Rescue My Concrete was engaged by the National Trust to provide an effective solution to permanently waterproof the historical Perth Observatory building in the heart of Perth. The brief sought to ensure that the building was restored to its original beauty, functionality and appearance, with its architectural features retained intact.

After different options were considered and the best solution was approved by the client, Rescue My Concrete worked with Supreme Coating Systems to carefully remove any legacy material and contaminations (including lead flashings and asbestos layers).

Following the clean-up, the original concrete rooftop emerged with its beautiful architectural features such as drainage channels, step downs, and ornaments. The surface was prepared to receive a high-tech, seamless polyurethane membrane. The outcome delivered a stunning return to its original beauty, functionality and appearance – the UV-stable topcoat colour was customised to match the original look.

The waterproofing project ensured that hundreds of kilos of unnecessary by-products were removed from the rooftop, which is now 100% protected from the elements. Our specialised methods also meant that the historical geolocation datum did not have to be moved as we were able to encapsulate and overcoat crucial contaminated areas of the footing, a process that saved the customer about A$40,000.

The original Perth Observatory was constructed in 1896 and officially opened in 1900 by John Forrest, the first premier of Western Australia. The old Observatory is located at Mount Eliza overlooking the city of Perth and houses the offices of the National Trust. Keeping Standard Time for Western Australia and collecting meteorological data were the primary roles of the Observatory. It was also closely associated with the co-ordination of the surveys and the mapping of the State.

In November 1900, the centre of the Transit Circle mounting at the Observatory was connected to the State triangulation system and, in 1901, was adopted as the origin of Western Australian Surveys. The historical datum as well as the entire rooftop had been contaminated with asbestos over the years as different methods of waterproofing were employed. Our solutions not only provided non-toxic and environment-friendly permanent waterproofing, but also re-established the original design for this part of the building.