How the DBP Act is impacting strata

Design and Building Practitioners Act

On 11 June 2023, the Design and Building Practitioners Act (DBPA) marked a three-year anniversary. Few would argue that the legislation hasn’t reshaped compliance for construction work in the residential strata sector.

As the General Manager of Paynter Dixon’s Remedial Division, Tim Kurniadi, has closely followed the impact of new compliance requirements. With a background in engineering and 15 years’ industry experience, Tim believes the legislation has led to a new age of diligence for all strata stakeholders.

Avoid complacency

“There is simply no room for complacency under the legislation,” says Tim, who spoke at a Boardroom Breakfast hosted by Paynter Dixon for the benefit of strata clients and service providers.

“Strata managers and strata committees shouldn’t fall into the trap of relying on old advice for compliance because the goal posts have moved.”

Rigorous requirements

The DBPA was introduced to restore consumer confidence in the residential building industry by introducing a new duty of care for those who carry out construction and remedial work in class 2 buildings – essentially multi-storey residential buildings.

NSW Fair Trading has consistently urged strata communities to engage design and building practitioners who are registered under the Design and Building Practitioner Scheme, and who can competently meet the compliance requirements. This rigorous process involves the preparation, declaration and upload of documents to an online portal throughout the design and construction cycle.

The wording matters

A comprehensive knowledge of the legislation – and the implications of specific wording – is vital to the decision process, says Tim.

“For example, there are certain types of remedial building works which are exempt from the DBPA in relation to development control orders, emergency repairs, fire maintenance and other minor repairs.

“This area highlights the importance of professional judgement at an early stage of the process. Service providers with a strong grasp of the legislation are better placed to assess the remedial issue or defect with respect to the DBPA and the detail of wording, definitions, conditions, and compliance thresholds.”

Tim’s advice for strata decision makers is straight forward.

“Engage professional advice and expertise from the outset. Avoid making assumptions, as that can lead to poor and costly decisions.”

The future…

The demonstrable quality of remedial building work has also become a key behavioural driver of prospective buyers. NSW Government recently commissioned a survey1 which shows 77% of consumers support the introduction of a building compliance measure which would help inform prospective buyers when purchasing an apartment. This score would encompass a range of factors, including the traceability of certification processes and documents.

“We are moving towards a future where due diligence and compliance will directly influence the value of strata properties.”

1 Mccrindle, The State of Consumer Confidence, 2022

As a multi-disciplined construction company, Paynter Dixon’s seamless ‘back of house’ coordination spans design and documentation, compliance, cost planning and contractor engagement. To learn more contact:

Tim Kurniadi, General Manager – Remedial