NSW – HENDRY building certifiers advise building owners and property managers of the need to ensure that the construction certificate is available to the building surveyor prior to a due diligence audit or BCA Audit being performed on a building.

This article explains the process to apply for and obtain a construction certificate through an accredited certifier under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (EPAR) before considering the appointment of consultants and contractors to perform services on their behalf. The following will clarify the process under EPAR.

Construction Certificate under EPAA

Part 4A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EPAA) sets out the criteria for the application to and issuing of a construction certificate by an accredited certifier . The EPAA also describes the authorities having jurisdiction for assessment of a construction certificate and the right of the applicant to appeal to the Land and Environment Court upon failure or refusal to issue a construction certificate.

Application of EPAR 

Part 8 Division 2 of the EPAR sets out the procedures and relevant information required to be submitted for the assessment of the construction certificate by reference to Part 3 of Schedule 1. It is important to check with the relevant Accredited Certifier on how many copies of the required documentation will be required to be submitted under EPAR. The relevant Accredited Certifier also has the power to require additional information to be submitted and is required to ensure that any necessary levies have been paid.

EPAR and NSW Fire Brigade

Clause 144 of the EPAR sets out the criteria by which an application must be referred to the NSW Fire Brigades and the prescribed parameters by which the NSW Fire Brigades must reply back to the certifying authority. The accredited certifier must ensure this occurs.

EPAR and Alternative Solutions

Alternative Solution reports must have been submitted to and accepted by the Certifying Authority prior to issue of the Construction Certificate. Where the Alternative Solution involves fire safety matters, the requirements of Clause 144A (EPAR) for peer review and issue of a Compliance Certificate by a third party fire engineer, or a written report by the designing fire engineer, must have been satisfied, inclusive of the accredited certifier.

EPAR and Development Consent: Building Code of Australia

Part 8 Division 2 of the EPAR does not permit the issuing of the construction certificate by the accredited certifier unless the Certifying Authority is satisfied that the application in compliance with development consent and the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

EPAR – Construction Certificate Issuing

EPAR requires the accredited certifier to ensure the construction certificate contains the following information when being issued:

  • Identity of the accredited certifier issuing the certificate.
  • The accreditation number of the accredited certifier must be shown on the certificate.
  • The registered number and date of the development consent.
  • Whether the application has been determined by approval or refusal.
  • The date of the certificate.
  • A statement verifying that work completed in accordance with the documentation accompanying the application for the certificate will comply with the requirements of the EPAR.
  • The BCA classification of the building or structure.
  • The construction certificate must be accompanied with a fire safety schedule for the building.

EPAR – Notice to Consent Authority

Within 2 days after the issue or refusal of the construction certificate, under EPAR the certifying authority must forward copies of the determination along with plans, application, specifications, fire safety schedule, or any other applicable documents to the relevant local council.