Building Notices: A step by step guide for Body Corporates

Many Body Corporates in Victoria and around Australia will have been issued a Building Notice, or worse, a Building Order for the rectification of combustible fire cladding in the building they manage. 

This article lays out the information that Body Corporates who are in this situation need to know.

 

What is a Building Notice?

A Building Notice is issued by the Municipal Building Surveyor (MBS). A Building Notice is a “show cause” notice – it requires owners to demonstrate why building work should not be done, or why some or all of the combustible cladding should not be removed.

Even though a Building Notice is a statutory instrument, the intention of a Building Notice is to start a conversation between parties. A Building Notice is a mandatory step before the MBS issues a Building Order, following which building work must be done.

 

What happens if you do not respond?

It may come as a shock to learn that a $400,000 fine can be applied to a Body Corporate who fails to respond once the process is initiated. 

As a building owner or Body Corporate, it’s critical you understand what cladding has been used on your building and if it complies with fire safety regulations.

 

How we can help

We understand that the process is confusing and many are not sure how to rectify the situation, let alone respond to the notices and orders issued. Working with our team takes the pressure and uncertainty out of the process. 

We can ease the pain around a complex situation by managing the whole process, from start to finish, from initial government liaison through to issuing a certificate of compliance.

We can engage with the task force on your behalf, having a clear and defined process, providing a standard scope of works and an appropriate tender process.

We work to eliminate the risk of project scope creep by those tendering, or substantial variations to contracts, that leave Body Corporates or Owners Corporations open to further costs down the track or liability for non-compliant cladding.

 

Why choose us to manage the process?

We are fully registered building practitioners working alongside Melbourne’s leading consultants. For a detailed list of our preferred partners, and a snapshot of our building experience we invite you to view our Capability Statement.

We understand each building is unique in needs therefore we offer multiple solutions to protect the building and its aesthetic appeal, ensuring the job is done quickly and with minimal disruption for inhabitants.

We integrate innovation, technology and workmanship into impressive cladding designs and compliant solutions and are dedicated in providing a quality product and personal service to all customers in every project undertaken. 

 

As part of our total cladding rectification service we will: 

  • Project manage the due diligence process for each project 
  • Initially assess existing cladding for each project 
  • Engage relevant consultants as required 
  • Determine whether destructive testing is required 
  • Assist in navigating the process 
  • Engage with the task force on behalf of the incumbent 
  • Respond to building orders or notices 
  • Develop the tender process 
  • Guide the incumbent on the contract framework 
  • Provide contracts for engagement of head contractor 
  • Liaise with head contractor and subcontractors and provide construction program for remediation works 
  • Advise Body Corporate of contractor requirements during demolition and reinstatement phase 
  • Supervise all aspects of contractor engagement, procurement and execution of works 
  • Monitor program, safety and quality assurance aspects of the works until completion 
  • Conduct defect and final inspection during construction and prior to client handover 
  • Provide all certificates of compliance and final report to the Body Corporate

 

Additional Resources

If you are looking for a starting point to research the issues and processes surrounding combustible cladding the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has released a series of short videos which provide an overview of the process involved in identification, assessment and rectification of at risk cladding.

The videos are designed to explain the situation in a way that can be easily understood, with a common message of correct assessment delivering the most appropriate measures to provide a safe and compliant building at the end of the process.

The six-part series on combustible cladding covers:

The links for each are:

  1. Combustible cladding and its replacement

https://youtu.be/5o8WSzh1W_w

  1. Identifying combustible cladding

https://youtu.be/SiN0eGcVhyw

3a. Fire prevention tips for residents 

https://youtu.be/HdE2KGeSjWE

3b. Fire prevention tips for owners corporations

https://youtu.be/vHb7XeteXPQ

  1. My building is being audited

https://youtu.be/VUCuSX8ygQ8

  1. What does my building notice mean?

https://youtu.be/wkrGh1CoG8s

 

Summary

Fire Cladding Solutions provide a results-driven, tangible solution with regards to the inspection, identification and rectification of buildings with flammable cladding.

If you are a Body Corporate grappling with a Building Notice or Order talk to us today and let us walk you through our process to get you compliant.