In this short post, we discuss how financial pressures undermine building quality and end up causing a lot more problems.
Apartments are generally built by developers who are motivated to make profit. The maximum profit possible. These apartments are designed by Architects who to win the design project are forced to sell less hours to achieve a lower price. This means there is simply not enough time to detail a building properly. The builder then goes through a tender process where the key criteria is to meet a price. To do this they switch out better quality products and trades people for lower quality. The consequence of this race to the bottom is owner of many apartment buildings are facing very expensive and premature maintenance and repair costs. Defects fix visited a typical example of this in Mernda recently.
The reason for the visits was to identify all building defects as they were getting close to the end of their ten year building warranty period and wanted to make sure the original builder did the necessary repairs.
During the site visit it became clear that this apartment was built to a price. As a building of only 9 years, it looked significantly older than it should. Render was falling off the walls, windows were starting to rot, and it felt like it was in real need of some love.
What was worse though is the builder had swapped out the specified compliant, non-combustible cladding for combustible EPS panels and render. The owners are now looking at facing a costly and lengthy legal battle to recover the replacement cost.
Defect Fix is working with the Strata Manger and OC now to make sure the sins of the past are not repeated. With the right advice and a quality specification, the apartment owners will end up with a compliant and robust replacement cladding system that will last the test of time and maintain their asset value.