Compliance with the Building Code and development consent
After obtaining development consent, in most cases a construction certificate must be obtained from Council or a private Accredited Certifier before commencing any building work including any associated demolition or excavation works.
A construction certificate is basically a type of building approval which certifies that the proposed building (or subdivision) work will comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
A construction certificate also certifies that any relevant conditions of development consent, and other regulatory requirements, have been satisfied.
A construction certificate (CC) can only be issued if:
- the design and construction of the building (as shown in the construction certificate application and plans) is consistent with the development consent
- the proposed building will comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA)
- the relevant conditions of the development consent have been complied with, for example: provision of security deposits, payment of monetary contributions, BASIX energy efficiency and water saving requirements, and any conditions requiring modifications to the development, preparation and submission of specialist details and reports, or any other matters required to be submitted with the required CC
- a number of other relevant legislative provisions have been met.
Detailed documentation is required
Conditions cannot generally be imposed on a construction certificate. This means the plans, specifications and associated documentation must be fully detailed and show compliance with the development consent and relevant provisions of the BCA & Australian Standards.
Who can issue construction certificates?
A construction certificate can be issued by Council or a private sector Accredited Certifier who has the appropriate accreditation from the NSW Government Building Professionals Board.
If issued by a private Accredited Certifier, a copy of the certificate, associated plans and specifications must be forwarded to Council within two days after the date of determination.
Council provides a quality and cost-effective certification and inspection service. Construction certificates are usually issued within 14 to 21 days when all the required details are provided.
How to apply for a construction certificate
Fill out a Construction Certificate Application Form PDF, 291 KB and submit it to Council with:
- details of the building for the Australian Bureau of Statistics
- three copies of detailed building plans and building specifications
- three copies of structural engineering plans, or other technical details, such as mechanical ventilation details, stormwater drainage details, timber/metal framing and fire safety details
- full details of compliance with the Building Code of Australia
- details of compliance with the relevant BASIX and Building Code of Australia energy efficiency and water saving requirements
- details of compliance with the Home Building Act 1989 insurance provisions for residential building work (i.e. certificate of insurance)
- details of the licensed builder or owner builder (if known at lodgement stage)
- specific details which are required to be submitted in accordance with the conditions of development consent
- details about the payment of the Building Construction Industry Long Service Leave Levy for building work costing $25,000 or more
- payment of any security deposits or monetary contributions required by the development consent
- a list of existing and proposed essential fire safety measures (except in relation to dwellings and associated structures such as garages, carports, storage sheds or other out-buildings). For example:
- fire doors
- hose reels
- fire hydrants
- fire extinguishers
- sprinkler systems
- fire and smoke detection systems
- smoke hazard management systems
- exit signs
- emergency lighting
- any relevant compliance certificates or other design certification and details
- payment of the application and Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) Inspection fees.
Next steps - construction and occupation certificate
After obtaining a construction certificate to carry out building works, the owner or other person responsible for the development must appoint Council or private sector Accredited Certifier as the PCA to carry out inspections of the works and to issue the required occupation certificate.
The PCA is usually the same person or organisation that issued the construction certificate.
The PCA will also advise of the necessary critical stages of the work to be inspected by the PCA or other Accredited Certifier. If these inspections are not carried out to the satisfaction of the PCA, the PCA may not be able to issue an occupation certificate.
Failure to obtain an occupation certificate is an offence which can result in substantial penalties, issue of notices and orders or legal proceedings.
Further information may be obtained from a qualified Architect, Accredited Certifier or from Council's Building Certification and Fire Safety team on 9399 0944.