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Building Pathology – Defect Diagnosis & Remedial Actions in High Rise Buildings

This course delivers essential knowledge and key skills with respect to building pathology; that is, the ability to recognise and diagnose building defects and to specify appropriate remedial works in high density development. Delivered by leading practitioners, this course shows participants how to write professional standard, technical, due diligence reports.


About this course

Australia has experienced a high-rise building boom in every capital city over the last two decades. These buildings are both commercial and residential. Coupled with this explosion in output has been a de-regulation in certification from local authorities to the private sector - an arrangement with inherent weaknesses. 

Building defects can occur during design, during construction and/or during the building lifecycle. These defects can manifest immediately or be latent in nature. They can range from minor to major defects and can result in litigation lasting years and costing millions of dollars; or tragically, loss of life.

When property is transacted, a technical, due diligence, survey is undertaken. During this process,  defects may be spotted; and, or, during maintenance inspections. 

This course outlines the nature and extent of typical building defects associated with contemporary high-rise construction. Participants will be able to recognise and diagnose the cause of the defects and whether they are minor or major. In addition, the course will highlight the due diligence steps stakeholders need to take when looking at purchases or investments and details of the typical remedial works associated with various defects. Participants will also be made aware of when other building professional’s advice is required and the circumstances under which monitoring works may be needed in order to make an accurate diagnosis.


Full price: $1,200 (GST-free)*

*Price subject to change. Please check price at time of purchase.

Discounts are available for this course. For further details and to verify if you qualify, please check the Discounts section under Additional course information.

Enrolment conditions

COVID-19 response 

Additional course information

Course outline

The course materials are delivered via a combination of presentations, interactive discussions, group work and mini exercises to embed learning and to develop skills and applications of knowledge. The following content will be covered during the course:

Day 1, session 1 – Introduction to building pathology

This session starts with an introduction to building pathology – definition of key terms and scope of work. We evaluate the different stages and process of design and construction works from inception to completion, including:

  • Defects in design
  • Defects in construction
  • Defects during the building lifecycle (movement, settlement, differential movement, thermal movement, wear and tear and so on).

Further topics covered in this session include:

  • The need for and types of inspections to assess property condition – property life cycle (acquisition, occupation, disposal and development)
  • Taking instructions (limitations, liability, data room and document review, client’s requirements, the premises, confirming instructions, other consultants)
  • Equipment used by surveyors during inspections.
  • Need for, and considerations of, technical due diligence - how to prepare for and conduct a technical due diligence inspection. Techniques for carrying out property inspections

          - Agreement between parties

          - General property description 

          - Access

          - Tenure

Day 1, session 2 – Diagnosing building defects and remedial works

This session covers the recognition of the functional requirements and performance of building materials and components, including typical defects, causes of failure, likely results and appropriate remedial measures, focusing on high density commercial and residential buildings:

  • Building structure – how and why buildings move, and how to diagnose a crack
  • Building fabric – roof, façade and cladding defects and when to seek further specialist advice.

Day 2, session 1 – Diagnosing building defects and remedial works 

The recognition of the functional requirements and performance of building materials and components, including typical defects, causes of failure, likely results and appropriate remedial measures, focusing on high density commercial and residential buildings:

  • The impact of dampness, condensation, timber infestation and decay, concrete failure, and flood damage on buildings
  • External areas
  • Building services
  • Advanced inspection techniques.

Day 2, session 2 - Diagnosing building defects and remedial works and technical due diligence report writing 

This final session focuses on other relevant building defects and compliance issues,  including:

  • Fire precautions
  • Accessibility
  • Environmental considerations
  • Deleterious and hazardous materials
  • Sustainability and resilience issues
  • Cultural heritage
  • Legal and title issues

The final part of the session illustrates best practice in writing and reporting on building defects - the report – layout and contents.

Wrap up and finish. 

Course learning objectives

By the end of this course, you will have:

  • Gained a deeper understanding of the nature and extent of building defects and building pathology
  • An ability to recognise and make a diagnosis of the nature and extent of a range of building defects
  • An understanding of the monitoring needed for some building defects
  • An ability to recommend appropriate remedial actions
  • An ability to structure and write professional reports about building pathology and technical due diligence.



  • Participants must have a minimum two years’ relevant work experience in property and construction (including knowledge of construction technology and the property and construction sector)
  • This evidence must be provided via a LinkedIn profile or submission of a CV or resume, emailed to


A discount of 10% is available to UTS Alumni 

A discount of 15% is available to members of:

  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
  • AIBS Australian Institute of Building Surveyors
  • Australian Property Institute (API)
  • Australian Contractors Association (ACA)
  • Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM)
  • Project Management Institute (Sydney Chapter) (PMI)
  • The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
  • Roads Australia
  • UTS postgraduate students of DAB.

A discount of 20% is available to organisations that enrol 5 or more learners

Please email with your UTS student number, or provide details of your group enrolment. Once verified, you will be supplied with a voucher code to apply to your cart.

Discounts cannot be combined and only one discount can be applied per person per course session. Discounts can only be applied to the full price. Discounts cannot be applied to any offered special price. 

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for, but not limited to:

  • Facility managers
  • Property managers
  • Building consultants
  • Asset managers
  • Property professionals
  • Construction professionals
  • Design professionals.






2 days


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UTS acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the Boorooberongal people of the Dharug Nation, the Bidiagal people and the Gamaygal people, upon whose ancestral lands our university stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.