26 September 2023

VBA program builds industry partnerships

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The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is relishing the success of its Proactive Inspection Program (PIP) with building and plumbing practitioners working cooperatively with the Authority.

State Building Surveyor at VBA, Andrew Cialini said more than 3,000 proactive inspections of building and plumbing work were undertaken between January and March, and inspectors found good overall compliance.

Mr Cialini said there was a shift in both attitude and behaviour in the construction industry.

“Practitioners are more aware of, and more accepting of the program, and inspectors have reported that builders are using them as a source of knowledge and are much more eager to ask them questions on site,” he said.

“Part of our role is working with practitioners to ensure they do the right thing and preventing instances of non-compliances before they happen.”

Mr Cialini said PIP data revealed that 66 per cent of building and plumbing construction sites were either compliant or low risk and there were less unlicensed and unregistered workers carrying out plumbing work since the inception of the program in 2015.

The State Building Surveyor said that while inspectors found good overall compliance, persistent risks around timber framing and rainwater drainage work remained.

He said timber framing items were regularly the top non-compliant issues found by the VBA in domestic building work, and this quarter the percentage of non-compliance increased to 24 per cent after dropping to 20 per cent in the previous quarter.

“In commercial building work, firefighting safety provisions was the biggest compliance issue, such as the protection of building openings,” Mr Cialini said.

“For plumbers conducting domestic work, the most common non-compliant risks included sanitary and roof drainage systems, and gas installations with ground gas fittings installed too close to other services.”

Mr Cialini said that with PIP now in its fifth year, practitioners in both building and plumbing were working with the VBA to make improvements.

“Builders and plumbers are engaging with our inspectors on site, asking questions and tapping into their expertise,” he said.

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