The value of a life is immeasurable and therefore, it is crucial to ensure that a building is constructed to provide a high level of protection to ensure the life safety of all occupants within. Sure, the paperwork and legislative requirements have all been met, but what about the actual physical construction?
It has come to light through many discussions held with Private Certifying Authorities (PCA) and builders that there are ongoing issues present in the industry with fire stopping defects. We find that there is confusion in the industry between installing to tested systems and common practice which is a result of poor knowledge and understanding.
One of the biggest factors that also affects fire stopping is the need to install services prior to the erection of intertenancy walls, which is contrary to any testing regime.
It is further noted, the industry is constantly changing with new products and materials being sought and used on sites. Many of these new products or materials are not tested by a registered testing authority and therefore do not comply.
There are consequential ramifications with these defects that affect the builder. These include:
There are consequential ramifications with these defects that affect the consumer. These include:
WHAT WE CAN DO:
We are currently assisting contractors during the construction phase by providing detailed advice for suitable fire stopping systems and detailing the fire stopping methods to assist with the construction methods and processes employed by the builder. These services include, initial “toolbox talks” where we discuss the construction methods and processes adopted with all sub-contractors to achieve a fully compliant fire stopping system that is then documented in a detailed penetration report.
We provide periodic inspections of all units and common areas to maintain compliance with further inspections of common areas for general BCA/Access non-compliances that may arise. Every inspection is documented in an electronic report automatically generated and issued immediately with real time access for the client to allow for defects to be addressed and closed out. Upon building completion, BCA Logic will provide a penetrations certification certificate for the Occupation Certificate.
GET IN TOUCH:
Whether you are a Developer, Builder or PCA, please feel free to contact the BCA Logic team to discuss your project and our construction phase services to ensure that your development maintains a high level of life safety and compliance with the Building code of Australia in the physical form. If you are an Owner or Investor buying off the plan, protect your investment and have a discussion with your builder/developer to ensure that the highest levels of fire stopping are being provided.
Our directors have prepared many litigation compliant reports on buildings and the approvals process for a number of jurisdictions including:
We have undertaken the role of an expert witness – this requires compliance with a strict code of conduct and we comply with these requirements not only with respect to legal issues, but in our day to day consulting projects.
The area of fire related building defects and Home Owners Warranty Insurance claims is expanding rapidly and we have been at the fore front of this part of the industry.
We have worked closely with law firms such as Clayton Utz, Mills Oakley, Bannermans Lawyers, Chambers Russel, Collins Biggers and Paisley, and the insurance companies including Allianz, Vero and Lumney both in the settlement of claims and the recovery of monies.
Through our partner company BCA Energy we provide detailed consultancy services and reporting in the field of building energy efficiency including:
With BCA Section J Reports, we recommend the assessment of all retail and commercial buildings prior to the development approval stage as Section J requires the consideration of the building fabric, including any glazing in the external walls (such as windows). This could require design changes at the construction certificate stage which could lead to additional council approval and subsequent time delays.
Our team of unrestricted Grade A1 accredited certifiers are accredited by the NSW Building Professionals Board (BPB) as being competent in all aspects of the BCA which contains the legislative requirements for the provision of access for people with a disability under Part D3 and F2.4. This includes the requirements under AS1428.1-2009 “Design for Access and Mobility – General Requirements for Access – New Building Works”, AS1428.4.1 “Tactile Ground Surface Indicators” and AS2890.6-2009 “Parking Facilities – Off-Street Parking for People with Disabilities”.
Our in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Access to Premises Standards that apply to existing buildings where new works are being carried out allows us to competently assess the “affected part” and provide reasonable and cost effective options to achieve compliance with the Premises Standards. If relevant, we can also coordinate the preparation of an application for unjustifiable hardship. We also have a representative on the Access Advisory Committee, the State body that reviews and comments on all applications for unjustifiable hardship.
We can provide clear and concise assessment and reporting on adaptable housing requirements for residential buildings to show compliance with the relevant council codes and policies and AS4299-1995 “Adaptable Housing”.
We are one of the few companies with a specialised fire safety engineering team. Our team has extensive experience developing fire engineered solutions for existing and new buildings.
Fire engineering gives the designer the flexibility when looking at options in existing buildings, without necessarily achieving prescriptive compliance with the deemed-to-satisfy provisions of the BCA. The performance format of the BCA also allows the use of fire engineered solutions to new and existing buildings as a means of evidencing compliance and achieving a suitable level of fire and life safety, to satisfy the performance provisions of the BCA.
While the deemed-to-satisfy provisions of the BCA generally only contain one method of satisfying the objectives for fire and life safety, fire engineering allows alternative solutions to be pursued and encourages innovation to meet the performance provisions of the BCA.
We have peer reviewed a number of performance-based fire engineered alternative solutions for both the regulatory authority and/or the designer, acting independently to provide an objective assessment of a building proposal.