Tuesday  August 11, 2020
Professional indemnity Insured and Licensed Company ABN: 20 054 540 395 ACN: 054 540 395


We give more expert building advice
We give more expert building advice
Established 42 Years

Our history  Established 42 years +

  • Practising in Sydney Australia, Building Diagnosis Centre established 32+ years and the managing director and principal Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB, NBPR, MMBA, MBDA, AfillIEAust, with 42-years experience, is a leading boutique multi-disciplinary team of building consultants, waterproofing consultants, and forensic building expert professionals and building inspectors.
  • We provide building inspections, expert advice opinion for the public, local government, strata and law firms on causes of water penetration, spalling concrete damage particularly with magnesite topping, structural corrosion of steel, faulty building work, building contract complaints, expert witness services for fair trading tribunal (NCAT) and litigation in District and Supreme Courts.
  • Building consultant expert, waterproofing consultant expert, building dispute expert, asbestos fibro expert that provide forensic investigations and diagnosis of building construction faults and complaints.

Our Professional Expertise –

  • Building Diagnosis Centre provides expert advice and building construction consulting services to the public, businesses including strata and local government departments in Sydney NSW particularly the coastline of the Northern Beaches and the Eastern Suburbs. Our professional services are building inspections, expert reports, investigations into causes of damage, prepare specifications, recommend licensed remedial building contractors and project manage remedial work. Our expert reports are ready to give expert opinion advice for law firms, strata managers and insurance companies for making building claims in the Fair Trading tribunal (NCAT) and litigation in District and Supreme Courts.
  • We are active senior experts as building consultant (accredited and chartered); engineer; architect; heritage consultant; building surveyor; quantity surveyor; land surveyor and asbestos consultant.
  • Majority of projects are located on or near the northern coastal beaches (Palm Beach to Mosman) and to the eastern suburbs to Maroubra beach includes Sydney CBD, Gosford CBD and Wollongong CBD. Properties we investigate include strata, commercial, residential, industrial, local government, education and shopping centre carparks – please refer to our client project page.

An Overview Of Our Building Investigation Procedures –

  • Building diagnostics is the process of determining the causes and solutions to building damage, problems and disputes. Building Diagnosis Centre forensic building consultants and waterproofing experts provide this service. Our firm is guided by our chief expert consultant Robert Speirs-Ferrari who has achieved a status of fellow, chartered, accredited, licensed and insured. Robert has a reputation as one of Sydney’s best building consultants and waterproofing consultants on the northern beaches and the eastern coastal suburbs of Sydney, and further afield including Australian capital cities. 
  • We advise that building and waterproofing over the life of a building structure will suffer damage caused by normal wear and tear, will eventually deteriorate and requires serious work at the 50 year period. We readily determine the causes and solutions for this type of 50-year damage to residential, strata, commercial, industrial, local government and most other property. We advise early damage is another type, and more severe as it occurs from latent defects concealed within building structures, usually discovered as a result of ingress of rainwater or building movement, alerting building owners to seek independent assessment reports. In this case, we provide independent building expert comprehensive reports for property owners to discuss with their building people.
  • What causes latent concealed building defects? They are always created by the building people that may at times be inexperienced without the necessary skill to problem solve and identify inappropriate materials, processes and practices, and without the support of independent inspections and certification. We further advise that latent defects, amounts other causes, occur when bypassing the statutory requirements of the National Construction Code Building Code of Australia, and Australian Standards. We advise the majority of time building defects end in costly rectification and disputes in NSW Fair Trading meditations and NCAT Tribunals and Courts. Mistakes could have been initially avoided by having experienced independent building consultants and waterproofing consultants inspect the work in progress during critical stages. 
  • Our building and waterproofing diagnostic consultants are experienced and thorough for critical stage inspections and to prepare specification remedial works including project manage builders’ jobs. Alternatively, our diagnostic building waterproofing experts after assessing a property will develop a suitable report for litigation per the Expert Witness Code of Conduct. No matter what the building and construction issues are, our forensic experts will advise to inspect, test, report, prepare specifications, call for tenders and project manage remedial work making your building permanently waterproof and safe. We don’t advise a “quick cut-corner fix”.

What Are The Benefits To Our Clients –

  • Our building consultants do the worrying for clients when taking on their building and construction issues – is what we do best. We will explain in layman’s language the technical building construction faults and deterioration that we investigate either through visual inspection or destructive physical intrusion into the building fabric. We will advise you and keep you informed throughout the whole process. Our experts will continue the service until there is certainty as to the extent of damage and the causes which at times requires taking core samples out of concrete and masonry brick walls for testing in a registered NATA laboratory.
  • We include the best method to have the damage or issue rectified, drafted in a recognised professional report used for either rectification purposes or litigation and tribunal purposes. Our building consultants will estimate costs, call tenders from our accumulated list of recognised, experienced remedial building contractors, evaluate the costs and undertake the project management services until certified satisfactory completed.

Our Guarantee –

  • The services that our building consultants deliver stops people’s homes and businesses from long-term water penetration in some cases for many years due to previous unsatisfactory attempts to have it rectified. We assess concrete structures for damage, followed by designing remedial work activities that we certify during our critical stage inspections. This ensures the work is satisfactorily completed and progress payments are made on that assurance.
  • Our expert opinion advice and reports result in a suitable outcome when negotiating and entering into mediation and tribunals and court cases. Our strategies and professional building consultancy and construction activities over the last 40-years have proven very successful and satisfied clients. As a reference, refer to our current and recent clients listed under the heading Projects.

We Prepare Our Fee Cost Agreement to Provide –

  • Expert purpose-made consignments – please refer to our expertise page that gives a list of the most common building problems we investigate.
  • Our building engineering professional consulting services include opinions and advice over the telephone, at the property or in court as an expert witness.
  • We provide property inspections, assessing work during construction, contract administration, and investigations into building deterioration; waterproofing failures; faulty building practices (sometimes flawed design); and specifying prevention remedies.
  • When applicable draft inspection reports, specifications and expert reports and assist clients in NCAT consumer tribunals, local and district courts.

We Specialise In New and Older Buildings and Structures –

  • With new buildings the majority of the time we resolve non-compliant disputed work regarding inadequate waterproofing and damaged structures from water penetration. These building disputes also occur in non-new buildings and structures during renovations and repairs.
  • Hence we assess general construction defects and deterioration mainly to stop or control structural severe damage and decay, i.e. water penetration causing spalling concrete explosion damage and structural steel rust expansion corrosion, suffering the effects of coastal soluble salt attack – please refer to our information page.

Our Clients’ Older Buildings and Structures –

  • Our investigations also include evaluation of the building structure after physical destructive exploratory works (we supervise remedial building contractors to carry out these works) into walls, floors and roofs and below ground level.
  • Whereby our building consultants and engineers in Sydney collect samples for testing of materials containing chloride and carbonation in concrete slab floors and corrosive magnesite topping, the fibro-cement material containing asbestos fibres, cracked and sagging concrete balconies including when evidence of rust stain marks exist around cracks and spalled areas, particularly coastal properties adjacent to surfing beaches.

We Are Forensic Experts –

  • Waterproofing and Damaged Coastal Corrosion Concrete and Steel Structures
  • Building Engineering Defects – Detection > Solution > Certifying Quality
  • Faulty Work & Building Dispute Complaints    
  • Project Manage Contract Remedial Works   
  • Contract Administration Representing Clients
  • Expert Assistance in Disputes & Litigation
  • Asbestos Fibro Cement Material
  • Heritage Assessment & Conservation
  • Access for People with Disability


Robert Speirs-Ferrari  FAIB NBPR MMBA MBDA AfillIEAust Company Managing Director & Principal Building Engineering & Design Consultant

Specialisation Experience and Skills –

  • Robert Speirs-Ferrari, a company director, chartered and accredited fellow building professional has 42-years continuous professional experience and skills in the Built Environment of which 32-years as a senior forensic building specialist at the Building Diagnosis Centre in Manly Sydney.
  • Proficient in residential and commercial remedial construction damage, deterioration, destruction, faulty quality/materials, and as an expert witness assessing non-compliant work against NCC Building Code of Australia and Australian Standards.
  • Since 2003 assessments include heritage schools and churches, local government buildings and structures, concrete tunnels beneath Sydney Bondi Beach promenade, and contemporary shopping mall carparks and leaking swimming pools.
  • Robert as a building engineering expert heads a technical specialists team of engineers, architect, private certifier, heritage expert, and remedial building contractors for specific multidisciplinary projects (particularly strata and business properties) stemming from practical construction application combined with postgraduate university degrees.
  • His thesis focused on researching causes and contributors of faulty design and construction work. Robert has inspected 5,000+ buildings and many more expert reports and photographic evidence, making assessments, sensible recommendations, preparing specifications for remediation work, calculating cost estimates and administers building contracts.

Practising Professions –

  • Company Director (Building Diagnosis Centre Pty Limited) 1989 –
  • Accredited Building Consultant MMBA No.39720 -1987 –
  • Chartered Fellow Building Professional FAIB No.5921 – 1997 –
  • Building Designer MBDA No.462-1997 –
  • Licensed Builder No 38673 –1987 -,  Chartered Builder,  Master Builder No.39720 -1976 –
  • Licensed Waterproofing Contractor 1987 –
  • Registered & Accredited Asbestos Supervisor / Remover 206476AS2 – 2008 –

Academic Qualifications –

  • M.Design (UTS) 1995
  • Post-Grad.Dip Design (UTS) 1993
  • Post-Grad.Cert Design & Tech (UTS) 1992
  • Architectural Heritage Cert., (ITS) 1992
  • Dip.BldgConstManagmt (MBA-RPL) 2012
  • Waterproof Const Cert (MBA-RPL) 2013
  • Licensed Builder – (BSC) 1976 –1984, (OFT NSW) 1987 –current No.38673
  • Licensed Asbestos Inspector 206476AS2 (WCA) 2008 (Registered Supervisor & Accredited Asbestos Remover)

Professional Qualifications –

  • AfillIEAust – an Affiliated member of Engineers Australia 2016
  • NBPR – National Board Professional Register 2015
  • FAIB – Australian Institute of Building 5921/1997
  • MMBA – Master Builders Association 39720/1976  
  • MBDA – Building Designers Australia 462/1997      
  • MMBA – Master Builders Association 39720/1976  
  • OFT – Office of Fair Trading – Builder’s Licence 38673/1976- 1984, 1987 – current 
  • WCA – WorkCover Australia Asbestos Licence WCA 206476AS2  
  • Trades Monitor Ebix Australia 2008                        
  • Strata Community Select 2012  
  • UTS Alumni – Post-Grad member (1994)

Specific Interests Include –

  • Coastal chloride induced spalling concrete corrosion, corrosive magnesite damaging strata residential and commercial multi-level buildings, salt attack to masonry brickwork and mortar joints, structural steel rust corrosion chloride induced pitting.
  • Waterproofing deterioration of membranes and flashings, building movement cracking and subsidence, asbestos detection.
  • Forensic investigation management includes physical intrusion pinpointing causes of damage, collecting samples and briefing scientists for testing material content and contaminants.
  • Preparation of contracts and critiquing colleagues specifications, contract documents and costing remedial solutions for long durability rectifications, specifying proven solutions to replace the inappropriate use of materials.
  • Management of tendering, overseeing management for correction (not supervision).
  • Expert witness testimonies – building disputes of many types commonly include construction methodology faults / illegal construction / non-compliant construction / incomplete work / and the majority of cases due to faulty waterproofing.
  • Peer review includes building design faults, diagnosis of construction deterioration, wall movement investigations, DA documentation (demolition), and most recent project manager to the stabilisation of a listed heritage building.

Professional Registrations –

  • AfillIEAust – Affiliated Member of Engineers Australia 2016-
  • NBPR – National Board Professional Register 2015-
  • Australian Institute of Building AIB 5921/1997-
  • Master Builders Association (Accredited Building Consultant)MBA 39720/1987 –
  • Building Designers Association BDA 462/1997-
  • Master Builders Association (Master Builder) MBA 39720/1976-
  • Office Fair Trading NSW OFT Licence 38673/1976-1984/1987-  
  • WorkCover Australia Asbestos Inspector / Supervisor WCA 206476AS2  
  • Trades Monitor Ebix Australia Strata Plan Properties 2008-
  • Strata Community Select Strata Plan Properties 2012-
  • UTS Alumni Post-Grad member 1994-
  • Accredited Building Consultant MMBA No.39720/1987 –
  • Chartered Fellow Building Professional FAIB No.5921/1997 –
  • Building Designer MBDA No.462/1997 –
  • Licensed Builder No 38673/1987 –
  • Chartered Builder/Master Builder No.39720/1976 –
  • Licensed Waterproofing Contractor 1987 –
  • Registered & Accredited Asbestos Supervisor/Remover 206476AS2/2008 –