Reveal Building Consultants Limited have the qualifications, experience, skills and knowledge to ensure your project is inspected and reported on at all the key stages of construction to ensure workmanship, materials and processes are in accordance with design requirements to ensure minimum defects and maintenance on completion. For mechanical, electrical and other specialist trades we can engage sub-consultants as required on behalf of the client according to project requirements. Our philosophy of ‘right first time’ underpins our desire to act in the best interests of clients at all times.
If you are absolutely sure the building you are about to buy doesn’t leak, is completely building code-compliant, has an up to date building warrant of fitness (BWOF) if required, has been issued a CCC (if appropriate), does not require seismic assessment or strengthening and you are fully aware of the nature and extent of all repairing and maintenance liabilities and landlord and tenant repairing liabilities, we believe you do not need a pre-purchase building survey. However if you do not possess all of the above information, by obtaining a pre-purchase building survey you may potentially save yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars by identifying work which may have been carried out without a building consent, work that may have been carried out with a building consent but has not been issued a CCC, or has significant repairing and maintenance issues that could, for example, involve total or partial recladding and timber framing replacement or seismic strengthening.
A condition survey is a visual survey to assess and record the condition of a building, including all of its sub-elements such as roofs, walls and floors, at a particular point in time. It can be used as the basis for determining the ongoing maintenance requirements and/or for identifying and locating dangerous materials.
It is often used as a means of establishing the nature, extent and location of existing visible defects prior to commencing nearby construction work. It is also used as a basis for recording the condition of property at the start of a commercial lease (commonly known as a schedule of condition) between a landlord and a tenant and is sometimes bound into or specifically referred to in a commercial lease. It is recommended that a schedule of condition be undertaken before the start of any lease and that the schedule of condition forms part of the lease itself.
A schedule of condition is used as a basis for comparison with the condition of the building before and at completion of the nearby construction work in order to allocate responsibility, if any, for additional defects observed at the completion of the nearby construction work. If no agreed schedule of condition is prepared prior to commencing construction work which is nearby other buildings, it may not be possible to determine the causes(s) of defects in the nearby buildings which are identified after the construction work is complete. This could result in lengthy and costly legal claims against the contractor and/or owner/developer, the costs of which may not be able to be claimed from the other party even if no responsibility is established from the claim.
Before entering into a lease for a commercial property you should obtain a building photographic schedule of condition survey report, commonly known as a schedule of condition. You should also clearly understand your repairing obligations so that you can budget for repairs and maintenance throughout the term of the lease.
A section 95a letter is issued by a building consent authority (BCA, usually a council) informing a building owner, or applicant, of a refusal to issue a code compliance certificate (CCC) and their reason(s) for refusal.
A NTF may be issued due to failures to comply with the building code or regulations, if a building warrant of fitness is not correct or if procedures in a compliance schedule have not been properly complied with. Failure to comply with a NTF carries a fine of $200,000 and another $20,000 for each day the offence continues.
A CoA is a letter issued by the territorial authority (TA) for the area where the building is located. It is usually issued for work that was carried out without a building consent. However a building owner may apply when any of the following situations occur.
Read more in “What is a certificate of acceptance (CoA)” and find out what is involved with making an application for a certificate of acceptance.
The building code is contained in the first schedule of the Building Regulations 1992. Building regulations are made under and in accordance with the Building Act 2004 (the Act). What is the building code?
Each of the 37 technical building code clauses has an associated document containing technical solutions called Compliance Documents. Each Compliance Document contains Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods and if building work is carried out in accordance with a Compliance Document the work is deemed to comply with the building code. What is a Compliance Document?
Banks and other lenders often require a building survey (also known as a builder’s report or a builder’s inspection) be carried out prior to agreeing to lend money to purchase or alter a property.
By carrying out a thorough building survey and providing a report we can provide the appropriate level of information on which a lending institution can base its decision on whether to lend or not. This provides useful information about the nature and condition of the building, significant defects, significant repairing and maintenance issues and the likelihood of it being a leaky building and can therefore allocate risk accordingly.
If a bank or other lender is approached by one of their clients for a loan to carry out construction, either of a completely new building or alterations to an existing building, they may wish to obtain confirmation that the construction work will be completed to an acceptable standard and in compliance with the building consent, the building code and the manufacturer’s recommended instructions.
In order to safeguard the lender in this respect the lender may wish to impose loan criterion on their client to engage an independent Clerk of Works to monitor key stages of construction to ensure all work is carried out correctly to ensure building code compliance and an appropriate quality of finished building work is achieved.
This will help to safeguard the lender’s investment in the event their client defaults on the loan, for whatever reason, and will provide confidence that the construction completed up to the stage of default has been completed correctly and can be continued by others from the date of default through to completion.
We can help with identifying the cause and remedy of building damage, by assessing buildings for weathertightness, by resolving unconsented building work, outstanding CCCs, section 95a and NTF issues, designing remedial or maintenance work and by producing as-built plans and elevations prior to starting building alterations or additions.
If you suspect your home might be a leaky building, we can find out for you. We can also identify potentially responsible parties to seek compensation from if the building was recently purchased or if the work is less than 10 years old.
We can provide a vendor’s report prior to the sale of your property, to determine what items require maintenance and repair that would ordinarily be discovered by a prospective purchaser’s inspection.
If you wish to develop or alter your home, we can provide an accurate scope of work, design documentation, building consent (if required) and construction management to achieve the desired result to building code compliance, on time, on budget and to the required quality.
Leaky home owners require certainty of the nature, extent and cost of repairing their homes and what options are available to them. By providing comprehensive invasive and non-invasive weathertight investigations we can determine accurately the extent and nature of the defects and damage and obtain accurate costings for remedying the defects.
We can also offer advice regarding the possible responsibility of other parties in the event of a formal claim being pursued. We can help leaky homeowners fix their buildings, providing remedial design, overseeing the construction work and assessing the timber frame for decay damage during the work.
Commercial property owners’ needs can be wide and varied, ranging from maintenance planning, isolated defect diagnosis, and repair recommendations through to large scale building investigation and expert witness representation and design and monitoring of major alterations and repairs.
Whatever the need, we are happy to discuss and provide proposals wherever we can offer assistance. If you wish to maintain, develop, alter or refurbish your building, we can provide an accurate scope of work, design, building consent (if required) and construction management to achieve building code compliance, completed on time, on budget and to the required quality.
Architects and designers are often called into weathertight defect claims for leaky buildings due to inadequate or incorrect information in their plans and specifications. By conducting thorough reviews of plans and specifications prior to submission for building consent, or prior to starting work on site, we can identify potential building code non-compliances and offer alternative design solutions, particularly to high-risk areas of weather-tightness, thus reducing the designer’s potential liabilities for being sued.
If architects or designers are called in as respondents in a construction defects claim we can provide expert witness services by investigating the circumstances of the claim and preparing evidence and opinion as to their responsibility for the defects.
For alterations and additions, we can assist by providing measured surveys and as-built plans and elevations in .DWG or .IFC format for them to develop their designs as proposed.
Architects and designers are also often called into leaky building claims due to the construction work not being implemented in accordance with the design plans and specification. For confidence that construction work is carried out in accordance with the plans and specifications, we can carry out Clerk of Works or construction observation duties throughout the construction period and/or provide contract administration services under a formal construction contract as an engineer to the contract.
Insurers are often requested to pay building owners or contractors for damage under their insurance policies. The damage may be the subject of specific exclusions within their insured policies, for example, there is often an exclusion in building insurance policies relating to weather-tightness of a leaky building.
Through investigation, we can provide a clear understanding of the nature, extent, timescale, and cause of any damage and therefore provide the insurers with clear independent evidence on which to base their decision: to pay out under their policy or not.
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