Who is a building expert?

An expert witness is a person with a depth of knowledge of the building industry, regulations, Codes and requirements to build and complete a structure to an acceptable standard.

An expert is one who has been in the building industry for many years and understands the complexity of the industry and is able to separate client expectations from the requirements of various building standards. That expert is to draw on the years within the industry, provide reference to the required standard and where required, provide solutions.

The building expert will not be drawn into emotional or unsubstantiated claims by clients and will only deal with matters of fact that are relevant to a claim, dispute or matter at hand. The expert will only deal with facts that he or she can substantiate as a result of thorough investigation. The expert must show all documentation that has been used to arrive at a conclusion (Makika v Sprowles).

A building expert has a broad range of knowledge, but must work within the area of expertise. He or she cannot be an expert on all matters. Where matters or defects are outside of the expert's expertise, then they are to reference that part to a suitably qualified and experienced expert in that area.
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