AUST – HENDRY building surveyors have been commissioned by a number of clients to conduct a specific type of inspection and compile a report on their building(s). The client nominates this service as either a due diligence audit, building audit survey, or Building Code of Australia (BCA) audit (BCA Audit) and the fees associated with such a commission.

This article endeavours to explain the various types of inspections, building audits and associated reports and when each is likely to be required.

Types of Inspection – Building Audit

In determining what type of inspections, building audits or BCA audit is required for an existing building the client needs to clearly focus on what outcome the report is intended to achieve. Our clients’ needs will determine the type of building audit and the scope of services that are to be provided.

The following are examples of where a building audit may be required:

  • Selling a building
  • Purchasing a building
  • Assessing the feasibility of refurbishment under the BCA
  • Where a person(s) is injured or killed in a building
  • Assessment of existing risk for non-compliance with the current Building Code of Australia (BCA)
  • Assessment of as-built building features
  • Assessment of essential safety measures, nominally fire safety equipment installations and passive elements
  • Addressing a Building Notice issued by a statutory authority

Some reports are required for comfort – to provide peace of mind to the client or are intended to be used in legal proceedings. Reports intended for legal proceedings need to be professionally prepared to ensure the client is adequately represented.

Most states contain building control administrative provisions in their building regulations that call up the BCA, which contains the technical provisions stipulated for the construction of buildings.

The BCA contains Deemed-to-Satisfy provisions and also Alternative Solution provisions. A building surveyor must be capable of being able to recognise where either has been adopted on a building that is to be assessed during a building audit.

Comparison Survey Inspections

A building audit of a building is generally requested where a client wishes to establish whether their building has been built, or altered, in accordance with the Building Code of Australia. The only criterion set is BCA compliance. Does the building comply with the BCA? Or indeed, does it need to be fully compliant? If an existing building has been altered, or an addition constructed, then it is also necessary to establish whether a performance-based Alternative Solution under the BCA has been accepted.

A survey may also be requested towards the end of a 12 month period after the completion of building works and before a client is to pay the remainder of retention funds to the builder under a contract.

Building Legislation Table

Refer to our Building Legislation table for further information on the building control process.