Building Stronger Foundations

Submission cover sheet

  • Name of organisation or individual making this submission

    Daniel Sullivan

  • Authorised delegate/contact person

    Daniel Sullivan

  • Position

    Technical Services Manager

  • Organisation

    D&E Air Conditioning

Questions on possible options

  1. What kind of plans should be signed off and declared by a statutory declaration?

    For construction design documentation should be signed off and declared by statutory declaration. This should be documentation that contains sufficient information for the project to be built from, including all relevant details to demonstrate appliance with relevant regulations and standards.

  2. Should a statutory declaration accompany all variations to plans or only major variations?

    Yes, proof that the change doesnt affect compliance should also be provided.

  3. How should plans be provided to, or accessed by, the Building Commissioner?

    Depends, if the objective of providing the documentation to the building commissioner is for record only, then the building permit application process should be sufficient for this. If the building commissioner want to review compliance of a random selection of documentation, then i believe this is a great idea.

  4. In what circumstances would it be difficult to document performance solutions and their compliance with the BCA?

    There is a clearly defined process for documenting performance solutions and the information required. Appropriately skilled engineers should not have an issue demonstrating the compliance of a performance solution if it does indeed comply.

  5. What would the process for declaring that a building complies with its plans look like?

    I dont believe a single inspection at the end of the project is capable of determining adequately that a building complies. Several inspections throughout the construction process should be implemented to ensure compliance, as well as a desktop review of the commissioning data versus the plans. These inspections would include; footings structure facade installation and sealing envelope insulation and sealing pipework and ductwork insulation FRL barrier penetration compliance (fire dampers, fire sealing, etc) Kitchen exhaust duct installation and fire isolation Smoke spill systems installation Desktop fan and pump selection compliance commissioned required exhaust volumes commissioned required outside air volumes

  6. What kind of role should builders play in declaring final building work?

    Builders should be collating and submitting all required information to declare final building work, however a third party should be making the assessment as to whether it is achieved.

  7. Which builders involved in building work should be responsible for signing off on buildings?

    None. The financial motives for builders are to great to be signing off against their own work. A third party should be conducting the sign off.

  8. Are existing licensing regimes appropriate to be accepted as registration for some builders and building designers, such as architects, for the new scheme?

    Yes, i believe existing license holders should be entitled to be registered under the new scheme, however the new scheme should require a greater level of CPD to continue to be registered. There should be regular auditing of certification to ensure appropriate compliance and intentional non-conformance found in the auditing process should be aggressively punished.

  9. What should be the minimum requirements for a registration scheme?

    Depends on the category of registration; professional categories (engineers, architects, etc) should have a degree as a minimum with at least 5 years industry experience builders categories should have at least 10 years experience with appropriate trade and project management courses as a baseline.

  10. What form of insurance should be mandatory for ‘building designers’? Why?

    Professional indemnity insurance should be mandatory, with a mandatory requirement to cover the 10 years warranty liability even in a run off scenario. This ensures the practitioners are covered for claims made against them, but also makes sure that clients are covered for malpractice of practitioners. The recent flammable cladding comes to mind, where owners corporations dont seem to have any recourse against builders who have installed non-compliant products.

  11. What kinds of minimum requirements should be prescribed for the insurance policy (for example, value, length of cover, etc.)?

    minimum run off of 10 years to match warranty liabilities value of cover appropriate to the value of the project work being completed.

  12. What skills should be mandatory for ‘building designers’?

    Cost evaluation High degree of understanding of how the BCA works and how it is enacted by legislation Project management and planning Effective communication Effective running of a meeting

  13. Which categories of building practitioners should owe a duty of care?

    If the definition of "duty of care " is; a moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of others. Then all building practitioners should owe a duty of care.

  14. What should be the scope of the duty of care? Should it apply to all or certain types of work? If so, which work?

    As above it should apply to all types of work.

  15. What types of consumers should be owed a duty of care?

    In construction this should definitely apply to "mums and dads" type consumers, with this extended to owners corporations as these are often made up of "mums and dads" owning investments. The commercial developers as consumers will take their own legal action if building work is not completed appropriately.

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