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Notes on Building Projects
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Note. The information on this page concerning buildings comes mainly from a speedy 'first pass' through the RCMPC records at UMA and from dipping into the Monash Papers at NLA looking for information on other themes. It is presented to indicate the nature and scope of John Monash's work in building construction. Details should be used with caution. For an overview of early development of reinforced concrete in Australia, see e.g. Lewis, M. 1988.

Steel Transit Shed 1892.

Lengthwise view of the framework for a large steel shed prior to cladding.

National Library of Australia. Monash Papers MS1884.

The above photograph has a hand-printed description on the front saying it is a Steel Transit Shed, Australian Wharf, Melbourne, 400 feet (122 m) long, 75 ft (22.9 m) span, with principals at 20 ft (6.10 m) centres. A note in JM's hand says he designed it for the Harbor Trust in 1892.

Fabrication drawing showing member sizes and joint details etc for one frame.

Detail from drawing. Half of a typical frame (centreline dotted)
surrounded by larger-scale details of connections.
John Thomas Collection.

The drawing from which the detail above is taken shows a cross-section and part longitudinal sections of a steel shed with truss roof and lantern. The title is: "Melbourne Harbor Trust. Open Shed on New Australian Wharf." No date is visible on our photocopy of this drawing, nor any indication of the draughtsman, but it is quite possible that it was drawn by JM.

Close-up of a group of men and one boy seated within the shed framework.

Detail from the NLA photograph.
The gentleman in the centre of the group is probably Monash.

Bay Street Shops, Port Melbourne

These were built for a Mr Steele at Lots 9 and 10 on the Heath Street side of Bay St, with a 36 foot frontage. JM appears to have acted as engineering consultant to architect C. E. Wright. JM surveyed the site and prepared an estimate in July 1895. A specification was drawn up and tenders called. Correspondence indicates the job continued into 1896.

Cameron Bros Floors

This was a joint consulting job involving JTNA and JM. Traditional floors at the Cameron Bros factory, probably in A'Beckett St, had sagged three inches (75mm). M&A's analysis of the situation showed the original design of the building was inadequate and that measures being adopted by a builder to strengthen it would be fruitless. The ground and first floors had cast iron columns, but those on the second to fourth were of timber. Monash advised replacement with cast iron but, presumably because the owner could not afford the cost, simply stiffened the existing floors with steel joists. M&A prepared a properly calculated scheme and a specification, and called tenders which were won narrowly by Austral Otis at £394. Work seems to have been completed in March 1895. (Monash's next project for Cameron, came in 1907-08.)

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