Yves Saint Laurent, Queens Plaza, NSW

Our facade design team were engaged by Construction By Design to undertake a prestigious facade design project within the high-end Queens Plaza precinct in Queensland. The project centered around the creation of a striking new boutique retail shopfront that would embody the essence of YSL’s iconic brand while seamlessly integrating with the luxurious ambience of the shopping centre.

Project details

Requiring meticulous attention to detail and innovation in materials and design, one of the key aspects involved the full design of custom glass steel window systems, which were crafted to enhance both aesthetic appeal and functionality. These windows not only needed to showcase YSL’s products but also had to withstand the rigors of daily retail operations.

In addition to the windows, our team was entrusted with the design and implementation of custom glass fiber reinforced concrete (GRC) cladding. This material was chosen for its versatility and ability to be molded into intricate shapes while maintaining durability and weather resistance.

Prior to installation, our team conducted rigorous custom testing on the GRC to ensure it met both our stringent quality standards and YSL’s expectations for longevity and visual impact.

Our process

Throughout the project, collaboration was key. Our team worked closely with Yves Saint Laurent’s design team based in Hong Kong, ensuring that every aspect of the facade design aligned with the brand’s global standards and design ethos.
This collaboration not only facilitated smooth communication but also enabled us to incorporate YSL’s specific design preferences seamlessly into the final product.

Completion of the facade design represents a harmonious blend of architectural innovation, material expertise, and brand identity. It stands as a testament to our team’s dedication to delivering superior results in high-end retail environments, where precision, aesthetic sensitivity, and functionality converge to create memorable and impactful spaces.

Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre, Marrickville, NSW

CORE was engaged to provide investigative works, facade engineering and weatherproofing services for the removal and replacement of aluminium composite cladding on the Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre in the bustling Inner-West suburb of Marrickville. The works were part of a larger scope to upgrade the structure to improve the sustainability and safety of the Centre.

Project details

The works included:

  • Investigation of existing cladding on the roof and fascia of the structure
  • Investigation and coordination of the suspended fabric ceiling
  • Design and engineering of complex angular replacement cladding, including interfacing with existing roof and window systems
  • Detailing and performance solutions for the weather proofing of the new facade
  • Remediation of identified corroding structural steel work due to the high chlorine environment
  • Construction services including assistance in resolving key construction interfaces.

Our process

CORE’s extensive experience in the identification, removal and replacement of cladding enabled us to efficiently identify areas required for investigation to facilitate a replacement design. Working closely with the head contractor and facade sub-contractor, CORE developed suitable replacement strategies that addressed restrictions presented by the existing structure. Our proposed solution ensured optimal structural performance of the replacement cladding and aligned with environmental design requirements, weatherproofing and constructability, all whilst maintaining the original architectural intent of the development.

CORE’s team has been working diligently to deliver considered design advice that requires an intricate understanding and consideration for competing facade design elements. We have a strong focus on upholding proactive and timely client communication to deliver a seamless client experience and meet the project timeline.

‘Uniting Bramley’ Aged Care Village, Beecroft, NSW

Situated in leafy Beecroft, Uniting Bramley is favoured amongst locals for its location – just moments from Beecroft Place shopping centre and Beecroft train station, it is perfect for those needing to downsize.

CORE has been engaged to provide electrical, fire, hydraulic and structural engineering consultancy services pertaining to Uniting Bramley’s aged care village. The village consists of 46, 2-bedroom aged care residences that are spread across three low-rise buildings.

The scope of work will see significant upgrades and modernisation carried out to existing buildings with the objective of optimising usable space and delivering on end-users changing requirements.

Working closely with the architect, AI Design, the CORE team are tasked with assessing existing assets and preparing a recommendation that supports the Client’s vision, timelines and budget. We are also facilitating DA lodgment with Hornsby Council.

Our MEPF and Structures divisions are working closely to provide a design that enhances Uniting Bramley’s residences with tenant comfort and experience in mind. We are also providing rectification solutions to improve elements of the original design to ensure these locations reflect and align with proposed modern additions.


Currently undergoing design (3 – 6 month estimate)

‘Anthem Care’ Residential Aged Care, Hornsby, NSW

CORE were initially contacted by Blissett Group to provide pre-engagement advice regarding a new residential aged care development in Hornsby. During this period, our team collaborated with both the Client as well as their preferred local and international suppliers to determine optimal construction methods.

Testament to our quality advice and having gained a strong understanding of Client objectives, CORE was formally engaged to deliver design services from concept to completion across all major disciplines: mechanical, electrical, fire, hydraulic, facades, structures.


Our team is currently undergoing design for the 12-storey aged care facility with commercial tenants and assisted living units. We estimate a 6 – 9 month completion timeframe for design.

A welcome addition to Hornsby’s community hub

Located in the middle of the Pacific Highway and adjacent to Hornsby station and key community sites such as Hornsby Westfield, Anthem Care’s new facility is a welcome addition to Hornsby’s community hub.

This project is a great example of what CORE does best – showcasing our ability to deliver 360-degree engineering solutions via our in-house team of experts, providing seamless project coordination of multi-disciplinary services and all bolstered by exceptional communication.

CORE are committed to delivering on the Client’s vision, with superior engineering and Client experience at the helm of our offering.

347 Kent St, NSW

CORE was engaged to deliver remedial facade advice pertaining to both heritage and non-heritage areas of 347 Kent St, a commercial building located within the vibrant YCK (York, Clarence and Kent St) Precinct of Sydney CBD.


6 months – remedial specification

12 months – construction 

Facade remediation is an art form – requiring careful balance between the rectification of issues and maintenance of a building’s unique character.

Project Deliverables:

  • Full facade inspection
  • Defect mapping
  • Delivery of remedial specification 
  • Quantifying final material quantities for tender

Defects associated with the facade primarily involved lead paint deterioration and cracking of the blockwork.

The facade inspection was conducted via ropes and supported by a panoramic camera head to deliver high-resolution photos from ground level.

Determination of final tender quantities for each of the remedial items within the specification proved challenging. As the remedial project was to be tendered out as a lump sum package of works, our team had to exercise a degree of caution in the final specification values; overestimating would see the project costs escalate whilst underestimating would result in an underquoting of works.

Structural – Awning Safety Inspections & Certification

Council Crack Down On Awning Safety

Following a tragic incident that occurred at Sydney’s Northern Beaches some years back, Councils have continued to crack down on ageing, unsafe awnings by implementing a ‘Awning Safety Program’ to addresses their potential failure or collapse.

The program has seen a significant number of Council notices issued to business owners, instructing them to have their street front awnings inspected and assessed by a registered professional engineer as a matter of urgency. Following the inspection, the engineer is required to submit a 5-year safety certificate certifying the structural integrity and safety of the awning.

Our Expertise

As a result, our team has recently seen an influx in Council stipulated requests and is providing this service to an array of clients – having recently completed awning assessments to 80 awnings for the City of Sydney.

CORE Consulting Engineers is a multi-disciplinary firm armed with the knowledge and expertise of the industry’s leading engineers. For more than 20 years, our team has delivered outstanding, 360°engineering solutions to a range of clients across all major property sectors Australia-wide.

An awning’s age along with recent weather conditions are some contributing factors to structural failures and can pose a significant public safety risk.

Awning inspections include a condition assessment and are then followed by a structural assessment to confirm the awnings are compliant for gravity, imposed and wind loadings. Sometimes, awnings need to be strengthened to comply with current codes of practise.

Having your awning inspected and assessed by a RegisteredProfessional Structural Engineer is critical to confirming that there are no underlying safety issues.

Typically, Councils require awnings to be reassessed every 5 years.

Key Process Stages

  1. Where an awning is a closed structure, we undertake opening up works with the contractor, typically by lifting roof sheets at key locations to facilitate visual inspection of the internal framing to assess condition and measure up the members. CORE can engage a contractor to conduct opening up works under CORE’s direction and also facilitate access to the awning roof.
  2. We then conduct a risk assessment of the awning to establish whether an awning can be accessed by the public, either via openable windows above the awning, from adjacent accessible awnings, by ladders from ground level or other means such as adjacent structures.
  3. Awnings can be subject to high imposed loads due to unauthorised access by the public, such as the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest in July 2021, when a large number of people climbed onto the Woolworths Building awning.
    Australian Standards require varying application of imposed loading to an awning depending on its access risk level.
  4. CORE then undertake a condition assessment and structural loading assessment to ascertain if any remedial works or strengthening works are required to achieve structural adequacy for load compliance and also ensure the awning is structurally sound.

If an awning is determined to be structurally adequate and does not require major repair, we will provide a structural certificate, valid for 3 to 5 years. Where strengthening or major remedial works are required, we can assist with the design and specification of any upgrade works before CORE undertake a final inspection and then provide final certification.

Sydney Veterinary Emergency & Specialists, Rosebery, NSW

Therian Architects and their client had taken on an ambitious project to convert what was previously a warehouse building into a modern veterinary practice in a prominent location. Our structural team was engaged to complete the structural design of a new mezzanine floor, lift shaft, additional floor strengthening and a new car park, with our in-house civil team providing the stormwater management plan and public domain upgrade.

A cost-effective transformation

Engaged as the lead structural and civil engineers, the CORE team was excited to transform what was once an outdated, existing structure into the client’s vision.

Clever design and material selection resulted in significant cost savings for the client. Our engineers worked together to challenge council requirements and design a stormwater system that exceeded requirements which in turn, saved the client thousands of dollars.

When managing a project of this scale, it is important to apply a holistic approach to desired outcomes, costs and timeframes. CORE ensured that the quality and timelines of our advice was meticulous and that the optimum end-result was delivered.This project is a strong example of two engineering disciplines problem-solving and working closely together to develop out of the box solutions.

With the architect based interstate, timely and effective communicationwas key – CORE ensured the client was kept updated at all times, throughout the project duration.

The client was delighted with the result and quality of the finished product. The practice is now providing around-the-clock care for pets in the Eastern and Inner suburbs of Sydney.


Jardan – 42 Oxford St, Paddington, NSW

CORE was engaged to provide structural and facade engineering services for the conversion of an existing two-storey (plus basement) office/retail building into a high-end furniture showroom in Sydney’s bustling suburb of Paddington.

Project Details

The works included:

  • Strengthening of the existing timber-framed building for seismic upgrade and increased gravity loads
  • Design of an impressive 13m span circular steel staircase and 5m glass skylight within the existing timber floors and roof structures
  • Strengthening of existing timber roof trusses to facilitate the removal of existing timber columns
  • Partial replacement of the brick facade to allow for large glazed openings
  • Awning strengthening works to ensure compliance with current standards

Our Process

CORE’s specialisation in adaptive re-use of existing buildings and expert knowledge in working within the confined of an existing envelope enabled us to conceptually design the major structural works at an early stage with the key consultants and raise any potential issues. Through the course of several early-stage design workshops, several options were explored for all parties to consider ‘form vs. function’ as well as cost. CORE responded immediately to design changes required to suit the existing structure once works commenced on site and provided additional temporary works design support to the builder.

CORE and the project team were proud to achieve the client’s requirements to deliver a superior result in keeping with the premium nature of the client’s brand.


67 Ocean St, Woollahra, NSW

CORE was engaged to conduct a site inspection and condition assessment of 36 units and balconies at 67 Ocean St, Woollahra – a 1967, 7-storey, brick-facade residential/strata building.

Inspection findings…

During the inspection process, the CORE team identified numerous issues ranging from:

  • Non-compliant balustrades
  • Defective balcony soffits with non-functioning drip-grooves
  • Inadequate primary drainage systems causing extensive water ponding and significantly reducing the service life of waterproofing membrane
  • Blocked and non-compliant secondary overflow outlets
  • Leaking downpipes
  • Concrete spalling
  • Drummy balcony and skirting tiles
  • Balcony doors and windows installed with inadequate separation between external and internal areas causing water ingress

Detailed reporting to inform decisions…

Upon completion of the inspection, a detailed balcony condition assessment report was submitted to the Owners Corporation (OC) along with recommendations on how to resolve root causes, address internal consequential damage and achieve a long-term solution for the owners.

CORE’s engagement continued as per the OC’s request for the delivery of technical specifications and approval to proceed with tendering the works inclusive of a:

  • Balustrade upgrade
  • Stormwater drainage system upgrade
  • Balcony waterproofing works
  • Balcony sliding door upgrade
  • Concrete spalling repairs

In relation to the balustrade upgrade, CORE provided several options for the OC’s consideration – taking both the building’s aesthetic and project budget into account. Indicative design mock-ups were issued, enabling owners to
envision the end result for each option and make a more informed decision on how to proceed.

Overall, the project required the expertise of CORE’s Remedial, Facade, Structures and Hydraulic divisions.

Preparing for the construction stage…

The next stage saw CORE tender out the works to 3 remedial contractors within our preferred partner portfolio.

It is important to note that CORE’s Contractor portfolio has been established and vetted over many years – developing and maintaining relationships with the most reputable and reliable Contractor groups in the industry.

Prior to the works contract being signed, CORE team met with all owners and the OC to provide a detailed brief of the issues, upcoming works and to provide an opportunity to answer any questions they had.

All eyes on safety and communication…

CORE believes that both safety and communication play a critical role throughout our projects and are crucial to achieving a successful outcome.

Prior to any works being formalised or contracts signed, the CORE team met with all owners to provide a detailed brief of the building issues at hand along with upcoming works.

Upon commencement of works, CORE delivered weekly progress updates and ensured remediation was carried out with minimal disturbance to residents.

The project was compliant with the new DBPA requirements and Certificates of Practical Completion were delivered. The project was completed in October 2022.

Electrical – Switchboard Reviews & Upgrades

Our Expertise

CORE has been delivering switchboard upgrade consultancy services for an array of long-term partner portfolios such as: City of Sydney, MBM, Investa and AMP Capital and has also supported electrical upgrades for a broad host of clients across several industries and sectors.

Our team has extensive technical experience and an intimate understanding of the integration between the main switchboard (MSB) and other interfacing electrical elements and building services. Known for our expertise in existing buildings, our team have successfully implemented MSB upgrades for buildings of various ages and at different stages of their lifecycle for compliance and capacity purposes.

Our approach to all MSB upgrades is to ensure our recommendations align with future building plans, seeing us offer long-term value and MSB solutions that support each asset’s requirements for years to come.

Imperative to providing our clients with customised and cost-efficient solutions, CORE has developed a strong understanding of the extensive MSB and distribution board market and its suppliers.

From evaluating your building’s requirements through to sourcing optimal equipment and managing upgrade works all the way to completion, our engineers deliver a robust solution to switchboard upgrades.

Some of our most recent switchboard upgrades include:

  • Coronation Hotel – Park St, Sydney
  • 9 The Crescent – Annandale, Sydney
  • Bay St Depot – Ultimo, Sydney
  • Victoria Park Pool – Camperdown, Sydney
  • SDN Surry Hills Long Day Care Centre – Surry Hills, Sydney
  • Reginald Murphy Activity Club – Elizabeth Bay, Sydney
  • Rex Community Centre – Elizabeth Bay, Sydney

MSB impact on building safety and performance…

It’s important to know the age and condition of your main switchboard along with any supplementary distribution boards powering your building to ensure they comply with current BCA standards.

Non-compliant MSBs can restrict accessibility, limit the ability to carry out maintenance services and can also pose a significant safety hazard to users – carrying serious risks such as electrocution, particularly when the expected lifespan for circuit breakers is reached or close to expiry.

Switchboards that are newer to the market are equipped with ‘earth leakage detection’ safety mechanisms, enabling minor current leaks to be detected and trapping the circuit immediately.

When not upgraded, the MSB can also damage cables and other distribution boards having a costly, flow-on effect to other electrical components and in turn, impacting a building’s overall performance – an issue that can be managed and avoided.

When was your building’s last switchboard review?

It is recommended that an electrical assessment, visual inspection and subsequent report be completed every 5 years. This is especially important prior to any building services upgrades/maintenance being implemented as the impact on the MSB must be considered.

Approximately a 1-day engagement for inspection and reporting, CORE conducts visual evaluations of an asset’s electricals including but not limited to: power, lights and switchboards – evaluating their expected lifespan and notifying
Building Managers of all findings and any identified defects. A report is then provided, detailing item prioritisation and recommendations with indicative costs and information on whether further testing is needed to verify potential defects.

For what is a critical piece of infrastructure, that is often overlooked for inspection and maintenance, the switchboard inspection and testing process is a relatively quick, low-cost exercise that can prevent future faults or problems, and ensure your building and its people are well protected.