Opal Tower fix may reduce floor space in some units
A NUMBER of apartments on the most damaged floors of the troubled Opal Tower would lose living floor space under proposed remediation works in another blow to furious residents.
At least four apartments - two on level 10 and two on level 4 - could lose almost one square metre of floor space with engineers planning to "sandwich" four precast panels, including the original cracked panel - which forced the entire tower's evacuation on December 24, 2018 - with extra concrete.
The Daily Telegraph understands the process would strengthen walls in critical areas of the Sydney Olympic Park tower but it will also increase the width of the inner wall by about a foot, intruding on residents' floor space.
The four apartments share a common wall with a garden slot, or recess in the facade, which were the focus of early investigations by engineers.
A spokeswoman for builder Icon last night confirmed there would be some "very minor" encroachment of around 0.7 of a square metre per affected apartment.
"So for a 75-square metre apartment, that's less than 1 per cent," she said.
It's not known how big all the affected apartments are - design plans show units in the 36-storey building range in size from 51-81-square metres.
A source close to the Opal Tower investigation claimed the encroachment was about one foot per apartment and would impact the smallest rooms - the bathroom and spare bedroom.
"Having an extra one foot on each of those rooms … makes a big difference. They're already small as it is," the source said.
"We're not just talking about a coat of paint here - this is substantial."
The Icon spokeswoman said affected residents would be provided compensation if they lost space but did not say how much. She said Icon was "not in a position" to have those conversations with apartment owners until a final remediation plan was agreed to by all engineers.
Residents from 105 apartments still can't move back into their homes due to ongoing remediation work four weeks after cracking appeared on Christmas Eve, sparking the evacuation.