The Defects Dilemma Solving Building Defects

Defects dilemma, building defects
The Defects Dilemma is a building defects research and advocacy initiative created in 2018 by Dr Jonathan Drane who is a recognised expert in the multi-layered understanding of property development and construction systems.

One Page Flyer: The Defects Dilemma Research Project 2019

Research Initiative: The Defects Dilemma seeks to explain the high level of defects in the Australian multi-apartment high rise sector through systemic  analysis.

The initiative was spurred initially by Jonathan’s invited attendance as a speaker at both the Griffith University  Strata and Community Title in Australia for the 21st Century 2015 Conference

and then the Building Regulatory Reform Summit held in Canberra (2018) by the Building Products Innovation Council.

Advocacy Initiative: The Property Development Doctor: A Linked In Group was created in early 2019 and seeks to give apartment owners peace of mind from the risk of dangerous defects.

Master Classes in City and Property Development Systems: These are an offering which are designed as executive training and professional development for early career lawyers, architects and engineers as well as business start ups.


The Defects Dilemma initiatives are recognised by the State Government Ministry of Finance Services and Innovation and the Building Professionals Board.

The Defects Dilemma initiative is also known to both City Futures Research Centre ( Professor Bill Randolph) and Deakin University Senior Lecturer Nicole Johnston . Both are involved in defects based research projects and collaborations are in process.


The Defects Dilemma initiative is a continuation of several decades of research by Dr Drane across several academic institutions including Macquarie Graduate School of Management (1992 and 2010), UNSW Built Environment ( 2011 to 2015) and then Western Sydney University School of Business (2016 to 2018).

The most recent summary of the research is titled ‘The State of Contemporary Property Development Structures’ which was the subject of an initial seed grant and then a early career research fellowship grant in 2017-8.

See web page :

and One Page Flyer Prop Dev Structures- Drane 2017

Understanding Defects: An historical perspective

Defects have plagued buildings for decades if not longer, and no more so than in the post war era of the private developer and with the emergence of the ‘design and construct’ project- the sister act of development as a private system of creation of our titled buildings.

Although many D&C projects are created with minimal defects, the practice of D&C and its evolution out of the previous Architect and Master Builder era, has a large part to play.

This paper takes us through a brief history lesson including the emergence of private property development and D&C in the post-WWII era, and the associated vulnerability of standards of construction across professions and regulatory systems. The erosion of the regulatory process, both professional and authority-based, is also revealed in the emergence of private certification and the dilemma of the slippery deal. The end product of such a system is illustrated with a ‘horror’ case example of one of its offspring.

Finally a ‘Defects Scenario Matrix’ is put forward for ways to keep a handle on defects on the D&C project based on a review of the horror case example and then a case example with a low defects regime.

Read Jonathan’s paper:

Drane 2015- Defects A Builders View

Read this blog article as pdf:


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.