New tool to determine quality and trustworthiness of NSW residential buildings

Published: 9 Jul 2021

The NSW Government has announced a collaboration to develop a world-first construction assurance tool, utilising multiple data points to help Fair Trading and the insurance industry to access a residential apartment building’s quality and compliance with construction standards.

The Building Assurance Solution (BAS) will bring together the products and designs certificates of compliance for each building to create a digital DNA that will establish a trustworthy rating for individual buildings, so they can be compared like-for-like.

Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said the NSW Government has taken the lead in developing this digital technology, in partnership with KPMG, to drive transparency and lift standards in the construction industry.

“We expect this to be a genuinely world-leading piece of work that will help measure the quality and insurability of buildings by identifying which buildings are trustworthy, from measuring compliance with design and construction standards to traceability of materials all the way back to the manufacturer.” Mr Anderson said.

“With this information, aspiring homeowners will be able to make better decisions about what could be the most significant purchase in their life, before they buy.”

Mr Anderson said the BAS tool will allow the regulator to easily identify and respond to defective products and take action against the riskiest practitioners by knowing which buildings they have worked on.

“This tool will show us what products were used, who made them, what testing certifications are held and, who installed and certified building work. Practitioners who build and design in NSW will now have a digital fingerprint that will attach to every project they have worked on,” Mr Anderson said.

Mr Anderson said the tool will allow insurers, for the first time, to easily compare buildings so they can better price insurance for buildings and the practitioners who design and construct them. We intend to reach out to other jurisdictions to collaborate on this project.

“The Buliding Assurance Solution, combined with the requirement for designers and builders to lodge their designs electronically and declare they comply with the building code, will help give insurers confidence to return to the market,” Mr Anderson said.

The BAS tool will be implemented as part of the NSW Project Remediate program to create a single source of truth for replacement façade systems. Concurrently, KPMG will work with private sector companies, like Mirvac, to demonstrate the application of the BAS tool to their new projects.

“Ultimately this tool will help establish NSW as the best place to run a trustworthy construction business, giving the cowboys nowhere to hide and consumers confidence they’re buying an apartment that will stand the test of time,” Mr Anderson said.

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