Leaky buildings Round 2 — remediation consultant apportioned 60% of the liability pie

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Timothy Bates of Auckland law firm Legal Vision.

Timothy Bates, principal of Auckland law firm Legal Vision, reviews the 2014 High Court decision of BC 160361 & Others v BC 2004 Ltd & Others, which considered the relative responsibilities of the council, builder and a building consultant for the losses arising from a failed leaky building repair.

Fleetwood Apartments suffered from systemic leaky building syndrome. The Body Corporate called in a building consultancy company to provide remediation advice.
An “Overclad” rain shield cavity system was recommended by the consultant and approved by the Body Corporate.
The council granted a building consent for its installation, and the building company installed the Overclad with assistance from the building consultant and a specialist cladding company.
Ultimately, a Code Compliance Certificate was issued by the council in September 2006. However, by August 2011 cracks were appearing in the Overclad sheets. Prendos Consultants was then engaged, and identified more underlying weathertightness damage.
It recommended complete removal of the Overclad system and the original cladding, before recladding. As at the date of judgment in mid-2015, the second set of repairs was near completion.
Incidentally, the claim for the original defects that had brought about the need for the Overclad was settled with the council in 2007.