Concrete mistake to cost Springfield firm almost $900,000

INSTALLING the wrong concrete slab in a Springfield golf course clubhouse has cost a construction firm more than $866,000 in damages.

Springfield Land Development Corporation contracted civil and structural engineers Melisavon in January, 2000, to build a clubhouse and surrounds for a golf course community.

A Melisavon-commissioned geotechnical report showed the area where the clubhouse was set to be built was susceptible to extreme amounts of "ground heave" from varying moisture conditions.

The report stated it was essential the slab base for the club could tolerate up to 85mm of movement.

However, the slab installed could tolerate about 40mm movement.

In 2003, a crack appeared in the buggy storage area and by 2010 SLDC said the damage extended to the building's walls and was beyond general maintenance.

At the time Melisavon blamed over watering saturating the ground. SLDC chairman Bob Sharpless said it was not until 2010 it was revealed there were underlying structural problems.

After SLDC was awarded $866,258 in damages in the Brisbane Supreme Court, Melisavon appealed the decision, stating it occurred outside the six-year statue of limitations.

The Queensland Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed the application and ordered Melisavon to pay the $866,256 in damages as well as costs to SLDC.

Justice Margaret McMurdo said there were many factual disputes between the two sides

She said Melisavon had to prove the damage to the building caused SLDC "economic loss" since 2003 and should have been taken to court then.

"It did not demonstrate unequivocally that the respondent had suffered economic loss arising from the alleged faulty design when it became aware in 2003," she said.

While Justice Ann Lyon agreed with Justice McMurdo the appeal should dismissed, Justice Catherine Holmes said the appeal should be upheld as the fault became evident when the first crack was reported in 2003.

- APN NEWSDESK



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