26 September 2023

VBA’s tighter checking paying off

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A change in approach has seen the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) uncover compliance risks on construction sites before they pose a physical or financial risk to future occupants.

State Building Surveyor at the VBA, Andrew Cialini said a compliance risk was any non-compliant item observed in a building under construction which had the potential to cause an adverse effect on safety or financial loss for future occupants, or loss of structural integrity.

Mr Cialini said the VBA’s Proactive Inspection Program (PIP) had seen the Authority identify seven per cent more non-compliant building and plumbing issues in the October-December quarter than in the previous quarter.

“This outcome was influenced by a shift in criteria targeting inspections of practitioners and sites of interest, so as to assess more sites that have progressed beyond early stage work,” he said.

“More than 2500 proactive inspections of building and plumbing work were undertaken in the final three months of last year.

“Timber framing, wet areas and external waterproofing and steel framing were the top non-compliant issues found by the VBA in domestic building work.”

Mr Cialini said in commercial building work, damp and weatherproofing, fire resistance and fire safety provisions were the biggest compliance issues; while roof drainage, gas installation, cold water services, sanitary plumbing systems and cold-water services were the key compliance risks highlighted in domestic and commercial plumbing.

The State Building Surveyor said the more targeted approach with PIP meant the Regulator was able to identify risks more effectively.

He said the VBA’s approach to compliance started with the belief that individuals wanted to do the right thing.

“That’s why we are building a risk-based regulatory model that will encourage and incentivise good behaviour, while discouraging poor performance that ultimately impacts consumers,” Mr Cialini said.

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