The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has released its first quarterly report for January – March 2020 on its Proactive Inspections Program.

In 2015, the VBA initiated its Proactive Inspection Program to consider compliance of building and plumbing work that is under construction to reduce non-compliance in the Victorian building and construction industry.

Through this program, the VBA intended to deliver on the following:

  • Build trust through better engagement with industry
  • Educate practitioners as the industry evolves
  • Assess whether practitioners are meeting their responsibilities pursuant to the Acts and Regulations with which they are required to comply

The program sets a site inspections target of 10 per cent of all building permits issued annually, with sites selected based on a risk-based framework and data received from a variety of sources and excludes practitioner details. It also targets particular types of construction to manage risk and ensure intervention at the earliest possible stage, with sites that potentially contain non-compliant cladding also inspected.

Key highlights of the report include the following:

  • A total of 3048 inspections (2156 building and 892 plumbing) were conducted across 58 municipalities throughout Victoria (predominantly selected according to defined risk factors), covering 1265 builders and 241 building surveyors across the state
  • Of the 3048 inspections, 2098 (69 per cent) were either compliant (did not require rectification) or low-risk. 950 (31 per cent) were identified with compliance risks (excludes low-risk)
  • Of the 31 per cent identified as demonstrating compliance risks, 1 per cent were identified as having non-compliant issues that if left untreated, would almost certainly result in adverse effects on safety and/or amenity or financial loss for future occupants or loss of structural integrity
  • The most common issues in the inspections of buildings is timber framing.

Much of the compliance risk identified was in high-density dwellings like dual occupancies and apartments. While most inspections showed compliance, having 31 per cent of sites inspected identified as having compliance risks illustrates the importance of providing education and training for industry in areas of compliance. Master Builders Victoria will continue to collaborate with the VBA to understand ways in which this can be achieved.

To access the report Proactive Inspection Program Report January – March 2020, click here.