Chronology of Building Defects

Chronology of Dangerous Building Defects Across the world - Dr Jonathan Drane- Building defects research

Our research involves a chronology of building defects through case study analysis of prominent building defects cases in Multi-apartment towers in Australia and the world. Here we chronicle the case studies and try to dissect the key characteristics of the towers as well as their development systems.

Tower Tragedies in Australia and Overseas:

2012 Bankstown incident. Two women jump from fifth floor balcony.

Lacrosse Docklands Tower 2014 : Stripped of combustible cladding

Grenfell Tower Fire 2017

Grenfell Tower 2017: Could this happen in Australia?

Dubai Torch Tower2017: The residents thought it a false alarm


Understanding Defects: An historical perspective

Defects have plagued buildings for decades if not longer, and no more so than in the post war era of the private developer and with the emergence of the ‘design and construct’ project- the sister act of development as a private system of creation of our titled buildings.

Although many D&C projects are created with minimal defects, the practice of D&C and its evolution out of the previous Architect and Master Builder era, has a large part to play.

Cornerstone Article: Drane 2015, Defects a Builder’s View

This paper takes us through a brief history lesson including the emergence of private property development and D&C in the post-WWII era, and the associated vulnerability of standards of construction across professions and regulatory systems. The erosion of the regulatory process, both professional and authority-based, is also revealed in the emergence of private certification and the dilemma of the slippery deal. The end product of such a system is illustrated with a ‘horror’ case example of one of its offspring.

Finally a ‘Defects Scenario Matrix’ is put forward for ways to keep a handle on defects on the D&C project based on a review of the horror case example and then a case example with a low defects regime.

Read Jonathan’s paper:

Drane 2015- Defects A Builders View

Dr Jonathan Drane