampling and testing of the various sections of debris and damaged sections of the Hotel identifying limited asbestos within the debris. As a result demolition costs were reduced from $108,000 to under $65,000.
  • Censeo Engineers completed a Scope of Works for the safe demolition of the affected sections of the building, to enable the full extent of fire damage to the structural elements to be evaluated. 
  • Censeo also provided an accurate estimate of the replacement costs of the various sections of the Hotel, for comparison with the Sum Insured.
  • Following completion of the Demolition works, Censeo produced a Scope of Works for repairs to the building.  This separated the various sections of the building into 3 separate Stages of works, to allow the Insured to commence trading earlier, whilst repairs to non-critical areas of the Hotel were continuing.

Reconstruction involved many complex issues, due the age of the original building, the layout of the Hotel premises, and the close proximity of adjoining properties.  Reconstruction involved resolution of issues concerning:

  • Fire protection measures, relocation of fire hoses, installation of fire proof ceilings and fire proofing of property boundary walls.
  • Resolution of planning issues with the Mansfield Shire Council.
  • Drainage issues and upgrade of the existing storm water systems on the property.
  • Redesign of the kitchen to comply with current Building Code of Australia and Department of Health Regulations.
  • Redesign of amenities for disabled access.

 The Certificate of Final Inspection was received on the 1st September 2011 and the total cost of the works was $1.858 million.

Crane Collapse

Censeo was appointed to a claim involving damage to Contract Works, as a result of an accident, occurring on the 26th September 2008. A 250-tonne mobile crane fell through a suspended concrete slab, whilst lifting a 21-tonne per-cast concrete wall panel while undertaking construction of a 15,000 m² office/factory development.  We were appointed to investigate the circumstances and to provide opinion as to the cause of the accident and to oversee repairs to the damaged areas of the building and to review the claimed costs.

Censeo completed a detailed investigation of the circumstances of the accident which involved:

  • Review of the Contract drawings;
  • Review of the temporary works drawings;
  • Review of concreting and post tensioning records;
  • Review of the set-up and lifting procedures;
  • Review of related work procedures and work method statements at the site;
  • Review of the safe load tables for the mobile crane;
  • Mechanical review of the mobile crane;
  • Survey of the site;
  • Collection of witness statements;

The claimed costs approximated $2.8 million; however following our review the claim was agreed at approximately $570,000.

Bridge Estimate

Censeo were engaged to inspect the remains of a bridge providing access to a farm property that was washed away during a flood.  We were further requested to provide a scope of works, drawings including a site survey to enable reinstatement of the bridge structure.  Following a site inspection we completed the following:

  • Budget estimate for the project.
  • Arranged for a registered surveyor to attend and complete a site survey and to prepare a plan detailing the site of the proposed bridge, a centre line for the bridge and a cross section through the river.
  • Utilising the Australian Rainfall and Runoff as open channel formulae, we completed the computation of the catchment area and river flow rates as well as flood heights to determine the bridge deck height and span required.
  • Completion of Development Application with the local Council.

Preparation of plans and specification documentation suitable for tendering.

Foundation Movement

Censeo were requested to investigate movement within a house that resulted in major cracks developing in walls and ceilings with doors unable to be opened or closed.  We were requested to also provide an estimate of costs and recommendations for reinstatement.

The dwelling in question was constructed of a waffle slab with a brick veneer exterior cladding and AHI decramastic roof tiles.  The owner said that the soil in the area was black clay which was known to be highly reactive and as a result, movement within structures was common and expected. We completed the following:

  • A review of the original plans for the dwelling;
  • A plumber completed a pressure test on all water pipes;
  • All downpipes were checked and found to be in good working order;
  • All waste pipes were checked using a camera and were found to be in good condition.
  • Using a Nivcomp Levelling machine, we completed a full measure of the interior of the house in order to determine any variations of movement within the slab.  This established movement of up to 100mm in the middle section when compared to both ends of the house.
  • We prepared a layout drawing detailing the contours of the movement within the slab;
  • We completed a room by room description and measurement of the damage;
  • A review of the average rainfall over the previous 15 years;
  • Liaison with the local Council on soil category;
We completed a review of the applicable Australian Standards relating to the construction of slabs and determined that the length of the slab exceeded the length stipulated for the type of construction used given the soil type.

Building Contract Review Program (BCRP)

The Building Contract Review Program (BCRP) aims to assist new entrants to the building industry, as well as existing small to medium builders, to obtain eligibility where the builder is unable to satisfy all the requirements in order for the eligibility application to be approved.