Duty of care in issuing construction certificates

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In Elias v Alloha Formwork & Construction Pty Ltd [2017] NSWSC 1546 Bankstown City Council granted approval to build a new house on the condition that the building work be in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA). The architect prepared drawings of the property and issued a certificate stating that the design met the BCA requirements. However, he failed to correctly classify the land according to its soil moisture. The Court held that it was at least implied by his retainer that he was under a duty to take reasonable care to prepare drawings that complied with the BCA. Had he done so, he would not have issued an incorrect certificate and the property owners would not have suffered delay of the construction.

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