Over the past decade especially, it’s come to our attention that many internal and external wet area designs and waterproofing installations are actually non-compliant to the National Construction Code and waterproofing Australian Standards.
It’s because of this lack of compliance that buildings all over the nation are increasingly presenting symptoms of “leaky building syndrome”, which leads to serious and dangerous defects, compromised safety and expensive repair jobs.
A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald explores the waterproofing issues discovered in many of New South Wales’ high rise buildings. Here are the main findings:
- At the outset, it was apparent that about 20 per cent of the industry was the main cause of the 39 per cent of apartment buildings that had serious defects.
- Leading the list of defects were waterproofing problems, which arose in about 23 per cent of affected buildings.
- 85 per cent of buildings with serious defects are not reported to Fair Trading.
- We are still discovering similarly poor-quality buildings as part of an audit process that started last October. More than 100 audits have been conducted so far and a similar number are expected in the coming year. We are targeting about 20 per cent of all new developments.
- We are often confronted with examples of building failure and tragedy from overseas. London’s Grenfell fire and the Miami towers collapse are quoted to grab an easy headline. NSW apartment owners should be comforted that our buildings are of much more highly regulated standards. There has been no loss of life in Australia caused by cladding fires because our systems provide for safe evacuation. We also have world-class emergency services.