This month Archicentre Australia provides information about identifying constructional defects in buildings, complemented by sound advice that home owners or buyers should be aware of in order to ensure that the integrity of the home they live in or are buying is secure.

Avoid Ceiling and Roof Defects with Archicentre Australia

The rush to build new homes and apartments in major growth areas, including Sydney, Melbourne and southeast Queensland, is leading to little attention to detail and poor build quality, according to Archicentre Australia, the national architect’s advisory service.

Many new residences in areas of high housing demand are so poorly built that they are dangerous or likely to become prematurely derelict, Archicentre Australia director Peter Georgiev says.

Evidence of the alarming trend that is becoming common in the quest for profits and the hasty approach to building, he says, is demonstrated by a number of recent ceiling collapses or serious water inundation due to roof leaks.

“In Melbourne late last year up to 30cm of flooding was reported at some new apartments when litres of water leaked through poorly built roofs and pooled among insulation in the roof cavities before crashing through ceilings,” he says.

“Last month in Sydney’s west a single mother of two arrived home to find the ceiling in the lounge room of her rental property had collapsed. The building was about 10-years-old and a lack of ceiling battens was given as one of the primary causes for the collapse.

Further, a Melbourne family in Kew’s recently constructed Willsmere development were awoken by water coming through a collapsing ceiling caused by poor box gutter design during torrential rain.”

While urging governments at all levels to implement stronger building regulations covering design and construction, Peter Georgiev says home owners and prospective buyers should take advantage of Archicentre Australia’s property assessment service to ensure they are made aware of any potential issues, including those relating to leaks or poor roof and ceiling construction.

“Due to the now 25 year trend for project delivery adopting “novation”, architects are less able to be involved in preparation of traditionally based contract documents leading to competitive tenders and administration of building contracts. Be clear, architects can and do act as GPs for the building and construction industry and are fully qualified to assess the constructional integrity of buildings for the benefits of residents.”

Peter Georgiev says leaky roofs and inadequate waterproofing also give rise to mould growth and even the formation of stalactites in the basements of some new residential buildings. “As well as threatening the integrity of structures, water leaks can cause health problems. This is not a small issue. It’s a matter that should concern all occupants of dwellings – be they apartments or single houses.”

Among the signs of roof problems that could lead to a ceiling collapse include:

  • Sections of your ceiling that have begun to sag;
  • Any form of leakage inside your home;
  • Weather damage;
  • Windows or doors that have shifted or are difficult to open, or doors that pop open;
  • Cracked or split wood members;
  • Cracks in walls or masonry, or cracks in welds of steel construction;
  • Sprinkler heads pushed down below ceiling tiles;
  • Creaking, cracking or popping sounds;
  • Roofing structure or frames that are bent;
  • Black mould growth on ceiling and/or wall linings:
  • Bent roofing pipes or conduits close to your ceiling; and
  • Unexplained movement, such as new drafts, spongy floors, tilting or uneven floors.

Peter Georgiev says, “All Australians should expect that buildings will be built to the required minimum standards, but unfortunately for some consumers things can and do go wrong, and often due to shoddy workmanship.

“Archicentre Australia is committed to providing expert advice at design and construction stages, ensuring residents enjoy for many years all the lifestyle benefits that quality design and construction bring.

“Our architects will continue to address issues of poor workmanship and improve outcomes for residents of today and the future.”

For more information go to

This media release has been written and distributed by:

Archicentre Australia

Peter Georgiev, Director

Level 1, 9 Strathalbyn Street,

Kew East, VICTORIA, 3102

Phone: 1300 13 45 13 | 03 9859 9950