Building Stronger Foundations

Submission cover sheet

  • Name of organisation or individual making this submission

    Kingsley Lunt

  • Authorised delegate/contact person

    Kingsley Lunt

  • Position

  • Organisation

Questions on possible options

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

    One of the main issues with the current regulatory framework is its inability to control construction projects procured and undertaken through a Design and Construction route. D&C contracts have led to a hands off approach by the person having the benefit of the works. D&C is designed to reduce cost and quality and increase speed. This has knock on effects to the design documentation produced. The onus should therefore be placed back on the person engaging the works to commence to comply with the building control and planning legislation. 1. The developer/ client 2. The main contractor 3. The principle designer/ architect 4. Relevant design consultants/ sub contractors as determined by planning conditions, building control legislation and the building certifier (e.g. fire services plans by a CFSP, registered structural engineer for structural works) should sign off plans that are capable of satisfying both planning and NCC compliance. The (building) accredited certifer may then issue their approval if they have plans, specs and certificates that are to a level reasonable for someone acting in that role to make the determination that they illustrate a design that is capable of compliance with the NCC performance requirements and relevant planning conditions of consent. If the design is subject to a performance solution, then a certifier may ask for this information (in accordance with NCC A2) at this time to assist them making their determination.

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

    Define what is a major variation. It will always be open to scrutiny, interpretation and manipulation in a competitive market. Note to quash any conflict of issues argument, councils lack of accountability would raise similar issues. The extent of what constitutes a notifiable as a variation should be whether either the person who is undertaking the works or who has engaged the works considers it would prevent them from confirming the as built construction is both NCC compliant and generally not inconsistent with the relevant planning conditions.

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

    The Building Commissioner should retain the right to inspect any documentation that should be held by the certifier and council. It is of no benefit to the public for all documentation to be stored by the Building Commissioner at the tax payers cost. The information however should be available to subsequent owners to purchase from councils.

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

    Structural performance solutions are rarely documented. IFEGs framework and A5.2 set out a reasonable process for the certifier to request at their discretion for other non-fire related performance solutions. The issue is documenting minor performance solutions by having a strict Deemed to satisfy framework oppose to having prescriptive guidance, then a certifier is exposed to risk through the inconsistencies, anomalys and impracticability of applying the DtS provisions to every possible building design. A performance solution would be required for example for every project with an AS 1670.1-2015 system with a sprinkler system as the one referenced at that time would have been AS 2118.1-1999 which is now not referenced. References in AS 2118.1-1999 would then have to refer to a former version of AS 1670.1 meaning that a whole pointless exercise of performance solutions would have to be documented due to the issues caused by the NCC clause A4.0 (5). Therefore the BCA DtS clauses should be used as prescriptive guidance oppose to a cart blanch satisfaction of the relevant performance requirements.

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

    Designers should have to sign off that the finished works are generally not inconsistent with their design, the relevant NCC provisions and DA conditions.

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

    Builders should be signing off the as built documentation which should be provided to the certifier prior to OC. This will take additional time, but it the only way to document variations.

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

    The main contractor should take responsibility and hold insurance to cover. They can then obtain what information they like from sub-contractors to satisfy themselves when signing off the entire building.

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

    No. Higher levels of competencies need to be demanded and demonstrated.

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

    Insurance

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

    Potentially a similar based scheme as home builders?

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

    Potentially a similar based scheme as home builders?

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

    Competence in the NCC. They should be responsible for compliance with the NCC and provide sufficient evidence for a certifier to make a reasonable determination that the works are compliant with the NCC.

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

    Anyone undertaking works owes a duty of care for the works they are undertaking

  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?

    All

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

    All

At our discretion we may remove parts of submissions because of length, content, appropriateness or confidentiality (privacy) reasons.

Website https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

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