Negligence finding for building surveyor and company – Richard Ruhen and Jescar Pty Ltd

A South West building surveying company and its supervisor have been fined a total of $3,500 for negligence after their certification of a Roleystone building project failed to meet the required standards.

The Building Services Board found that Eaton-based building surveying contractor Jescar Pty Ltd (BSC14) and building surveying practitioner Richard Ruhen (BSP279) were negligent in carrying out a building service when they respectively issued and signed a non-compliant certificate.

The certificate of design compliance (CDC) was part of a building permit application submitted to the City of Armadale in February 2016 for the construction of a single-storey house, water tanks and a shed with a games room.

The Board was told that an investigation by Building and Energy found Jescar and Mr Ruhen’s certification relied on inadequate and conflicting plans and structural engineering documents.

Building and Energy also found that the plans and specifications referenced in the CDC failed to show how several areas of the house and games room would comply with applicable building standards, including smoke alarms, windows, waterproofing, wall cladding and roof sheeting.

The Board fined Jescar $2,500 and Mr Ruhen $1,000.

“Registered building surveyors have an important role in ensuring public safety when they certify that the plans and technical specifications demonstrate compliance with the Building Code of Australia,” Building and Energy Executive Director Saj Abdoolakhan said.

“It is imperative that they work with diligence and ensure that the information they rely on to inform their decisions is comprehensive and consistent.”

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