City Gardens apartment building update

Last Updated : 25 Apr 2024
City Aerial 2

Update 24 April

Following council’s final inspection on Friday April 22, the council is satisfied that 76 Albert St is no longer deemed dangerous as defined in S121 of the Building Act.

This means that all the fire safety systems are compliant and will provide early warning to all residents in the event of a fire.

The council has let all building owners know that the Dangerous Building Notice has now officially been lifted, but that ongoing remedial works are required to make the building even safer. These works include:

  • enclosing the car park stair ways to provide protection to evacuating residents
  • passive fire lining and penetration works continuing in areas which are not escape routes
  • combining the apartment and carpark fire panels into one system on both sides of the building 
  • work to address the ACP cladding, plumbing system and fire safety systems to further mitigate the risk from fire spread.

The council has recommended that the focus on the above works is prioritised by the body corporate and apartment owners along with the regular inspection and maintenance of the building’s BWOF systems.

Council will continue to inspect the ongoing work regularly to ensure it is completed in a complaint and timely manner.

Update Friday April 19, 8:20pm

Following council’s inspections of 76 Albert St today, and a review of required certification material, the council can confirm the building is no longer dangerous.

We are currently in the process of informing the body corporate and residents that they will not be required to vacate the building on Monday. Our next step is to work with MBIE to formally lift the Dangerous Building Notice.

Ian McCormick, Auckland Council's General Manager Building Consents gives an update on the City Gardens apartment building:

Last Friday, the council issued a Dangerous Building Notice to the City Gardens apartment building on Albert St over concerns relating to fire safety systems in the building. Under the conditions of the notice, residents were informed they would need to vacate the building by 12pm on Monday 22 April if safety issues had not been adequately resolved before then. In the interim, additional measures were put in place to ensure the safety of the occupants.

We understand this notice will have been distressing for residents, however we cannot allow people to remain in buildings that are dangerous. The particular issues facing this building are complex and we have been working with the body corporate for a considerable period to rectify them, however a recent incident highlighting issues with sprinkler and alarm systems elevated our concerns to the point where the issuing of a Dangerous Building Notice became necessary.

Today, 15 of our building inspectors were on site along with myself and specialists from Fire and Emergency New Zealand to assess whether items identified on the notice had been rectified.

We are pleased to say that good progress has been made and based on our observations we believe the building is no longer dangerous. Owners were able to demonstrate that crucial life-saving systems including the alarm systems, sprinklers, smoke and heat protectors and fire doors are all working compliantly.

We are still waiting on certification documentation before we can say with certainty the building is no longer dangerous, and we expect to have that completed today. Once this is received and we are satisfied, we will inform the body corporate and residents that they will not need to vacate on Monday.

Under normal circumstances we would lift the notice at that stage, however due to a determination to MBIE sought by the building owner’s legal representation, we are currently unable to do so. We are working through that process, but this will not affect the fact that residents do not need to vacate.

While this is a good outcome, there remains some work to do to improve the passive fire systems and complete the separation of the stairwells through the carpark building. This work will be incorporated into a Notice to Fix which we will serve on the body corporate in the immediate future.

We are pleased to see this work is progressing and we will continue to monitor the works closely to ensure any outstanding concerns with the building are fully addressed.

We believe the issues facing this building are unique and we don’t share similar concerns for other apartments in Auckland. However, this situation highlights the importance of building owners regularly inspecting and maintaining building safety systems to ensure the safety of occupants. 

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