The world watched as London’s Grenfell tower burned and the disaster has had a continued impact on NZ’s building surveyors.
Philip O’Sullivan, a past President of the New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors (NZIBS), presents Module 9A on Remediation and emphasises the importance of understanding potential consequences.
The Prendos Director teaches ways of thinking about issues to avoid indecisiveness which can prove ineffective when providing solutions.
“If you look at any court cases involving pre-purchase inspectors, the judge is talking about the need to convey the consequence of the defects,” he says.
“If you say there’s a problem with this building, what does that mean, how would it be fixed and what would that cost?”
Module 9A teaches common remediation types like weathertightness, seismic upgrades, structural defects, mould and asbestos issues, internal dampness, methamphetamine contamination and fire upgrades.
However, the changes in the industry remain constant.
“What I taught two years ago has now been modified with the ongoing change taking place,” Mr O’Sullivan says.
“Fundamentals stay much the same, but there are parts which change quickly, so you have to respond to that as well.”
Mr O’Sullivan thinks that module 9A is a culmination of the knowledge from other modules and finds that the previous learning is essential.
“It’s not a walk in the park. Anyone who takes this module lightly does so at their peril!”
He enjoys teaching committed building surveyors and finds that other presenters also appreciate this audience.
“And if your teacher enjoys what he’s doing then generally it will be a better course.”
Mr O’Sullivan’s current and past experience of the industry is a valuable tool in his teaching arsenal.
“I spent over 20 years gaining really hard-won knowledge and now I pass it on– it’s really a precious gift.”
With his respect for shared knowledge, of course Mr O’Sullivan also makes an effort to learn from his students.
“The day you think you know it all is the day you retire.”