Archicentre Australia director – Peter Georgiev informs, “The era of being able to trust processes of appropriate design and building certification appear to be at an end. This means consumers need to be particularly wary about buildings that they have had little or no involvement in constructing. Assessment by independent professionals – such as an Archicentre Australia architect – can at least point to tell-tale signs of deficiencies – thereby informing and protecting potential home owners and investors.”
The broader question remains – what to do if home owners do find embedded deficiencies?
Peter Georgiev suggests that Governments should grasp the nettle rather than placing unrealistic financial burdens on home owners – “Rather than setting up cheap loan schemes for home owners to fund corrective works – as the Victorian Government has so far unsuccessfully done – it should be incumbent on Governments to provide low interest loans for the builders and developers to carry out such works.” he says. “They cannot be allowed to seek liquidation as an easy means of avoiding responsibility”.
He adds “Governments could come to a mature and responsible realisation that these problems are so large that the dreaded ‘levy’ word becomes a realistic option.”
Asked why these circumstances have arisen, Georgiev answers with a rhetorical question – “When was the last time anyone heard of a State or Federal Government carrying out independent research on construction methods and/or materials?”
He points out that successive governments have – over the years – divested themselves of Departments and or research carried out by such, preferring the “efficiency” of private organisations carry out testing and certification. As well, he suggests that an over-zealous approach to embrace alternative methods of building and service procurement can be to blame – naming contractual approaches such as public/private partnerships and fast tracked project management.
Is this OK?
“By skirting around the issue of setting standards through their respective independent Public Works bureaucracies, State and Commonwealth Governments prefer to shift responsibility and this has a flow on effect – emboldening developers, builders and design & constructors to do as they see fit.
Such lack of leadership has adversely affected our society – and has dragged professionals into areas that they would otherwise not venture.” he says.
Georgiev bemoans that architects have become marginalised – a case of “just get some images on a page – then facilitate a Planning Permit or Development Approval and we’ll do the rest….. we know how to build!” This is the familiar call by Developers and their project managers.
The consequences are becoming more evident – e.g. combustible cladding, structural failures in single residences and multi-storey apartments, widespread waterproofing shortcomings of balconies, roof terraces, showers and compromised active fire services.
For more information go to www.archicentreaustralia.com.au
This media release has been written and distributed by:
Peter Georgiev, Director
Level 1, 9 Strathalbyn Street,
Kew East, VICTORIA, 3102
Phone: 1300 13 45 13 | 03 9859 9950
Please contact Archicentre Australia for further information about this release or to arrange an interview.