Building quality

High profile building failures in the past five years have focused the ACA’s attention on advocacy around building quality, and the need for architects to regain independent and trusted roles in the procurement and construction of our built environment.

Here we cover the issues pertinent to quality in the built environment, from procurement to documentation and improved oversight, from non-compliant cladding to the recommendations of the Shergold-Weir report.


Better Balustrades

25 August 2023

In a special presentation to ACA members on 18 September 2023, Lauren Morris and Allan Shiell from the WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety shared critical information regarding balustrades design and tips to improve installation. View this webinar on demand to find out more.

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ACA Response to National Registration Framework

15 September 2020

The ACA, in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Architects, has responded to the ABCB’s discussion paper on the proposed national registration framework, pointing out the problematic lack of distinction made between a registered architect and building designer.

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Fixing the Building Industry - A Wishlist

19 September 2019

With defect-prone apartment buildings in the spotlight, it’s clear that Australia’s apartment procurement system needs a serious redesign. Michael Smith highlights the state of play in the building industry, and lays out his wishlist of reforms.

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A Question of Standards

12 September 2019

With the high cost of accessing Australian Standards, how can we expect high levels of compliance in the building industry? Easy access to clear, understandable Standards must be a priority, argues John Held.

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How Can Architects Take Action?

3 September 2019

As governments tackle systemic issues in the building industry, John Held outlines some of the ways that architects can make an impact.

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Building Industry Needs Significant Cultural Change

30 August 2019

Newly appointed Victorian State Building Surveyor Andrew Cialini says it’s time for the building industry to preference public safety and quality over cost, and to implement change for the good of overall outcomes rather than self-interest.

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ACA Response to BMF Decision

19 July 2019

The BMF announcement to adopt a consistent national approach to reform in the Australian construction industry is welcome news.

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Industry Groups Call for Australia-wide Action on Building Regulation

16 July 2019

Five industry groups have issued a call for co-ordinated, nation-wide action on building regulation. The ACA supports this call, and is part of it through membership of the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF).

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Consumer Confidence in the Title ‘Architect’

3 July 2019

ACA - WA Committee member Kate Fitzgerald discusses the growing trend for incorrect use of the title ‘Architect’ in an age of declining consumer confidence, and how the time is right to reclaim the title.

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How to Solve the Building Practitioner Insurance Crisis in Australia

2 July 2019

The PI insurance crisis is upon us - but how did it come to this? Senior Construction Lawyer Kim Lovegrove identifies the key challenges, and outlines his ideas for bringing the Australian building industry back from the brink.

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Joint Statement - Implementing the Building Confidence Report

21 June 2019

The government must act now to ensure the design and construction of safe, well-constructed buildings and to restore public trust in Australia’s built environment.

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WA Cladding Update

9 May 2019

ACA - WA President Malcolm Jones gives an overview of the WA cladding audit, issues around ACP compliance, and some early next steps.

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Shergold Weir Report Implementation

28 April 2019

The Building Confidence Report Implementation Plan has now been released. What does it mean for the architecture profession? Where are the opportunities and what are the challenges? How is the ACA working on a response? We present a summary of the plan and ACA commentary for each state and territory.

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ACA President's Comment – April 2019

28 April 2019

In light of the release of the Building Confidence Implementation Plan, ACA National President John Held revisits the recent history of regulation in the Australian construction industry and the challenge of timely reform and coordination between all states and territories.

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Forget Design Quality, it’s all about Design Risk!

17 April 2019

Thinking about design risk in strategic terms is imperative for the profession, but it is often sidelined in practice, and is barely mentioned in architecture schools. Peter Raisbeck explores the concept of design risk.

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Quality Outcomes and a Culture Shift

15 April 2019

Architects and building certifiers found much common ground at a recent roundtable discussion in South Australia. Mario Dreosti reviews the main points, including the current appetite for increased speed and reduced cost over quality, and the importance of professional culture in effecting change.

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Not Just a Matter of Good Design

26 February 2019

As architects, we should be selling our ability to realise a well-constructed, quality, safe building rather than focusing solely on design, argues Michael Lewarne.

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Defragging Procurement

20 February 2019

Current fragmented systems for procuring and delivering complex building projects are compromising the built outcome, to the detriment of the consumer, the public and the built environment professions. Stephen Pearse argues that the building procurement process needs a complete defrag.

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Building Commissioner Auditing Not Enough

13 February 2019

The NSW Government announcement of a new Building Commissioner to audit building design and construction does not go far enough. Government needs to investigate the construction contracting methods, relationships and behaviours that affect building quality and safety.

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Key Findings from Non-conforming Building Products Inquiry

5 February 2019

The final report of the inquiry into non-conforming building products was tabled by the Senate Economics References Committee in December 2018. Subtitled “the need for a coherent and robust regulatory regime”, it aims to strengthen accountability and compliance in relation to building products.

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Welcome to 2019

19 January 2019

The year has begun with a focus on quality - and the lack of it. ACA President John Held considers what architects and the ACA can do to improve the quality of the built environment.

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Bring Back the Clerk of Works

17 January 2019

In the wake of the Opal Tower debacle, Michael Hegarty explores the role of the Clerk of Works, and the need to return this key project role to Australian construction sites.

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Building Confidence

18 August 2018

John Held provides an overview on recent discussions at the COAG Building Ministers Forum regarding the Shergold-Weir Report, Building Confidence.

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Non-compliant Cladding - A Year in Review

14 May 2018

Katherine Czoch and Chetan Shukla offer a comprehensive state by state review of the latest audits, regulation, court decisions and insurer responses to non-compliant cladding.

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Building Confidence: The Shergold-Weir Report and its Implications for Architects

11 May 2018

The Shergold-Weir Report argues for better quality documentation and improved oversight. ACA - SA President John Held digs down to see what the recommendations might mean for architects.

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