16 AUGUST 2020

“Trustworthy buildings” are a goal the entire construction industry needs to achieve, according to NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler.

There are several aspects to this, and major payoffs to be had in terms of productivity, accountability and building your own reputation. Awards, online product reviews and your own marketing might not be the best way to assure buyers you build trustworthy buildings.

According to Karen Stiles, Executive Officer of Owners Corporation Network, word-of-mouth remains the main endorsement on which buyers can rely. OCN represents the interests and concerns of buyers and owners of residential strata developments. Many of the issues identified by Shergold and Weir, including high rates of building defects and non-compliant product use like flammable cladding, occur in this sector.

Stiles said there are three things a buyer should consider when looking to buy: Is the project being developed by a longstanding company with a good reputation? Does the builder have a positive history of well-built apartments? Do members of the strata committees and owners in previous projects give good reports?

Those considering off-the-plan purchases may be unable to view a finished example of the product itself. As sales suite collateral may also lack detail around specific fixtures, structural products, certifications and the energy rating of the completed apartment, Stiles suggested visiting some of the developer and builder’s previous projects would be a good strategy for buyers. The bottom line is—a builder’s reputation is only as good as their last project.

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Willow Aliento