AUST – HENDRY building surveyors advise that the following points will help the reader of building regulations and the Building Code of Australia (BCA) to comprehend some basic points of legality when reading these statutory documents (Building Legislation) when attempting to obtain a building permit.
Building Regulations and BCA
Where there is general provision which appears to be in conflict with a specific provision elsewhere in the building regulations, the common view of such an apparent contradiction is that the specific requirement takes precedence or overrides the general.
BCA Volume One, Clause A1.4 (and Volume Two, Part 1.1.4) also point out that where there is any conflict or difference between for example a Standard and the BCA, then the BCA takes precedence. The Australian Standards referenced in BCA Volume One, Specification A1.3 (and Volume Two, Part 1.4) at the time of issuing of building permit are those that must be complied with for that project for which the building permit was issued irrespective of whether or not the BCA Specification is amended during the course of the project. Where a provision uses the expression “this Regulation”, it is referring to the requirements solely to the building regulation being read. However, where a provision used the expression “these Regulations” it is referring to the requirements of the complete Building Regulations.
Where a provision is divided into paragraphs, for instance, as follows:
This means that only one of these 4 alternatives set out in (a), (b), (c) and (d) must be complied with. If, on the other hand, the above example looked like this:
This would mean that all 4 requirements must be complied with.
Another form of legal drafting to be understood is where a provision states that for example – something shall be constructed with the following requirements:
There is no “and” or “or” however all 4 requirements must then be complied with.
Building Legislation Table