Blog - Wall Removal in Strata or Company Title Buildings

Due to the increased popularity in open plan living, strata and other managed buildings are being approached by owners to reconfigure the internal structure of properties. 

Owners are attracted to open plan living as they can integrate multiple living spaces, provide the illusion of increased living space and have greater provision for natural light.   

Older units don’t typically feature open plan design so there's  little wonder why owners within existing buildings show an interest in creating more open space  through removing existing internal walls.

The simplest way to determine the viability to remove a particular wall is for an engineer to review the original structural drawings for the property, which are often held by the owner’s corporation, or can be obtained from the original designer or potentially located at the Local Council. We also can assist with location of drawings if required.

These drawings provide information in relation to materials used, permissible floor loadings and support positions. If these drawings are not available, it may be possible to obtain some or all of this information from an engineer’s inspection.

Once the above information has been determined for drawings or an inspection, it's then usually possible to determine if the wall is load bearing or not (we say "usually" as buildings are not always built in accordance with original drawings).

If the wall is thought to be non load-bearing on the basis of drawings alone, then an inspection will be required from an engineer to confirm the structure is consistent with the reviewed documents. This needs to be prior to confirming the wall can be removed in a safe and controlled manner without the requirement for any further support to the level(s) above.

If a review of the buildings drawings conclude that the wall was originally load-bearing, MJ Civil can re-analyse to determine if the wall is still required to be load bearing. Often partial removal or sometimes full removal of a wall originally designed as load bearing can be accommodated through redistribution of the load. A great benefit of computer modeling that would not have been available to the original designers. Again this may allow the wall to be removed in a safe and controlled manner without the requirement for any further support to the level(s) above, subject to checking the building was constructed as per the drawings.

If the drawings are not available or if calculations conclude the wall is a required support, MJ Civil can provide specifications for a beam or lintel detail to span above the proposed wall removal.

A cautionary note to managing agents:  Ensure the engineer is aware of any previous alterations that may have occurred in levels above or below the subject wall removal. In addition  consider the buildings general state of repair. Remember walls often act as bracing elements as well supporting the floors above.

During the works MJ Civil can provide periodic site supervision  to provide a certificate at completion stating that the works have been undertaken in accordance with the documented design, current Australian Standards and utilizing good industry practice.

MJ Civil are industry leaders in the removal of internal and external walls and have a proven track record utilising our tailored procedures and construction specifications.

18 comments

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