The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has a statutory function to conduct or promote research relevant to the regulation of the building and plumbing industries.
Our research program is a key strategic platform that gives us the evidence to inform our regulatory decisions and influence improvements to the building regulatory system.
We conduct research and partner with reputable and prominent research institutions or consortiums to lead research.
Our research helps us better understand major regulatory harms or problems, the needs of consumers and how regulatory interventions can be shaped to improve public safety and amenity in the industry.
Our research makes a difference. Through our research findings or research partnerships, we:
- identify gaps and tailor regulatory interventions and program design to fix these gaps
- collaborate with stakeholders to enhance practitioner competencies and deliver improved outcomes for the community
- support and drive innovation and improvements in the industry.
Our research focus is on achieving one or more of these strategic outcomes:
- Safe (or safer) building and plumbing work with fewer major defects
- Skilled and competent practitioners
- A technologically advanced and innovative industry.
While some outcomes of our research are tangible or visible in the short term, much of its impact can only be measured over time as we engage with key stakeholders and the community to influence changes and drive improved consumer outcomes.
The VBA’s research program comprises:
- VBA managed research – where we commission or undertake the research
- Sponsorships, partnerships and research grants – where we collaborate with industry, academia and government on research.
The research we undertake is primarily applied research, with research projects or collaborations seeking to find solutions to specific problems or to advance our understanding of systemic issues and options for resolution.
The functions of the VBA under the Building Act 1993 include conducting or promoting research relating to the regulation of the building and plumbing industries in Victoria, and to report on the outcomes of this research in its report of operations under the Financial Management Act 1994 (the VBA’s annual report).
The VBA’s research program is overseen by the VBA Board’s Research and Innovation Committee.
- Investigating passive fire protection defects in residential multi-owned properties (in progress 2021-22)
- Assessment of mould growth risk in regulatory compliant 6 Star and 7 Star new homes in Victoria (in progress 2021-22)
- Examining indoor mould and moisture damage in Victorian residential buildings (in progress 2021-22)
- Market research of stakeholder perceptions and preferences (in progress 2021-22)
- Monitoring and remediation solutions for combustible cladding on buildings (in progress 2020-22)
- Fire safety protection in multi-storey buildings (completed 2019-20)
- Fire safety of rendered expanded polystyrene (EPS) in Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems (EIFS) on Class 2 to 9 buildings of Type A or Type B construction (completed 2020-21)
- Routine servicing of wet fire protection equipment (completed 2020-21)
- Use of behavioural insights to reduce improper service penetrations (in progress 2021-22)
- The regulation and education of building surveyors in Victoria (in progress 2021-22)
- Improve the education and professional competency of fire safety engineers (completed 2020-21)
- Better training to improve plumbing competency (completed 2018-19)
- Pre-normative research on the fire safety of solar building envelopes (in progress 2021-22)
- Building 4.0 Cooperative Research Centre (in progress 2020-27)
- Digital Twin initiative (completed 2020-21)
- Building process mapping for digital information capture across the building lifecycle (completed 2019-20)
- An Australian Technical Evaluation Network (ATEN) to improve product information and building safety (completed 2019-20)
- Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (completed 2018-19)