The Australian Institute of Architects Victoria has called for a more rigorous system to oversee the design, construction and procurement of major buildings in its pre-election platform.
The Institute’s Victorian Chapter President, David Wagner FRAIA, said the Victorian Government has a role to play in supporting reforms to safeguard and improve the quality of buildings for the betterment of the community.
“Victoria needs a more rigorous system to oversee the design and construction of buildings,” he said.
“Critical design decisions impact building safety, longevity, occupants’ health, energy efficiency and carbon footprint, and ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs.
“Design decisions also impact owners and occupants of adjacent buildings and neighbourhoods for many decades. The best way to manage these impacts is to ensure that a high level of training and skill is brought to all phases of the design process.”
The Institute has recommended the next Victorian Government strengthen its regulations to ensure that only an architect can prepare or oversee design for complex and larger buildings.
Further, the Institute has called for design and construction declarations and certifications for different types of buildings, as occurs in New South Wales, to strengthen accountability in developments and ensure initial designs are built to specification.
The Institute also wants the next Victorian Government to adopt and promote the Institute’s industry code of practice for novation of design and construct procurement. The Institute’s Code of Novation, developed after extensive research and consultation can help ensure building design and construction details including materials specifications are not diminished during the construction of a project.
Mr Wagner said the next Victorian Government also has the opportunity to improve its own procurement processes for building and consultancy.
“The current system has multiple and vastly differing approaches to procurement between various government department and agencies. The lack of consistency therefore takes more time and resources for tenderers or consultants to respond and as a consequence costs the community more,” he said.
“A single Victorian Government building and consultancy procurement framework, developed in partnership with industry, would streamline their administration and business practices and deliver efficiency savings back to the government.”
This one-stop-shop system would include a review of contract terms and insurance requirements to make the system fair, effective and efficient for the Victorian taxpayer and contractors.
The Institute has released a comprehensive pre-election policy.
For interviews, please contact: Rosanne Barrett on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects
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