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04 Journal

Kathlyn Loseby is advocating on behalf of the architectural profession and to protect the consumer so they can be confident in construction again.

Published by The Institute on 27 June 2019 – excerpt
A spate of recent incidents, generating extensive media coverage, has brought significant attention to the safety and quality of Australia’s built environment and has severely impacted public confidence. These include the Lacrosse Tower Fire, Melbourne 2014; the Grenfell Tower Fire, UK, 2017; the Opal Tower building evacuation, Sydney, December 2018; the Neo200 Apartment Building Fire, Melbourne, February 2019; the CBD walkway collapse, Perth, June 2019; and the Mascot Towers building evacuation, Sydney, June 2019.

Australian Federal, State and Territory ministers, through the Building Ministers Forum, commissioned a review by Dr Peter Shergold and Ms Bronwyn Weir. Their report, Building Confidence, was released publicly early in 2018 and an implementation plan in March 2019. The Australian Institute of Architects has supported and publicly called for the urgent adoption of all recommendations.

For NSW to overcome the huge dip in public confidence in the construction industry, 10 key issues need to be addressed.

1. #SafetyFirst is paramount, but in a first world country we should also expect #Wellbeing
2. Certification by qualified, independent, registered professionals with PI insurance = consumer protection
3. Stop self-certification
4. Contracts need to place #Quality over #speed and #greed
5. Contracts need to reconsider risk allocation
6. Documentation by appropriately registered professionals to the National Construction Code (NCC)
7. Value engineering should include a quality judgement
8. Substitution of materials
9. Partial services and ‘shopping’ consultant services
10. Delight, beauty and inspiration

An architect spends five years at university, a minimum of two years of practical experience, and further professional registration examinations to be accredited as an architect. To maintain the title requires annual continuing professional development. Underpinning every part of this process is a commitment to ensuring that architectural outcomes are always more than a sum of their parts. Safety, quality, time, cost, liveability, delight and inspiration never have to be mutually exclusive.

View published article: 10 point plan for restoring public confidence in construction industry

Other related material:
Interview from Ross Greenwood from Money News – 25 June 2019

Fixing a failing construction industry means quality and safety before speed and greed





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