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‘World-leading’ construction assurance tool in the works

By Bianca Dabu
16 July 2021 | 1 minute read
building construction

A new tool will help determine the quality and trustworthiness of NSW residential buildings.

Dubbed the Building Assurance Solution (BAS), the new tool, once ready, will utilise multiple data points to help Fair Trading and the insurance industry to assess a residential apartment building’s quality and compliance with construction standards.

It’s a development that will be made possible through collaboration between the state government and KPMG, and is in a bid to drive transparency and lift standards in the construction industry.

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“We expect this to be a genuinely world-leading piece of work,” according to Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson.

“[This] will help measure the quality and insurability of buildings by identifying which buildings are trustworthy — from measuring compliance with design and construction standards to traceability of materials all the way back to the manufacturer.”

With the information provided by the BAS tool, Mr Anderson said the government aims to empower aspiring home owners to make better decisions about “what could be the most significant purchase in their life”.

How will it work?

The BAS tool will create a “digital DNA” by collecting the products and design certificates of compliance for each building. This DNA will then establish a trustworthy rating for individual buildings so they can be compared like-for-like.

Additionally, the tool will allow regulators to easily identify and respond to defective products, as well as take action against risky practitioners by determining which buildings they have worked on.

Mr Anderson highlighted that the tool “will show us what products were used, who made them, what testing certifications are held and who installed and certified building work”.

“Practitioners who build and design in NSW will now have a digital fingerprint that will attach to every project they have worked on,” he said.

The BAS tool will even allow insurers to compare buildings so they can set a better price for building insurance and the practitioners who design and construct the buildings for the first time.

“The Building Assurance Solution, combined with the requirement for designers and builders to lodge their designs electronically and declare they comply with the building code, will help give insurers confidence to return to the market,” the minister continued.

The BAS tool will be implemented as part of NSW Project Remediate and is expected to “create a single source of truth” for replacement façade systems.

“Ultimately, this tool will help establish NSW as the best place to run a trustworthy construction business, giving the cowboys nowhere to hide and consumers confidence they’re buying an apartment that will stand the test of time,” Mr Anderson said.

The unveiling of the BAS tool comes after a series of prohibition orders from NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler on a number of apartment buildings due to serious defects, including the Imperial Towers in Parramatta and the Skyview apartment complex in Castle Hill.

Prior to this, the Office of the Building Commissioner has implemented the Design and Building Practitioners Act and the new NSW Residential Apartments - Compliance and Enforcement Powers Act (RAB Act) to “showcase best practice to create the foundations for a better building industry”.

“We want to help all with key roles to play to be able to succeed and deliver a better deal for the industry’s customers,” Mr Chandler concluded.

‘World-leading’ construction assurance tool in the works
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