Building Stronger Foundations

Submission cover sheet

  • Name of organisation or individual making this submission

    Confidentiality requested

Questions on possible options

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

    Plans should be signed off for BCA compliance by the Building Designers at each approval stage, that is at DA stage and again at CC/CDC. Having plans too conceptual at DA Stage has become the standard as a vehicle to help push the boundaries of the council LEP and DCP. Rather than using the DA approach, Building Designers should take advantage of the pre-DA options available at councils to discuss/ resolve LEP and DCP boundaries.

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

    Yes all variations. A slight change can have an effect on Structural and Sustainability components. If the change doesnt then a simple statutory declaration should not be a burden.

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

    The question should be what is the role of the Building Commissioner. Will the position of Building Commissioner just become another cog or will it have a higher level approach to really implement change across the industry? In my opinion, the Building Commissioner must have this higher level approach and be given real teeth. This would including drawing up a rigorous audit regime supported by legislative power to impose severe penalties, as required. The Building Commissioner will need to be supported or have access to an appropriately funded and experienced team from a range of disciplines including Building, Engineering, Design, Town Planning, Building Surveyor (Certifiers), Educators, Sustainability and Legal.

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

    It would be difficult to document performance solutions and their compliance with the BCA when the plans and finishes are still at concept stage. Even at CC/CDC stage the budgets and material availability isnt always finalised. The changing of specified cladding due to budget constraints or availability opens the way for non-compliant buildings. To achieve documents compliant with performance solutions a complete understanding of each item in the document is required. Potentially requiring modified documentation and statutory declaration that the modification is complaint with the proposed performance solution.

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

    Builders, Building Designers and Certifiers should be declaring that a building complies with its plans. Additional individual trade declarations and engineering declarations as well to state the building complies with plans.

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

    Builders should be putting their name to the final building works but only along side an independent authority. The Builders should be able to declare each detail section of the build with an overview by the certifying authority.

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

    As many trades as possible who are involved in a project. Having the Builder and tradesmen sign off and be responsible for their work as well as having an understanding of what they are signing off can only help the industry.

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

    Existing licensing regimes are appropriate for the residential builders as long as CPD are continued and are applicable to their work. Additional focus on the NCC and Australian Standards would be beneficial. Building Designers being registered shouldnt hurt as long as the registration isnt as difficult as becoming a registered Architect. Some Building Designers with more of a construction back ground do make fantastic designers but struggle to become a registered Architect.

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

    Minimum requirement should be set by the level of experience and training not funds in an account.

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

    Mandatory Professional Indemnity combined with mandatory NCC and Australian Standard training as a requirement.

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

    Minimum insurance requirements for a project should include the individual or property being insured not a warranty on the builder doing the work going missing or bankrupt. Encouraging quality and proof of quality to keep project insurance policies to a minimum. The value of the policy should cover the complete cost of rebuilding not just a component and the length of cover should be dependent on how long the building is expected to stand from a major structural perspective and six years as per the Limitation Act 1969 for other works.

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

    Mandatory skills for Building Designers should be understanding Local council LEPs and DCPs, understanding the way walls and roofs are constructed, understanding floor thickness requirements for spans and understanding sustainability. Be able to show understanding of material installation.

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

    Duty of care should be provided by each trade and builder. The trade is working under a builder but still should have the confidence in their work to provide a duty of care. If no confidence can be provided then what is the project or industry doing.

  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?

    Duty of care should apply to all types of work. The construction industry should be able to construct in a professional and competent manner.

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

    All types of consumers should be owed a duty of care. If you are undertaking a project as a building professional be professional.

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