The Building Consultant Centre | Roofing Projects

I first met Russell Steel when reviewing a tender list for the Panasonic offices and stores at Belrose in the early 1990’s. I thought another bloody kiwi over here to get the better of us and go home.

(This attitude may be due to having a NZ son in law (Darrel) who turned my beautiful little girl into a mother and my lovely wife into a grandmother seventeen years ago. It may also identify me as a rugby supporter.)

Anyhow I now admit to having a great son in law and a real respect for Russell Steel and his company.

R. O. Steel Pty Ltd was found to be the most reliable and competent re-roofing operation following the April 1998 Sydney hail storm.

The Company attended to a number of extremely difficult jobs where asbestos cement roofing was removed in situations where the occupants business operation had to be maintained. This involved precise planning and 100% performance.

The contractor had to have the confidence of the business operator and had to maintain that positive relationship through the whole process. Not an easy task considering the problems of inclement weather, reliability of supply and labour at a time when resources were stretched to the limit.

The most difficult was the Lawrence Dry Cleaning premises in Bourke Street Waterloo. A Three point five million dollar job with both encased asbestos (the roof sheeting) and free asbestos wool insulation (around some of the older steam and hot water pipes).

The free asbestos was completely encased with a fabric liner, the lining had some minor damage due to the storm but we had to remove all of this material as it posed a risk to both R O Steel and Lawrence employees.

Lawrence had to keep operating as they were cleaners to airlines and hospitals. The storm had severally limited the city’s capacity to provide cleaning services as most hospital laundries had been closed in the late eighties.

To make matters more difficult, the building could only be accessed from the Bourke Street entrances.

R O Steel constructed internal safe working areas progressively over each work station prior to stripping the damaged sheeting and guttering at all times maintaining the integrity of plant and equipment. They also had to plan the roof replacement to ensure against rain water entry and the maintenance of the guttering and drainage systems, even when street flooding occurred.

At the time of the hail storm I was principal of The Building Consultant Centre, our company attended to in excess of seven hundred roof damage claims, many of the contractors we used were good but most had problems due to undertaking more work than they were capable of handling.

R O Steel stood in a very small group that knew their capabilities and provided satisfaction to their clients.

We now always include this Kiwi on our tender lists.

Ian D Frew

The Building Consultant Centre, Client Testimonial, Download Pdf