Famous for it’s bridge that connects Sydney’s inner West and lower North Shore, Gladesville has become a prime location for development, mainly that of partial and whole demolition to enable larger and more modern residential structures.
Although often opposed by long standing locals, redevelopment in The Hunters Hill area is encouraged by council authorities as a means to increase local business in the region. Given it’s riverside setting, many buildings contain materials designed to withstand moisture and heat, a throwback once again to yesteryears miracle mineral - Asbestos.
This particular property appeared to the average consumer to be nothing more than a standard brick home of Australia’s 1960s, it was not until pre-demolition inspections that it was revealed to actually be a fibro home that retroactively had new brick footings installed to hide the fact that it was made of asbestos fibre cement. Although not entirely unheard of, the calculated cost of building new brick walls around an existing structure would surely be parallel to simply having the hazardous materials professionally remediated, the latter possibly even cheaper.
The process of safely removing the contaminated materials is only made more difficult by the presence of the brickwork, as all asbestos must be removed prior to heavy machinery or equipment being allowed to start tackling structural or supportive components of the building, this in consideration to the fact that the bricks were laid after the large sheets of asbestos reinforced cement were installed within the house made removing without the need to alter the entrances to the home, a slow and tedious manual task requiring both strength and patience to widen the doorways to safely and efficiently clear the building safe and asbestos free. After arduous preparations, the entirety of the demolition and waste removal took less than 48 hours to produce a clean level site for the construction and development of the future to begin.