We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We asked

The Building Confidence Report (BCR) Implementation Team asked for your feedback on installation, testing and certification of fire safety systems to improve building outcomes and compliance with the National Construction Code.

You said

We received 61 responses. Responses were received from industry associations, businesses, governments, educational institutions and individuals. Responses were positive and supportive of a nationally consistent approach to  installation, testing and certification of fire safety systems. There was strong support to ensure that work is only undertaken by registered practitioners.

We did

The BCR Implementation Team used your feedback to inform a model guide on Fire safety systems. The model guide was endorsed by Building Ministers and is available for state and territory consideration and implementation.

We asked

We asked for your input to a model guide on experience needed for building surveyor registration. The guide aims to help people obtain and prove they have experience of sufficient depth and breadth to be registered as a building surveyor. There is also a section for supervisors.

You said

You provided many good suggestions to improve the model guide. Views varied on how may experience reports were sufficient to prove experience, with suggestions ranging from none to around 50. Almost all submissions advised that a minimum number of work examples should not be required.  

We did

The BCR Implementation Team used your feedback to inform a model guide on Evidence of experience for building surveyor registration. The model guide was endorsed by Building Ministers for state and territory consideration and implementation. 

We asked

We asked for your input on how to improve fire authority invoment in the building design process in response to Recommendation 8 of the Building Confidence Report. We proposed a model code of conduct and model guidance.  

You said

You provided valuable information on the limitations and barriers affecting fire authority involvement and made practical suggestions to address these through the proposed code of conduct for fire safety engineers and model guidance on the design process.  

We did

The BCR Implementation Team used your feedback to refine the Code of conduct for fire safety engineers, and improve the model guidance on Fire authorities in the building design process.

The code and model guidance have been endorsed by Building Ministers for state and territory consideration and implementation. 

We asked

We sought your views on what was needed to provide more certainty in compliance pathways for building products; reducing the cost of compliance and the likelihood of defects. 

You said

We received 47 responses. Responses supported the need for greater controls on the supply of building products, clearer rules on their appropriate use in building projects and stronger enforcement. You provided advice on how this can work better within the existing frameworks and through the product conformance infrastructure and traceability standards.

We did

The BCR Implementation Team used your feedback to inform a National Building Product Assurance Framework.

The national framework was endorsed by Building Ministers and is available for state and territory consideration and implementation.

We asked

We sought your views on options to improve integrity in the building approvals process and strengthen a building surveyor’s role in enforcement when they are undertaking a statutory function.

You said

We received 53 responses. There was general support for the majority of proposals which aimed to address the matters described in the Building Confidence Report (BCR). These included matters such as:

  • Documenting the appointment and termination of a building surveyor
  • Ensuring key information is provided to relevant parties
  • Having necessary conflict of interest controls, and
  • Having appropriate enforcement powers for building surveyors.

We did

The BCR Implementation Team used your feedback to inform a model guide on Building surveyor integrity and their role in enforcement.

The model guide was endorsed by Building Ministers and is available for state and territory consideration and implementation.

We asked

A Consultation RIS was released for public comment between 7 December 2020 to 1 March 2021.

You said

40 submissions were received. All submissions were taken into consideration by the ABCB in preparing a Decision RIS, which represents one input into the decision making process of the Board.

We did

The ABCB determined to limit the lead content of plumbing products in contact with drinking water to 0.25% (Option 2) as its preferred option, with this having been reflected in the public comment draft of NCC 2022.

We asked

The Building Confidence Report (BCR) Implementation Team asked for your feedback on Independent Third Party Review (ITPR) of building designs to improve building outcomes and compliance with the National Construction Code.

You said

We received 58 responses. Responses were received from industry associations, businesses, governments, educational institutions and individuals. Responses were positive and supportive of a nationally consistent approach to ITPR for structural and fire safety designs for high risk buildings. There was strong support to ensure the process was risk based and that ITPR is undertaken by an independent, competent and registered practitioner.

We did

The BCR Implementation Team used your feedback to inform model guidance on Independent third party review.

The model guide was endorsed by Building Ministers and is available for state and territory consideration and implementation.

We asked

We sought your views on how to improve the standard and compliance of project documentation as part of the building approval application process and for design variations made either during construction or in constructed building work.

You said

We received 48 responses, providing feedback on what should be the appropriate rules on:

  • documentation requirements
  • documentation and approval for variations
  • record of Performance Solutions on the Occupancy Approval
  • building surveyor assessment, and
  • implementation. 

We did

The BCR Implementation Team used your feedback to inform a model guide on Design acceptance.

The model guide was endorsed by Building Ministers and is available for state and territory consideration and implementation.

We asked

The Building Confidence Report (BCR) Implementation Team asked for your feedback on Mandatory Inspections to improve building outcomes and compliance with the National Construction Code.

You said

We received 68 responses. Responses were received from industry associations, businesses, governments, educational institutions and individuals. Overall, there was strong support for governments nominating minimum mandatory inspections for both residential and commercial construction. There was also support to expand the minimum inspection types to accommodate regulatory and societal advances, and the way in which buildings are constructed.

We did

The BCR Implementation Team used your feedback to inform a model guide on Mandatory inspections.

The model guide was endorsed by Building Ministers and is available for state and territory consideration and implementation.

 

We asked

We asked for your input to a model guidance on a framework for reporting auditing and compliance activities of building regulators. 

You said

You provided overwhelming support for a reporting framework, and made many good suggestions to improve the model guidance. 

We did

The BCR Implementation Team used your feedback to inform a model guidance on Auditing and compliance reporting. The model guidance has been endorsed by Building Ministers for state and territory consideration and implementation. 

We asked

We sought your views on a definition to identify buildings with increased likelihood of non-compliance, and therefore consequences for occupants.

You said

You said the definition needed to be simplified and amended so that it could be understood and implemented with confidence.

We did

To make the definition clearer, we:

  • consolidated and replaced confusing criteria
  • simplified the presentation, and
  • used terminology from the NCC. 

See the What happens next section at the bottom of this page for more information.   

We asked

The Building Confidence Report (BCR) Implementation Team asked for your feedback on the registration of building practitioners involved in the design, construction and maintenance of buildings, and that each jurisdiction prescribes consistent registration requirements covering knowledge of the National Construction Code, competency and experience, and integrity.

You said

We received 755 responses. Responses were positive and supportive of a nationally consistent approach to registration. Responses were received from industry associations, businesses, governments, educational institutions and individuals. Further targeted consultations were held with selected industry associations to finalise the details in the National Registration Framework, including architects, building designers and plumbers.

We did

The BCR Implementation Team used your feedback to inform a National Registration Framework for building practitioners.

The national framework was endorsed by Building Ministers and is available for state and territory consideration and implementation.

We asked

The Building Confidence Report (BCR) Implementation Team asked for your feedback about how:

  • reporting of auditing information could impact compliance with the National Construction Code, State and Territory legislation and Australian Standards;
  • how and when auditing information should be reported; and
  • your perceptions of the benefits and disadvantages of such reporting.

You said

We received 199 responses. Responses were positive about the impacts of reporting on auditing, with almost all respondents expressing that reporting on auditing would benefit industry, building owners, tenants and users. Two thirds of respondents expressed an interest in more, and more frequent, engagement by building regulators about auditing, in addition to formal reporting.

We did

The BCR Implementation Team used your feedback to inform the draft Auditing and Compliance Publication Framework, which was out for consultation from November 2020 - January 2021.

An analysis of this feedback, titled Auditing and compliance - Supplementary information, was published in December 2021.  

We asked

In March 2020, the Building Confidence Report (BCR) Implementation Team released a discussion paper asking for feedback on a draft model Code of conduct for building surveyors.

You said

The Team received 44 responses to the discussion paper, which indicated you supported a national code of conduct for building surveyors. However, you suggested some changes, asked for clarifications and suggested additional obligations.

We did

The BCR Implementation Team used your feedback to finalise a model Code of conduct for building surveyors. The model code has been endorsed by Building Ministers for state and territory consideration and implementation. 

We asked

We asked for your feedback about a proposal to ensure that all building and plumbing Performance Solutions are developed and documented using an appropriate, nationally-consistent process by mandating the process contained in the ABCB’s ‘Development of Performance Solutions’ guideline.

You said

We received 51 responses to the proposal.

Some of you raised concerns that the process would be too onerous for simple Performance Solutions, and that the problem lies with poor enforcement rather than poor regulation. Many believed the number of Performance Solutions used in commercial buildings was under estimated in the Consultation RIS. 

We did

We clarified the rigour of the proposed process was designed to be commensurate with the complexity of the solution. We assessed the potential for better building outcomes and higher confidence in the building regulatory system under higher rates of use of Performance Solutions and contemporary examples of failure.

We asked

For feedback about supporting practitioners to use the FSVM to inform our approach to future education needs.

You said

We received 123 responses, almost half having watched the FSVM webinar. Here is some feedback about what you want:

  • More and simpler guidance in different online formats.
  • Cover applying the FSVM and include worked examples and case studies.
  • Links to training.
  • More opportunities to ask questions during webinars.

We did

We are scoping additional materials and training to support the FSVM. From early 2020, we are looking to work with industry to provide:

  • More technical advice to use the FSVM in different formats (i.e. online resources, webinar)
  • Frequently asked questions and answers about the FSVM
  • Articles about the FSVM.

We asked

For your comments on approach and possible technical changes to the energy efficiency provisions for NCC 2022.

You said

You raised several important issues about what was proposed in the Scoping Study. These covered matters of public policy, current situation, practitioner concerns, and technical aspects of the proposed changes for residential and commercial energy efficiency.

We did

We have documented and responded to as many of your concerns as possible within this Outcomes Report. We will now use these insights to inform the next steps in the ABCB’s Energy efficiency project.