The VCAT Decision on the Lacrosse Building

Let us talk about the recent updates on the matter of Lacrosse building.

Just recently, VCAT or the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal have come to a decision regarding the LU Simon Builders. You may recall of an unfortunate occurrence in the past where a residential building in Melbourne Docklands caught fire, and it was revealed that one of the reasons that the property was completely engulfed by the fire was because of the aluminum panels. The builder LU Simon Builders were given an ultimatum until July of 2018 to replace the panels that made the whole thing even worse. The fire reportedly went to 13 floors.

Both the builder and the apartment initially wanted to keep the panels, and instead suggested to add sprinklers. However, the bid was dismissed and sustained the ruling of Melbourne’s building surveyor. This month, The VCAT has reached a decision regarding the responsibility of the builder when it comes to the construction of the Lacrosse building.

The assessment turned out that the LU Simon Builders “did not fail” to exercise care that is reasonable for the construction of the Lacrosse Building. However, this assessment also found out some very interesting angles. Apparently, the consultants of LU Simon Builders were found out to breach their duty of care. According to the investigation, it was the French backpacker who started the fire. Along with the French backpacker, VCAT distributed the fault to the fire engineer, the building surveyor, and the architect.

The assessment is done by VCAT also added that there was a “considerable lack of knowledge, guidance, and enforcement by the regulator and across the industry, as a whole” Master Builders Victoria CEO adds that the decision recognizes that practitioners and organizations involved in the system have different responsibilities as well as knowledge.

Victoria has been pushing for a ban on the panel import nationally for years. It was considered to be the next logical step against combustible cladding. It ensures that products coming from the border are consistent and safe. Since the unfortunate occurrence, there have been attacks on industry practitioners as well as builders, but Master Builders Victoria is committed to being part of the solution rather than the problem by making sure to avoid any flow-on effects of the litigation and insurance systems. There is also a deep desire to help the community by working with all levels of Government as well as with stakeholders and creating an effective approach to do settle any .

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