An Aussie photographer has shared the moment he wanted to flee an apartment on the 52nd floor of one of the country's tallest residential buildings as it swayed in the wind. A video of the unsettling incident inside Victoria One, a 247-metre skyscraper in Melbourne's CBD, shows the unnerving source of his concern – a very loud creaking noise.
Australia is no stranger to faulty apartment buildings, but even this took him by surprise.
"There is no way people could live with this level of creaking," the man remarked, sharing the footage online. "The building was literally moving left and right. I was taking photos for an Airbnb and wanted to get the hell out ASAP." He also explained that all the windows were sealed and that the "very, very loud" creaking "was mostly coming from the door frame".
After posting it on a local Reddit forum, users described the sounds as "terrifying" and "absolute nightmare fuel", while others came forward to say they'd experienced the same conditions inside Victoria One. "I stayed a few days in this building between rentals," one responded. "It was creaky every day. Wasn't even particularly windy."
"I was on the seventh floor, but the noise from the creaking was so loud. The smallest bit of wind made an awful noise," another claimed.
Is the building safe?
Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, Dr Ehsan Noroozinejad, a senior researcher in resilient construction and infrastructure at Western Sydney University, said creaking sounds and swaying movements in tall structures are a "common phenomenon".
"These noises often stem from the friction between non-structural elements and the building's main structural system, especially during windy conditions,' he explained. "As wind impacts the building, it can cause slight movements, leading to these audible creaks."
Noroozinejad went on to explain that creaking sounds don't imply a compromise in the building's safety, but that vibration-control technologies, such as dampers or isolators, can be installed to reduce the noise. While they aren't a "compulsory element according to standard guidelines", he said many renowned design firms and consultants are increasingly incorporating these mitigation strategies into building projects.
"This trend reflects a growing recognition of the importance of not just structural safety but also the lived experience of tenants in high-rise buildings," he said. "In light of this, it's possible that the noise issues at Victoria One could have been anticipated and addressed during the design phase, although such considerations might not have been a regulatory requirement.
"From the observations in the provided video, it seems likely that the building either lacks dampers and isolators, or perhaps does not have a sufficient quantity of them to effectively mitigate the noise issues."
Victoria One declined Yahoo's request for comment.
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