Following the airing of Monday’s Four Corners program, which detailed a litany of problems with the building and construction sector, the Australian Institute of Architects has repeated its calls for a range of reforms to improve building quality.
At its centre, the Institute would like to see a dedicated person, such as a clerk of works, be physically present on site.
This person would check that correct processes are being followed, the right materials are being used and that no corners are being cut.
The person would be independent of the builder both financially and in terms of reporting lines.
As well, the industry would like to see mandatory registration across a range of professionals to promote accountability throughout the design and construction process.
AIA National President Professor Helen Lochhead, said the program highlighted the need for reform across many areas.
Insufficient regulation, a lack of proper oversight by independent, appropriately qualified professionals and a failure to put quality and safety above time and cost savings are the key contributing factors that have led to the current crisis,’ Professor Lochhead said.
‘What’s most distressing is the human impact of these regulatory, compliance and construction failures. Short-term time and cost savings have had long term impacts on the end users. Peoples’ safety and fundamental security is under threat by these poor quality buildings.
‘The Four Corners’ report clearly demonstrates the perils of inadequate documentation, non-conforming and unsafe product substitution, and the rise of design and construct contracts that either cut out or fundamentally compromise the ability of architects to oversee quality.
Lochhead said the Institute is seeking to build industry consensus for reform, working collaboratively with other peak bodies to present solutions to government that have broad-based support.
Other industry leaders have joined the call for reform.
Property Council of Australia chief executive officer Ken Morrison said the program highlighted the need to progress reforms outlined in the Building Confidence report written by Professor Peter Shergold and lawyer Bronwyn Weir.