Now let’s look at this in a bit more depth. The work done by building surveyors can be broadly categorised into statutory work and consulting work. Here is how it’s defined by the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors.
Statutory building surveyors are imbued with the legislative authority to:
1. Evaluate building plans: They assess and evaluate designs for proposed constructions, ensuring they meet relevant building standards and statutory regulatory requirements.
2. Ensure safe construction: They ascertain that buildings are built per approved plans and in line with the National Construction Code and Australian Standards, guaranteeing safety and compliance.
3. Oversee building compliance: Their goal is to make sure the final building structure is safe, compliant, and fit for occupation. This ensures owners or occupiers face fewer risks of injury, avoid unexpected repair costs, and maintain the building’s value.
4. Regulatory role: Their work is distinct and independent from other construction professionals, as they uniquely exercise regulatory functions.
Specifically, statutory building surveyors:
a. Assess compliance of application documents with technical building requirements.
b. Issue necessary approvals, consents, or building permits.
c. Conduct audits to ensure building work aligns with laws.
d. Inspect existing buildings’ health and safety standards.
e. Take action to ensure compliance with building regulations.
f. Certify that inspected works adhere to regulations and/or approved documents.
g. Approve the occupation of buildings as per relevant laws.
Consulting building surveyors, while still focused on building safety and compliance, operate in a broader scope, working alongside industry professionals without the legislative constraints faced by their statutory counterparts.
Building surveyors in consulting roles are involved in:
a. Giving design advice to ensure compliant proposal documentation.
b. Advising builders and building owners on achieving compliance during building progress.
c. Inspecting building work to verify compliance with laws and contractual obligations.
d. Investigating and reporting on building defects or failures.
e. Advising on the ongoing compliance needs of buildings, considering health, safety, and other legislative requirements.
f. Guiding owners and builders on remediation for non-compliant building work.
g. Offering expert testimony in legal settings.
h. Assessing products for certification accreditation bodies.
i. Evaluating the adequacy of work by other building surveying practitioners during audit processes.
Additionally, some building surveyors may engage in building policy development, working for Federal & State Territory Governments.