Category Archives: Developer Practices

Sign our Change.org petition- stopping the NSW State Government from closing submissions into Building Defects prematurely

Sign the petition on this link:

Read and Sign Petition

http://chng.it/fLTP2KHB6y

The current situation with dangerous building defects in the Australian multi-apartment sector is dire.

Apartment owners fear the worst, from structural failure and imminent fire to potential evacuation of their apartment block. This situation could even be life threatening and the tragic memory of  Grenfell (2017) and Bankstown (2012) still haunts us (see the photo chronology of key events above).

This petition exposes the inadequate time period that the State Government and Department of Fair Trading have given for the public and industry to assess their recent response  to the building defects situation and for people to make a meaningful response. The petition seeks an extension of time for the response to 30 September 2019 (an extra two months).

Background

There have been several reports to the NSW State Government over the past five years with the latest being the Shergold-Weir Report in February 2018. The industry and public have been waiting for a government response and finally it has come but with little public awareness and fanfare and now within an inadequate time frame.

The Government response is in the form of two initiatives:

The first is the sudden Dept of Fair Trading ‘Building Stronger Foundations’ paper which addresses the Shergold-Weir report of February 2018 and provides a submission portal see:

https://www.nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/have-your-say/building-stronger-foundations/
and
https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/consultation-tool/building-stronger-foundations

The second is the NSW Legislative Council Accountability Committee inquiry see:

https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/inquiries/Pages/inquiry-details.aspx?pk=2540#tab-otherdocuments

These are long awaited responses and now the public and industry and others have been given only a month since late June to respond. The media campaign by both the Department of Fair Trading and the NSW State Government have been totally inadequate to gain the necessary reach for a life threatening issue that is close to the heart of all Australians. After all, everyone has a loved one who lives in an apartment somewhere who may not be sleeping well over this.

The second initiative was only media released on the 4th July 2019 and the portal released on the 10th July.

Call to Action

This petition seeks an extension of time to allow for a three month minimum submission process to allow for adequate public and industry response. Extend the date from the current 24 July 2019 to 30 September 2019.

Dr Jonathan Drane

Building Defects: An Engineer’s View

Five years ago I was asked by Engineers Australia to contribute to the Lambert Report (2015) and for my article Building Defects: A builder’s view to be included on the Building Professionals Board web site back then. I am not the only one to keep waiting for some government action on this vital area which is appearing on the news daily now with the recent Opal Tower and Mascot Towers incidents.

This article adds an Engineers Australia multi-disciplinary report in 2013 to the list and I am grateful to Charles Rickard for his article The Fall and Fall of the Australian  Building Industry (26 April 2019)  which  is reviewed here and brings this report to life.

My interest is in creating a chronicle and research base on this subject and ultimately for anyone to understand the complexity and decay of the Property Development, Design and Construction system and structures in the post war era. My group initiative The Property Development Doctor and The Defects Dilemma collects experts from all parts of the industry and seeks to bring peace of mind to multi-apartment owners who could be forgiven for assuming their home is at risk of fire or dangerous cracking.

The defects article I wrote in 2015, was requested to be written for the Strata and Community Title in Australia for the 21st Century 2015 Conference by Dr Hazel Easthope of City Futures Research Centre UNSW Built Environment. The request was to simply write an article on building defects from the point of view of the builder.  This sounded simple but was no easy task. The request unleashed 35 years of historical involvement, observation and doctoral research (2011-2014) of the decay in industry practices since the early 1950s across my involvement in construction, design management, project management, development management then property finance and development.

I was then asked to do a follow up presentation at the Building Regulatory Summit in February 2018 which was run expertly by the Building Products Innovation Council in the ACT. See blog for more details.

Here I turn Charles’ article into a symbiotic title:

Building Defects: An Engineers View 

In this article Charles Rickard  (Principal- Rickard Engineers)  provides a current  review of the building defects issue but also a really helpful historic view of the eras of professional control from the Architect being in full control ( a long time ago) to the current situation.

It also helps to understand the role Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) and the Accredited Certifiers (AC) that support the PCA for those who are trying to make sense of the certification labyrinthe.

Of particular interest is the depiction of a Multi-disciplinary report 2012-3 initiative by Engineers Australia led by Charles which preceded and supported the Lambert Report.

I am keen to keep a chronology of these reports, industry phases and current situation to maintain not only a current view but the history of decay of property development, design and construction systems and structures over time.

I look forward to seeing the 2013 MDC report which is a missing link in my current collection. This aside it is exasperating but sadly not surprising that yet another report by highly regarded experts ends up on the pile with no apparent dissemination or formal response by the State Government. The NSW State Premier, Gladys Berejiklian appeared on the ABC  7.30 report (18 June 2019)  recently noting there would be a response by December 2019.

The other reports include:

Wallace (2014) Lambert (2015), BPIC (2018) and Shergold-Weir (2018) which have investigated the building regulatory system.

Dr Jonathan Drane

Related Articles:

Building Defects: A Builders View

Defects: A Builder’s View- by Dr Jonathan Drane

Dr Drane Reveals the History of Decay in Property Development Processes Leading to Defects and Tragedies

Dr Drane’s ‘Defects Dilemma Initiative’ Gets Ministerial and Departmental Recognition

 

Dr Drane’s ‘Defects Dilemma Initiative’ Gets Ministerial and Departmental Recognition

The ‘Defects Dilemma Initiative’ which helps bring peace of mind to high rise apartment owners due to fear of dangerous defects, today obtained a formal positive Ministerial level response and Departmental Recognition from the Department of Finance Services & Innovation Department dated 3 April 2019.

The endorsement was issued in a letter by Mr John Tansey, Executive Director, Regulatory Policy 
Better Regulation Division. John is also a Board Member of the Building Professional’s Board.

The letter was in response to Dr Drane’s written submission to the Minister for Innovation and Building Regulation, Matt Kean after the Minister’s release of an announcement on 11 February 2019 titled ‘Biggest Overhaul of Building Laws in NSW History’.

The overhaul includes the creation of a Building Commissioner and was in response to the Shergold-Weir Report commissioned by the Building Minister’s Forum in August 2017.

There have also been other major  reports by Wallace (2014) Lambert (2015), BPIC (2018) and Shergold-Weir (2018) which have investigated the building regulatory system.

I guess these thing take time, but there is much to be done still.

Dr Drane’s initiative includes a Research Project  based on an initial free ‘Defects Assessment Model’, which supports a  Consumer Education Focus as well as an  Industry Action Group called The Property Development Doctor . The initiative is outlined in his campaign article published on 20 March 2019  titled ‘Help Give High Rise Apartment Owners Peace of Mind  from Defective Buildings‘ dated 20 March 2019.

Dr Drane is recognised for his comprehensive multi-layer understanding of the processes and structures of property development and construction with an emphasis on the decay of professional practices and systems over history, which have led to the devastating level of dangerous defects in the high rise multi-apartment sector.

Dr Jonathan Drane

How Can You Support the Defects Dilemma Initiative ?

Apartment owners are able to lobby their body corporate committee and building manager to participate for free in our initial assessment process which includes an initial survey.

Participate for Free in our free building defects analysis which includes a free assessment and a quick survey.

Register  for a place at our upcoming webinar series  which provides updates and industry engagement related to the ‘The Defects Dilemma’

Learn More about how the historical decay in property development and building systems have contributed to the level of defects in high rise apartment buildings.

Learn More about our Linked In Group called ‘The Property Development Doctor’ which is dedicated to bringing peace of mind to multi-storey apartment owners. Please join.

Free Building Defects Assessment

Having Problems with Defects in your Multi-Apartment Building? We are interested in hearing from you if you are in the following situation: -The building is a multi-story apartment building that is above three levels. -The building has been constructed in the last 10 to 15 years and is showing signs of multiple defects. -The building defects are substantial, potentially dangerous and could lead to structural or fire related issues. This could included the installation of Aluminium Composite Panel that is currently stable but a potential fire risk. And your relationship to the building is one or more of the following: -You represent a majority of the  building community ( e.g. body corporate committee member) -You are the building manager. -You are the body corporate manager -You are a lawyer representing a client or stakeholder related to the building -You are a builder or building professional who constructed the building. -You are a developer who developed the building. -You are an estate agent or financial intermediary representing the property developer of the building. -You represent a peak body related to the building or the situation. Help our Research Project: ‘The Defects Dilemma’ The high rise apartment building is in a state of crisis across the globe as a perceived safe form of accommodation for our families. Our own Australian tragedies and misadventures include (Bankstown 2012, La-Crosse Docklands 2014, Opal Tower Sydney 2018, Neo Melbourne 2019) and then there are the international cases like Grenfell (UK 2017) and the Torch Tower (Dubai 2017). The peace of mind of normal apartment owners is stretched to the limit. So how can you help solve this complex problem? Please help us bring peace of mind to apartment owners and  understand the nature and extent of the defects as part of our research project and we will ask you to fill in a short survey. Upon filling out the form below and the survey which we will send you we will provide a free assessment of your situation. The assessment will help you understand the causes of the defects from a systemic view i.e. how the property development and construction system that created your building has contributed to the defect levels you are experiencing. It is not a defects inspection. Learn More about how the historical decay in property development and building systems have contributed to the level of defects in high rise apartment buildings. Learn More about our research project called ‘The Defects Dilemma’. Register  for a place at our upcoming webinar series  which provides updates and industry engagement related to the ‘The Defects Dilemma’ Learn More about our Linked In Group called ‘The Property Development Doctor’ which is dedicated to bringing peace of mind to multi-storey apartment owners. Next Step: Fill out the form below and we will provide you with: a) the survey (your identity is anonymous and is used for research purposes). b) upon filling out the survey we will provide an initial free assessment of your situation as noted above. c) by filling out the form and sending it to us you acknowledge and agree with the waiver and conditions noted below.

Dr Jonathan Drane Optimum Search Pty Ltd Waiver: Any assessment is made by Optimum Search Pty Ltd and is an initial assessment only and does not include any site visits. The assessment does not cost you and there are no guarantees or warranties associated with the assessment. The assessment is based on our own research data and a survey that is issued by us and filled out by you.  The survey collects data on building defects that help with our research project and processes. Your identity remains anonymous.   The assessment is confidential and not to be issued by you to other parties nor relied upon for any legal, mediation or dispute processes. Optimum Search Pty Ltd reserves the right to not assess your situation at its discretion due to non relevance to the objectives of our research project. Any further requests for advisory services  are subject to a contract arrangement that is separate to this initial assessment and conducted by Optimum Search Pty Ltd.

Understand the History of Property Development and Discover the Foundations of Entrepreneurship: Mirages, White Shoes, the 80s and the GFC

Understand the History of Property Development and Discover the Foundations of Entrepreneurship: Mirages, White Shoes, the 80s and the GFC:

Defects: A Builder’s View- by Dr Jonathan Drane

This paper gives a plain English history lesson on how the property development and construction processes have decayed over the past 6 decades. It was originally presented at the Strata and Community Title in Australia for the 21st Century 2015 Conference at the request of City Futures Research Centre’s Hazel Easthope .

It was then posted on the Building Professional’s Board web site at the back end of the Lambert Report of 2015. I hope it helps people understand the longevity of decay and that it is a labyrinthine system and really a mess.

As I re-read the major reports by Wallace ( 2014) Lambert (2015), BPIC (2018) and Shergold (2018) I see the challenges they often faced as independent parties to understanding the complexity and even the language and dialects that existed across professional, planning, legislative and accreditation participants.

Link to paper:

Defects A Builders View By Dr Jonathan Drane

 

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Dr Drane Reveals the History of Decay in Property Development Processes Leading to Defects and Tragedies

This is a history note and an update to place an important national event within the chronicle of tragedies and misadventure in the high rise multi-apartment sector of the Australian Property Development Industry which is currently focusing so much on the Opal Tower.

A Building Regulatory Reform Summit was held in February 2018 with the objective of addressing these issues at all levels from Government, Industry and Consumer perspectives.

Here is the summit web page with the emergent White Paper that was the product of the summit. The summit was expertly put together by the Building Products Innovation Council with other industry and government support.

BPIC Building Regulatory Reform Summit Link

The summit resulted in a white paper, a cohort of national experts and an ongoing initiative to solve this problem. I was an invited speaker at the summit because of my historical, systemic emphasis on understanding defects rather than a current technical emphasis.

This was brought to light in my earlier article ‘Defects a Builder’s View’ which was presented at the  Strata and Community Title in Australia for the 21st Century 2015 Conference run by Griffith University. Here is the link to that conference and my article which drew some media attention at the time.

Griffith Uni Strata Conference 2015 Link

Defects: A Builder’s View By Dr Jonathan Drane Article Link

I also attach this image gallery which places The Opal Tower in  perspective with the emerging history of these issues.

I have also appended  my web article at the time which covered this event on my web site when I was with Western Sydney University. See below.

That is all for now and I watch the Opal Tower matter unfold from the safety of the arm chair. For now at least.

BTW: If you want to learn more about the history of property development and how developer’s systems have aided these issues in the lower developer tiers, come to one of my Master Classes on Commercial Property and City Development Dynamics

Master Classes

Dr Jonathan Drane

Building Regulatory Reform Summit 2018- Dr Drane Invited Speaker on Industry Decay

Dr Drane’s Master Class : Becoming a Street Smart Property Developer

Book Here:

This is the first of a number of  online webinars for College and University students (undergrad and postgrad), which are designed to supplement your current College and University studies and help your career aspirations to come to life in the complex and exciting world of commercial property development.

The Master Classes are designed to provide you with real life skills and street smart tools to get you on the road to success. Whether you want to  follow a career employed in property development and/or become a property developer in your own right, these webinars are for you.

I have spent a lifetime in the commercial property development and construction industry and been a property developer in my own right. Over those years I have mentored executives and managers and lectured to hundreds of students across four academic institutions including Sydney University, UNSW, WSU and ICMS. I am also an alumni of UNSW and MGSM.

The universities are all attempting to steer their coursework and offerings toward an ‘industry ready’ framework and my webinars are offered as a supplementary tool kit which helps students to be ‘fit for purpose’.

My webinars are designed to be affordable and provide a range of skills and tools that will stay with you for life.

My two themes are ‘Work Ready’ and ‘Street Smart’.

Work Ready relates to you melding into the property development process and being an instant asset to your employer.

Street Smart relates to you always keeping your eye on your ability to be an entrepreneur in property development and a free ‘journey person’ throughout your life.


The Agenda Includes:

– Your life in Property Development– learning hunting skills and being able to move between employment and self entrepreneurship as a life strategy toward freedom and agility.

-The Current State of Property Development: An introduction to a brief history of Property Development and the new order of DIY Property Developers- which needs to be professionalised ( very much).

– Your Place in the Property Development Industry: How the industry works and how it ties into other professions including financiers, architects, engineers, builders and subcontractors.

-Dr Drane’s Bridge Into the Industry: A brief introduction to the tools of the trade which are brought to life in Dr Drane’s Property Development Game Play which hones your skills from the start.

-Your voice: Tell us what you need to move into the industry and the skillsets that are missing. An anonymous  survey conducted during the session and the results discussed.


Book now for the introductory seminar, see details below.

To assist you with your calendar choice this webinar is run twice :  A weeknight, and Weekend Sunday afternoon.

I look forward to seeing you.

Dr Drane

www.jondrane.net

Book Here: