In response to the public’s growing uncertainty and trust in the residential sector, the NSW government has introduced new legislation and regulations aimed at improving the quality of building and construction work.
From the 1st of July 2021, the Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021 (DBP Regulation) came into effect in NSW. The new regulations include a registration and certification scheme that supports the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (DBP Act) enacted last year on 10th June 2020. The DBP Regulation has been designed to increase accountability in key stakeholders of the building including designers, developers, builders and professional engineers as well as establish a process requiring compliance declarations at multiple points of the building works.
On each residential apartment building project that adopts Performance Solutions, the Fire Engineer will be required to declare that the design meets the Performance Requirements and that the Fire Engineering Report integrates the designs of other key consultants such as structural, mechanical and fire services. These key consultants will also be required to declare that the requirements of the Fire Engineering Report have been incorporated into their design documentation.
Holmes Fire views the DBP Regulation as a welcome addition to the building industry and supports the inclusion of the design intergration process as a positive step towards a higher quality of building construction.
To streamline the process of integrating designs, Holmes Fire offers documentation review services – to put the magnifying glass over the drawings and specifications provided by key consultants to verify that the fire engineering requirements are correctly documented. Though the DBP Regulation and its requirements are new, Holmes Fire has an existing process to undertake documentation review services and have been offering this service to our clients for over 2 years.
Our team has found that reviewing documentation at the design stage results in issues being identified much earlier, when such issues only exist on paper. The time and effort taken to amend a drawing is relatively minimal compared to resolving a construction issue that has been built and has other completed building works surrounding it. This design documentation review process will reduce the number of issues that are discovered during construction works and fewer ‘patch fixes’ being used to resolve those issues.
Since offering design documentation review services 2 years ago, our team has developed an efficient process to review all relevant documentation and help the project proceed in a timely manner.
While the industry navigates its way around these big changes, it’s important to remember that it will take all affected practioners and businesses some time to adjust to the new norm for residential apartments. The DBP Regulation will lead to changes to our regular processes but the identification of errors at earlier stages will create opportunities for collaboration and innovation while also providing builders and developers with cost savings due to reduced rectification works during construction.