VIC – The VBA states building practitioners involved in the design, construction or certification of building work need to be aware that it is a legal requirement to maintain minimum clearance at all times between structures and overhead powerlines. Failure to consider local overhead powerlines before construction begins can result in penalties and expensive project delays, not to mention serious safety risks for property owners, contractors and the public. Read the full VBA release here.
VIC – The value of building in Victoria in the financial year 2016-17 reached a record $32.8 billion, according to the latest building permit data from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). – The value of building in Victoria in the financial year 2016-17 reached a record $32.8 billion, according to the latest building permit data from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).
VIC – If you are a domestic builder or draftsperson, you now only need to be registered by the Victorian Building Authority if you want to carry out work costing more than $10,000. That means from now on, consumers only to need check if a practitioner is registered if they have a job quoted as costing over $10,000. Read more on the Victorian Building Authority website here.
QLD – The Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Bill 2017 was introduced to Parliament on Tuesday 22 August.
These matters where identified in the Queensland Building Plan discussion paperthat was released for consultation earlier this year. The Property Council along with other industry bodies have been vocal opponents of the proposal to introduce Project Bank Accounts.
NSW – Families across New South Wales will be safer in their homes with the announcement of a wide-ranging fire safety package by the state government. Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the 10 point plan was Australia’s most comprehensive response to the issues around London’s Grenfell Tower fire last month.
NSW – The new strata building bond and inspection scheme will now commence on 1 January 2018. It was originally scheduled to commence on 1 July 2017. This means that the scheme will only apply to construction contracts signed (or where there is no contract and building work commences) from 1 January 2018. NSW Fair Trading will not require developers of new strata schemes to lodge defect bonds before 31 December 2017.
SA – The State Government and the City of Adelaide are accelerating an audit of city buildings to identify ‘aluminium composite panel’ cladding, which is suspected to have contributed to the Grenfell Tower fire in London.
The audit will be led by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), with initial findings to be reported to the Minister for Planning by the end of July 2017. The findings will confirm if further steps need to be taken to ensure the safety of these buildings.
NSW – Planning & Environment has announced new BASIX energy targets to improve the energy efficiency for houses and low-rise units, having increased by approximately 10 per cent, and by 5 per cent for mid and high-rise units
Part of the government’s initiative to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, the BASIX changes will improve the energy efficiency of homes in NSW, resulting in lower utility bills for residents, and reduced environmental impact.
NSW– The DPI advise that on the 1 July, new Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) energy targets will come into effect. Energy targets for houses and low-rise units will increase by approximately 10 per cent, and by 5 per cent for mid and high-rise units. Thermal comfort heating and cooling settings will also change.
WA – The Building Commission has commenced an independent audit of Yuanda-supplied building products in the WA construction industry, beginning with the Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) and products that may contain asbestos.
NSW– The BPB advises when a property is sold that has a certificate of non-compliance for the pool, the new owner may ask the certifier who carried out the original inspection to do a ‘re-inspection’ only covering the items that failed the first time. The certifier should explain to the new owner that the inspection will be a full inspection, not just a spot check. It may have been months since the first inspection, and conditions on the property may have changed.
The new owner may ask to see the certifier’s original inspection report. Keep in mind that the previous owner did not have to give this to the new owner, and only had to provide the certificate of non-compliance. The certifier’s written contract for the first inspection was with the previous owner, so a new contract will be needed with the new owner.
VIC – The Victorian Building Authority now has greater enforcement powers over people who knowingly oversee or carry out building work that is not in accordance with the building permits , the Building Act or the building regulations.
WA– The DFES has released the Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas which identifies land falling within, or partially within, a bush fire prone area by the Fire and Emergency Services (FES) Commissioner, this comes into effect on the 31 May‘17.
This Industry Bulletin outlines interconnection requirements for mains-powered smoke alarms installed as part of new building work, such as an addition or alteration, to existing dwellings. This information applies to the following residential dwellings as classified under the Building Code of Australia (BCA):
a Class 1a building (e.g. house, town house, villa etc);
a Class 1b building (e.g. small guest house, boarding house – less than 12 residents. Can also be four or more single dwellings, such as chalets, located on one allotment for short term holiday accommodation);
a sole-occupancy unit in a Class 2 or 3 building; (e.g. apartment, flat or unit); and
a Class 4 part of a building (e.g. a caretaker’s residence).
The requirements will depend on whether the original dwelling had its building permit application submitted before 1 May 2015 or on or after 1 May 2015.
AUST – The ABCB advises that on the 30 April 2017 the transition period for two BCA referenced documents has ended. These documents contain requirements for termite management and smoke alarms e.g. AS 3660 – Part 1 Termite management – New building work and AS 3786 – Smoke alarms.
VIC – The VBA advises that the Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) has been established. DBDRV commenced on 26 April 2017 and is a new Victorian Government Service set up to resolve building disputes between building practitioners and owners without the cost and time often associated with courts and tribunals. It will also have the power to issue legally binding dispute resolution orders and certificates.
NSW – The Building Professionals Board has issued a news bulletin advising accredited certifiers are public officials and independent regulators of compliance with planning and building legislation and codes. This important role relies on certifiers acting in the public interest, and maintaining impartiality by avoiding any source of influence – whether actual or as perceived by others – that could bias their decisions.
WA – The Building Commission has issued a bulletin which provides information for building industry practitioners and regulators regarding changes to termite management system standards referenced by the Building Code of Australia.
AUST – The new Gutters, Downpipes and Overflow (GDO) Calculator is now available. The Calculator assists in developing a better understanding of the NCC Volume Two Part 3.5.2 Gutters and Downpipes Acceptable Construction Practice (ACP) provisions. To use the GDO Calculator enter information about the location, roof design and types of overflow measures. Based on the location, roof design and overflow types, the calculator provides the allowable gutter types, downpipe sizes and whether the selected overflow measures are adequate. It is a MS Excel file and uses data contained in NCC Volume Two for the calculations.
This calculator has been created and designed for Excel 2013 for Windows. Compatibility with other versions and operating systems is not guaranteed.
Click here to download your copy of the XLSX calculator.
AUST – The Proposal for Change (PFC) process is used to consider technical proposals to change the NCC, which could relate to either the BCA (Volumes One and Two), or the PCA (Volume Three). Technical proposals do not include those which address matters of public policy or for which direction from government is required before a change to the NCC can be considered. The PFC process is consistent with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) best practice regulatory principles to ensure appropriate rigour is used in the assessment of proposals.
For a Proposal for Change to be considered for inclusion in the next edition, the ABCB must receive submissions by1 September 2017.
To submit a Proposal for Change to the National Construction Code click here.
SA – The DPTI. PD Building Branch advises from 1 April 2017, various sections of the PDI Act – including those which formally establish the State Planning Commission; the Community Engagement Charter and the Environment and Food Production Areas and the Statutes Amendment (Planning, Development and Infrastructure) Act 2017 will become operational and the first elements of South Australia’s new planning system to be officially implemented.
WA – The Building Commission announces a new code of conduct for Western Australia’s building and construction industry has been introduced. The aim of the code is to prevent inappropriate behavior on construction sites and ensure subcontractors are paid on time. Click here to view the code.
WA – The WA Building Commission advises members of the building industry that the Australian Government has now finalised its response to the Review of the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010, commonly known as the ‘Premises Standards’. Click hereto view the details.
WA – Building Services (Registration) Amendment Regulations 2017 IB 082/2017. The Building Services (Registration) Amendment Regulations 2017 (Amendment Regulations) were published in the Government Gazette on Friday 31 March 2017 to come into operation on Saturday 1 April 2017. The Amendment Regulations can be accessed on the State Law Publisher’s website www.slp.wa.gov.au.
The Amendment Regulations amend the Building Services (Registration) Regulations 2011 (Registration Regulations) to clarify the power of the Department of Commerce – Building Commission Division (Building Commission) to prosecute unregistered builders carrying out a prescribed building service for which registration is required, in circumstances where the builder has not obtained a building permit. Click here to read more.
NSW – The Government response addresses the report’s 150 recommendations and outlines the actions it will take in developing reforms to building and development certification in NSW in consultation with industry and community stakeholders. Click here to read more.
VIC – The Victorian Building Authority and the City of Melbourne jointly laid a total of 16 charges against those involved in the demolition of the Corkman Irish Pub in Leicester Street, Carlton in October 2016. Click here to read more.
WA – The building services Acts and the plumbing regulations set out obligations that registered service providers and licensed plumbing contractors must adhere to. For more information on these obligations click here.
WA – Principals, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers working in the building and construction industry should be aware that the remaining sections 7 and 20 of the Construction Contracts Amendment Act 2016 will commence operation on Monday 3 April 2017. Click here to read more.
VIC – The FPA is providing a free information session regarding the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) accreditation for Individuals in the Fire Protection Industry who perform Fire Systems Design and Fire Systems Certification work. This free session will count towards the requirement to attend the ‘FPAS Information Session” as part of gaining accreditation in either of these areas of work.
Matthew Wright – FPA Australia
Mark Carter – Metropolitan Fire Brigade
George Andrews – Fire Concepts – FPAS Accredited Fire Hydrant/Hose Reel Certifier
WA – The Building Commission has issued an Industry Bulletin 79 on smoke alarm requirements for residential buildings that are applicable from 1 May 2017 in respect to Class 1 buildings, sole-occupancy units in Class 2 or 3 buildings and Class 4 parts of a building (residential dwellings).
AUST – The ABCB has issued The Final Decision Regulation Impact Statement , Automatic fire suppression systems for covered balconies in residential buildings. This Final Decision Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) assesses the problem of fire occurring on balconies of residential buildings over 25 metres in effective height.
WA – The Building commission has issued an industry bulletin which provides information for building industry practitioners and regulators on certain transitional periods coming to an end that will affect any building permit application submitted to a permit authority on or after 1 May 2017. Click here to read more.
VIC – The Building Appeals Board has dismissed the appeals of owners and the builder that would have permitted an alternative solution to replacing the non-compliant external cladding of the Lacrosse Building. Click here to read the media release.
WA – The Building Regulations 2012 has been amended to introduce a transitional process for making streamlined applications under the Building Act 2011 for seeking a declaration from the Building Commissioner for the non-application or modification of a bush fire building standard. Click here to read more.
AUST – The Fire Protection Association Australia has been working with the Federal Department of Communications and Arts to produce a Good Practice Guide for migrating monitored fire alarm and lift phone services from the existing fixed line networks over which they currently operate to a new telecommunications network. Click here for further information.
VIC – Changes to the Building Act 1993 which came into effect in 2016, introduced a maximum five-year registration period for registered building practitioners. This means all practitioners will be required to renew their registration every five years. The VBA has issued a fact sheet explaining how they will transition registered building practitioners to a 5 year registration period. Read here for further information.
WA : Department of Commerce, Building Commission has announced dates for upcoming events:
REGIONAL SEMINARS – BCA and Roof Compliance Seminars
Morning session: Building Code of Australia information Session
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) information session is a half day program in the morning covering the future initiatives of the BCA; product certification and technical interpretation to common queries. This 3½ hour session will also cover the minimum level of documentation for roofing.
Afternoon session: Roof compliance information
A dedicated 1 hour session on checking roof compliance on site will be presented. This information follows the 2016 release of the general inspection report into the metal roof construction in Western Australia.
Following the introduction of the 3 year amendment cycle, the ABCB will be undertaking presentations specifically designed for the practical application, clarification and understanding of the Building Code of Australia. These seminars will be held in Perth on Tuesday 28 February and Wednesday 1 March at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. Click here for more information.
WA – The Building Commission has issued an Industry Bulletin 76. This Industry Bulletin provides guidance on estimating the value of building work for the purposes of submitting a building permit application.
AUST – Registrations are now open for the Australian Building Codes Board’s (ABCB) 2017 NCC Information Seminars.
Following the introduction of the 3-year amendment cycle, the ABCB will be undertaking presentations in all capital cities specifically designed for the practical application, clarification and understanding of the Building Code of Australia.
February 14 – Canberra February 17 – Hobart February 21 & 22 – Brisbane February 24 – Darwin February 28 – Perth March 1 – Perth March 6 – Adelaide March 8 & 9 – Sydney March 15 & 16 – Melbourne
Proposed changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 in relation to provisions for fire safety in the design, construction and approval of new buildings and building work. Please click here for a full understanding of the report. The document should be read in conjunction with the draft regulation. Comments are invited on the draft regulation until 31 January 2017.
WA – The Building Commission has commenced an independent audit of Yuanda-supplied building products in the WA construction industry, beginning with the Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) and products that may contain asbestos. Read more
WA – From 15 December 2016, important changes to the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (the Act) come into effect. These changes aim to improve the operation of, and access to, the rapid adjudication scheme the Act affords for resolving payment disputes under construction contracts. Read how this will impact you.
SA – On 8 December 2016, the Development (Residential Code) Variation Regulations 2016 were made. The Regulation changes have been made to improve the operation of the Residential Code. The changes give effect to the original intent of Parliament with respect to private certification and the application of the Code. Read more
AUST – The Assessment of the NCC’s fire hose reel requirements for new (Class 5) office buildings is a Consultation RIS that assesses the need for fire hose reels in new office buildings. This fire risk assessment on the Provision of fire hose reels in Class 5 buildings, evaluates the change in risk level resulting from removing fire hose reels from new office buildings. Read more
VIC – This fact sheet explains what’s different about section 16 of the Building Act 1993 (the Act) from 4 July 2016. PENALTIES FOR BREACHING SECTION 16 (The value of a penalty unit is $151.67 as at 16 June 2016)
500 penalty units, in the case of a natural person.
2500 penalty units, in the case of a body corporate.
WA – Participants in the building and construction industry are reminded that the Treasury Legislation Amendment (Small Business and Unfair Contract Terms) Act 2015 (Cth) will commence operation on 12 November 2016.