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August 09 Edition Cover

Lacrosse building surveyor to face disciplinary action

31 Mar 2016

Lacrosse building surveyor to face disciplinary action Image

The building surveyor responsible for issuing a building permit for the Lacrosse building is set to face disciplinary action.

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) last month confirmed it had referred building surveyor Anastasios Galanos to the Building Practitioners Board (BPB) for disciplinary action.

The VBA alleges that Mr Galanos breached the Building Act and Regulations and “failed to carry out his work in a competent manner and to a professional standard”. It alleges he could not have been satisfied that the building work complied with the Building Act and Regulations when he issued the building permit.

The BPB does not have the power to order payments of compensation to owners but can suspend or cancel a practitioner’s registration.

The VBA’s investigation into building practitioners associated with the construction of the Lacrosse building was prompted by an MFB report on the November 2014 fire at the building.

The fire was started by a stray cigarette on a balcony and quickly spread up the side of the building.

The MFB found that the eternal aluminium cladding on the building contributed to the spread of the blaze and did not comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

According to the VBA, it’s investigation has also confirmed that the design of the external walls of the Lacrosse building do not comply with BCA requirements.

The VCA has referred the conduct of the architect to the Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV).

The VBA’s investigation into other building practitioners involved in the Lacrosse project, including builder LU Simon is continuing.

The apartments directly affected by the 2014 fire are still undergoing repairs and the building remains non-compliant with Australian building standards as the existing cladding is still in place.

In October last year, the City of Melbourne issued all 400 Lacrosse owners with building orders to replace the external cladding on the building within 350 days.

Its understood LU Simon has agreed to fund an alternative “sprinkler solution” if agreed to by council and Lacrosse owners.

However, the builder has not agreed to fund replacement of the cladding and if owners proceed with this option it would be at their own cost with compensation to be sought through the courts or via negotiation.

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