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

Services

Initial advice – free phone consultation

Building consultants and waterproofing consultants at Building Diagnosis Centre are analytically minded experts with decades of proficient experience.

  • When considering engaging our professional services, at no cost, we will seek out the necessary information and give you limited advice over the phone to strata property owners, building managers and lawyers. This free advice includes if an argument has merit or otherwise, options to save losses and remedial solutions.
  • Our building consultants forensic analyses of clients’ issues include advice and expected outcomes. We are confident that our proposed specialist's service will identify and resolve building problems and disputes.
  • When engaged our building consultants will study the building and construction documents - plans, specifications, local government council conditions, reports, tax invoice accounts, and any other evidence we consider necessary as a forensic building consultant and waterproofing consultant inspections.

The usual building complaints and inquiries we respond to include:  

  • Faulty construction work and building disputes stemming from waterproofing defects that cause water invasion. Thus structural corrosion, building deterioration movement, asbestos corrosion hazards, spalling concrete corrosion damage and rust corrosion structural steel in the long-term occurs. Our building consultants provide forensic investigations to these build issues.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Faulty construction - problem-solving advice

Building consultants at Building Diagnosis Centre provide forensic services and advice on faulty construction and remedial work of residential buildings, strata buildings include residential units and commercial premises.

  • The common problems our building engineering consultants and building waterproofing experts discover the majority of the time, is caused by faulty and damaged waterproofing membranes and flashings.
  • Building inspections find unsuitable waterproof membranes are causes of water leaks including movement cracking to brick walls and concrete from differential building movements, an omission of expansion and control joints, and faulty construction practice.
  • These are considered structural faults and eventually if undetected which often is the case, cause water ingress and in coastal properties, allow soluble salt chloride to enter the materials and accelerate corrosion causing very expensive rectifications.
  • Building consultants' inspections and problem-solving advice on faulty construction, would not occur if builders and tradespeople followed manufacturers' specifications were followed and with proper programmed supervision during the construction process.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Visual inspections of buildings and structures

Building Diagnosis Centre advises visual inspections of buildings and structures is typical first stage procedure of investigations. This first approach is the least expensive and will not cause damage to construction and finishes.

  • Experienced building and design engineering consultants with extensive knowledge of both the design and construction processes can confidently advise on building issues during visual building inspections regarding the conditions of buildings and structures as experts in these fields. However, forensic investigations often follow.
  • Our advice will include reasons for damage and causes. Usually a combination of concerns that need to be pursued by in-depth forensic investigations including destructive intrusive observations.
  • Investigations may lead to a study of the building contract and plans and specifications, including physical destructive exploratory work where invasion into the building fabric occurs.
  • Physical invaded walls, floors or roofs, reveal exact causes to be diagnosed and a solution recommended in the scope of works/specification for the necessary rectifications.
  • Once these intrusive physical investigations commence building consultants' costs, escalate as it's time-consuming work.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Progress inspections of remedial work

Building consultants at Building Diagnosis Centre provide progress inspections and building inspection reports for remedial works by our experienced forensic building and waterproofing consultants or engineers.

  • Progress building inspections Reports are also referred to as periodic inspections as they are not a continuous building inspection of your licensed builder's works.
  • To avoid missing incomplete or defective work, we encourage clients to have a program of recommended progress inspections at all "critical stages" of the works.
  • Our building inspection reports provide a list of the critical stages requiring inspections of work in progress. Building inspections must occur before the licensed builder continuing to the next step.
  • The periodic and progress inspections in complicated and waterproofing membrane installations could be as often as daily for a duration of one or more hours depending on the situation at the time of the work.
  • Progress inspections assess the quality of the construction work being performed by a licensed builder and to ensure the work at that time complies with the building contract, plans and specifications, manufacturers details and statutory requirements. The building inspection report lists any building faults or issues.

 

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Physical intrusion investigations and inspections

Building Diagnosis Centre often recommends physical intrusion forensic inspections and investigations, once parts of buildings, e.g. the building facade, roof or floor slabs etc. are opened-up to inspect concealed work.  We also use technical instruments for testing.

  • It is often the case before Building Diagnosis Centre provide specifications and reports, that physical destructive investigation work needs to be performed, including if giving expert evidence in court cases.
  • We recommend experienced remedial building contractors to our clients, as they provide the physical destruction exploratory work. We can then inspect concealed materials and systems.
  • We then pinpoint the causes of particular problems or issues, thus ensures we design correct specifications for repairs and rectification work.
  • The above processes allow us to prepare sufficient information to seek tenders from experienced licensed remedial building contractors. The advantage is it limits post-contract cost variations occurring.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Corrosive concrete, core samples and with magnesite - NATA tests (National Association Testing Authorities Australia Laboratory)

Building Diagnosis Centre expertise is investigating spalling concrete corrosion and explosion damage, particularly for strata internal magnesite covered concrete floor slabs,  unit balconies, local government buildings and grandstands, multilevel carparks in shopping centres and suspended concrete swimming pools.

  • The majority of our investigations we find actual concrete spalling corrosion damage in buildings and structures situated along the Sydney (NSW) coastline. Issues when close to surfing beaches, the breaking waves and easterly driven winds, impregnates properties with soluble salt-laden air. Concrete and brick corrosion goes undetected internally and severely increases in properties closest to the beach line.
  • Buildings and structures that have been appropriately designed and constructed to compact the corrosive effects of the coastal environments and are well-maintained at frequent intervals will resist the soluble salt (chloride) 'eating' through the external concrete facade, waterproofing membranes and structural steel components. It’s when brown spots appear; rust stain marks, and cracks in the surfaces are when we advise not to ignore the evidence of corrosion already within the concrete.
  • Part of our forensic investigations as building consultants and building engineering experts is taking core hole samples from the concrete and test at certified NATA Mahaffey laboratory for chloride ions and carbonation content including to assess corrosion of the embedded steel reinforcement to determine our suitable specification for rectification by specialist remedial building contractors.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Certification of completed remedial works

Building Diagnosis Centre provides certification of work usually by progress or periodic inspections during construction and the course of licensed, experienced remedial building contractors providing rectifications.

  • If our forensic expert consultants during an inspection discover concerns or an issue with the quality of the work and or with the materials, we advise our clients and the building contractors.
  • Contract works don’t continue until our building, and engineering consultants inspect for the quality of the construction, the materials and damaged sections are rectified or replaced. We then certify satisfactorily completed, upon our close inspection.
  • This certification service assures clients and owners of buildings and structures that the contractor has produced their work according to the building contract, plans and specifications, manufacturers’ specifications and practice guides.
  • Our clients receive a letter report on completion of each inspection and certification. The building contractor gets both documents before submitting a progress payment tax invoice.
  • Before our final certification at time of completion, we ensure satisfactory completion of all building construction and defect free as per the contract. And all warranties received from the contractor.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Remedial Works Contracts, Plans, Reports, Specifications and Cost Estimates

Building consultants at Building Diagnosis Centre also have design engineering consultants and forensic specialists team, to evaluate licensed builders’ tenders and contracts, architectural and engineering plans, technical reports, specifications and bill of quantity estimates, to advise and recommend appropriate changes where necessary.

  • Our professional service provides architectural drawings by our nominated architect Mr David Trinder (Australian Institute of Architects registration N0 2121). We also offer structural engineering drawings, construction specifications and our bill of quantities surveyor cost estimates.
  • We analyse the whole process and recommendations made by our private certifier and by our heritage consultants. For our clients, we submit these documents to a list of preferred experienced licensed remedial builders to obtain tenders.
  • Building consultants at building inspections evaluate builders' tenders and prepare the spreadsheet of comparative analysis and a report in plain English terms for our clients to comprehend. We make a recommendation using the information from these documents and the knowledge of the builders' experience and previous satisfied clients.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Project Manager Client Representation

Building Diagnosis Centre project managers represent clients when overseeing the building contractors' work, although the consultant's services greatly benefit the contractors.

  • Although we assist the licensed, experienced building contractor and remedial building contractors to avoid delays in the work or stop faulty quality practices, or any omissions in their jobs, we aim to ensure our clients will have a sound building on completion in representing them as their expert.
  • A by-product of us being the client's representative provides building contractors with a free level of direction and quality control that eliminates any disputes occurring either during the works or on completion or down the track within warranty.
  • Part of being the client's project manager representative is for the client including the building contractor to notify our consultants at predetermined stages before proceeding further with their works, to give our consultant sufficient time to provide the inspection and to certify that stage for our client.
  • The more complex the work, the more inspections particularly waterproofing membranes as there are many stages of events during waterproofing. Similarly, during the rectification of spalling concrete or rust corrosion steel damage, we need to inspect each of a 6- stage rectification. If we are not satisfied with a stage, we request the contractor rectifies that stage and advise when ready for our re-inspection.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Obtain and evaluate contractors’ tenders

Building and waterproofing consultants of Building Diagnosis Centre forensic building and engineering experts, provide building inspection and physical destructive exploratory works to document the findings in our technical reports, specifications and scope of works.

  • We produce construction drawings if required by our nominated architect Mr David Trinder (Australian Institute of Architects registration N0 2121) and our consulting structural engineers. Our senior building consultants provide cross reference check.
  • Clients' general attempts to obtain complying tenders from their licensed remedial builders, engage us to communicate and get bids from our preferred list of experienced licensed remedial builders.
  • Our building consultant or building designer will individually show the contractors through the clients' property and waterproofing. At our building inspections, we explain our specification, so builders fully understand the required proposed work and have the opportunity to discuss the actions at the early stages before preparing costs.
  • The end result from our clients obtains genuine tenders with the assurance that the tenders have been properly assembled and cost with the comprehensive details from our specifications and discussions from the joint site inspection with the builders.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Contract administration of remedial work

Building consultants and waterproofing consultants from Building Diagnosis Centre provide contract administration of new construction work and remediation of damaged and deteriorated buildings, particularly strata home units, strata commercial and government structures.

  • Contract administration has various stages, and clients can choose some or all of the steps similar to when we are the project manager representing and responding to the client.
  • As we prepare specifications and call tenders from experienced, qualified licensed building contractors, Building Diagnosis Centre is in an ideal position to administer the building contract as we fully understand the property and intimate with our specifications.
  • Part of our service includes preparing contracts and obtaining the construction time frame and periodic building inspections during the progress of the works according to our agreement with our clients. Where possible we avoid disputes occurring, stop insane work and the use of incorrect materials during our building inspections.
  • Our building consultants evaluate work and assist the building contractor in staying on time with the works, and certify each stage including waterproofing before the building contractor submitting tax invoices.
  • Our building consultants assess builders tax invoices and recommend the clients pay within the time-frame to avoid delays and disputes occurring.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Disputes and mediation advices

Building Diagnosis Centre consultants handle our clients’ disputes and mediation complaints and issues. The client receives thorough advice due to more than 30 years’ experience, and assisting lawyers and barristers in building dispute cases in courts and tribunals and NCAT in Sydney (NSW).

  • Our building and design consultants provide forensic technical advice during discussions and meetings backed up by strong arguments and technical references to the National Construction Code – Building Code of Australia and the appropriate Australian Standards. Our references also include contracts, plans, specifications and the manufacturers’ guides.
  • We provide expert reports to solicitors briefs including Scott Schedules that lists the type of building defect; the seriousness level of defect; the cause of the defect; where work has breached the building contract, council approved drawings, specifications and conditions; the party that caused the defect; a solution to rectify the defect which usually is a scope of works; the estimation of costs but usually we obtain tenders from respectable licensed experienced remedial building contractors, as courts and tribunals are more convinced these are the current value for the required rectifications then estimates obtained by consultants and quantity surveyors.
  • Using our expertise and comprehensive reports as evidence assists clients and lawyers to avoid or win building cases in courts and tribunals.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Assessing work and contractors’ accounts

Building Diagnosis Centre building consultants and waterproofing consultants and inspectors, provide forensic investigations together with inspections of construction work either during the course of the works or called in after the construction is completed.

  • This occurs both during and after the compulsory home warranty insurance periods or with commercial properties during the contractors' warranty periods.
  • Our forensic experts assess work according to industry practice, the contract documentation, the building codes and Australian Standards. The manufacturers’ products specifications and guides are also an important part of the forensic investigations.
  • We value the work and that the contractor’s tax invoice accounts represent the work being completed or rectified. We also assess if there is a dispute that certain works are not part of the building contract. As independent consultants, we come to a problem with a totally independent opinion, unlike a building owner and the building contractor that are caught up in an emotional dispute argument.
  • We show respect to both our clients and the building contractor when caught up in a dispute. We win respect that assists us in revealing our wealth of experience to resolve issues for both parties even when we are engaged by one party.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Preparing cost estimates for tribunal / court cases

Building Diagnosis Centre building and waterproofing consultants, building engineering and design experts, prepare cost estimates for the tribunal and court cases, using their skills and training from many years of experience of involvement with new construction and remediation of faulty work and materials.

  • We interpret the architectural and engineers’ drawings and specifications including building inspections of work performed and the work to be performed for rectifications.
  • Building inspections allow us to produce a thoroughly detailed specification and provide cost estimates for each section and the time required to perform each task.
  • This breaking down the processes of the remediation work and costs is beneficial for clients in a tribunal or a court. Our building consultants sound preparation work is ready before the court rather than how to establish the expenses in the witness box.
  • To support this, our building consultants call for tenders on our specifications from experienced, reliable licensed remedial builders and with discussions on site usually, confirm a fully comprehensive bid from the remedial contractors.
  • This supporting evidence forms part of our cost estimates for the tribunal and court cases assisting both lawyers and adjudicators/magistrates/judges to make an informed decision.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Expert reports as per Experts Code of Conduct.

Building consultants and waterproofing consultants at Building Diagnosis Centre, prepare expert's reports for court cases to comply with the Expert Witnesses Code of Conduct and agree to be bound by it (Uniform Civil Procedure Rule 2005 Schedule 7 Expert witnesses code of conduct (Rule 31.23) (cf SCR Schedule K).

  • The Code; to provide an expert report for evidence in proposed proceedings and to give opinion evidence.
  • General duty; the expert witness has an overriding obligation to assist, be impartial, relevant to the expertise, have a paramount duty to the court and not another party nor an advocate.
  • Duty to - comply to the court's direction and commitment to work cooperatively with other expert witnesses.
  • Experts’ reports must have qualifications, e.g. 
  1. facts and assumptions based on the letter of instructions;
  2. expert’s reasons for opinion;
  3. if the issue is outside their expertise;
  4. literature and materials supporting expert opinions;
  5. relied on examinations tests during/post-investigations;
  6. lengthy complex reports have the summary at the beginning;
  7. state if the report is incomplete or inaccurate qualification;
  8. state if opinion not concluded due to insufficient research data; and
  9. notify when a change of opinion occurs.
  • Expert’s conference' abide by the direction of the court to confer, endeavour to reach agreement on all matters in issue; prepared a joint report of agreed and matters disagreed and reasons; based on specific facts and assumptions; exercise independent judgement; not withhold information.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Expert testimony in NCAT / Count

Building Diagnosis Centre director Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB MMBA MBDA NBPR AfillIEAust consultant attends NCAT and court proceedings as an expert witness in building and construction matters.

  • A seasoned expert witness, Robert Speirs-Ferrari with 40-years’ experience in the building and construction industry provides information of facts and opinions to courts and tribunals when Robert is examined and cross-examined by solicitors and barristers in the witness box:
  • Firstly, the observations and any physical destructive exploratory work (and testing) he carried out to a building or structure. Robert thoroughly prepares documents generated from the property inspections and study of all materials including building contracts, plans, specifications. He also has digestive reports from other expert witnesses.
  • Secondly, give professional judgement opinion on the reasons and causes of alleged faulty work and materials, disputes with payments, disputes with incomplete work, conflicts with variations, and conflicts with architectural/engineering designs that have arisen during the construction work.
  • Thirdly, give a professional opinion on the required rectification and remedial works and the many alternatives available for this work, including detailed cost estimates, backed up by quotations obtained from experienced building contractors.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Asbestos Inspections and Advice as per Work Cover Requirements

Building Diagnosis Centre provides asbestos inspections, and surveys of buildings and structures usually detect fibro asbestos cement sheeting to walls and roofs of houses, factories and warehouses and in older Owners Corporation strata plan residential units.

  • As a WorkCover Australia registered and licensed asbestos Inspector and Supervisor, we provide inspection surveys to identify the locations where the fibro asbestos cement sheeting exists internally and externally to the outside of buildings and structures. Many backyard garages and sheds have asbestos.
  • An asbestos identification report identifies when our service includes collecting small pieces of fibro asbestos sheet from the site in airtight plastic bags; these are then ready for testing in a registered accredited National Association of Testing Authorities Australia (NATA) laboratory.
  • Usually fibro asbestos flat and corrugated type cement sheet material has the following asbestos fibres: Chrysotile white colour; Amosite brown colour; Crocidolite blue colour.
  • Robert Speirs-Ferrari recommends when dismantling walls and roofs owners and all people on site to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) half face respirator dual filtered HEPA cartridge (purple colour or N100, P100, R100), and always hose wet asbestos material and never cut, drill, break, score, saw.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Disable Access as per “The Premises Code” Requirements

Building Diagnosis Centre has a seasoned specialist Access Building Consultant who is our nominated architect Mr David Trinder (Australian Institute of Architects registration N0 2121).

  • Our specialist access building consultant has been designing and constructing buildings and structures for 40 years and is competent in access for residential and commercial strata buildings, retail shops, restaurants, offices, public buildings and shopping centres, and when modernising older buildings etc.
  • Building inspections include measurements and levels taken with equipment, and as our access building consultant is a registered experience architect (and a builder) is competent in assessing design and construction potential to provide compliant access.

Access to premises expert’s report assessments include:

  • Disable Discrimination Act Section 23 for Access to Premises.
  • National Construction Code Building Code of Australia Section D Part D3 Access for People with a Disability.
  • Australian Standards 1428 Design for Access and Mobility Part  1 General requirements for access;
  • Part 2 Enhanced and additional requirements – buildings and facilities;
  • Part 4 Tactile  ground surface indicators for orientation of people with visual impairment;
  • Part 4.1 Design for access and mobility - means to assist the direction of people with visual impairment – tactile ground surface indicators.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust

Heritage Building Assessments of Dilapidation Damage

Building consultants at Building Diagnosis Centre have expertise in heritage building assessments particularly dilapidated damaged commercial buildings, schools and churches. To rectify the damage, upgrading and providing safe access.

  • Our director Robert Speirs-Ferrari has heritage qualification certificate, and we have a specialist heritage and archaeologist consultant DR Mclaren North LMAPT. LMSHA. LMASHA. MNTA.
  • We can prepare Archival Recording of heritage buildings and structures. We can also prepare Heritage Assessment and Statement of Heritage Impact documentation.
  • Our expert Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB, MMBA, MBDA, AfillIEAust, NBPR, provided building inspection surveys to a Sydney heritage listed church in Manly Northern Beaches, and made application for a DA/CC to stop water penetrating through an asbestos roof sheeting and fretting of sandstone block walls.
  • Our senior building consultant project manages buildings including rectification/refurbishment to heritage Church that required entire interior carefully dismantled allowing the contract work to proceed and the reinstatement on completion. Our building consultants and our team were commissioned to a heritage commercial building at Bondi Junction over many years assessment and stabilizing the structure to prepare DA application to Waverley Council.

Require Help?
Speak directly with our expert
Robert Speirs-Ferrari FAIB NBPR MBDA MMBA AfillIEAust