On Monday 9 October 2023 at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, 200 purpose driven professionals attended Australia's largest waterproofing conference. The conference attracted prominent construction experts and manufactures discussing a range of topics related to the waterproofing sector.
Water damage routinely tops the list of defects encountered in buildings and in complaints to leading state authorities. Our Managing Director and Principal Building Defect Expert, Stan Giaouris had the privilege of being a cofounder and integral part of the Construction Connect team that orchestrated this eventful day of extensive training and sharing the latest in industry insights. Notably, the presence of the Victorian Building Authority (VBA), enhanced the conference where VBA Principal Structural Engineer Dr Baher Zaghlool, shared his experience in directing major multidisciplinary building and civil works projects, including large-scale ventures in transport, health and water sectors. VBA's presence underscored the significance of collaborative efforts to address the current complexities in the field.
The pinnacle of the event was undoubtedly the segment we aptly named "Power to the People." In this powerful session, owners of defective building units bravely shared their personal accounts, highlighting not only the financial strains they endure but also shedding light on the profound impact on their health, the well-being of their children, and their mental health. Their poignant stories served as a stark reminder of the human cost associated with substandard constructions. It emphasised the critical importance of our mission: to deliver structures that not only adhere to regulatory standards but also contribute positively to the lives of homeowners. It is vital to provide enduring developments for homeowners who have invested in a home that will stand the test of time without necessitating major upgrades.
In the face of these stark realities, we, as industry professionals, must recognise our profound responsibility. Beyond merely meeting standards, our duty is to exceed the expectations of those who entrust us with their homes. So, how do we move forward? How do we ensure that the lessons from this conference resonate far beyond its walls?
- Fostering Industry Collaboration: The conference underscored the need for a united front. Construction businesses must collaborate, sharing insights, innovations, and best practices. Industry forums, like this conference, should become regular occurrences, fostering an environment of shared learning.
- Advocating Regulatory Reforms: Active engagement with regulatory bodies is crucial. Construction professionals must lobby for stringent regulations that hold all stakeholders accountable. Transparency and accountability should be at the core of industry standards.
- Prioritising Continuous Education: Emphasising continuous education within the industry is vital. Training programs, workshops, and certifications must be encouraged. A well-informed workforce is the bedrock of quality construction.
- Cultivating a Quality-Driven Culture: Construction firms should instill a culture of craftsmanship and integrity. From project managers to labourers, every member of the team must understand the significance of their role in delivering homes that stand the test of time.
The Melbourne Waterproofing Conference was not merely an event; it was a call to action. It led the path forward, urging us to reshape the construction landscape. As we step into the future, let us carry the lessons from this conference, advocating for change, embracing collaboration, and championing a construction industry defined by excellence, integrity, and a profound commitment to those we serve. We must ensure that every structure we build not only meets but exceeds the expectations of those who entrust us with their homes.
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