Engineers Australia has launched two new publications aimed at assisting built-environment professionals in maintaining a building throughout its life cycle.
According to Engineers Australia CEO Romilly Madew, the two publications – Guide for design engineers and building certifiers, and Managing building defects: roles, responsibilities and collaboration among owners, strata managers and engineers – will help to forge trust and teamwork to create better building outcomes for the community by providing detailed information on the design, construction and maintenance stages of a building’s life cycle and clarifying the roles and responsibilities of those involved.
‘The Building Confidence report unearthed numerous construction-industry problems and regulatory failures, prompting widespread building-sector reform,’ Madew said. ‘However, without clear guidance, these new regulations, along with evolving commercial environments, have led to some uncertainty. The guide for design engineers and building certifiers sets out how buildings are designed, approved and constructed, and the roles and responsibilities of each party in those processes, establishing best practice in terms of communication, collaboration, problem-solving, record keeping and teamwork.’
The managing building defects guide focuses on post-construction phase roles and liabilities where poor handover and communication can lead to devastating building incidents, such as the 2021 Miami Surfside condominium collapse in the USA. In that case, despite an engineer’s report warning that prompt repair of concrete deterioration was required to maintain the building’s structural integrity, inaction led to the deaths of 98 residents.
To ensure buildings are maintained, the new guide outlines the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, while highlighting the importance of meaningful collaboration. ‘While owners are responsible for the upkeep of buildings, they may not possess the technical expertise to appropriately manage their assets,’ Madew said. ‘As technical experts, engineers should ensure the advice in inspection reports is clear, to prevent owners feeling overwhelmed about costs and disruptions. Strata managers should act as conduits between owners and engineers, maintaining up-to-date records and ensuring appropriate steps are taken. These guides will help ensure this happens and that’s a win for the industry, engineering and, most importantly, homeowners.’
The publications can be downloaded here.