AUST – HENDRY building surveyors suggest potential clients seeking a building audit, BCA audit or Due Diligence audit/report should understand the terms applicable and the scope of works. The term building audit also includes “due diligence audit/report”. A request by a client for these types of audits should be carefully considered and not confused. When assessing the need for a building audit, clients need to clearly specify the extent of the building audit so as to achieve the desired outcome.
Most building audits are required quickly and the wrong type of commission may be detrimental to the client’s needs. Unlike a building audit, a due diligence audit is requested where a client wishes to identify clear-cut criteria, such as to identify what parts of the building do not comply with the Regulations or the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Clients need to ask how much will it cost to bring the building into regulatory compliance, and if there is an alternative fire safety package that can be agreed upon which complies with the intent of the Regulations but is more cost effective to implement?
A building audit will reveal that no existing building in Australia will entirely comply with the current Building Regulations, BCA or Australian Standards.
An owner wishing to sell a building may need to know the following under a BCA audit.
- Fire safety provisions
- Health and amenity provisions
- Compliance of services
- Life expectancy of services
- Compliance of egress, etc
- Energy efficiency
Full compliance may not be the objective, but the seller may want a fall back position in terms of a minimum fire safety package relating to the major fire safety items, as specified in the BCA, for the building. These items can be costed by the seller from a building audit and used, if necessary, in negotiations with a prospective purchaser.
Essential Services/ Essential Safety Measures Audit
An essential safety measures audit covers existing ‘essential services/safety installations’ and whether they are being maintained adequately. This type of building audit is not to upgrade essential services items, e.g. to provide additional exit signs, etc. It is a building audit to assess whether essential services are being inspected, maintained and recorded in accordance with Section I of the BCA.
Building Legislation Table
Refer to our Building Legislation table for further information on the building control process.