Leading Engineer calls for the Introduction of Building Manuals

by Jun 24, 2021

Leading Structural Engineer Charles Rickard has called for the introduction of the ‘Building Manual’.

Leading Structural Engineer Charles Rickard has called for the introduction of the ‘Building Manual’ “as the cornerstone to fix the ever-worsening problems of quality in building in Australia today”.

Charles has issued “A CALL TO ARMS” for all Chartered Engineers, Architects, and Other Registered Certifiers to get behind the use of a Building Manual.  The objective is to provide a single source of truth that captures the development, design, and build information and acts as a pre-requisite to the issue of an occupancy certificate. 

As Charles points out in his article the Building Manual gives Chartered Persons of all disciplines the opportunity to finally step forward and re-establish their proper involvement to create meaningful certification.  He further states “we are the only professionals who can make that happen. Governments and PCAs cannot possibly be expected to understand the contents of an estimated 650 Australian Standards which relate to building” 

The Building Confidence Report was commissioned by all Australian State and Territory Building Ministers in response to several major building failures including cladding and structural issues.  This report cited a critical element in delivering meaningful reform – it quoted a 1913 inquiry into the Banking industry which states “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants”.  

By making the Building Manual the key source of information and providing it to the initial and all subsequent owners it can deliver both transparency and in turn accountability.

The Building Confidence Report led to several industry leaders from Engineers Australia, Strata Communities Australia, and WebFM collaborating to develop the Building Manual Guideline. (See www.buildingmanuals.org)  In summary, it nominates what sort of details of certification and documentation of record must be collected together by all the parties to form a ‘Building Manual’ for any particular building. 

About Charles Rickard.

Charles Rickard is one of Australia’s most sought-after engineers who has built a solid reputation through delivering quality, trust, and innovation within his field. In 1984, Charles moved to Australia and set up Rickard and Partners Pty Ltd.  Over a period of 22 years, he has offered civil, structural, facade, and building diagnostic consultancy services while utilizing the very latest in design and drafting computer technology.


In August 2016, to highlight his skill base internationally, the company now trades as Rickard Engineering. Charles regularly publishes industry articles with his paper titled “Rickard’s Rant”. Issue 2, published in June 2021, features his “Call to Arms”, addressing chartered engineers, architects, and other registered certifiers about the importance of Building Manuals.

Charles Rickard - Engineer

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