The BCR also brings to attention the documentary aspect of compliant work carried out and acknowledges that private building surveyors (private building certifiers depending on your jurisdiction) do not hold expertise in all aspects of building design and therefore often rely on engineers or other expert consultants to design and certify certain components of work. Since legislative changes and a new Building and Development Certifiers Act have come into force addressing recommendations of the BCR, one emphasised procedure being implemented today is the quality and detail of certificates and supporting documentary evidence for work carried out.
We have pre-empted this in our work and we now provide additional guidance in our Section J reports dealing with the OC Sign-Off stage. Here is an extract from a recent report.
on demonstrating compliance, greater attention must be given to this area. The genesis of the compliance certificate is found in the NCC clause A5.2(1)(e) and is shown below.
A5.2(1)(e) A certificate or report from a professional engineer or other appropriately qualified person that—
(i) certifies that a material, product, form of construction or design fulfils specific requirements of the BCA; and
(ii) sets out the basis on which it is given and the extent to which relevant standards, specifications, rules, codes of practice or other publications have been relied upon to demonstrate it fulfils specific requirements of the BCA.
The clause is in 2 parts. Part (i), which is the certificate and Part (ii), which requires a supporting document setting out the basis on which the certificate is given.
We have found, in our experience of reviewing certificates provided by contractors, that they generally do not initially meet the full certificate criterion as set out by the NCC and lacks the required supporting documentation. However, improvement has been seen and a sign that things are moving in a positive direction.
Whilst the changes and new enforcements might seem daunting at first, with everyone aware and on board working together, the ‘paperwork’ might not seem so onerous after all.