The Western Australian Building Services Board has cautioned and fined two building surveyors — Jonathan James Bovell (BSP405) and Bradley James Pike (BSP350) for misleading conduct in connection with a Scarborough apartment development.
It was found by the Board that both registered building surveying practitioners incorrectly identified the building’s top floors as mezzanines when they were storeys.
This meant that the effective height of the development was more than 25 metres and it did not meet the fire safety requirements for a building of this height.
According to the information presented to the Board by Building and Energy, Bovell and Pike were both involved in the preparation of a certificate of design compliances (CDC) for the project.
Bovell signed the CDC as the registered building surveying practitioner, while Pike supervised him and had a significant role in the project’s building surveying work.
Mr Bovell and Mr Pike were each fined $1,000 and received a caution.
A CDC declares that a building will comply with applicable building standards if it is completed in accordance with the plans, specifications and technical documents included with the certificate.
The CDC and accompanying documents formed part of the building permit application to the City of Stirling for the development.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) later lodged a compliant with Building and Energy about concerns that the planned fire safety measures were non-compliant with applicable building standards because, according to the DFES, the development’s effective height exceeded 25 metres.
Building and Energy has provided the Board’s findings on the project’s fire safety measures to the City of Stirling for its consideration under the Building Act 2011.
Building and Energy Executive Director Saj Abdoolakhan said: “Incorrect or liberal interpretations of building codes are unacceptable, particularly when this impacts on a crucial safety issue such as fire protection.”
Abdoolakhan said that registered building surveyors must ensure the buildings they certify meet minimum required levels of safety, health, amenity, accessibility and sustainability.
“Their duty to act in the public interest must come before any responsibilities to clients or employers,” said Abdoolakhan.
The Board noted Bovell and Pike were employed at the time by building surveying contractor John Massey Group Pty Ltd.
The business did not face disciplinary allegations because it entered liquidation in November 2020 and has since been deregistered by ASIC.