The design of a building to construction and eventually to occupation is a rigorous one. Basically, the process begins when the person or a group of people who want to construct a house contact the local council or any other local group dealing with land. The main aim of consulting these groups is to ensure that the building is to meet the local requirements of design and construction. The group will provide details such as: the requirements of developing the site as per the environment plans and the state plans, requirements of planning as stipulated by the local council, works that need to be done prior to the actual construction process, the methods through which the construction and development process will be assessed and anything relevant to the development t of the site chosen. However, the approval process does not houses regarded as exempt (Building professionals board, 2011)
The next step is to apply for a development approval. The aim of this permit is to ensure that the building complies with the design as well as the location standards. However, this approval comes from the environmental and sustainable development directorate and the building should be in compliance with most, if not all, the principles of sustainable development (Charms & Bryant, 1984).Furthermore, the design of the house should not have any profound effect on the environment on aspects such as heat gains and losses (Kibert, 2016).However, some buildings fail to comply with the outlined standards and as such, the request is declined and only after proper design and redesign can the aggrieved party resubmit the request. However an alternative certificate known as complying development certificate is available and basically shows that any routine work complies with the local authority standards. All the design and construction is checked against the building codes of Australia. It is the certificate that basically initiates the construction process and must be obtained prior to any work that is to be done on the approved site.
The other step is to apply for a building approval or a construction certificate. The building approval is a document that indicates that the authorities accept the construction methodology. Basically, the process is done by cross-checking the design against the codes and standards of the region (Victoria building authority, 2014). In this, the construction certificate indicates that the plans are in line with those outlined by the building construction authority. However, the process of obtaining a building approval is more complicated than that of obtaining a development approval and as such, there are various organizations and companies that tend to help people navigate through the process. Generally, the groups that have been mandated with the responsibility of helping people obtain a building approval are the Act licensed officers. The parties that have the power to issue an individual with a construction certificate are mainly the council and accredited certifiers. The accreditation basically gives the individual the power to obtain a certificate of accommodation but very well gives the green light for the construction works to begin.
After obtaining the construction certificate, the next step is to appoint any person with the capability of issuing a certificate of interim or final occupation (Building professionals board, 2011). Basically, the person has to be a principal certifying authority. In this, he has the jurisdiction and capability of acknowledging that the building follows all the construction and the safety procedures necessary for occupation. However, only the landowner can appoint this person and therefore limits the authority to people recognized by the building counsel. Therefore, any other person, such as the builder or contractor, does not have the powers to appoint a principal certifying authority. There are three groups of people who can be classified into the group of certifying authority and include counsel, consent authority and an accredited certifier (Building professionals board, 2011). The certifying authority has been mandated with the responsibility of ensuring that the construction complies with the building and construction authority codes but it is the responsibility of the land developer to ensure that all the other necessary measures required in home building and accommodation are met. The building needs to comply with every design step stipulated but if this is not the case, the counsel can impose a fine or the requirements may be the demolition of a structure.
The second last stage is for the owner to ensure that the certificate of completion is acquired. In this, the landlord and the builders set a date on which the inspection by the principal certifying authority is to be carried out. The landlord may not be present at the time of inspection but the PCA has to be taken through the whole building to ensure that every aspect of safety and accommodation has been maintained. This is a rigorous process and if the inspection is not carried out, the building is not yet complete.
The final step and certificate to be issued is the occupation certificate. The certificate is basically obtained after the principal construction authority certifies that the building meets all the safety and building standards required. However, there is a possibility that the authority may decline to issue the certificate of occupancy but there are appeal procedures put in place to ensure that the certificate, if the house meets all the standards, is released to the homeowner. However, the decision of an accredited certifier is final and if he/she does not see the building fit for human occupation, he/she may not release the certificate of occupancy.
All the above stated, it is important to outline the types of approval that apply in New South Wales. To begin with, there are two classes in which construction work may fall into: one may be approved while another may be classed as exempt. The latter includes all buildings that have minimal environmental impact and falls into a specific criteria. On the other hand, buildings that have considerable impact on the environment falls into the ‘complying development ‘category while those that have a huge impact on the environment are classified as ‘development consent.’ The council is mandated with the task of assessing the construction techniques and issuing the aforementioned certificates and it would be noble to say that the building falls into ‘complying development’ and besides the council, a private certifier would issue the certificate.
The government, as well as the private sector, are responsible for the approval of building services in the region. Besides having common bases for building, the two bodies have different opinions. All this has limited and fostered the cooperation of the building industry and the certification process. However, the two bodies have continually been at loggerheads and this has limited the progress of the building sector.
One major difference is the amount of power that the two bodies possess. The private sector has very limited powers compared to the government. The authority that the private body possess is limited to ‘issuing an order’, ‘issuing a notice of intention’ or the declining in issuing of a certificate (Lambert, 2015). On the other hand, the government counsel has powers beyond this and as such, may override the decision made by the private sector.
The other difference between the private sector and the government authority is the ability to issue a certificate of intent. In this, the private sector has been described to be very reluctant in issuing these notices because of the fear of conflict with the builder. If the private sector issues a notice, the government sector does not take this into serious consideration but begins the whole process again. This is regardless of the fact that the notice is from the private sector.
Basically, there are many defects associated with building and construction. Some of the defects are as a result of the workmanship, others because of the component materials while others are just because of the aging process and environmental conditions (Merritt & Ricketts, 2001). Therefore, it has been recommended to potential land buyers to ensure that they employ the services of a building inspector or an architect prior to the purchase of a building (Charms & Bryant, 1984). Furthermore, these defects may pose a serious problem because of the risk of collapse. As in our case, the buildings close to the site have various defects and as such, it is necessary to establish the impact of our building operations
Buildings and their defects
The first defect may be attributed to poor workmanship. The rule of thumb is that the column should be in direct contact with the foundation but this is not the case in the picture above. The column does not have the necessary contact with the floor slab and as such, there is no effective transmission of loads to the foundation (Ladd, 1991). Transfer of loads from the building elements is a pivotal factor for the stability of any building and if the condition above is not rectified, there is bound to be considerable damage. Our building site is bound to have vibratory action and as such, this defect is likely to cause more damage to the building because of the inability to handle vibration loads.
The second defect may be associated with the use of inferior material and poor workmanship. The ground slab, as well as the walls, have cracked which signifies that the time taken for the curing of concrete might have been less than the 28 days requirement (Rounce, 1998). It is furthermore attested by the fact that the crack follows the concrete path. Vibration from our project site might result in an increase in the crack length and/or size.
The final defect is that of a structural crack. The cause of this is basically poor design, workmanship, and use of inferior products. In extreme case, the crack may extend to a structural element such as a ring beam and consequently result in building failure. The effect of the vibratory activities from our project site is an increase in the crack depth which may result in a collapse of the building.
The critical path of project management focuses on the most effective route required for project completion. Therefore, the routes taken are basically those that consume a lot of time than the alternative (Filwv, 2017). Two activities are present in any project: float activities as well as critical activities (Reh, n.d.). Float activities may be rescheduled for completion without affecting the overall completion date while critical activities cannot be rescheduled.
|Preliminary works and obtaining certificates|
|Site preparation and surface preparation|
|Concrete preparation for slab, footing and path|
|Formwork design and removal|
|Timber and steel construction for walls, roofs and trusses|
|Brick and block construction|
|Plumbing and drainage|
|Electrical and mechanical installation|
|Fences and external walls|
|Paving and roads|
Building professionals board, 2011. Guide to the building’s approval process, s.l.: s.n.
Charms, A. B. & Bryant, D. T., 1984. Studying the client’s role in construction management. Construction management and economics.
Filwv, A., 2017. Critical path method in project management is as easy as 1,2,3. [Online]
Available at: www.wrike.com/blog/critical-path-is-as-easy-as-123/
[Accessed 30 11 2017].
Hibbert, C. J., 2016. Sustainable construction: green building design and delivery. s.l.:s.n.
Ladd, C. C., 1991. Stability evaluation during staged construction. Journal of geotechnical engineering.
Lambert, M., 2015. Independent review of the building professional act 2005, s.l.: s.n.
merritt, F. S. & Ricketts, J. T., 2001. Building design and construction handbook. s.l.:s.n.
Reh, F. J., n.d. Critical path project management (CPM). [Online]
Available at: https://www.thebalance.com/critical-path-project-management-cpm-2276128
[Accessed 29 11 2017].
Rounce, G., 1998. Quality, waste and cost consideration in architectural building design management. International journal of project management.
Victoria building authority, 2014. Permits and paperwork before during and after construction, s.l.: s.n.