When consumers are concerned about the integrity of the waterproofing of a building and how they can be protected, it is important to understand the structure of the building compliance process.
Broadly it starts on the National scene, commencing with the National Construction Code (NCC) which provide the guidelines for an acceptable building result. For new buildings the NCC provide two options; “Deemed-to-Satisfy Solutions” (essentially conformity to Australian Standard); and “Performance Solution” (a unique approach not covered in an Australian Standard). The legal implementation of the NCC is then managed by individual State Legislation, with different rules around the country.
These different rules have a big impact on who takes responsibility for failures. Example:
Qld & NSW: The Building Commission in these States manage the Licensing of Building Practitioners, Building Surveyors (policing the standard) and Building Practitioners (tradesmen, including Waterproofing). In these states all these ‘players’ have insurance cover to correct failures. However, the head building practitioner has the prime contract and is primarily responsible.
Vic & other States: The Building Commission in these States manage the Licensing of Building Practitioners and Building Surveyors (policing the standard). Only these ‘players’ have insurance to cover for failures. The Building may use a sub-contractor, like a Waterproofer, to complete the job, but that un-licensed trades person work must be managed by the builder, who takes responsibility.
These rules apply to new buildings or major renovations that have required a Building Permit. However, if minor works are conducted on an existing property, which do not require a Building Permit, they will be deemed as Remedial or maintenance works and don’t require the compliance certificates or standards under the NCC. Each State has their own rules for this type of work.