From making buildings to caring for buildings
Regardless of whether you’re the strata manager, owner, tenant, insurer, design or building professional, Australia’s defects crisis is triggering a much-needed shift in behaviours, attitudes and compliance standards
The ushering in of new regulation, triggered by the building crisis, is likely to be a catalyst of major long-term transformation to improve the health, safety and value of our buildings. However, getting the new reforms over the line and getting them right is proving difficult.
The reform packages, at the moment, are aiming to give consumers confidence, which should mean for those in the delivery of building services a lifting of industry practices and compliance. For consumers, however, they offer little to owners and occupiers immediately.Here are two points to consider when it comes to building defects:
It is time for a shift in thinking
While addressing the NSW strata industry at the 2019 Strata Community Association conference, the New South Wales Building Commissioner, David Chandler said: “Over the next five to ten years, we will see another range of buildings fail partly due to neglect. We need to move from making buildings to caring for buildings”.
The Commissioner suggested Australia move from making buildings — which is typically followed by a static maintenance approach — to genuinely caring for buildings, where the roles of both the strata and building manager are allowed to be more proactive and are better understood by owners as consulting roles that deliver value through continuity of care and forecasting.
As the camps between what is right and wrong with this package intensify, Commissioner Chandler touches on an interesting point from a strata manager’s perspective. The importance of thorough maintenance.
Strata professionals can make a difference
How impacting the changes shall be, time will tell, for today, however, steps can be taken to kick-start consumer confidence. Educating property owners on the benefits of lifelong upkeep, maintenance and repairs, such as prolonged warranties and valid insurance claims, are practical steps we can start harnessing to restore confidence in each link of the property service chain.