NSW BUILDING REFORMS
We were pleased to be invited to present the Declared Drawing Matrix, a tool to assist Design Practitioners-Architectural in navigating their declaration requirements under the DBP Act and Regulation at the recent ConstructNSW Townhall.
Our work supporting members with the NSW Building Reforms continues. We are currently working on further guidance tools around the process of declaration for facades and also for passive fire documentation. We continue to assist members of all practice sizes in navigating the reforms through phone calls, office visits, emails and meetings.
WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION
The Office of the Building Commissioner is conducting important research to understand how to increase women’s participation in the construction industry.
Have your say to improve our industry for all by 5pm Tuesday, 26 September 2023 by clicking here.
DECENNIAL LIABILITY INSURANCE (DLI)
The NSW government is proposing a 10-year insurance scheme to protect consumers. Click here to complete a survey, do a quick poll, or make a formal submission using an online form on questions in the Regulatory Impact Statement.
BUILDING LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2023
The NSW government is proposing this Bill be introduced into Parliament in early October.
The Bill includes the following key proposals:
- Building products safety: imposition of obligations on all persons in the chain of responsibility for accountability for the supply of safe building products and strengthened recall and enforcement powers
- Decennial Liability Insurance (DLI): To support broader uptake of ten year liability insurance, amendments are proposed to remove unnecessary inspections where DLI is taken out as an alternative to the existing strata building bond and allow changes to the rate of the bond to be changed by regulation (with the rate to be determined by Government following the conclusion of the current consultation period on the proposed introduction of mandatory DLI).
- Intentional phoenixing and insolvency: Greater powers for the NSW building regulator to ensure individuals are held accountable for intentionally phoenixing by introducing stronger presumptions against a licence being issued where a director has been part of a corporation that has become insolvent
- Proactive regulator powers in the class 1 building space: Expanding proactive building regulator powers such as rectification orders, stop work orders and powers of entry during the construction of class 1 buildings to ensure greater oversight and consistency with powers that apply to class 2 buildings.
- Immediate suspension of authorisations under the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018 and Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 where a show cause notice is issued and Secretary is satisfied of risk to public safety, consumers or other building businesses if the person continues to work during the disciplinary proceedings process.
- Other minor amendments to support the new Building Commission to crack down on unlawful work in the NSW construction industry
The majority of reforms in this area under the introduction of the Building Act are still scheduled to take place in early 2024 and we will continue to engage with government as this legislation comes to fruition
BASIX SANDBOX TOOL
The final release of the BASIX sandbox tool can now be accessed via the sandbox tool login page. The NSW government invites you to test your housing designs until 22 September 2023 against the higher BASIX standards.
The improved tool now includes the water and energy/greenhouse indices and, for the thermal performance index, both the NatHERS simulation method and the DIY method.
The tool also includes the new materials index to calculate embodied emissions. This index shares inputs with the DIY method (if using the DIY method).
The higher BASIX standards will come into effect when the Sustainable Buildings SEPP commences on 1 October 2023.
The Department of Planning and Environment is yet to provide a draft SEPP outlining the details of their recent housing policy announcements. We recently were grateful to meet with Planning Minister Paul Scully to discuss the reform program and eagerly await further detail on this policy. We will continue to work collaboratively with government and key stakeholders bringing the expertise of our expert members to the table to assist in ensuring the policy’s success.
At a national level the Institute’s policy and advocacy team has come together to work on the upcoming National Housing and Homelessness Plan submission.
Our National President Stuart Tanner recently issued an important media release regarding the now approved Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF).
Find the Media Release here.
CREATIVE INDUSTRIES SUBMISSION
We recently submitted on the NSW government’s initiative to develop a new arts, culture, and creative industries policy and the accompanying discussion paper, A New Look at Culture.
Both Callantha Brigham and Lisa King were recently asked to present a guest lecture at the University of Sydney for Masters students studying Ethical Architecture. It was a great opportunity to discuss with prospective graduates the many and varied aspects of our profession and how they can impact policy and advocacy.