The Victorian Guide to Standards & Tolerances Passed in Tribunal Case

30th October 2013
The Victorian Guide to Standards & Tolerances Passed in Tribunal Case

A court case in WA has been settled based on data from The Victorian Guide to Standards & Tolerances. This is the first time the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) has used The Guide to make a ruling and will set a precedent for future cases.



The Guide to Standards & Tolerances (2007), published by the Victorian Building Commission, is a document intended to provide the reader with an understanding of the tolerances that a building professional or structural engineer will consider in determining whether a building element has been installed or constructed to an acceptable standard. Research, conducted by The Victorian Building Commission, found that issues are raised in approximately 22% of projects with 3.6% being considered serious, prompting the creation of The Guide.

Up until a recent court case The Guide has had no legislative basis and has been used purely as a reference for parties in conjunction with the official Building Code of Australia and the Australian Standards. However, in September of this year, The Guide was used and influenced the outcome of a SAT case in WA. The Tribunal stated that the document “is widely referred to and accepted in the building industry” and “in the circumstances of this case”, “it is applicable and relied upon”.

We at Structerre find The Guide to be a useful reference tool for our residential engineering team and have been using it for some time. We believe that this case is an important one for the entire Construction Industry, as a precedent has now been set which will allow The Guide to be used in future cases where the material facts are of a similar nature.

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