HIA Welcomes Changes To Improve Building Designs

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Updated: May 22, 2019

“Changes announced yesterday to ensure that each person involved in the design and construction of new buildings is responsible for the part they play have the potential to reduce the burden on home builders,” said David Bare, HIA Executive Director NSW.

“The current rules place an unfair burden on home builders when they simply build what is shown on plans prepared by other professionals like architects, building designers and engineers,” said David.

“Asking these professionals to take responsibility for their work and then trusting building certifiers to only approve plans that comply with the codes and standards should be a given.

“It makes sense that a builder should be able to follow the approved plans, and in doing so the building will be compliant and safe.

“NSW has considered the option of a Building Commissioner in the past and if this can bring improvements for the industry in dealing with government there may be some benefit.

“As we are yet to see any detail on what the ‘industry wide duty-of-care’ involves, it’s difficult at this stage to be sure what change that may mean for a home builder.

“In line with recommendations made by Professor Shergold AM and Bronwyn Weir, for any form of chain of responsibility legislation to work must also address non-conforming building products.

“Failing to include high-risk building products in these reforms is the same as trying to build a home without any foundations.

“HIA looks forward to working with the Government to ensure these reforms are sensible and achieve tangible benefits to the housing industry in NSW,” concluded Mr Bare.