NSW – HENDRY building certifiers provide the following part extract of a (BCA Audit – Egress & Fire Safety – Building AuditBuilding Code of Australia audit on the egress and fire safety measures of a building. The client required an insight into these two areas because of the life safety issues raised by the tenant under the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

The following BCA Audit – Egress & Fire Safety, will give building owners, building managers and occupiers of buildings an insight into a building certifer’s assessment and presentation of issues and defects found.

Re: Address XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

In accordance with your instructions, a BCA Audit and site inspection of the building occupied by XXXXXXXXX as tenant at XXXXXXXXXX was undertaken on the XXXXXXXXX, for the purpose of preparing the following report to provide an assessment of the existing building for general compliance with the fire safety and egress requirements of Sections C, D and E of the Building Code of Australia xxxx (BCA).

bca2011_vol1Drawings available to assist in the BCA Audit assessment of the building are those unscaled drawings prepared by XXXXXXXXX of the evacuation plan for the building.                                                                                                                                                 In accordance with your requirements and in consideration of the age of the building and given that no fire safety order has been issued by XXXXXXXXXX Council as you have advised, this BCA Audit is limited to a review of the principal fire and life safety matters pertaining to the BCA, on the basis that XXXXXXXXX may purchase the building, and does not address other matters such as adequacy of disability access provisions, health and amenity and energy efficiency issues normally found in a BCA Audit.                                                                                                                                                       In this regard, a fire safety order, Order No. 6 under Section 121B of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, would oblige the building owner, to ‘do or refrain from doing such things as are specified in the order so as to ensure or promote adequate fire safety or fire safety awareness’.

The only other statutory obligations for a fire safety upgrade would arise from assessment of a Development Application resulting in a BCA Audit, for either a change of use or alterations and addition to the building. In this regard, Clause 93 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (EP&A Regulation) provides the Consent Authority, i.e. XXXXXX Council, with discretion when dealing with a development application for a change of use of a building without alterations or additions to an existing building.

nsw_epar2000The Consent Authority, in determining the development application, is required to take into consideration whether the fire protection and structural capacity will be appropriate for the building’s new use during their BCA Audit. Consent must not be granted unless XXXXXX Council is satisfied that the relevant Category 1 fire safety provisions will comply for the new use. For this building Category 1 means fire hydrantssprinkler systems and possible fire brigade intervention facilities only.

Building Audit – BCA Audit – Egress & Fire Safety