Reply To: Direction to fix (continuing topic form old site)

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Jeff Whitehead

Hi all,

I thought I would raise a recent quandary that we had recently with regard to issuing a DtF at a Final inspection stage. Can a DtF be issued with an Occupancy Permit?

We have issued a DtF in relation to non-compliant installation of EPS wall cladding. The builder had substituted the original EPS cladding for another cheaper option. Fortunately the alternative product was accredited, but the installation was not in accordance with the certification (installation manual). We had noticed that the base of the EPS wall cladding was going to be concreted over (below paving level) instead of finishing above the paving as per the accredited installation manual. Given this, we had concerns that the installation would compromise the accreditation and performance requirements.

We had issued an oral direction previously for the builder to stop and to fix the installation which essentially required the provision of product details which we did not have at the time. However, the builder had continued on with the external paving, convinced that the installation was correct. By the time that he had finally come good with all the requested information it is now time for the final and everyone is fanging for the OP.

On considering the issue at hand, we decided that the problems with the EPS cladding installation did not make the building unsuitable for occupation. So we have decided to issue the OP and a written DtF for the EPS cladding to be made to comply. The OP also included a condition that reflected the requirement of the DtF.

On reading Part 4 of the Act, I can’t see anywhere that precludes the use of a DtF at the completion of a building and the Practice Note 70-2016 does not include any advice either. I realise that we could have used the Building Notice/Order also, however we felt that the DtF was the more appropriate given that there was clearly work that could be done (such as modify the installation to comply). The practice note only suggests that a Building Notice/Order be used if the DtF cannot be complied with or is inappropriate, we were not convinced that this fit into either category though.

Has anyone else had a similar experience to this, or do they have any advice or thoughts in relation to it?

Thanks, Jeff