NSW – HENDRY building certifiers advise that although the term Construction Certificate has been around for a number of years, to some the term is not fully understood or appreciated. The importance of a Construction Certificate cannot be over stressed.

A Construction Certificate, which can only be issued subsequent to an approved Development Consent, certifies compliance of proposed building work with the relevant matters specified in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) and its regulation, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

A Construction Certificate is in effect a statement of intent that the building works “…will comply with the requirements of the regulations…”. As such, the Certifier must have sufficient information to be able to form the view that the relevant plans demonstrate that the proposed building works “will comply”.

A Construction Certificate deals with technical compliance and is limited to certifying that:

  • The design and construction of the building as shown in the plans and specifications is not inconsistent with the Development Consent. This will include the architectural plans and any other plans put forward for the approval; and
  • The proposed building work complies with the Building Code of Australia (for either deemed to satisfy or performance based requirements); and
  • The proposed building work complies with other required standards (eg. Food Regulations, etc); and
  • Any pre-conditions (eg. deferred commencement requirements imposed by the consent authority) specified in the development consent prior to the issue of the construction certificate, have been met; and
  • Any conditions requiring the provision of security bonds/ deposits (eg. payment for damage to council footpath), payment of monetary contribution (eg. under Section 94 of the EP&A Act) before work is carried, have been met; and
  • A fire safety schedule is issued with the certificate (N/A to Class 1a and 10 buildings); and
  • Structural strength and fire protection matters have been satisfied in the case of a change of use or alterations to an existing building; and
  • The Construction Certificate application has been referred to the NSW Fire Brigade (specific buildings only) and the matters raised by the Brigade have been considered.

Under EPAR, a Construction Certificate can not be issued retrospectively after building work has commenced.

Remember a Construction Certificate is building work that can be legally constructed.