26 September 2023

VBA not impressed as risky worksites grow

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The Victorian Building Authority’s (VBA) targeted inspection approach has seen an increase in the compliance risk documented on worksites across the State.

State Building Surveyor at VBA, Andrew Cialini said an analysis of quarter one data from the VBA’s Proactive Inspection Program’s (PIP) showed that non-compliant building and plumbing issues had increased Statewide, up by 14 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Mr Cialini said this was influenced by a shift in criteria that targeted practitioners and sites of interest to assess more sites that had progressed beyond early stage work.

He said a compliance risk was any non-compliant item observed in a building under construction which had the potential to cause safety issues or financial loss for future occupants.

“The VBA proactive inspections team aims to identify areas of building and plumbing non-compliance before they become an issue for homeowners, which could create potential safety risks, stress, and add time and cost impacts to projects,” Mr Cialini said.

“The information and intelligence gathered through PIP also enables the VBA to provide advice on building and plumbing standards and education and training in the industry to improve future outcomes,” he said.

“Overall, in the first quarter of 2022-23, the VBA conducted 2,406 inspections, comprising of 1,476 building and 930 plumbing inspections across the State.”

Mr Cialini said timber framing, waterproofing and unreinforced masonry were among the top non-compliant issues found by the VBA in domestic building work.

He said non-compliance issues related to fire separation were particularly high in domestic dual-occupancy buildings.

“In commercial building work, access for people with a disability as well as damp and weatherproofing were some of the biggest compliance issues,” the State Surveyor said.

“Roof drainage, gas installation, cold water services and sanitary plumbing systems were a few of the compliance risks highlighted in domestic and commercial plumbing,” he said.

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