Yesterday, at a meeting of the Australian Construction Industry Forum, we had an excellent roundtable discussion on the state of building regulation and compliance.
Attending as a special guest was Bronwyn Weir, co-author of the Building Confidence Report, which has been the focal point of debate around building quality since its release last year.
With various segments of the industry represented at the forum, areas of priority differed; however, there was broad agreement that industry reform is necessary.
To date, government responses to the recommendations made in the report have focused primarily on the rectification of non-conforming products, the registration of building practitioners, the role of building surveyors and the responsibilities of building regulators.
At the AMCA, we are encouraging governments to focus more closely on ways to improve the design and documentation process, including the capture and storage of building information that accurately reflects the as-built building.
This means making sure that roles and responsibilities relating to all phases of the design process are clearly defined and that risks are allocated to the party most capable of managing them.
It also means ensuring that the tender process is fair and transparent, that those providing expertise and design ideas are appropriately compensated, and that the regulatory system can respond to the different procurement models and contractual arrangements that currently drive project delivery.
We are also calling on governments to take greater advantage of existing technologies, which could allow many of the concerns relating to building quality to be addressed through the design process, with increased transparency ensuring that other defects become easier and less costly to rectify.
All members of ACIF agreed to continue working collaboratively to ensure that reforms implemented across state jurisdictions are as consistent as possible.