Certification for Building Permits
A certificate of design compliance (CDC) is required in order to obtain a building permit from the permit authority to construct a building or incidental structure. The Building Act requires a CDC to be in an approved form and contain a statement by the building surveyor that the building will comply with each applicable building standard if the building is completed in accordance with the specified plans and specifications.
Today's Building Services Pty Ltd are registered as Level 1 Building Surveying Contractors and are able to assess and certify all sizes and Classes of Buildings. Our services for issuing a CDC for a single residential building include:
Providing advice on building regulation and standards at design stage.
Review of any proposed Performance Solutions.
Assessment of plans and documentation in accordance with the requirements of the Building Act 2011, Building Regulations 2012 and the National Construction Code’s / Building Code of Australia Volume Two (BCA) Acceptable Construction provisions and any alternative solutions.
Certification of all final plans, specifications and details and issue of Certificates of Design Compliance (CDC) for submission to the Permit Authority for issue of Building Permits.
Certification for Un-authorised work
In general a person must not carry out building work without a building permit where one is required. However the Building Act allows a person to make an application to the relevant permit authority to approve unauthorised building work in relation to a building and/or incidental structure. This retrospective approval process may assist those who are buying or selling a property that has an unauthorised structure on it.
Even though a person may seek retrospective approval for unauthorised building work, this does not remove the offence and a local government may still take legal action under the Building Act to ensure that the unauthorised building work is approved or removed.
Energy Efficiency assessments
The BCA requires minimum standards for energy efficiency and the intent is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by ensuring building are designed and constructed so that heating and cooling of the internal space of the building is reduced. The current standard is known as the 6 Star energy efficiency, however, this is only achievable by using a computer program that can measure the actual annual energy use of the building.
The BCA provides a choice in the assessment methods for energy efficiency as follows:
1. have the building assessed using "House Energy Rating Software" to achieve no less than 6 Stars, or
2. Comply with the prescriptive solution in the BCA Vol 2, known as the "Elemental Approach".
3. Have your building assessed under a Performance Solution that complies with the BCA Performance Requirements
If you are building a whole new dwelling, TBS recommends using an experienced energy assessor using the energy rating software, as they can advise of any alterations that can be made to achieve compliance.
However, if you are just doing a small renovation or addition, then it maybe easier to use the elemental approach. TBS can assist with this by preparing a report that will achieve compliance.
WA regulations for Additions and alterations
If you are adding to or altering an existing home, the WA Government have developed a protocol for assessing the energy efficiency of the house which is based on an averaging system. The BCA energy efficiency requirements are not retrospective, therefore there are no regulation that require upgrading of existing buildings.
However, the BCA requirements are applicable to any new parts of the house. Under the protocol an energy assessor can calculate what level of insulation etc you require for any new or altered parts of the house to achieve compliance with the averages allowed in the Protocol. Therefore, if you are proposing to carry out additions or alterations to your existing house in WA, it is recommended that you employ the services of an experienced energy assessor.
There maybe similar concessions available in other States, so it is a good idea to check you local State regulations or a qualified building surveyor prior to submitting your plans for assessment.
Bushfire construction assessments
In April 2016 the WA government introduced new regulations that require all new homes or extensive additions to existing homes to comply with the bushfire standards if located in a designated bush-fire prone area. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) have developed a bush-fire area map of WA that has been adopted under the new regulations.
If you are building in WA you should first check the DFES bush-fire map to determine if you are in a designated bush-fire prone area. If you are in a bush-fire area, then you will need to have your property assessed by a registered assessor who can determine the Bush-fire Attack Level (BAL) rating for your property. more information about the new bush-fire regulations and BAL ratings can be obtained from the WA building Commission website http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission.
If you intend on building in a bush land areas in other states, you should check with your local government before designing your house to find out whether the area has been designated as a bush-fire prone area. If it is not a designated bush-fire prone area, then compliance with the bush-fire construction requirements of the BCA is not mandatory.