QLD – Hendry building certifiers advise budget accommodation building owners and managers that there are currently specific occupancy requirements in addition to standard requirements for commercial buildings under Queensland legislation (Building Act 1975) Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 (BFSR) for fire safety management planning and fire safety generally, before a building approval can be issued.

Summary Definition of a Budget Accommodation Building

In accordance with Part 216 of the Building Act 1975 the meaning of Budget Accommodation under the building regulations is a building:

  1. whose occupants have shared access to a bathroom or sanitary facilities, other than a laundry.
  2. that provides accommodation of a following type for 6 or more persons i.e:
  • boarding house
  • backpacker or other hostel
  • guesthouse
  • share-house or similar type accommodation
  • bed and breakfast, farm stay or hotel accommodation
  • accommodation for persons who have an intellectual or physical disability and require full time or part time care

In addition to the standard fire safety requirements (BFSR) for commercial buildings, budget accommodation buildings have additional requirements in relation ensuring compliant occupancy and general fire safety for the occupancy in the building regulations.

Occupancy Numbers

The Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 and Queensland Development Code make specific references to budget accommodation buildings with respect to occupancy numbers.

Part 15 & 16 of the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 places general obligations about the number of persons in a building.

The owner or occupier of a building must ensure that the number of persons in the building at any one time does not present an unreasonable risk to the safety of a person in the building under the building regulations.

The owner or occupier of a building must ensure that the number of persons in the building at any one time is not more than the maximum number that may be accommodated for a budget accommodation building to which the Building Act 1975, chapter 7, part 3 applies, the BFSR, and the Queensland Development Code, MP 2.1, performance criteria P3 and acceptable solution A3 or otherwise the Building Code of Australia (BCA), part D1.13 or part D 1.6.

Fire Safety Management Plans

In accordance with the Fire and Rescue Service Act Part 104 the owner of a budget accommodation building must prepare a fire safety management plan for the building under the BFSR and building regulations.

Failure to comply with the provisions of the Act and in the event of a building fire means imprisonment penalties apply.

The owner of a budget accommodation building is required to prepare a fire safety management plan for the building and must ensure the plan is updated as soon as practicable, but not later than 1 month, after a change in circumstances affecting the plan’s compliance with the fire safety standard under  BFSR 2008.

Meaning of Fire Safety Management Plan Under 2008

A fire safety management plan for a building is a plan that states each of the following:

  • The allowable number of occupants for the building
  • The proposed maintenance schedule for the building’s prescribed fire safety installations.