OH & S





The First Step in Resolving Building Defects

What is it?


A building defect is generally defined as a defect in the design, the workmanship, and/or in the materials or systems used on a project that results in a failure of a component part of a building or structure and causes damage (or has the potential to cause damage) to person or property, usually resulting in financial or physical harm to the owner(s).


What is included?


Buildcheck has extensive experience in the inspection, diagnosis and report preparation of defects within the built environment, and can provide such reports to Solicitors, Owners and Builders on alleged defects found in newly constructed and older buildings.


A Buildcheck report will provide a photographic library, areas of identified concern, definitions, potential causes and rectification methods with estimated budgets. 


What are the common inspection items for Defect Reports?


  • Balustrades

  • Tiled Balcony & Podium Areas

  • Waterproof Membranes

  • Structural Faults

  • Window Leaks

  • Roof Defects

  • Paint Defects

  • Concrete Spalling

  • Façade Deterioration & Cracking

  • Plumbing & Drainage

  • Cracked Driveways

  • Underpinning Faults

  • Fire Services


To Assist with Disputes Surrounding Building Defects

What is it?

Reports for solicitors, owners and builders on alleged defects in construction of buildings.

What is included?

The reports are provided in a manner that is acceptable to the relevant tribunals and are well considered in the industry. Formatted for comprehension and reading and can be supported by costings for the recommended rectifications. If the dispute proceeds to VCAT/QCAT we can provide the necessary qualified expert witnesses to testify.

When is it required?

These reports are usually required where a dispute arises between the owner and the builder over lack of payment and/or reported defects in the constructions.

Buildcheck should be engaged prior to Defects Liability Period expiry (6 years and 6 months) and/or notified as soon as possible when a Defect becomes evident.

Recommended previous services:


  • Defect Listing

  • Defect Report

  • Body Corporate Advocacy​


Follow-up services:


  • Scope of Works

  • Contract Administration

  • Project Management


Establish What Works are Required Prior to Obtaining Quotes

What is it?


A Scope of Works should be an independently created document from an experienced and qualified source. It provides the foundation for quotes, contracts and quality of works. It provides all tendering contractors the opportunity to submit documents that can be viewed as similar, allowing owners to make an informed decision.


What is included?


  • Required Methodology

  • Product Specification

  • Anticipated Materials

  • Definition of Works

  • Location of Works


When is it required?


When any of the below services are required:

  • Gardening

  • Painting

  • Tiling

  • Roofing

  • Balustrade Replacement

  • Waterproofing

  • Window Replacement

  • Structural Repairs

  • Concrete Spalling


Recommended previous services:


  • Facade Audit Building Health Check


Follow-up services:


  • Contract Administration

  • Project Management


Reduce Body Corporate Liability & Engage a Project Manager

What is it?

As a scope of works can change after work commences, it becomes critical to have an understanding of acceptable variations in regards to both potential costs and extension of time-frames for project completion.

All builders have internal Project Managers who are responsible for allocation of labour, ordering of materials and maintaining operational profitability.

But when a builder has been awarded a project, it becomes an important decision for a Body Corporate to have an independent advocate engaged to provide expertise in monitoring and representing their best interests in costs and building practices.

What is included?


  • Tenant Notifications

  • Quality Assurance through progressive hold points

  • Scheduled & Random Site Inspections

  • Progress Payment Approval

  • Requests for Change evaluation

  • Conflict Mediation

  • Handover Documentation

  • Final Inspection of Defects Liability Period

When is it required?

Generally recommended for projects with additional scope of works and/or projects scheduled over 6+ weeks.

Required previous services:

  • Scope of Works

  • Contract Administration







Protecting Common Property During Renovations

What is it?

In community living The Body Corporate Committee is required under law to maintain the building and the safety of occupants. In doing so “Best Practices” should be the goal of The Committee. This starts at providing simple language guidelines ensuring lot owners provide satisfactory documentation for body corporate files on completion so that compliance is met.

To manage works, the correct regulatory process required for building works should be followed be it private lot owners or common property. In Queensland contractors and consultants must also be properly registered and insured.


What is included?


Inspection and written confirmation of correct practices with regard to the following:


  • Compliant Floor Coverings (Acoustical)

  • Waterproofing and Tile Replacement

  • Balcony Shutter Installation

  • Penetrations in Structure (Air conditioning, Core Drilling, Fire Collars)

  • Structural Alterations

When is it required?

Whenever individual lot owners wish to undertake private works which have the potential to damage common property, be detrimental to other lot owners or compromise insurances.

Common practice is for advocacy to be held in The Body Corporate bylaws.


The benefit of advocacy to The Body Corporate is there is no cost as consultancy fees are paid by the lot owner. Renovating lot owners, be it residential or commercial, can potentially compromise building structures or systems; thus compromising the building's insurance.


Tendering Services for Major Works

What is it?


When a project involving Capital Works spending requires an expert representative and a transparent process to assist in tendering to appropriate contractors, Buildcheck's Contracts Administration Agreement allows for the provision of the following services:


What is included?


  • Site Sample Approvals

  • Project Scheduling

  • Tendering Process

  • Recommended Contractors

  • Site Representation

  • Review of Quotes

  • Recommendation Independent Contract Contact Preparation


When is it required?


Any project in which owners require reputable contractors and an independent contract that will hold the contractors accountable for works completed, providing a level of confidence that the project is run successfully. 


Required previous services:


  • Scope of Works


Follow-up services:


  • Project Management


A Snapshot Review of Major Maintenance Items

What is it?


Proactive and cost effective ‘snap shot’ report that will allow The Body Corporate to have a professional update on the condition of their common area property before major repairs and/or damage reach a critical point. This inspection is best suited to focus on the performance of materials and labour whilst warranties are still active and to be used in conjunction with the building’s sinking fund forecast. 


What is included?


Buildcheck conducts an onsite visual inspection and report on common area building elements that would be considered a major expenditure:


  • Driveway Surfaces

  • Balustrades

  • Building Facades

  • Window Frames

  • Waterproof Membranes

  • Tiled Common Areas

  • Plumbing & Drainage


When is it required?


Committee Budget Meetings can creep up with no prepared ‘action items’ and/or understanding around the upcoming budgetary needs for the property. The ideal timing for a Committee to engage this type of inspection/report would be 2-3 months prior to their Budget Meeting. This allows for the report to be circulated to Committee members prior; drawing attention to, or conversely, eliminating the need for discussions around the building's repairs and maintenance.


How are they different to all the other types of reports?


Whereas a Sinking Fund Report is typically based around the financial distribution of funds, the Condition Report acts as a precursor to assist with tracking building conditions to be utilized prior to engaging contractors in providing budget pricing.


Photographic Evidence Prior to Neighbouring Developments Commence

What is it?

A dilapidation survey identifies the current condition and existing structural damage of the common areas of a building with a focus on areas prone to future deterioration. This includes (but is not limited to) cracks in floors, walls, cornices and ceilings; cracks in brickwork, driveways and adjoining footpaths; the breakdown of gutters, down-pipes and other external fixtures or features.

Having an independent expert provide these reports is always considered best practice in protecting your building against fraudulent claims and assisting in 'make good' after construction is complete.

What is included?


This type of report is conducted at a level that surveys each building element, describing it and providing a photographic library of its current condition.

When is it required?


Any form of property development will often cause a large amount of disturbance to neighboring owners. It is recommended to be proactive before conflict arises, and obtaining a dilapidation survey is the first step.

Property owners who are planning construction projects on their own properties should also obtain a dilapidation report, as it will document any damages or areas of structural weakness before work commences.


Independent Review of New Construction Defects

What is it?


Independent inspection and listing of defects in new buildings. By having a registered engineer provide this as a service allows the Body Corporate to have an expert authority return to the builder a qualified list and increases the likelihood of immediate action rather than drawn out process and costly legal mediation.

What is included?


Listing of all defects identified in common areas.


Internal units can be included in the overall report on a per unit basis (owners will require upfront payment).


This report does not include causes, rectification, and costings.

When is it required?


Best practice would be during handover of construction and/or before the defects liability period expiry (6 years and 6 months).  


Follow-up services:

  • Defect Report

  • Expert Witnessing

  • Scope of Works




Multiple Fire Engineering Services

What is it?

The Building Code of Australia is a performance based code which allows a flexible outcome for most clients. We carry out inspections and when required, sample collection, and send them for lab testing with our assessment. Our goal is a cost efficient and practical solution that minimizes disruption to the building operation. We always liaise with the approving authority as well as the fire brigade to reach an agreement on our approach.

What do we offer?

  • Fire Safety Upgrades

  • Fire System Audits and Inspections

  • Building Code of Australia Review and Advice

  • Stage 3 Combustible Cladding Assessments - QBCC

  • Cladding Risk Assessment - VBA

  • Cladding Replacement Management

When is it required?

If a building is required to proceed to Part 3 for a fire engineering assessment, the building owner must engage a qualified fire engineer and provide QBCC the engineer’s details by 31 October 2019. A Building Fire Safety Risk Assessment report must be completed by the fire engineer by 3 May 2021.



Specification Audit

What is it?


An independent review of a building's specification process. This provides builders with the confidence that sub-contractors and product suppliers are meeting their anticipated obligations. Thus assisting Contracts Administrators in meeting documentation requirements for handover.


What is included?


  • An initial consultation typically prior to formalized contracts. 2 x random site inspection to confirm quality adherence and specification compliance, arranged with Site Project Manager Auditing of quantities/volume to ensure warranties are complied with and handover is successful

When is it required?


For new commercial properties requiring an additional level of quality assurance, independent advice or mediation and to assist with potential claims or failures prior to handover.

Housing Quality Assurance Inspection

What is it?


Independent inspection and listing of defects in new buildings. By having a registered engineer and industry specialist provide this as a service allows the Home Owner to have an expert authority return to the builder a qualified list and increases the likelihood of immediate action rather than drawn out process and costly legal mediation.

This report does not include causes, methodology for rectification nor anticipated costings.


Stages for Inspection

  • Slab Inspection

  • Frame Inspection

  • Lockup Inspection

  • Pre-Plaster Inspection

  • Water Proofing Inspection

  • Fixing Inspection

  • Final Inspection

When is it required?


Best practice is during the handover period of construction or within 60 days of occupancy. This allows us to meet the required time-frames to allow for rectification and potential 



Protecting Owners within a Built Environment

It is a requirement of the Occupational Health & Safety Act (Vic) 2004 Section 26 that “A person who (whether an owner or otherwise i.e. Owner Corporation) has to any extent, the management or control of a workplace, must ensure that the workplace and the means of entering and leaving it are safe and without risks to health.”

Penalties can range up to $900,000 and an offence under Section 23(1) is indictable. 
Occupational health & safety can be ensured by:

  • identifying hazards and;

  •  assessing risks that may result from hazards and;

  •  deciding on control measures to prevent or minimise the level of risks and;

  •  implementing control measures and;

  •  monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the measures.

A Buildcheck OH&S Audit identifies hazards, prioritises risks, recommends control measures and provides control measures costings.

If required, Buildcheck can implement the control measures and monitor their effectiveness.



Budgeting for Future Building Works

What is it?

A budget and timeline that ensures sufficient funds are available to meet the properties required capital spending. Our analysis is calculated over 10 years and extrapolated to 30 years.

We use over 35 years of engineering, architectural, and building experience to produce reliable costings that are up to date with industry trends and costs.


What do we offer?


  • Financial start dates

  • Financial Balances

  • Allowance for escalation

  • Contingency for unforeseen items

  • Identification of Plant/Equipment 

  • Identification of Items for Maintenance

  • Identification of items for Replacement

  • Timeline in Graph Format as well as Tabular Format for easy comprehension.

When is it required?

Sinking Fund Forecasts must satisfy the current requirements of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (QLD) and Strata Scheme Management Act 1996. Effective 1996, all Strata Schemes are required by law to have a 10 year Sinking Fund Forecast in place. The Sinking Fund Forecast is based on a reasonable estimate of the expected life of the components listed in the forecast.



Dealing with all Forms of Cracks

The form and size of the crack can sometimes indicate the underlying problem. Cracking can be horizontal, vertical, stepped, cogged or a combination of all these.  As a general rule, the following sizes and descriptions apply:

Damage to Walls caused by movement of Slabs and Footings, and other Causes*




* Guide to Standards & Tolerances 2015, Building Commission


As to resolving the problem of cracking, there can only be two approaches: preventing the problem from occurring in the first place or dealing with the cracking once it’s happened.



Fire and Life Safety Items Installed or Constructed in a Building to Ensure Levels of Safety

Every building owner is obligated to maintain the Essential Safety Measures installed their  building under part 12 of the 2006 Building Regulations (Vic).

Buildings constructed or substantially renovated after 1994 are issued with an Occupancy Permit which defines the Essential Safety Measures located in the building. The permit also defines the maintenance program required for each Essential Safety Measure. Under part 12 of the 2006 Building regulations (Vic), owners of these properties are required to maintain all Essential Safety Measures installed on the property as prescribed and to annually report on their maintenance by completing an Essential Safety Measures Report.

Buildings constructed before 1994, have no specified schedule of Essential Safety Measures.  Owners however, are still required to maintain any  Measures installed on the property.

Under new regulations introduced in 2006, all buildings in Victoria (except freestanding homes) must complete an annual Essential Safety Measures Report commencing June 13, 2009. To achieve this a compliant maintenance program must be in place by June 13, 2008.

Buildcheck is available to identify all Essential Safety measures in a building, commence a compliant maintenance program and complete an Essential Safety Measures Report.

© 2020 by Buildcheck

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