Bronte House 01

Bronte House Major Repairs and Refurbishment


CLIENT: Waverley Council / Clive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners Pty. Ltd. (Heritage Architects)

Project Value: $ 1,000,000.00

Project Case Study: Bronte House Major Repairs and Refurbishment

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Photograph 1: looking at the Front/Main Elevation of Bronte House Completed Restoration


Murphy’s Construction Group Pty Ltd was engaged to perform the Heritage Repairs and Refurbishment Works to Bronte House, which is recognised on the National Heritage Register. The client for the project was Waverley Council, and the Superintendent Representative for the Project was the well respected and acknowledged Heritage Architect/Consultant Clive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners Pty. Ltd.

The Heritage listed House was constructed in 1845 and as such is one of Waverley Councils oldest and most recognised assets. Bronte House is not only significant for the Heritage listed House, but the onsite Gardens are of high significance and internationally recognised.

Over the last 170 years Bronte House has been occupied by notable and respected people from the Sydney Community. With the high significance of the Bronte House Waverley Council have always adopted a cautious approach for selecting tenants for the property as was the same with selecting Murphy’s Construction Group as the contractor to undertake the works.

The outline of the scope of works included:

• Slate Roof Replacement
• Roof Timber Structure Remediation Works
• Roof Lead Flashing Works
• Copper Box Guttering & Roof Plumbing Works
• Replacement of the Perimeter Heritage Fencing
• Replacement of Security Fencing
• Maintenance of the Gardens
• Site Storm water and Drainage Works
• External & Internal Heritage Joinery Works
• Damp Proof Courses & Reinstate Lime Plasterwork
• Heritage Floor (Tessellated) Tiling Works
• Installation of new Wire Supports for the Heritage Climbing Plants
• Stone & Masonry Repairs & Rebuilds
• Internal & External Painting Works
• Replacement of Heritage Wall Papers
• External Traditional Lime wash Works
• Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Works
• Refurbishment of the Garage

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Photograph 2: looking at the Back Elevation of Bronte House Completed Restoration. From this Veranda there is a view to the water at Bronte Beach


Bronte House is of major local and National Heritage significance in the area. The project was watched closely by the owner (Waverley Council), Superintendent Representative (Clive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners Pty. Ltd.) and the local residents of the Bronte Community. The location of Bronte House is on Bronte Road which is the main thoroughfare to Bronte Beach, hence the Project works were clearly visible to the public.

The detailed Heritage aspects of Bronte House meant that all works executed had to be sympathetic to the appearance of the building, in particular the traditional work methods and finishes. Clear Communication &Consultation with the Heritage architect/consultantthroughout the progression of all works enabled Murphy’s to select materials and perform techniques that would preserve the fabric and heritage features of the Bronte House asset.

The varied types of Traditional works, included for Internal Wall Paper, Traditional Stone/Masonry Repairs and Original Lime Wash techniques to name a few. Engaging the correct consultants and experienced trade persons enabled Murphy’s to overcome all Heritage constraints on the Project.

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Photograph/s 3: Internal completed Heritage Works to the both Main Living Rooms of Bronte House.
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Photograph 4: External completed Heritage Works on Bronte House Elevation

As the onsite Gardens within Bronte House are internationally recognised &they were required to be adequately and comprehensively protected during the Building Works. Murphy’s management team worked closely with the Bronte House Horticulturist to implement Plant management Strategies for all work tasks completed onsite to for the protection and maintenance of all Flora & Fauna onsite.

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Photographs/5: examples of the Significant Flora onsite


Slate Roof Replacement
The method and process for the Roof Replacement was strict as the internal areas of the Building were required to remain completely watertight at all times. This was programmed onsite daily between our Site Manager and Heritage Slate Roofing Contractor. Proper daily programming of the Roof Replacement was required, including marking and setting out the nominated area of re-roofing for that day, this was successfully executed.

Traditional Lime Wash Works
The External Masonry surfaces of the Bronte House were required to have traditional Limewash applied. This meant it was to be mixed onsite in the Traditional method as was used for the original construction in 1845. Consulting with the Heritage architect and traditionalists in coatings Murphy’s successfully adopted the onsite mixing of the Limewash to replicate the original products and application, all to the client’s satisfaction and requirements.

Traditional Joinery & Timber Works, including Windows & Doors
A Challenging Part of the Project Scope of Works was the Traditional Joinery Works, including Nominated repairs to the Windows and Doors. The majority of the timber was the original and the requirement was to put the existing Windows and Doors in good working order whilst keeping as much of the original material as possible. By carrying out a detailed Dilapidation report on all Windows and Doors we developed a specific Quality Management Plan and Inspection Test Plans (ITP’s) that were implemented for the successful completion of these works.

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Photograph 6: completed Works to the Bay 1 Window

Garage Restoration Works
The existing Garage at Bronte House is also of Heritage Significance and was a small Project in its own respect. Murphy’s replaced the Roof, Roof Plumbing, Repaired Joinery and Painted all surfaces of the Garage. Working with the client we initiated alternatives to the original Scope of works for the Garage that were successfully carried out to the clients satisfaction.

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Photograph 7: Refurbished Garage Completed

Replacement of the Heritage Timber Fence

We progressively replaced the custom milled Hardwood Timber Fence to match the Traditional appearance and Construction in a manner that ensured the security of the Site was maintained at all times

The surrounding Environment being world recognised and significant Gardens meant that adequate protection and strategies were required to be implemented at all times during the project works. This included for specialist working techniques around the onsite Flora and Fauna. A Scaffold Plan to ensure the required Scaffold could be safely erected without affecting any of the onsite plants and/or garden beds. This plan was developed with the Heritage Horticulturist and managed closely between Murphy’s Management and the Heritage Horticulturist.

Murphy’s operates a Quality Management System accredited to ISO 9001 of which was adopted on the project. ITP’s were used throughout the project, including for key sign off and ‘Hold Points’ required by the Heritage Architect/Consultant.

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Photograph/s 8: Additional Pictures of the Completed Heritage Refurbishment

Benefits offered to Client during Project Works;

• Project delivered ahead of project Schedule despite extremes of weather
• Weekly project meetings with client throughout the project
• Full preservation of all heritage aspects of the building and grounds
• Worked Closely with the Heritage Consultant & achieved works in access of Project requirements
• Delivery of the project with no lost time injuries, safety or environmental issues
• Project delivered with high quality workmanship
• No loss or damage to any item of Heritage Significance

CONTACT PERSON: Heritage Architect/Consultant – Ian Stapleton: 02 9357 4811


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