Benledi House

Benledi House Heritage Restoration


Project Case Study: – Benledi House, Roof and Stormwater Upgrade, including Internal and External Painting, Project Number: 1653

CLIENTCity of Sydney Council via Project Delivery Service Brookfield GIS

Address: Benledi House, 186 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, NSW 2037

Benledi House



The project scope of works involved re-roofing, painting and restoration works and can be summarised as below:

  • Site Establishment
  • Establishment of safe worker access to the roof using perimeter scaffolding
  • Hoarding of public entrances and protection of public around the building
  • Tile roof replacement and roof plumbing works
  • Preparation and painting works
  • Damp course proofing work
  • Sub-floor vent works
  • Desalination and heritage Rendering works
  • Other remedial building works
  • Non-friable asbestos roof sheet removal work
  • Ceiling lead dust decontamination work
  • Ceiling batt insulation work
  • Site Clean-up & Handover

Benledi House



Benledi House was constructed in the late 1880’s in the Italianate style of the period. During the project many period features were redecorated and restored including the window frames and railings.

Ornamental embellishments were specially re-cast to restore the heritage decorations and finishes of the original building. We performed all work to the specifications of the heritage architect ensuring we utilised materials and techniques in keeping with those available on the original construction. Samples of finishes provided to the City of Sydney Council for their approval included paint finishes, roof tiles, gutters, downpipes and fixings. The building was in sore need of rejuvenation. With our expertise and experience for restoring period details and features, we delivered a refreshed and restored Benledi House, offering a wonderful facility for the local library, local radio stations and community.


Roof Replacement Works.

The principal work activity of the project was the renewal of Benledi House roof. The roof was replaced progressively, that is each section removed was reinstated each day. In this way, the building remained water tight for the duration of the project. Tiles were removed from the roof and sent to the site recycling bin using the scaffold mounted tile chute. The existing sarking and roof battens were removed and replaced. 6mm thickness fibre cement sheeting was laid for anti-ponding. Our experienced tilers then laid slate-look terracotta tiles, in line with the advice from the client and heritage architect. All the five chimneys were dressed with lead flashings to make watertight the joins with the roof. New 0.55mm base metal thickness parapet cappings were installed as specified. Eaves guttering around the building was replaced. To complete the roof, an anchor point and ladder access bracket access system was added.

Lead Ceiling Dust Removal

On closer pre-start inspection of the ceiling insulation works, Murphy’s suspected the presence of hazardous materials. The client was advised and engaged an independent occupational hygienist to carry out testing. High-level lead dust was found. Murphy’s removed this hazardous material by HEPA vacuuming and wet-wiping the floor, structural members and all surfaces within the ceiling space. This was carried out before the re-roofing of the building. The independent hygienist then made a thorough inspection before issuing a clearance certificate to confirm the area was clear.

New Ceiling Insulation.

After the clearance of the lead dust in the ceiling, the new ceiling insulation batts were installed. Access to the ceiling was through an access hatch made through removal of the roof tiles by Murphy’s, keeping the building watertight.

Internal and External Painting Works

Client selected internal and external areas of Benledi House were painted. Paint samples were used to confirm the choice of finishes with the client. In preparation, areas were protected using drop sheets and flaky paint was removed with scrapers and sandpaper. The areas to be painted were cleaned of dirt and grime. New timber work, such as the fascia, was primed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions before the coatings were applied. Undercoats were applied followed by client approved top coats with finishes in accordance with the heritage conditions for the building. Special care was needed for the heritage details of the building such as the railings, chimneys and decorative features.

Benledi House


Damp proofing

In certain areas, the building was suffering from rising damp so, as part of the scope of works, Murphy’s addressed this. In the nominated locations, holes were drilled for injection and chemical damp proof course was injected. Upon completion, we provided verification and certification of the injected damp proof course.

Removal of the non-friable asbestos roof sheeting.

An area of non-friable asbestos cement roof sheeting was removed under controlled conditions. Murphy’s has asbestos removal licences for friable and non-friable asbestos materials. In accordance with the legislation, a notification was made to SafeWork NSW. The surrounding area was protected with black plastic. Our personnel have the required training for asbestos removal and carried this out in asbestos removal PPE including type 5 disposable coveralls, gloves and respirators. The removed asbestos containing sheeting was wrapped in two layers of black plastic, sealed with duct tape and transported for disposal at a facility licenced by the EPA for accepting refuse asbestos materials. Disposal documentation was collected for proof of compliant disposal. A hygienist put in place air monitoring throughout the removal works and provided a clearance certificate to confirm the area was free of asbestos debris and materials on completion.

Desalination and Heritage Rendering Work

The client selected two areas, on the ground and first floor, for desalination work. The areas were accurately marked out with the City of Sydney Council representatives before works began. The surrounding areas were protected with black plastic. A small jackhammer was used to expose the underlying brickwork for inspection and review. The Westox sacrificial poultice system was then applied to the agreed areas and left in place for 3 days in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. After a further inspection to check effectiveness of the poultice, it was then removed and disposed of. Our heritage renderers then locally mixed and applied the lath plaster to match the existing surfaces.

Benledi House



Murphy’s project team were responsible for quality management of the project. Continual monitoring of workmanship for all on site trades was supervised by Murphy’s Site Manager. Inspection and test plans (ITP) were used as a quality management tool for the roofing works, checking delivered roof tiles and materials arrived and were fitted correctly. Clearance certificates for the removal of asbestos roof sheeting and lead dust hazardous materials were key hold points. Murphy’s management met regularly with the client’s management team on site to review and plan the works. These meetings were at key hold, inspection and review points during the work.


The City of Sydney Council wished to keep Glebe Library and Community Centre inside the building operational during the works. Murphy’s made this possible by scaffolding the perimeter of the building and erecting hoarding over the doorway entrances. This protected all the people entering and leaving the building and enabled edge fall protection to be provided for the roofers replacing the roof tiling.

All works on site were managed using Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS). Murphy’s management team reviewed, and made changes where required, to all SWMS before work commenced. This included Murphy’s and subcontractor SWMS. As Murphy’s was principal contractor for the project, Murphy’s developed the Site-Specific Management Plan (SSMP), covering the responsibilities required under a site safety plan for the works.

Murphy’s own project specific induction included safety responsibilities and processes for all site personnel including Murphy’s staff and subcontractors. All personnel took the Brookfield GIS online City of Sydney general and asbestos awareness inductions.



A project Environmental Management Plan was developed for the project scope of works by Murphy’s. This took into account and assessment of the activities, environmental aspects and impacts of the works and specified controls to implemented.

Hazardous materials were present on the project including non-friable asbestos roof sheeting on an awning roof. Lead dust in the ceiling space beneath the main tiled roof was discovered during the works.

Management of general construction waste included the recycling of the concrete roof tiles. The asbestos and lead waste was specially treated being wrapped in 200-micron thick plastic and sealed with duct tape. These hazardous wastes were safely deposited at special environmental regulator approved facilities, with documentary evidence kept as proof of compliance with environment protection laws.

The required environmental controls were conveyed to the project personnel through work method statements and Murphy’s project-specific induction.

Benefits offered to Client during Project Works;

  • Public use of Glebe Library, Gay and Lesbian Rights Group Rooms and Glebe Community Centre inside Benledi House was able to continue unimpeded though protective use of scaffolding and hoarding by Murphy’s to protect the entrances to the building
  • Work over and around entrances to the building was scheduled for out of hours times, when there was no public use.
  • Project works were scheduled around client requirements of public access and community group activities within Benledi House.
  • Continuous meetings throughout the project with the client to cooperatively monitor progress, quality of workmanship and budget.
  • The work was completed without safety and environmental incident.


Benledi House Heritage Restoration 1


Benledi House Heritage Restoration 2 

Prior to restoration works

Benledi House Heritage Restoration 3 

Prior to works.

Benledi House Heritage Restoration 4

Benledi House Heritage Restoration 5 

External after restoration

Benledi House Heritage Restoration 6

Benledi House Heritage Restoration 7 

Old roof tiles and deteriorating box gutter.

Murphys Benledi House Heritage Restoration 8 

New roof tiles and new box gutter


Benledi House Heritage Restoration 9 

New roof tiles

Benledi House Heritage Restoration 10  

New roof tiles

Benledi House Heritage Restoration 11

Benledi House Heritage Restoration 12 

New roof tiles and corrugated roofing over balcony.

Benledi House Heritage Restoration 13 

Rendered capping was deteriorating

Benledi House Heritage Restoration 14 

Render capping rebuilt

Benledi House Heritage Restoration 16 

Ornamental decorations were crumbling apart.

Benledi House Heritage Restoration 15 

Mouldings were re-cast and re-instated.

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