An Act with respect to the registration of design practitioners, principal design practitioners, professional engineers, specialist practitioners and other building practitioners, compliance declarations and a duty of care; and for other purposes.
The NSW Building Commissioner, David Chandler, has sweeping powers to conduct site inspections to confirm projects under construction are complying to the Design & Building Practioners Act 2020, that became effective from 1 July 2021.
In addition, registered building practioners must sign a Building Compliance Declaration that states the building work complies with the Building Code of Australia and is built in accordance with the design.
Reinforced masonry is a convenient and commonly used building material in multi-storey residential buildings but unfortunately, up to now, the construction of reinforced masonry has been plagued by non-compliant reinforcement. Rather than avoid using reinforced masonry, builders can now confidently include reinforced masonry in projects provided bar chairs are specified for use by the design engineer. If bar chairs are included in the engineering specification, masonry contractors will be required to use them, which will result in compliance to both NCC:2019 and AS3700:2018.
Testing by the Queensland University of Technology has shown the performance of BlockAid bar chairs is equivalent to using 6mm round bar cross ties that the National Construction Code requires for reinforced masonry. The industry does not use 6mm round bar cross ties as they are not practical, nor do they necessarily correctly position the vertical reinforcement, it is still up to the diligence of the contractor.
The advantage of using bar chairs to accurately locate and restrain the reinforcement is that bar chairs will save up to 20% of labour over the minimum of tying the vertical to the horizontal. The industry is aware that most block layers don’t even tie the vertical, so the chances of being compliant are minimal. By having the design engineer specify bar chairs, builders can be assured that the reinforced masonry in their projects is compliant so the Builder’s Declaration can be signed with confidence.
Bar chair engineering specification drawings are available on the BlockAid website – www.blockaid.com.au
ENSURE YOUR MASONRY WALL IS COMPLIANT AND ACHIEVES ITS DESIGN LIFE,
INSIST ON BLOCKAID BAR CHAIRS