If any reminder about the need for adequate levels of building control during construction of houses, offices, apartments, hospitals and shopping centres was necessary, recent media images of a townhouse teetering on the edge of a massive pit after the side of a nearby building site in Melbourne’s east has provided that in abundance.

While the collapse is believed to have been caused by heavy rain (and no suggestion of fault or negligence is intended), the developments are the latest in a series of incidents that can underscore what happens when things go wrong. In Melbourne’s West, around 4,300 poorly built homes suffer from…