More work needed by governments to eliminate non-conforming building products

building faulty products stock image

The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), which represents construction products and materials manufacturers and suppliers, congratulated the NSW Government for announcing a major shake-up of compliance responsibilities in the building and construction industry.

Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said: “The proposal to establish a Building Commissioner to undertake compliance audits is a welcome initiative that will place greater emphasis on the need for the industry to ensure that buildings are designed and constructed in accordance with applicable standards.

“While it is critically important for building professionals and constructors to design and erect buildings that will be safe, it is equally important that to achieve this outcome they use products and materials in those buildings that comply with the applicable codes and standards, otherwise the design and construction processes could be compromised.

“In our report into building products ‘The Quest for a Level Playing Field – The non-conforming building products dilemma’ Ai Group found that 92% of 222 respondent companies reported non-conforming product in their market. There were gaps and weaknesses in conformance that included inadequacies with surveillance, audit checks, testing, first party certification and enforcement.

“The proposals announced by the NSW Government will enable greater responsibility to be placed on those entities responsible for building design, construction and certification to ensure that products and materials specified and used will be fit for their intended purpose.

“More work is required by governments and industry to ensure that poorly made products and inappropriate materials are kept out of buildings. Greater surveillance is required to ensure that fraudulent or misleading certificates of product compliance are identified and the products prevented from being used in construction.

“We need more effective and reliable certification processes to assist the industry to identify products that are not compliant. This will require greater surveillance and the use of reliable testing regimes and laboratories to weed out the non-compliant products, whether they are imported or locally manufactured. This is essential to maintaining public confidence in the industry and the regulatory structures that govern it. The NSW proposals will facilitate this occurring.

“The construction products sector looks forward to working with the NSW and other Australian governments to achieve a national, harmonised, approach to the issues,” Mr Willox said.

Source: Ai Group