SIX KEY POINTS IN ANY PROPOSED CHANGES TO BUILDING REGULATION
140 Sussex Street, Sydney. Designed by Rickard Engineering in 1989. As good as new in 2019.
I was interested to read the view of Lynda Kypriadakis (Australian Financial Review – 13 July 2019) regarding the suggestion that we should return building control to the District Building Surveyors. The reader may be interested to know that I originally suggested this to the Secretary of the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors in June 2012, during the BPB Seminar held at the Wesley Centre, Pitt Street, Sydney. He immediately pleaded to me not to continue with that suggestion.
Some may think the MDC EA proposal to create “Building Governance Bodies” (BGB) is too much, but it cannot be worse than the current legislation. I can see no other option to establish mandatory rules for effective building control since no one is independent of the builder. Originally, the Government introduced 15 categories C1-C15 of accreditation. This was a good idea in principle, but for some reason was never adopted. The MDC had a similar idea (BGB’s) but they have only 12 categories. See category lists below.
I put forward the following six Key Points:
- Abolish the name “Accredited Certifier”. Call the “Principal Certifying Authority” what he is. The PCA. He has the same role as the Senior District Building Surveyor in country Australia. Call the other Accredited Certifiers, AC1 – Architect, AC2 – Building Surveyor, AC3 – Structural Engineer etc, etc.
- Industry to agree on the final BPB categories of accreditation.
Appoint a Chairperson for each category to establish a committee responsible for setting the mandatory rules for Design, Inspection and Certification with Accountability (DICA). Allow five (5) months total to be ready to run the system – 1 January 2020. Reintroduce “Resident Engineers” and “Clerks of Works” etc, etc as part of the proper system for inspections on the appropriate projects.
- The day that a “Design and Construct” contract is finalised, the client and the builder are to agree on the final selection of a PCA. (He effectively is custodian for both and answerable to both).
- The builder is then to submit to the PCA a list of Accredited Certifiers (AC1-AC12 tbc) for his approval. He is to check that they have appropriate Professional Indemnity and the professional capability/experience to do the job.
- There shall be only one AC for each discipline. All subcontract packages have to be approved by that one AC for that discipline e.g. all designers working for subcontractors must have their designs certified by the one PCA. Example – the designer of the prestressed concrete slabs on the building must submit his design to the AC-structural engineer for the project.
- No As-built drawings – No insurance – No Occupation Certificate.
Categories of Accreditation
| Building Professionals Act
| MDC Engineers Australia Committee
June 2013 Report
|C1 Private road and drainage design
|C2 Private road and drainage construction
|C2 Building Surveyor
|C3 Stormwater management facilities design
|C3 Structural Engineer
|C4 Stormwater management facilities construction
|C4 Civil Engineer & Stormwater
|C5 Subdivision & building (works as constructed)
|C5 Geotech Engineer
|C6 Subdivision road and drainage construction
|C6 Mech Engineer
|C7 Structural engineering
|C7 Elec Engineer
|C8 Electrical services
|C8 Fire Engineer
|C9 Mechanical services
|C9 Building Hydraulics
|C10 Fire safety engineering
|C10 Acoustic Engineer
|C11 Energy management (Classes 3, 5 to 9)
|C11 Lift Engineer
|C12 Geotechnical engineering
|C12 Energy Management
|C14 Building hydraulics C15 Stormwater
Ex-Chairman MDC EA