Our History

Since the foundation of Australia’s 8 states and territories, each entity has introduced its own building control system with very little uniformity between states.

Building by – laws introduced in NSW and controlled by the police department for 100 years.

1810 – 1830

Initially all municipal councils throughout Australia adopted their own building by – laws, no state had yet had introduced a Uniformed Building Code. This system became unworkable, Victoria had 47 councils with 47 different building rules for builders to comply with.

1830 – 1945

Victoria’s state government introduced the Uniform Building Regulations 1945, with most councils adopting the regulations by 1965 and others forced to in 1972. During this period all states introduced their own local Building Acts, Fire Acts and Building Regulations.

 1945 – 1965

Victoria continued using the UBR until 1983 when the Victorian Building Regulations 1983 was adopted.
In 1982, Derek Hendry commenced Hendry Pty Ltd has a general building consulting service.

1965 – 1983


Victoria continued using the VBR until 1990, when the Building Code of Australia was adopted by all states for the “technical building regulations” with referenced Australian Standards nominated within.
In 1985, Derek co-authored ‘Building Control in Victoria’¹ an authoritative guide to Victoria’s building regulations in an “update format” manual style from 1985 to 1990. This book was recognised as the bible for all building surveyors.

From 1984-1985, Derek was the Victorian examiner for the building regulations subjects for the Building Surveyors Qualification².












1983 – 1990

Australia experienced an unprecedented building boom, all capital city councils building departments were significantly overwhelmed and could not cope with the number of building applications for building permits.

1987 – 1990

Up to 1989 all building permits in Australia were issued by Municipal Council building surveyors. The first private building certification to be accepted in Australia was by Melbourne City for a project in Lonsdale street, Melbourne.Private certification was introduced and subsequently legislated by all states over coming years, NSW was the first to formally adopt the process in 1990 via Parliament.
In 1988/89, Derek could foresee the opportunity for private building certification to “ease” the council workloads. Derek convinced Melbourne and Sydney councilors and building surveyors (and NSW parliamentarians) to adopt a prototype building certification system in each state.In 1989, Derek pioneered private certification by issuing a building certification for a 3 storey hotel in Lonsdale Street Melbourne¹ at a cost of $65,000, Sydney followed within a year with the Tattersalls/Sheraton Towers buildings at a cost of $135 million.

In 1989 the Victorian Division of Building Control commissioned Derek to asses/audit and provide issues and proposed changes to the new BCA based on Victoria’s particular needs.

In 1989 the NSW Planning Department commissioned Derek to asses/audit and provide issues and proposed changes to the new BCA based on Victoria’s particular needs.

Hendry issued a certification for the first multi-storey hotel building, Sheraton on the Park Elizabeth Street, Sydney².

Hendry issued a certification for the first multi-storey office building in St Kilda, 600 St Kilda Road, St Kilda³.

Hendry issued a certification for the first multi-storey hospital, Maroondah Hospital, Ringwood.

first-building-certified-1989-amended 145-elizabeth-street-sydney 600-st-kilda-road-melbourne
¹ ² ³


All state governments agreed to uniform their technical building regulations into an Australian wide set of building regulations to be known as the Building Code of Australia 1990.

An Australian wide recession decimated the building industry. Nearly all building surveying consulting companies were either moth balled or went under.

Hendry issued a certification for the first multi-storey building in Melbourne, 240 Collins Street, Melbourne.

Hendry issued a certification for the first major shopping centre Knox Shopping Centre, Knox

Hendry issued a certification for the first major refurbishment of a heritage listed building, 142 Pitt Street, Sydney.


During the period of 1991-1992 recession Derek reassessed the direction of his consultancy and made the move to expand its service range to meet the needs of clients who own or control existing buildings. Eg. building audits, due diligence audits, BCA audits etc.


In the aftermath of the recession the building surveying profession started a “professional” spiral down by undercutting each other on fees (and services provided) which remains today. This resulted in developers and builders dictating to building surveyors their fees and the anticipated “desired results” after checking the documentation. Limitations are set on the services to be provided, the fees do not cover the building surveyor’s statutory obligations under the Act/Regulations.
Hendry has not participated in providing fee proposals where fees and services are driven down to such low levels.


In July 1994 the Victorian Building Control Commission inserted in the building regulations requirements for all building owners/occupiers to ensure maintenance of nominated essential services occurs and an Annual Fire Safety Statement is signed each year.All states have progressed to having legislation covering mandatory requirements for essential safety measures compliance.Various states across Australia were implementing new legislation to statutorily force building owners to comply with regulations to ensure that their existing building is being maintained to the nominated standards under the regulations.
Prior to 1994 Derek incorporated Essential Building Service Inspections Pty Ltd¹ and was the first company in Victoria to provide services as nominated in the regulations.
Hendry produced the first Essential Safety Measures Logbook² that included compliance with state legislation.
Hendry’s logbook has now become the prototype that our competitors have adopted.j








To market Hendry services Derek produced an “Essential Property Services Manual” for his clients in 1998 (to 2001). This manual enhanced Hendry’s reputation as knowledgeable and reliable in auditing buildings. The manual became known in the industry as an essential guide to understanding the regulations and achieving the required outcomes.


In 2004 Hendry introduced educational blogs containing articles for their client base. The various blogs are Building Regulations, Building Code of Australia, Safety Measures and Emergency Planning.

In 2004 Hendry pioneered (on behalf of property owners) the requirement for all maintenance service contractors maintaining essential safety measures under the regulations to sign the same Annual Statement as the building owner, nationally this has become known as the ‘Specialist Maintenance Contractors Statement’.


The Global Financial Crisis decimated the building industry with a corresponding affect on building surveying consultants.
With Hendry previously positioning itself to service property owners and their representatives on existing buildings by our building surveyors (income and services not reliant on new buildings) and marketing heavily in essential safety measures for our building assessors, Hendry was able to survive and thrive after the GFC.


In 2010 Hendry introduced ‘Essential Matters’ an e-newsletter covering all aspects of our client’s needs in an educational format.

Today we have 60,000 subscribers nationwide, we combine marketing material and an educational article, for multiple different client categories and localities in each issue.



Hendry introduced emergency planning as a service line to ensure our consultancy offering to clients who own existing buildings could substantially see Hendry as a ‘one stop shop’.


In 2012 Hendry developed a Building Risk Matrix for clients to determine their building level of compliance that allows them (with their lawyers) to determine the percentage of compliance that allows the Directors to have a defensible position if called to account legally in the event of death or injury to persons in their building. Main criteria being:

  • Sites are audited and recommendations are compiled onto a spreadsheet which is imported into the client’s database.
  • The site audit results are weighted under 14 keys categories, 93 elements and 2 to 5 outcomes per element.
  • 73% of weighting has a life safety/BCA/WHS focus and the remaining 27% is applying to other factors.
  • A clients target maybe 85% to achieve a legally defensible position. This is a matter of judgement as to whether it is necessary for certain sites to achieve a safe work place. For example 79% may be sufficient.
  • Each site is scored out of 100% under the weighting systems.

For a significant number of major clients when we introduced them to our building risk matrix, operational managers/directors went to budget for rolling the audits out in the future.


The Lacrosse building (Latrobe Street, Docklands) external façade caught fire and the whole building had to be evacuated.

Since then all state authorities have found in aggregate hundreds of buildings with non-compliant (non-fire protection external linings) attached to new buildings.

During this whole period Hendry has not issued any non-compliant building approvals.


Since the 1990 recession the building surveying profession generally has cut fees, cut services and expedited building permits without due diligence in their practice.Due to the Lacrosse fire and subsequent investigations most major building surveying consultancies will be involved with future Professional Indemnity claims, putting their existence in jeopardy.

Over the years developers have instigated a ‘cosy’ relationship with certain major building surveying consultancies who expedite their building approvals. The impression is that building surveyors receive large fees, with some questionable compliance issues approved.

Various State Authorities are now auditing a lot of individual building surveyors and companies for their ethics, statutory compliance fees and relationships.

All state Building Commissions are becoming more vigorous in their ongoing assessment of every registered building surveyor. Fines, suspensions and cancellation of a building surveyors licence is becoming more prevalent.

Various Building Commissions are forcing building surveyors to become more responsible and updating/ introducing a higher level of CPD compliance.

Professional Indemnity insurance premiums will sky rockets for those offices involved in the various current and future claims to be made.

A number of major consultancies in the future will not be able to obtain a P.I policy no matter what premium they are willing to pay.

Most building surveying consultancies will have to invest time, effort and money to ensure their business are accountable, ethical and compliant. Each office will take time to achieve their desired outcome as most specialise in building certification for the vast majority of their income.

The building surveying profession is not maintaining enough qualified building surveyors coming through the education system. With retirements and the growth in the building/property industries building surveyors will be in very short supply.

Hendry’s ‘safety measures’ competitors offer a basic service when assessing existing building compliance.

Their low fees reflect managers and staff who do not have tertiary qualifications in this area. Their websites and dashboards are well presented but the performance on site relative to time and expertise to perform inspections, experience/knowledge in checking defects is lacking and is being recognised by their client base.

Our competitors do not employ building surveyors who can advise their site auditing staff when building control queries arise. Their clients are now recognising this inadequacy. Building surveyors have shown that they do not want to work for a company that just preforms safety measure auditing. Eg. our competitors in the safety measures area.

In 2016 Hendry has introduced an Executive Building Alert to all of our top clients depicting and explaining a major issues at hand that affects them in their industry. Topics raised are varied and localised for best marketing effect.Since 1982 Hendry has never had a P.I claim where Hendry was at fault in the proceedings.

Hendry is being commissioned by legal practices to represent plaintiffs against defaulting building surveyors.

While working for Hendry no building surveyor has ever been fined, suspended or had their licence cancelled.

All Hendry offices follow each states requirements for CPD.

Hendy has an existing vigorous system in place already that meet our Directors objectives.
Hendry will capitalise on our competitors need to catch up ” professionally” by expediting our marketing and new business development opportunities in business lines other than building certification.

Hendry’s reputation draws quality applicants when we advertise

Hendry is introducing an Australia wide national building approval software program by Visual Approval. This will introduce significant cost efficiencies and record keeping abilities

Hendry has maintained a fee structure relative to our service via our systems and experienced qualified staff.

We are currently negotiating with major property owners, property managers, facility managers and government entities who have tried our competitors and have recognised that the service Hendry provides is what they need/want.

Hendry is moving to the cloud all the preparation/foundation work has been performed in the last 2 years. This will allow all operational staff to be much more efficient when working on a road trip or at home.

Hendry is organising to develop software to accommodate the service line Specialist Maintenance Contractor Monitoring/Statements. (Cost efficiency of 1.5 Staff)

Hendry is in the final stages of developing a Safety Measures dashboard to meet our client’s needs.