$1 million a week for homeless Opal Tower residents
THE builder of the troubled Opal Tower has forked out almost $1 million a week in reimbursing homeless residents.
An Icon spokeswoman confirmed the company had spent a total $7,300,685 in reimbursing residents for food, accommodation and living expenses since December 31.
That's the equivalent of about $964,241 a week.
More than 220 units are still deemed uninhabitable due to ongoing rectification work after the 36-storey Sydney Olympic Park tower cracked on Christmas Eve, sparking the evacuation of around 300 residents.
It come as an independent expert report commissioned by the NSW government, to be released today, found a number of design and construction issues "including noncompliance with national codes and standards" caused major damage to the tower.
Professors Mark Hoffman, John Carter and Stephen Foster said some "hob beams" and panel assemblies were "under designed" according to the National Construction Code and Australian Standard.
They said this left the beams said this left the beams "susceptible to failure by shear compression and bursting".
Hob beams provide support at the base of precast panel walls.
The professors also found "construction and material deficiencies likely contributed to the damage to the hob beams on levels 4 and 10".
They said while the building was overall structurally sound, "there is significant damage to some elements."
"It should be noted that extreme environmental events, while rare, could precipitate further damage and consequently it would be prudent not to delay rectification works".
A plan of rectification works, which involves the strengthening of beams on levels 4, 10 and 16, has not yet been agreed to by all parties.
The professors also made a number of recommendations which they said would have "significantly reduced the likelihood of, or avoided" the damage.
They include creating a registry of engineers, having all engineering designs for major projects signed off on by an independent engineer, and developing a "mandated regimen" for inspections on major projects for critical stages of construction.
Planning Minister Anthony Roberts acknowledged it had been a "tough time" for residents and owners.
"I first want to thank them for their patience and support in allowing the independent investigation team to prepare this detailed final report," he added.
Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean said the NSW government had already committed to registering engineers.