One of the most important things to keep in mind when undertaking a project, are the acts, guidelines and governing bodies concerning the materials and practices used when building. These are all things that you should stay on top and keep an eye for any updates and changes, as they may have a significant impact on your ability to complete or gain the necessary certifications for a job.
With the new year comes a number of changes to the BCA, and we know that it can sometimes be difficult to find the information to asses, let alone find the time in your schedule to familiarise yourself with everything new. That's why we'd like to take this opportunity to briefly outline some of the larger changes for 2019.
The vast majority of changes contained within the latest edition of the BCA are in relation to quantification. According to the Australian Building Codes Board "...an estimated 40% of the codes Performance Requirements will be quantified by either directly or by a NCC Verification Method (VM)."
In conjunction with this there have been changes made to the overall readability of the BCA. Most of these changes revolve around the way that the 3 volumes are governed, formatted and structured of the NCC Online. The idea of these changes are to make the BCA easier to understand, as well as increasing it's accessibility.
There are changes relating to new mandatory Fire Safety Verification Methods, as well as a requirement for Fire Sprinklers to be installed in class 2 & 3 buildings and changes concerning the concession for the use of bonded laminate materials.
There are many more changes to expect in the new edition of the BCA, as well as more information about the ones we have briefly mentioned here. If your interested in seeing and learning more of what to expect, we recommend reading this article from the Australian Building Codes Board website.
We hope that you found this reminder hepful and should you require any engineering services in order to help you complete your new projects this year, don't hesitate to get in touch with us now.
One of the many tasks we commonly undertake at BellMont Façade Engineering, is remedial and diagnostic inspections. You may be wondering ‘but what does that actually mean?’ In short, it is an in depth investigation on defects present within a building/site, where we will then consult on potential solutions to the problem. But there’s a bit more to the process then it would first seem. So we’d like to take this opportunity to let you know what you should expect when an engineer is inspecting.
Firstly, you should expect us to actually be there onsite, so it’s important to make sure that occupants are also available to provide access. It may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to remember, that access arrangements are followed through on.
After we’re there, you can expect us to undertake our initial investigations of the building/site. This initial inspection will involve us assessing what potential defects are present. During this time we will be liaising with whomever is in charge, asking questions such as the buildings age, for structural drawings, when was it last inspected, etc. It’s important for an engineer to gather as much information about a building as they can, as this will allow for a comprehensive analysis of the situation, therefore leading to better directions on remediation.
After we have conducted our inspection of the project, we’ll return to our offices and look over our site notes, assess all of the data we have at our disposal and write an analytical report. This report will contain a detailed list of defects present, our opinions on the cause(s) of them, as well as suggested actions for remediating the identified issues. Some defects can be dangerous and need to be attended to before others, we will also mark these out clearly for clients to see, so they know what needs attention the quickest.
During our assessment of defects, we also have to determine not just a theoretical solution to the issues at hand, but one can be implemented practically and successfully. This involves us running simulations and calculations on wide number of potential materials to do the job. The results of these simulations and calculations will dictate the final solution, whereon a technical specification will be supplied as part of the solution.
During the construction phase of the project, we would also supervise the project with regular inspections, also reviewing and considering payment claims and variations from contractors.
At the end of a project, we will also issue a certificate of practical completion, assuming all work has been satisfactorily completed to specifications.
Some suggestions we have in order to be properly prepared, is to:
If you have need for an inspection to be performed, contact us and talk to BellMont Facade Engineering about how we can assist you.
In Australia there are a number of historical buildings and locations, often referred to as ‘heritage sites’ or ‘heritage listings’, with systems put in place that govern how they are protected and maintained; such as the Burra Charter. The specifics for how something becomes a heritage site differs from state to state, but in general, an application must be made to the relevant governing bodies who will then determine whether the site in question will be listed as heritage.
Heritage listed sites are often quite old, usually built with materials that are no longer in production. This can make the maintenance on heritage listings fairly intricate and challenging, but there are a number of reasons why it is important to do so. If you don't keep on top of everything that needs doing, problems will pile up and often escalate, leading to more expensive work requiring to be undertaken.
Originally introduced in 1979, the Burra Charter was adopted for the protection and preservation of the historical mining town, Burra in South Australia. Since the its inception, numerous people have collaborated and worked to update it, ensuring that the charter continues to be a source of not just relevant theoretical information concerning the maintenance of all heritage buildings, but also the practical. To date, in Australia, it remains to be the chief source of information regarding the proper procedures that should be followed when undertaking works on heritage sites.
One of the more tangible reasons to make sure a heritage site is looked after and doesn’t fall into a state of disrepair, is that they can be great for promoting financial growth in an area. This is mostly due to tourism, as people will come from far and wide to see a little piece of history. This is especially important in more remote and rural areas of the country.
Another reason for the protection of heritage listings, is the preservation of history and culture. Often times these sites offer a snap-shot into the time period of their development, which offers a unique insight into what it was like back then. Architecture and building technologies of a period have always lent a unique perspective otherwise unobtainable into what a society would have been like.
We would be remiss to not mention that another reason for their protection is for an artistic sake, so that future generations can appreciate the marvels of yesteryear. Photographs and videos can only do so much, and it is unlikely that actually visiting a site and seeing it with your own eyes will ever be beaten.
Although many of these sites can be tricky to maintain and prevent dilapidation, don’t worry. Here at BellMont we have the benefit of almost 20 years’ experience in the field and we’re ready to help.
So if you’re looking for an engineer to help you with a heritage project, contact us today.
It’s well known that concrete is one of the world’s most used building materials. Considering its extreme level of versatility in its use, portability and affordability; it makes sense. Coming in a variety of types, with most of them being largely comprised of similar substances, it can be hard to see why there are so many concretes on the market. However it’s those small and often subtle changes from formula to formula that make all the difference. At BellMont we believe it’s important that people stay as informed as they can about the products they’re using, so they can make better decisions towards achieving their goals.
That’s why we’re taking the time to talk about some of the most common kinds of concrete and the sort of work they are suited for.
That about covers our quick look into the most common kinds of concrete and their common applications. We hope that from now, you’ll have a little better understanding of some of the products that get used on your site, and you’re better equipped to make a decision.