MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

As some of you maybe aware, last year the AIB and Lahey Constructions successfully ran a pilot Mentoring Program with AIB student members and Lahey staff. One of the mentoring teams was Aman Rai, a Construction Management student from the University of Canberra who was paired with Guy Tristram (Lahey).

At the beginning of the trial program, they created objectives both professional and personal and maintained a strong relationship that enhanced Aman’s skills in communication, teamwork, leadership and self-improvement. Both Aman and Guy found the the program enriching and Aman describes the program as “life changing”.

This year the Mentoring Program will run nationally with applications for Mentor’s now open. Each Mentor will be paired with a student Mentee. If you think you have the experience and would like to give back to the industry and student members of the AIB, then download the application form and send it through to events@aib.org.au

Our National Awards team in Canberra has received a number of enquiries regarding the submission close date for our 2020 Professional Excellence Awards which was Monday just gone, the 23rd March. We are aware that some businesses have been impacted by the development of COVID-19 affecting their operations and resources with some submissions commenced but not yet completed. With this and to assist our 2020 awards entrants, we are extending the submission closing date until the 9th of April. We look forward to a successful 2020 PEA Season.

Clearly COVID – 19 has meant that we have had to move this year’s Awards events out of the next six months. We will shortly announce new dates and potential venues as soon as possible.

As more and more people are being forced to work from home to stem the further spread of the virus, we thought it may be helpful to provide you with a ‘Working from Home Safety and Wellbeing Checklist

This checklist is simply a guide and a way of ensuring that things are in place before you start work from your place of residence. I hope this helps.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone..

Greg Hughes

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

The first Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) Member Meeting for 2020 was held in Melbourne recently. Member associations of ACIF (including the AIB) gathered to discuss a range of issues such as the effect of the coronavirus on the industry, unfair contract terms legislation, the regulatory reforms in New South Wales, ACIF’s 2020 policy priorities, progress on the recommendations of the Building Confidence Report, and many other matters.

Bronwyn Weir (co-author of the Shergold Weir Report) gave an excellent presentation updating ACIF members on what is happening around Australia to further the reforms of the Building Confidence report, and Victorian State Building Surveyor, Andrew Cialini updated members on reforms in Victoria regarding building surveyors with a superb and succinct address.
By now you would have noticed your AIB membership renewal notice has arrived either in your Inbox or via the mail. In renewing this, it will ensure that we can continue with (but not limited to) the following initiatives:

  • Continue our work in presenting issues critical to the industry at a state, territory and federal level
  • Continue to develop meaningful and impactful continuing professional development programs
  • Deliver events and activities that enable members to be able to network
  • Deliver a professional and national Awards Program
  • Deliver a world class Accreditation program across multiple Australian universities
  • Continue to liaise with Regulators about the importance of AIB initiatives such as the National Building Professionals Register (NBPR)  
  • Continue to work with the Australian Building Codes Board and other critical bodies in pursuit of delivering on the recommendations of the Shergold Weir report
Again, this is just a taste of what a small yet dedicated team in Canberra as well as countless volunteers at a Committee level across the country undertake. Please click here to renew and ensure that you continue to support YOUR organisation.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone..
Greg Hughes

IMPORTANT NATIONAL PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE – EVENTS AND OPERATIONS STATEMENT

Members and Supporters

I would like to update you on how we are managing the development of COVID-19 given the recent advice on travel and isolations announced by the Federal Government over the weekend.

We are taking our advice from the Australian Government Department of Health. https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19

 

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by a new coronavirus. It was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

How is coronavirus spread?

COVID-19 spreads from person to person in a similar way to the flu:

  • from close contact with an infected person;
  • from touching objects or surfaces contaminated by the sneeze or cough of an infected person and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth;

Symptoms similar to the flu, include fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath.

Most people who are infected experience mild to moderate symptoms from which they fully recover. However, some people may develop more serious illness with pneumonia and other complications. People at risk of more serious symptoms include the elderly, children, pregnant women, or those with immune system, cardiac or respiratory conditions.

 

What measures can I take to protect myself and those around me from the virus?

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and warm water.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
  • Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places with known outbreaks of COVID-19.

 

What measures are the AIB taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?

Australian Institute of Building will continue to provide staff, members, and supporting partners with further updates on the COVID-19 situation as more information comes to light.

Thorough hygiene practices will continue to be implemented across the office which includes the daily sanitisation of all necessary surfaces.

Staff are encouraged to regularly use the hand sanitiser provided and sanitising wipes.

 

Will the AIB be cancelling upcoming events?

We will be assessing all upcoming events and if necessary, will cancel or postpone events. Members, sponsors and staff will be informed prior to any cancellations or postponement. AIB will comply with any bans imposed by the Federal Government for mass gatherings. We will continue to encourage attendees to use their own personal protection measures and we will also provide access to sanitiser at our events or venues.

 

We are aware of the recent travel and social distancing restrictions initiated by the Australian and New Zealand Governments over the weekend. The Australian Institute of Building continues to assess what this means for the AIB and any impact these restrictions may have for the team and the day to day operations of the Institute.

 

Yours sincerely

David Burnell FAIB

National President

M:  0425 801719

E:   president@aib.org.au

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

Given that the 2020 Professional Excellence Award entries are now open, I think it’s timely just to reflect on what the Awards are about. While there are many organisations that salute the property that has been built, whether it be from an architectural, engineering etc perspective, our Awards focus on the individual.

Our members, whether they are from a project management, construction management, contracts management or site management background are regularly faced at times, with a barrage of challenges that they must overcome in order to deliver a project on time and importantly, on budget.

With this, AIB Chapters are working hard as we speak to ensure that we deliver an appropriate event that will not only acknowledge, but celebrate in the success of the sheer hard work and determination that often goes into a project. So get behind the Awards program and take the next step and get an entry in ASAP. Details on how to do this can be found here.

I am also excited to announce that we have already locked down the venue for this year’s National Awards – to be held in Melbourne in September. Have a look at this video to show you more.

Due to the Coronavirus, one of the AIB’s national Corporate Partners DesignBUILD has postponed their expo until 27 to 29 October this year. As you have no doubt read, numerous businesses and organisations in our industry are being affected by the virus by way of such things as events, travel and to a degree, supply chains to and from China.

While the future of the virus is still an unknown at this point in time, it is understandable and generally agreed that the measures that we are seeing put in place are necessary to try and minimise the chance of further outbreaks.

We look forward to working with the DesignBUILD team later in the year.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone.

Regards,
Greg Hughes

KEY BUSHFIRE STANDARD OPEN FOR ALL AUSTRALIANS TO ACCESS

Key bushfire standard open for all Australians to access

 

 

 

 

  • Standards Australia partners with the Australian Commonwealth government to jointly fund access for all Australians to AS 3959:2018 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas until 30 June 2021
  • Standards Australia joins the wider Australian communities in their efforts to rebuild after devastating bushfires
  • AS 3959:2018 will be available soon at no direct cost to users through Standards Australia’s distributors.

Today, Adrian O’Connell, Standards Australia’s Chief Executive Officer and Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology announced a joint funding agreement for access to AS 3959:2018, Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas, for all Australians.

“This is a difficult time for many individuals and communities. When the scale of the disaster became apparent, I wanted to make sure that Standards Australia was directly contributing to the broader Australian response,” said CEO of Standards Australia, Adrian O’Connell.

By funding access to this standard together with the Commonwealth Government, Standards Australia hopes that as communities rebuild after these most recent bushfires, they do so with access to Australia’s construction standard that deals with bushfire prone areas.

“I am very proud that we have been able to announce this today,” said Mr O’Connell.

The announcement comes just months after Standards Australia put in place a new distribution and licensing framework to provide more options for delivering access to Australian Standards. Standards Australia and the Commonwealth, through the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources will be jointly funding the access until 30 June 2021 using the sponsored access pathway outlined in the distribution and licensing framework.

“When we announced our new distribution and licensing framework in November, being able to announce a partnership like this so quickly is a significant achievement for all involved. I would like to thank Minister Andrews and her Department for working with us over the last few weeks to make this happen,” said Mr O’Connell

Standards Australia’s Distribution and Licensing Framework Policy launched last year and has been paramount in the company’s ability to fund and open access to this standard and is an important example of how the new framework can support communities.

“It’s the nature of Standards Australia to support our nation and having control over our content has given us the opportunity to do this,” concluded Mr. O’Connell.

AS 3959:2018, Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas provides guidance to professionals in the building and construction industry and is primarily concerned with improving the ability of buildings in designated bushfire-prone areas to better withstand bushfires.

Regarding the bushfires more broadly, Mr. O’Connell said it was too early to say what if any work needs to be done with technical standards following the bushfires.

“Everything that we’ve heard so far is telling us that houses built to the standard performed well. We’re currently looking for data about how AS 3959:2018 homes held up and working with relevant committees to support their ongoing work to help in this rebuilding phase.”

AS 3959:2018, Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas, will soon be available as a PDF to all Australians until 30 June 2021.

Standards Australia is working with its distributors on making the access available. Standards Australia will make a further announcement on access points in the coming weeks.

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

As we begin another year, I hope that you had a chance to have a bit of a break before the start of no doubt another busy 12 months ahead.

While our thoughts were very much with the numerous families that were and in many cases still are feeling the effects of the recent devastating bushfires, we can only hope that sense will prevail in future state, territory and federal planning to minimise the chances of something of this magnitude happening again. As David Burnell (National President) recently mentioned, many of our AIB members will also have a future part to play in the safety assessment and rebuilding phase that will follow this fire season.

A reminder for members to register their interest and expertise by email on our dedicated address fireresponse@aib.org.au so we can have a short list of skills ready when we are contacted to provide support by the newly established national relief agency.

In 2019, we worked very hard on meeting with government decision makers in pursuit of reform to the industry. This will continue again as we start a new year, with  all Chapters focusing on the AIB Ten Point Plan – a blueprint for some of the big issues facing the industry at the moment.

  1.   Code of Ethics 
  2.   Single Regulatory Agency
  3.   National Construction Code
  4.   Formal Education for Builders
  5.   Licencing of Key Building Professions and Trades
  6.   Registration System for all Builders and Trades
  7.   Building Quality Manager
  8.   Documentation Review
  9.   Building Surveyor Sign Off
  10.   Insurance System   

Our Professional Excellence Awards have opened again and we look forward to a record number of entries and some spectacular events this year where we will acknowledge some of the best of the best. All the details of how to enter are on our new website.

Two AIB members were recently bestowed honours in the Australia Day Honours list (2020).
Firstly, Bob Wildermuth received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) (General Division) for ‘service to the Building and Construction Industry’ and Robert Torrance from WA became a member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for ‘significant service to the building and construction industry’. Our sincere congratulations to both recipients – what a way to start the new year!
Finally in this column, if as a valued member you have any thoughts about how we can continue to build the AIB as a respected organisation, I would welcome your thoughts. A Value Proposition that is important to you is important to us.

I look forward to working with you all once again and wish you and your families all the best for 2020.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone.
Greg Hughes

NATIONAL PRESIDENT – WELCOME 2020

It is back to business this week for some of our members and sadly the Australian holiday period sees much of the country in the grip of a catastrophic fire event. Many members are either directly impacted or involved around the country either fighting fires, or supporting family and friends who need urgent and useful help. I would encourage AIB members to also consider donating to trusted agencies at this time.

The AIB wants to support the people directly impacted, and we would recommend support in the form of donated funds; as experience tells us that money is much more effective and provides more flexibility than the donation of material items or pre-loved goods. Money can be used in the affected areas to purchase goods and services locally to also restart the rebuilding process for businesses within communities.

Trusted Appeal Partners would include:
Salvation Army – Support Australian Disaster Relief – Donate here
Red Cross – Helping Communities Recover – Donate here
State Fire Services – Donations can be made to the state-funded rural fire services. Some states allow pledges to individual brigades and you can search for areas where you want to support.
In a practical sense many of our AIB members will also have a future part to play in the safety assessment and rebuilding phase that will follow this fire season. So I would call on members to register their interest and expertise by email on a dedicated address fireresponse@aib.org.au so we can have a short list of skills ready when we are contacted to provide support.

The schedule for institute activities has commenced with the AIB continuing with our consultation meetings with the NSW Government recommencing next week.

The AIB still has a significant role representing all building professionals; in recent meetings with the NSW Building Commissioner it is clear a large program of reforms is planned specifically address construction needs in NSW. We will shortly need our NSW members to assist in both feedback and representation. An outline of the NSW Building Commissioners work plan can be found here.

Our AIB network is the platform that allows industry leaders and specialists to share and mentor back to the wider industry and government through involvement with the Institute at a Chapter level around the country. If you are still enjoying holidays, please travel safely and I look forward to meeting with you at a future AIB event.

David Burnell FAIB

BUILDING MINISTERS’ FORUM

BUILDING MINISTERS’ FORUM – COMMUNIQUE – 13 DECEMBER 2019

The Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) met today in Canberra to discuss progress and agree next steps with the suite of important national building reforms underway. Ministers acknowledged the extensive work done since they last met on 18 July but agreed there is more to be done.

Work to implement the recommendations in the Building Confidence Report and the path forward on professional indemnity insurance were among the many important projects discussed.

Building Confidence Report National Framework

Building Ministers noted the significant progress made by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), since the establishment of the Implementation Team to deliver a national approach to implementing the recommendations in the Building Confidence Report.

Key work already undertaken has included:

  • Development of amendments to the 2019 National Construction Code (NCC) including a best practice process for the development ofperformance solutions to strengthen their consistency and quality.
  • Development of a new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) module on the NCC to ensure building practitioners have a better understanding of the requirements within the NCC.
  • Development of a new nationally consistent definition of ‘complex buildings’ with further consultation on the definition and targeted regulatory interventions to continue in early 2020 with a view to inclusion of the definition in the NCC.

Ministers noted the update on the work program for the national approach to implementing the Building Confidence Report of the BCR Implementation Team over the next 18 months.

The next steps include:

  1. Development of a nationally consistent code of conduct for building surveyors with consultation to commence in early 2020.
  2. Development of a detailed national specification for inclusion in a building manual for commercial buildings.
  3. Development of model provisions to set out the roles and responsibilities for documenting, approving and recording performance solutions.
  4. Work on a national data-sharing framework to support the development of a comprehensive national building data portal will also begin next year. This will draw on data from state and territory governments to support education and compliance and enforcement activities.

The Chair reaffirmed the call for industry and states and territories to contribute to the work of the BCR Implementation Team to ensure solutions can be adopted by all jurisdictions in a nationally consistent way.

Coordinated response to Professional Indemnity Insurance

Building Ministers discussed the outcomes of the consultation they commissioned in July and agreed there is no single solution and that a range of responses may be necessary.

Enduring solutions, that reduce the cost of insurance for building industry practitioners and ensure protection for consumers, must be underpinned by the systemic reforms that are being implemented through the national work on the Building Confidence recommendations. States and territories agreed to achieve greater national consistency with regards to licensing requirements for professional indemnity insurance.

Building Ministers agreed to convene a meeting in February 2020 with the Insurance Council of Australia to discuss a suite of measures to reduce the cost and improve the availability of professional indemnity insurance premiums for building industry practitioners.

Ministers called on industry associations to develop Professional Standards Schemes as a matter of priority. A further meeting in February 2020 will be convened with building surveyor and certifier industry associations to discuss their implementation plans for establishing a Professional Standards Scheme and raising standards within the industry. The insurance sector and professionals in the construction industry all have a critical role to play in developing solutions.

Aluminium Composite Panels

Ministers noted the work of the officials and Standards Australia to develop a technical specification for labelling aluminium composite panels. The technical specification is proposed for inclusion in the NCC amendment. An Australian Standard for labelling these products will now be developed drawing on the work done to deliver the technical specification.

Security of Payment

Building Ministers agreed that states and territories would seek to apply model parameters if they are considering the implementation of statutory trusts in their respective security of payment regimes, to provide a nationally consistent approach to the reform.

States and territories would continue to assess the costs and benefits of implementing statutory trusts with respect to local sector conditions and stakeholder feedback.

Digital Twins

Ministers were briefed by CSIRO’s Data61—the Commonwealth’s data and digital sciences arm—on the opportunities to use digital solutions to improve compliance in the building and construction sector, including the ability to track products in the supply chain.

Industry Qualifications

Noting the July 2019 BMF highlighted that some building practitioners did not hold adequate skills required to read and interpret relevant standards and legislation, Building Ministers were briefed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) on their planned audits of building and construction qualifications.

Fire Safety in Early Childhood Centres

Building Ministers noted the decision of the Australian Building Codes Board to achieve enhanced fire safety measures for early childhood centres by requiring a Performance Solution for centres at upper levels of high-rise buildings. This requirement is to be included in the out-of-cycle NCC amendment.

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

Firstly this week, I appreciate the positive feedback we have been receiving for our new Professional Excellence Awards website. It would seem that the approach of a one stop site for all Awards information including the ability to purchase event tickets, coupled with a fresh new look has been well received. Thanks again to those who have commented – we certainly have received quite a few hits with again, quite a few people starting their submission for next year!

Recently, I attended the Building Confidence Report (BCR) National Framework Industry Leaders Consultative Group Meeting in Canberra. In essence the meetings are designed to assist with a national framework with regard to the implementation of the Building Confidence Report (Shergold-Weir Report).

Some of the issues that were raised included:

  • The need for compliance and consistency across jurisdictions
  • Workshopping four (4) immediate deliverables from the BCR
  • Discussion around potential regulatory change
  • Discussion around potential changes to the NCC

As a member of this group of industry stakeholders, it is important that we continue to contribute to this piece of ongoing work. These meetings are vital so Government understands (through the Building Ministers Forum) that we are committed to the Building Confidence Report and the reforms that are necessary for the industry. I acknowledge that state and territories will have difficulty with ‘harmonisation’ across the country, however as I mentioned earlier, compliance and consistency is something we must strive for.

I believe it is time that states and territories stop looking in the rear vision mirror and contemplate what we need for positive reform/s as we head into a new year.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone.
Greg Hughes

AIB’S TEN POINT PLAN

Better Regulation: A Ten Point Plan From The Australian Institute of Building

The AIB supports a cooperative and productive building and construction environment based on consultation between government, industry and academia through formal mechanisms, and appropriate appointment of risk and responsibility owned by the various parties. It supports a coordinated unified system of regulation for the construction industry based on the following principles:

  1.   Code of Ethics 
  2.   Single Regulatory Agency
  3.   National Construction Code
  4.   Formal Education for Builders
  5.   Licencing of Key Building Professions and Trades
  6.   Registration System for all Builders and Trades
  7.   Building Quality Manager
  8.   Documentation Review
  9.   Building Surveyor Sign Off
  10.   Insurance System   

 More information about each point – click here.