The International Building Quality Centre launched last week will provide a collaborative forum through which systems, practices and codes can be scrutinised and best practice solutions found.
The centre’s opening at the University of Canberra comes after many jurisdictions, both around Australia and globally, face challenges with building defects and a lack of compliance and enforcement of regulations.
“This centre has come out of the need to look at legislation, regulations and requirements of the building industry to make sure we have the right standards and quality of buildings going up, into the future,” says Professor Charles Lemckert, who heads the university’s school of design and built Environment and is a member of the centre’s board.
“We now have the opportunity to step back, have a look at the industry, and make it better,” Lemckert adds.
The board, chaired by Kim Lovegrove, also includes the Australian Building Codes Board’s chief Neil Savery, construction law reformer Bronwyn Weir, the World Bank's Alejandro Espinosa-Wang, Canadian law reformer Michael De Lint and esteemed construction specialist Professor Robert Whittaker AM.
According to Lovegrove, the centre will “gain ascendancy at a time when building regulation and codes are being redesigned” in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in the United Kingdom, and building defect issues around the world.
“Fractures in the pillars of building control are emerging that are challenging some of the assumptions that have underpinned modern day building regulatory architecture,” Lovegrove says.
The Property Council and its members welcome the centre’s establishment, says Francesca Muskovic, the Property Council’s national policy manager for sustainability and regulatory affairs.
“The Property Council takes the issue of building quality very seriously. We are already undertaking proactive policy development in collaboration with Master Builders Australia and Kim Lovegrove to reconsider best practice policy in response to the issue of building defects,” Muskovic says.
“Two years after the Shergold Weir report into building quality was released, this new centre is a timely opportunity to identify best practice solutions that enhance safety and security, deliver quality outcomes and future-proofed assets,” Muskovic concludes.