The Cost of Poor Quality In Construction Is New Building Regulation
The cost of poor quality in construction is substantial. Highly publicised tragedies like the Mascot and Opal Tower incidents have put lives at risk and caused millions of dollars worth of damage. The need for reform in building regulation is very evident. New agreement by Australia’s building ministers is a positive step towards solving the problem of defective buildings and materialising better outcomes in the future. However, there are still steps that need to be taken by the Government to ensure poor quality construction does not lead to more disasters similar to the Mascot and Opal Towers incidents.
The national restructuring of building codes, including amendments to laws regarding building cladding and the delegation of duty of care to building owners means future construction work should produce higher quality outcomes than has been the case historically. However, many buildings built within the last twenty years hold a high-risk profile. There is still an enormous volume of work that needs to be completed now, including the rectification of buildings that have been identified as at risk due to the use of combustible cladding and the presence of other building defects. The legacy of such buildings may be one of disaster if building defects are not remedied immediately with solutions regulated by the Australian Building Standards code.
One factor contributing to the current cost of poor quality in construction is a method of procuring building services called the design and construct, or D&C, contract. D&C contracts often see the developer hand over decision-making powers to the builder. D&C contracts make it far more difficult to for developers to challenge decisions that may have a negative impact on building quality, for example, the use of cheap, substitute building materials.
One step that must be taken by contractors to ensure high quality construction is employment of professional, independent and registered contractors to inspect buildings for defects. This must be completed prior to opening buildings for lease and on a regular basis proceeding that time. Accurate reporting must be stored in a secure archive and any defects identified during building inspections must be remediated by professional contractors before occupancy commences.
There are other steps too that must be legislated before the quality of Australian buildings can guarantee safe, sustainable real estate for homes and office spaces. The new agreement by Australia’s building ministers lacks a mechanism to ensure that construction companies do not cut corners during projects. It also makes no provision for examples where inferior products are used as a substitute for specified and approved materials. These gaps in the law must be amended to ensure building designs are followed to the letter and that only durable, high quality materials are used in construction.
When corners are cut and shoddy building materials are used in construction, problems like leaks, mould growth and inferior structural integrity can have a negative impact on the quality of life for residents. Health problems can manifest, repair costs can become expensive and the risk of collapse or combustion may be present.
Contact Sydney Building Defects for all building defect inspections, reports and thermal imaging Sydney. We have almost 40 years’ experience in the building inspection sector of the building industry and are experts at using this innovative technology to reduce the cost of poor quality in construction. Call us on 0419 416 040 or reach out via our contact page to arrange an inspection of your property no matter where you are in Sydney.