Construction Certificate

If you are doing building work that requires development consent (a DA), you also need a Construction Certificate (also called a CC). 

A CC is issued by a Building Surveyor and essentially says that if the building work is done in accordance with these plans and specifications, it will meet the relevant requirements.

These requirements include:

  • being what was approved by the DA;
  • complying with the Building Code of Australia; and
  • the fire protection and structural capacity of the building will be appropriate.

You can apply to Council or a private Building Surveyor for a CC. 

If applying to Council, use the pdf form available on the Development Applications and Forms pages of the website.

 

Soil classification/Assessment

In recognition of the consistent soil type in city of Broken Hill which typically classifies as M-D, the following guide applies.

For new dwelling a full soil repot from a Soil Surveyor will be required.

For additions to building the following applies:

In accordance with the BCA Volume 2 clause 3.2.5.2 footing and slabs may be similar to existing footing and slab on the site.

So where a soil report is not provided applicants will be required to submit a “Soil Assessment” containing the following:

  1. Provided details of the existing dwellings footings and slab.
  2. Show how the performance of the existing building has been satisfactory ie minimal defects evident.
  3. Provide a description of the soil in the area of the additions and include a photo.
  4. Provide a statement that the proposed area for the extension has been checked and found to show no sign of past soil disturbance or soft soli zones. This is to be established by conducting soil probing or sample digging in the zone of the proposed work.

For Clarification please note the following:

  1. This guide can be applied to additions up to 50m2. Additions over this will require a soil report.
  2. Where the addition is to be a slab on ground and the existing building is not similar such as suspended floor on pad footings, it will be acceptable to assess the performance of a slab on ground building on the adjoining property.
  3. The “soil assessment” referred to above should take into account the potential for the site to have underlying rock strata that could affect the ability construct the proposed footing or slab.

 

 

Engineer's Certification

Why am I being asked to have an engineer certify my design?

When assessing an application for a Construction Certificate, a Building Surveyor must be satisfied that the proposed building or structure complies with the Building Code of Australia (the BCA).

It is your responsibility to provide evidence that shows how the building complies with the BCA. Usually this done using plans and written specifications, but also may include test reports or certificates.

For many steel structures, the parts of the BCA requiring structural adequacy only provide a technical method of designing a compliant building. Unlike other kinds of structures (like a timber framed house), there are no ‘span tables’ or similar documents referred to by the BCA that can be used to easily check if the design complies with the BCA.

A structural engineer is the appropriate person to perform the calculations and checks needed to check a design meets the requirements of the standards that are referenced by the BCA.

The BCA lists a certificate from a professional engineer as an acceptable form of evidence that a design fulfils specific requirements of the BCA.

I’ve never been asked for this before, why now?

In the past, Council used span tables that had been assessed by an engineer. These span tables are now out of date (they are based on old versions of the relevant standards) and therefore cannot be relied on for compliance with the current requirements.

 Can you recommend an engineer

As the regulatory authority, Council cannot recommend a business or person as this could form an improper influence in the decisions of others and could be seen to be a conflict of interest when assessing the application.

I cannot afford what the engineer has quoted me. What should I do?

Here are some options for you to consider:

  1. Ask another engineer/company for a quote.
  2. Ask the engineer if there is anything you can change that might reduce the cost (for example, reduce the size or complexity of the proposal).
  3. Source a design that is already certified (for example, from a kit manufacturer- see below).
  4. Redesign the proposal so it does not need an engineer (for example, many timber structures do not require an engineer to certify the design).
  5. Increase your budget for the project and source funds (for example, obtain a loan or delaying start of work to give you time to save the money needed- please seek independent financial advice).

What if I use a [Brandname] kit?

In most cases, kit suppliers for sheds, carports, verandahs and the like have had an engineer already certify their designs. Council will need a copy of the certificate (and the referenced plans/specifications).

If you have not been given a copy, you should contact your supplier to obtain these.
Some suppliers prefer to provide these directly to Council. If that is the case, ask them to send the documents to council@brokenhill.nsw.gov.au and refer to your application number and address in their email.