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Fixing Australia’s billion-dollar defect problem

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has released a series of best-practice model guidance publications in response to the Building Confidence Report.

At the request of building ministers, the ABCB prepared model guidance in response to the recommendations of the Building Confidence Report (BCR), which examined the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the Australian building and construction industry.

A report, commissioned by the ABCB, found the cost to consumers from building defects relating to regulatory non-compliance is currently $2.5 billion annually, with $1.3 billion of that attributed to multi-storey apartment buildings. The report estimates that nationally consistent implementation of the BCR model guidance would reduce the costs of building defects by about $1.4 billion annually and offer time savings worth $375 million annually.

The model guidance was produced with the assistance of industry and governments, and provides flexibility to allow governments to consider and implement the guidance in a way that suits their individual regulatory systems. The model guidance is ultimately aimed at strengthening compliance with the National Construction Code (NCC) and state and territory building legislation.

The new publications cover a range of topics including:

  • A national registration framework for building practitioners
  • CPD on the NCC and ethics
  • Documentation and the approval process
  • Third-party review
  • Minimum mandatory inspections
  • Engagement with fire authorities
  • Codes of conduct for building surveyors and fire engineers.

Further work on developing the next phase of a Building Product Assurance Framework will be undertaken by senior building officials in consultation with the ABCB in the first half of 2022.

To read the model guidance publications, click here.

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