Australia’s high-rise waterproofing crisis laid bare

It’s no secret that Australian cities are experiencing a boom in apartment construction.

There were 667,394 apartments, flats or units built nationwide from the end of 2000 up until March 2018, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Based on data gathered by a study by Griffith and Deakin universities, we’re scared to think about what percentage of these building feature dangerous defects.

According to the study:

  • 97% of the NSW buildings studies have defects
  • 74% of the VIC buildings studied have defects
  • 71% of the QLD buildings studies have defects

We recently discovered an ABC article that discusses the prevalence of waterproofing faults in Australia’s high rise buildings. Here are the top findings:

  • A study by Deakin and Griffith universities surveyed buildings in Australia’s east coast states and found more than 70 per cent had at least one defect. All were built after 2003.
  • The Griffith-Deakin study’s co-author, Dr Nicole Johnston, told Four Corners high-rise defects were a problem in every state and territory.

“It’s systemic and it’s infecting lots of buildings across the landscape, in all parts of the country. It’s very clear and it’s very prominent, and we’ve got a serious problem here,” she said.

“I think it’s irresponsible for any government to pretend like this is not happening in their state.”

  • In New South Wales alone, 259,580 new apartment buildings were built between 2000 and 2018. Ninety-seven per cent of buildings in New South Wales surveyed in the Griffith-Deakin study had at least one defect in multiple locations. The study looked at buildings built between 2003 and 2018.
  • The study found that the most common type of defect was waterproofing, followed by fire safety systems.
  • There have been 174,896 new apartments built in Victoria since 2000, according to the ABS. The Griffith-Deakin study looked at buildings built there between 2008 and 2017 and found that 74 per cent had defects.
  • There have been 143,704 new apartments built in Queensland since 2000. The Griffith-Deakin study looked at a selection of buildings built between 2008 and 2017 in Queensland and found that 71 per cent had defects.
  • Dr Johnston said when defects were found, they were generally a chronic problem across a building.

The prevalence of “leaky building syndrome” is something we at Industry Best Construction are committed to reducing and eliminating, through educating industry professionals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *