Engineers highlight doubts about structural support beams in the cracked building of the Opal Tower

Could this be the key to the Opal Tower debacle? Engineers doubt doubts about structural support beams in a cracked building

  • Engineers who investigate defects in the Opal Tower ask questions about the cause
  • Researchers disagree about the strength of concrete used in the support beams
  • Some say that the concrete panels burst due to too much pressure
  • Another theory claims the quality of joints between beams and panels
  • Residents began to return to the building, despite being told to stay away

Bianca Bongato for Daily Mail Australia

Engineers have expressed doubts about the quality of structural support beams in a cracked residential building.

The 38-storey Opal tower in Sydney had previously been evacuated twice because of cracks in concrete panels on the outer walls of the building.

Four separate investigations are under way to determine the cause of the defects of the building with an interim report that missed the expected release date of last Friday.

Engineers expressed doubts and disagreed on the quality of the structural support beams in Cracked residential building Opal Tower (photo)

Engineers expressed doubts and disagreed on the quality of the structural support beams in Cracked residential building Opal Tower (photo)

The 38-storey Opal tower in Sydney had previously been evacuated twice because of the cracks in the concrete panels (pictured)

The 38-storey Opal tower in Sydney had previously been evacuated twice because of the cracks in the concrete panels (pictured)

The 38-storey Opal tower in Sydney had previously been evacuated twice because of the cracks in the concrete panels (pictured)

One theory suggests that there was too much pressure on the concrete panels because of the questionable quality of the support beams, according to The Australian.

Another theory states that the joints – a dense liquid of water, cement and sand mixtures that were used to fill openings – led from both the panels and the support beams to the cracks.

Reports were handed over to the Minister of Planning Anthony Roberts about the specifications that Icon Co, the builder of Opal Towers, followed.

It is expected that an interim report will be published last Friday after the two evacuations of the building.

The research team includes Rincovitch Partners, WSP, a third party hired by Icon and engineering firm Cardno.

The New South Wales government has also appointed Dean of Engineering Mark Hoffman and University of Newcastle's John Carter School of Engineering for research at the University of New South Wales.

Approximately 300 people were forced out of Opal Tower on Christmas Eve after a loud noise was heard and a large crack appeared in a panel on the tenth floor

Approximately 300 people were forced out of Opal Tower on Christmas Eve after a loud noise was heard and a large crack appeared in a panel on the tenth floor

Approximately 300 people were forced out of Opal Tower on Christmas Eve after a loud noise was heard and a large crack appeared in a panel on the tenth floor

All parties involved in the investigation have approved a plan for restoration and re-occupation of the building.

Some residents have returned to Opal Towers, despite the advice to stay clear until the cause of the defect has been determined.

Approximately 300 people were expelled from the brand-new high-rise building in the Olympic Park on Christmas Eve after a loud noise was heard and a large crack appeared in a panel on the tenth floor.

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