Building Assessment (Building Rules Consent)
When a development proposal involves building, Building Rules (Building) Consent is required to determine whether or not the proposal satisfies technical building requirements and will be structurally sound if built in accordance with the approved plans.
In general, the Building Rules cover:
- Structural adequacy;
- Fire safety;
- Health and amenity;
- Access for the disabled; and
- Energy Efficiency
Assessment is made against the Building Code of Australia and the South Australian Housing Code and also involves the assessment of the application details for compliance with the Development Act 1993 and Development Regulations 2008. Building consent may be undertaken by Council or by a Private Certifier. However it is important to note that consent from a Private Certifier does not automatically guarantee Development Approval.
Council may require assessment of further criteria. Seeking Building Rules Consent from Council will avoid such delays and double handling.
Applications can be made to obtain both consents at once, or separately (staged). An applicant may choose to stage the consents to avoid preparing detailed building plans and specifications until the application has been assessed in relation to the Development Plan, as design changes may be required to meet the rules of the Development Plan.
A registered private certifier may be engaged to carry out building assessment under the Development Act 1993. Where a Private Certifier has been engaged to assess an application and grant Building Rules Consent, the Private Certifier must notify council as soon as practicable, and must notify the council in writing of any decision. The certifier must also certify that the Building Rules Consent is consistent with the Development Plan Consent, including any conditions imposed by the council. Council will then issue a Development Approval. The Private Certifier may not issue a Development Plan Consent, or a Development Approval.
Council is responsible for building inspections, under the Development Act 1993. A Building Inspection Policy has been adopted to guide what inspections are to be carried out.
To enable council to conduct building inspections and to check that building work is being carried out in accordance with approved plans and specifications. Section 59 of the Development Act 1993 sets out the requirements and responsibilities for licensed builders, or if there is no licensed builder, the building owner must give council notification of construction stages.
Pursuant to Section 59 of the Development Act 1993 and Development Regulations 74 (1) a person must give notification during the following stages of work:
- One business day's notice of the commencement of building work on the site; and
- One business day's notice prior to the commencement of the pouring of footings and other reinforcing steelworks; and
- One business day's notice after the completion of wall and roof framing; and
- One business day's notice of wet areas prior to tiling
- One business day's notice after the completion of building works
- In the case of swimming pools, one business days notice of completion of the safety barrier and prior to the pool being filled with water
Notification during building work can be given to Council by:
- Leaving a written notice with duly authorised officer of the Council
- Posting details of the notification to Council at PO Box 399, Tailem Bend SA 5260
- Facsimile transmission to Council on (08) 8572 3822
- Telephone on 1300 785 277
Statements of Compliance
a) Building Work Contractors
The Development Act requires the submission of a Statement of Compliance at the completion of the building work in accordance with Regulation 83AB.
This statement consists of two parts, Part A and Part B. Part A is the statement which needs to be signed by the licensed building contractor responsible for carrying out the relevant building work. Part B is a statement signed by the owner of the land, or agent acting on their behalf stating that the construction documents issued to the building work contractor for the purpose of undertaking the building work are consistent with the Development Approval.
b) Owner Builders
Where an owner builder undertakes the building work, a registered building work supervisor or private certifier must sign Part A of the Statement of Compliance. State legislation requires certain building work, such as electrical, plumbing, gas fitting and telephone services to be performed by appropriately licensed contractors.
The completed Statement of Compliance must be forwarded to council within 10 business days of occupation of the structure.
Statement of Compliance under Schedule 19A (Schedule 19A is not required for minor domestic structures, signs, verandahs, carports, swimming pools and spas).
If the requirements of the Regulations are not complied with, the owner of the relevant land is guilty of an offence, unless he or she establishes that failure to comply with the requirements is due to the act or omission of another person. The maximum penalty is $4000.00.
Certificate of Occupancy
Pursuant to Section 67 (1a) of the Development Act 1993, a Certificate of Occupancy is required in respect to Class 2 to Class 9 building under the Building Code. You must make application to Council for the Certificate of Occupancy when the building is completed. The 'Statement of Compliance' form must be filled in by the builder, Part A and by the owner Part B and return to Council along with any Essential Safety Provisions, Form 2 Statements.
A Certificate of Occupancy is not required in respect of Class 1a or 10 buildings under the Building Code.
The Building Work Contractor's Act 1995 requires people carrying on a business as a builder or sub-contractor to be licensed.
Building Indemnity Insurance
Builders are required under the Builders Work Contractors Act 1995 to take out a policy of building indemnity insurance to cover domestic building projects where the cost of works are over $12,000 and requires council approval. Builders are prohibited from commencing work until the insurance is in place and council will require the certificate of insurance to be lodge as part of the development approval process.
Building Fire Safety Committee
Local Government plays an important role in protecting the ongoing safety of building occupiers and users through the provisions of the Development Act 1993.
Section 71 of the Development Act 1993, specifically provides obligations upon the council in relation to Building Fire Safety. Specifically it requires the Council to establish a Building Fire Safety Committee and provides powers for "Authorised Officers" to investigate whether or not building owners are maintaining proper levels of fire safety in their buildings for the protection of all occupiers, whether they are residents and workers who use them regularly, or clients and visitors who use them occasionally.
If a building is not considered to be adequate from a building fire safety perspective, Section 71 of the Development Act, provides powers for the council to require remedial action to rectify any problems associated with the building.
The Building Fire Safety Committee (BFSC) essentially has an administrative function, established as a requirement pursuant to the Act, to administer building fire safety and acts as a compliance body in terms of enforcing the building fire safety provisions.
The focus of the Building Fire Safety Committee is to ensure that buildings are adequately protected against fire. The committee's activities are prioritised to ensure that firstly, there is a reasonable standard of safety for the occupiers of buildings. Secondly, the committee seeks to ensure that there is a minimal spread of fire and smoke within buildings. Thirdly, the committee seeks to ensure that there is an acceptable fire-fighting environment provided within buildings.
In order to meet the above-mentioned objectives, the Building Fire Safety Committee undertakes inspections to determine whether or not the building incorporates adequate fire safety provisions appropriate to the occupants and use of the building. If a building is not considered to have adequate fire safety provisions, the committee will record the details and undertake a formal process to have the outstanding matters rectified.
In undertaking its inspection regime, the committee has regard to the types of buildings and/or occupancies within its area of jurisdiction, identifies those that may constitute a high fire safety risk and systematically inspects those buildings. For example, buildings which provide overnight accommodation for unrelated persons; buildings where large crowds congregate during operating hours, such as assembly buildings; or supported residential facilities, are identified as high risk buildings with respect to fire safety and are therefore high on the priority list for inspections.
For additional information about building assessment please contact council's Senior Building Officer on 1300 785 277.
Please review the Building Fire Safety Committee's Terms of Reference, October 2017(152 kb) for further information.