Eureka Tower

Melbourne, Australia

Day 491. 11 August 2005

Eureka Tower

Melbourne, Australia

Day 491. 11 August 2005

I signed my lease for my new flat in Melbourne last week. I am hoping to move in next week , fingers crossed but after reading this in todays paper I am thinking it may be a bad move.

Rules of the Eureka roost

EUREKA Tower residents are being ordered to keep balcony doors and windows shut in high wind for safety reasons.

Newcomers to Melbourne's tallest building are told officials can enter apartments to close balcony doors "that may be violating the safety of the building" in high wind.

Balcony doors and windows must be shut when no one is home, a 52-page residents' rule book says. < /p>

A red flashing alarm and buzzer alerts residents if a door is open when leaving.

Residents must allow urgent access when staff discover "by electronic monitor or otherwise" a door or window is open in high wind.

But Eureka architect Karl Fender said high wind did not pose a threat to the tower itself, which has a maximum sway of 30cm.

He said the warning related to items that could be blown off balconies, such as clothes drying on a rack.

Leaving doors and windows open in high wind could create a "suction effect", whipping items out of apartments.

"You might lose paper or a tablecloth," he said.

Mr Fender said open doors and windows would not increase the building's sway.

Other rules for residents in the 92-storey tower include:

A 10-FRIEND limit before security must be hired to admit guests downstairs and escort them to the lift.

A $6000 fee for triggering a false fire alarm.

A "large" number of people smoking in one apartment can trigger the alarm or sprinklers, the rule book warns.

One resident said he was concerned by the hundreds of Big Brother-style rules.

"It feels like you're being watched," he said.

High wind at night made such a racket light sleepers would struggle to sleep, the resident said.

"It's a quite piercing, howling sound -- like a banshee at night time -- when the wind gets up a bit," he said.

The concierge and security staff can monitor whether balcony doors are open or closed, the rule book reveals.

All windows in the tower are fitted with safety catches that automatically close and lock in high wind.

A statement by Eureka Tower management said the wind rules were for the safety of residents, no wind alert had occurred yet, and warnings to residents would only be needed in extremely dangerous wind.

Among measures to combat the effects of wind are two 290-tonne water tanks at the tower's top that slow the swaying motion so it cannot be felt.

The rule book also details the luxuries lavished upon residents of the ritzy tower, where apartments are for sale from $355,000 to $8 million.

The cheapest rent is $320 a week and the highest $1000

Residents can order a butler or housemaid through the concierge to serve food and drinks, or a bouncer for functions that attract gatecrashers.

Residents have the use of a 25m lap pool, 30-seat theatre, gym and two saunas.

The tower, to be finished by Christmas, is complete up to about level 60, and more than 300 residents have moved in.

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