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Building a new construction confidence roadmap

As the NSW construction industry navigates the 20th year into the 21st century, it’s time to be better, smarter, more efficient and customer facing.

Rebuilding confidence in NSW construction will be underpinned by trustworthy data.

We’re building new capability that will combine existing internal data pools to provide a single view of projects across NSW. This will enable the sharing of data and better allocation of resources.

As a result of COVID-19, the construction industry is witnessing new productive  ways of working, with performance-based dashboards used to inform consumers, industry and government how data is defining our future.

Public and private sector data pools

These days, the depth of 'non-consensual' data available in private sector data pools is powerful. These data pools draw heavily from public data sources that are open for all to see.

For example, details of company directors and their past relationships with other directors of insolvent companies are simple to find. Matching these relationships with profiles of directors of construction companies with similar histories requires work, but powerful algorithms used by ratings companies with these capabilities is simple. As is matching these players with certifiers who have left behind a trail of lousy buildings.

Consensual data is normally held by public agencies. However, even this information can be shared by private risk-ratings agencies under tight conditions.

Examples include licensing registers, taxation histories, and financial transaction tracking.

The NSW ePlanning portal is an example of how once disaggregated data can combine an extraordinary amount of development consent, drawing lodgement and documentation tracking through building certification, as-built drawing registers and into a building's digital life.

The edges between public and private data pools will increasingly become blurred. Both are regulated.

By the middle of 2021, the digital construction landscape in NSW will have dramatically changed.

Emerging artificial intelligence will soon enable design and as-built documentation to be compared. Consumers will benefit from both regulators and strata managers being able to access a single source of truth for the buildings they live in.

Lodging these documents will be governed by new digitally enabled protocols, where only accredited or licensed players will be able to access these systems.

By 2025, we expect all industry practitioners who have important roles to play in building assurance to have a digital twin, just as will the individual buildings they help make.

No-one should imagine that things won’t be radically different.

From as early as September 2020, the data that will nest in these systems will be collected.

The combined data already available from the new regulator's 'single view of building site' and an externally sourced 'multi-party risk rating tool' for each project will be in play.

These tools will inform the selection of projects that have the potential to be less trustworthy than others.

They will help inform the occupation certificate audit teams now being hired.

The intent of occupation certificate (OC) audits will target the trustworthiness of occupational certificates, now.

A call out to certifiers

There are good certifiers and there are compromised ones. The latter have left behind a trail of poor building outcomes.

There is another group of well-intentioned certifiers who see themselves as ‘caught like meat in a sandwich’. They may have under-quoted, are under pressure to ‘tick the box’ and are usually dealing with projects that had inadequate documentation to support a good build.

These certifiers need to think seriously about their futures. We want them in the industry, but not their compromised selves.

Good certifiers know a better future awaits.

A new certifiers practice guide with best practice standards is in production.

Building assurance solution

There is a need for a single source of truth to contain a building’s certificates on a common platform, which will go with a building forever and be available to future owners and maintainers. It must be multi-jurisdictional.

As more construction is performed away from a building site, it becomes critical that a single source of truth is able to combine a project's compliance certificates from source of material, product, assembly, installation and commissioning.

We’re inviting service providers to tender to create a digital building assurance solution that will provide an aggregation of certificates from a composite of all building inputs, and their risk profile.

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