Building Stronger Foundations

Submission cover sheet

  • Name of organisation or individual making this submission

    CKB Consult pty Ltd

  • Authorised delegate/contact person

    Campbell Balzer

  • Position


  • Organisation

Questions on possible options

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

    Detailed design plans and specifications produced at Construction Certificate stage prior to construction tender should be certified by the Designing Practitioner, or the registered, authorized and senior person in a company. There are existing declaration forms used by several private certifiers which identify the project scope, the designers documents, the designer, the list of Australian Standards which apply and any deviations from deemed to comply with BCA.

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

    Only major variations to the plans should require re certification. Such items as; Fire & life safety systems or structure Change of use of more than 10% of area Floor area variation more than 5% Items affecting Energy consumption by more than 5%

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

    Certified plan packages could most easily be uploaded to a global cloud storage site by the designer, with a receipt generated for their records. The files can sit there until needed if ever. The form of files and file size limits must apply.

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

    If they cant be documented and demonstrated to meet the intent, they shouldnt be built! I am often frustrated and alarmed that the first port of call on many projects is "how can we cut the costs or size, particularly on "valueless" safety items, by alternative solutions" rather than lets build a complying and safe place.

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

    Ultimately the Building Certifier must issue a Certificate of Occupancy. They must rely on; The Designers inspection and statement that the works appear to comply with the intent of their design; The Installers statements that they have installed the works in accordance with the design (or amendments) and also in accordance with Australian Standards installation parts. This process can and should apply to Design and construct projects, where each party may work for the same client, but be independently registered and responsible.

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

    Builders must either provide direct certification for the elements of the building which they are directly responsible for, or be held responsible to obtain certificates from each of their individual trades and present them in a complete package the Certifier.

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

    All significant trades; Civil works Structural ( steel, timber, concrete) Facade, roof, waterproofing. Electrical, Plumbing, Heating, Ventilation & AC

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

    I make these comments acting as an Electrical Building Services engineer, Company owner, member of Engineers Australia, member of the NER, Chartered Professional Engineer and RPEQ. The current process for us as specialist designers is available and adequate, but needs to be mandated in legislation. Engineers Australia plays a major national role in promoting this cause, and providing internationally recognized assessment and certification of practitioners. Annual validation is required.

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

    To be overseen by an INDEPENDANT body with the knowledge, charter and capacity to carry out a proper assessment and annual certification. Applicants must demonstrate an adequate degree of training or education in the topic, and have adequate industry experience operating with training & oversight. Registrants must annually demonstrate ongoing professional development to ensure they are keeping up to date with ever changing regulations, methods and materials. The Engineers Australia schemes offers an excellent online automated record keeping system for personal development, with prompts and guide limits for the types of education and research which needs to be used to achieve compliance. The scheme also allows recognition of lesser "technical" education standards, and / or extensive industry experience, but also assessed in a diligent manner by highest level professionals in that field.

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

    Professional Indemnity Insurance should be mandatory for all designers. Along side a professional registration scheme, it forces the practitioner to face up to the realities of their responsibilities in carrying out designs. It also provides some avenue for financial recovery when things go wrong. The run off period also adds some responsibility to the designer that they have to carry insurance for a period of years.

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

    Standard PI insurance is readily available in the market. Those areas of practice which find it difficult or expensive to get insurance are most likely related to an extremely poor past history of performance, highlighting the need for improved and mandatory registration and qualifications. Values at $5M, 10M and $20M are normal depending on the size of works designed. Typically most clients are demanding $10 or $20M these days. 7 year runoff period is normal and should be acceptable.

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

    They must demonstrate an education and training to some recognized level in the topic, plus a period of operational experience under supervision of a qualified practitioner. Skills include; Ability to learn and adapt regularly; Knowledge of the Statutory legislation, Codes, Australian Standards and Industry guidelines.

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

    Architect, Civil, Structural, Facade, Electrical, Fire Detection & Suppression, Hydraulic, HVAC, Fire Solutions Engineers, Lifts, Traffic

  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?

    No comment

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

    Owners and users of buildings, for a reasonable period - 5 years.

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