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 Planning, development and Infrastructure Act 2016.and Planning, development and Infrastructure Regulations 2017. 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.
A registered private certifier may be engaged to carry out building assessment. 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 via the PlanSA Portal. 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.
Relevant authorities such as Council are responsible for inspection and enforcement of building work once it has commenced.
Inspections ensure that all development is constructed and approved under the relevant development approvals, codes and standards.
Why buildings are inspected
Random and scheduled building inspections are undertaken to ensure that the applicant has complied with their development approval, standards and codes, conditions of consent and relevant approved construction practices.
The types of inspections that apply to building work depends on where it is located and when it is built.
Statements of Compliance
a) Building Work Contractors
The Planning, development and Infrastructure Act 2016.requires the submission of a Statement of Compliance at the completion of the building works.
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.
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.
Certificate of Occupancy
A building must not be occupied until a Certificate of Occupancy has been completed and signed and a copy has been provided to the building owner. A copy must also be provided to the council.
Provision of the Certificate to the owner and council may occur via the SA planning portal.
Maximum penalty for occupancy without a certificate: $10,000
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 Planning, development and Infrastructure Act 2016.
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.