Proactive Inspections Program (PIP) Quarterly reports
The VBA’s Proactive Inspections Program helps ensure the safety of Victoria’s construction industry.
We have a team of expert building and plumbing inspectors that typically look at more than 1,000 sites each month. This work means we can identify potential faults earlier, when they are easier to fix, and that the burden of fixing them sits with the builder rather than the owner.
PIP also provides a level playing field for all builders and plumbers who produce high-quality work.
It’s all part of our goal to empower and educate both practitioners and consumers, supporting a robust and high-quality construction sector.
You can learn more about this program, and the issues most commonly found, in our latest quarterly report.
Scroll down for key data and insights from our latest inspections. Tap or hover over the graphics for details.
Where we are
Number of inspections
2022 - 23 Q4 total: 1,610 inspections 683 building and 927 plumbing
2022 - 23 Q4 Compliance
Our inspectors are working right across the state, creating a safer Victoria.
When selecting sites for inspection, we use building permit data and consider a range of risk factors. We sometimes target certain types of construction to manage risk and to ensure intervention at the earliest possible stage.
2022 - 23 Q4 - Number of Inspections at construction stage
What we’re looking for
We inspect sites to keep workers and future occupiers safe. Here’s how we determine the seriousness of compliance risks.
- Low risk (pass): Compliance risk not identified; any compliance risk likely to be resolved as work continues.
- Low risk (low impact compliance risk): Unlikely that compliance risk left untreated would adversely impact safety, amenity, structural integrity.
- Medium risk: Possible that compliance risk left untreated would cause an adverse impact on safety, amenity, structural integrity.
- High risk: Almost certain that compliance risk, if left untreated, would cause an adverse impact on safety and amenity. Structural integrity would be significantly compromised and/or total loss of project value would be incurred.
See our full compliance risk rating matrix.
What we find
We discover a range of problems – from minor issues through to serious breaches requiring immediate action.
Find out more about compliance and enforcement.
Overview of building inspections 2022 - 23 Q4
- Prevalence of non-compliant issues observed during building inspections were highest in ‘Greater Melbourne’.
- This trend in compliance risks is mostly consistent with the previous quarters.
Total Building Inspections 677
Building - New Builds vs Alterations
- The percentage of inspections with compliance risks were higher in New buildings than buildings undergoing Alterations.
- This trend in compliance risk is mostly consistent with the previous quarters.
Building - High Volume builders vs Other builders
- The percentage of inspections with compliance risks are higher in sites managed by Large Volume Builders than buildings managed by Other Builders.
- This trend in compliance risk is mostly consistent with the previous quarters.
Common problem overview - building
The most prevalent categories where non-compliance risks are observed (medium and high risk).
Overview of plumbing inspections 2022 - 23 Q4
- The percentage of plumbing inspections with compliance risks were highest in Greater Melbourne Victoria.
- This trend is different to the previous quarter where compliance risks was greatest in Regional Victoria.
Total Plumbing Inspections: 927
Plumbing - New Builds vs Alterations
- The percentage of plumbing inspections with compliance risks was higher in the construction of New buildings than buildings undergoing Alteration.
- This trend in compliance risk is mostly consistent with the previous quarters
Plumbing - High Volume builders vs Other builders
- The percentage of inspections with compliance risks were similar in sites managed by Large Volume builders than buildings managed by Other builders.
- This trend in compliance risk is consistent previous quarters.
Common problem overview - plumbing
The most prevalent categories where non-compliance risks are observed (excluding low risk), remain consistent each quarter.
Prevalence of compliance risks in dual- and single-occupancy dwellings
The following percentages are based on all domestic (class 1) dwellings inspected during this time period. This graphic does not include low-risk (low impact compliance risk) data.
April – June 2023
Case studies – Building
A proactive inspection of a new school under construction identified a door opening out to a linkway that did not have an upturn of 50mm or a grate, (the width of the door). This is contrary to the weatherproofing requirements of performance provisions in FP1.4. (of Volume 1 of the BCA and Clause 2.8.3 of AS 4654.2).
A VBA notification to the RBS and builder prompted the RBS to request amendments to the design and building permit to ensure a compliant trench grate to AS 4652.2 is installed.
The VBA closed the matter upon receiving the amended building permit documentation. This was a positive result, as it would have been very difficult to fit a grate drain to the linkway once the concrete had been poured.
A proactive inspection of a three-storey apartment building, (with lower ground carpark), identified the balconies' waterproofing membranes did not continue under the windowsills and there were no subsill flashings, contrary to FP1.4 of Volume 1 of the BCA/clause 2.8.3 of AS 4654.2.
A VBA notification to the RBS and builder prompted the builder to rectify the incomplete waterproofing membranes. The builder removed the relevant windows and applied an approved (to the relevant standard) waterproofing method under the windows.
The VBA closed the matter upon receiving the photographic evidence of the rectification work. This was a positive result, as it avoided the possibility of water ingress issues occurring in the building from poorly waterproofed balconies and impacting the future amenity of the dwellings.
Case studies – Plumbing
A proactive inspection of multiple single and double storey Class 1 dwellings under construction identified more than 30 non-compliances in each dwelling that have the potential to impact the amenity of the dwellings if they were not rectified.
The non-compliances related to a range of poor sanitary drainage work that could have resulted in recurring blockages and water ingress. This work included an incorrectly designed stack (leading to incorrect venting) that did not achieve a minimum grade and PVC joints not constructed appropriately. This could lead to recurring leakages and blockages in the sanitary drainage system and, fixtures (e.g., showers/toilets) not operating efficiently. Stacks are commonly costly to repair as it requires the removal of waterproofing, tiles, and plaster to conduct repairs and the dwelling may become uninhabitable while works are being repaired.
Additionally, 90mm stormwater PVC was installed and used on a below ground sewer drainage system and PVC joints were not constructed correctly. This could have resulted in water leaking into and under the building’s structure.
Flexible duct work for the heating and cooling system was not installed correctly, restricting airflow and connections were not applied correctly to starting collars. Condensate drains were also interconnected, compromising the fail-safe leak system.
Above ground gas piping was also found to be non-compliant. The jointing used in gas piping was not constructed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and gas piping was not protected from corrosion and sharp objects throughout the dwellings. Further issues were also observed in water pipes that exceeded the maximum clip spacing and were also not protected from sharp objects.
A VBA notification to the RBS and builder prompted the builder to notify the responsible plumber about the non-compliant work. The plumber provided the VBA with photographic evidence to demonstrate rectification of the work, however, not all items were addressed. Due to conflicting advice received from the plumber, the VBA reinspected the site and found the plumber had provided the VBA with photos that were not relevant to this site and most of the non-compliant matters identified had not been addressed. Further issues were also observed and added to the rectification requirements.
Due to the volume and extent of non-compliant items at the site, the VBA plumbing inspector arranged a re-inspection with the construction company's Area Manager and Site Manager to highlight to them the poor plumbing work being produced by their contracted plumbing practitioner. Outcome The construction company put work at the site on hold and terminated the contract with the plumbing practitioner. A new plumber was appointment who completed the rectification works and the VBA closed the matter upon reinspecting the site for a fourth time.
The findings by the VBA in this case, and actions taken to bring the plumbing work into compliance addressed real concerns for future amenity of the dwellings and protected the consumer (both current and any future owners) from the burden of non-compliant work. A VBA inspector subsequently attended four other sites where this builder was operating and observed similar plumbing non-compliances that were also rectified by the newly appointed plumbing practitioner.
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: April – June 2023 (PDF, 1989.9 KB)
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: January – March 2023 (PDF, 1809.63 KB)
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: October – December 2022 (PDF, 3726.52 KB)
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: July – September 2022 (PDF, 3706.32 KB)
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: April – June 2022 (PDF, 16152.68 KB)
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: January – March 2022 (PDF, 8729.35 KB)
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: October – December 2021 (PDF, 8580.13 KB)
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: July – September 2021 (PDF, 10203.48 KB)
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: April – June 2021 (PDF, 9143.71 KB)
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: January – March 2021 (PDF, 6535.91 KB)
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: October – December 2020 (PDF, 7087.84 KB)
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: July – September 2020 (PDF, 1407.34 KB)
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: April – June 2020 (PDF, 3171.21 KB)
- Proactive Inspections Program Activity Report: January – March 2020 (PDF, 1833.62 KB)