Building Defects – Non Residential Owner

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Building Defects
Building Defects
Building Defects
Building Defects

Building Defects

Building Defects -cracks issues

Identify those hidden issues before it is too late –
before the builder’s liability is extinguished or a major failure.



Designers and builders have numerous contractual, statutory and authorities’ compliance obligations such as:

  • The National Construction Code and the associated Building Code of Australia;
  • Compliance with Australian Standards;
  • Safety in Design obligations;
  • Energy Efficiency obligations in the form of statutory or voluntary obligations such as Green Star or NABERS;
  • Local authorities’, State, and Federal authorities’ regulatory requirements;
  • Specific Owners requirements;
  • Technical drawings and specifications requirements;
  • Specialist Designer requirements in regard to the use of specific products or equipment;
  • Specialist Manufacturers and Vendor requirements in relation to the use of their products or equipment;
  • Other stakeholders in the building process;
  • Environmental;
  • Health and Safety; and
  • Community

Building Owners, Operators and Maintainers also have obligations in regard to the correct use and maintenance of buildings as defined in the Builder’s O & M Manuals, the maintenance of safety measures and energy efficiency requirements as defined in the WA Building Regulations, and compliance with local and state government and utilities authorities’ requirements.

During the Defects and statutory Builders Liability periods, various design, construction, operations or maintenance issues may become apparent. It is important these are thoroughly reviewed to determine the extent, cause, impacts, and corrective actions, if any, and that corrective action implementation plans are documented and managed in order not to compromise current and future building operations, maintenance, liabilities and warrantees.

Defects may manifest themselves in many ways. Most commonly, defects are seen as physical in nature and relate to cracking or water damage or some other undesirable physical change or breakage. Defects however may also be concealed behind building finishes or fabric and may also manifest in issues such as a services system inability to meet demand or excess down time, air pressurisation issues, excess energy water or chemical demand, additional maintenance, faulty control and detection systems, material degradation or movement, moisture damage and corrosion that may be difficult to interpret. In our experience, these concealed defects are less often identified and notified to builders for attention, during the defects and liability periods.

The most significant defects issues impacting the design life of the building structure, fabric or finishes are often identified after the expiry of the Builders Liability Period when they become physically manifest to a layman. Unfortunately this is also when the damage is more widespread, advanced and costly to fix and most detrimentally for the owner, when the Builder’s Liability has expired.

Through our extensive experience with building design, construction, handovers and defects management activities on all classes of buildings, CCC assists in identifying and resolving defects issues. We review documentation and records, inspect the works, undertake necessary testing in accordance with the brief, assess the compliance of design and construction and provide the necessary defects management to resolve defects, warrantee and liability claims that may result.



In recent years there have been a number of high profile cases that have tested the builder’s and contractor’s liability for defects. The most significant lessons learned from these cases are:

  • that the owner ( or their representative) is responsible to identify and notify the builder of a defect;
  • that building contract defect rectification activities should be assessed, monitored and approved to avoid ineffective or untimely repairs and errors in their acceptance;
  • Outstanding Builders Liability claims must be lodged with the WA Building Commissioner prior to the expiry of the Defects Liability Period, 6 years from Practical Completion.

Don’t leave your claim until the last minute or you may find your rights compromised through inability to implement the necessary claims processes.



Cornerstone Construction Consultants provides a range of Defect Management services, from a single issue service, to a comprehensive management process. These services are listed below:

  • Pre-completion defects inspection, identification, assessment, reporting and management;
  • Practical completion defects inspection and management;
  • Post completion:
    • Management of Warrantee obligations and claims;
    • Set up of a defects logging, assessment and notification process during the contractual defects and statutory WA Builders Liability periods;
    • Review of operational and maintenance activities to ensure that O & M requirements and builders liabilities and warrantees are not compromised;
    • Defect identification, forensic investigation and testing, engineers causation reporting, review of the builder’s proposed rectification and approval of the defect rectification works;
    • Defects Dispute Management and Builders Liability Period ( 6 years) Claims support;
    • Management of defects rectification works interfaces with client operations, including Health and Safety Management and management of public, operations, tenants interfaces, which form part of owners obligations;

Cornerstone Construction Consultants provides the expertise to manage defects activities throughout the construction and operations phase of a building or facility. It is our experience that when expert knowledge and management is applied to defects activities, that they will be resolved more cooperatively, expeditiously, cheaply, and beneficially in the interests of owners, designers, builders, subcontractors, operators, tenants and maintainers.


Examples of Defects

Building Defects -Wall Crack

Wall Cracking

Building Defects - Balcoy waterproofing failures

Waterproofing fail

Building Defects - Apartment Render Cracking

Render Cracking


Other Support Services for Property Owner


Property Operations and Maintenance

Is your building healthy, safe and environmentally compliant? Are you satisfied with your building services performance and operational availability, cost of operations and maintenance and long term asset integrity?

We assist you in operating and maintaining your building in compliance with statutory, technical and contractual requirements to ensure health, safety and efficiency in building operations and maintenance activities, maintenance of stakeholder liabilities, including builder and warrantor liabilities, and support with claims management.

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Insurance Claim

Confused whether you may have a claim or how to manage your rights to ensure damage is comprehensively fixed?

Use Cornerstone Construction Consultants to ensure that your damage claim is managed to an effective resolution. As Building and Engineering professionals we can provide you assistance in identifying claimable damage to your structures, services and finishes through a claim event and ensuring that the work is fully scoped, designed and remediated to integrate with your business, facility operations or dwelling.

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Residential Property

House and Apartment Owners make significant investments in the long term integrity and performance of their building. Management of building defects, operation and maintenance and refurbishment or upgrade processes are key to successful outcomes.

We can help you with expert investigation and assessment, identification of design and construction solutions and support you, if you have a claim against your builder or insurer.

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