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.
This page provides information about getting a CC.
You need apply to Council or to a private Building Surveyor for a Construction Certificate.
A construction certificate application must include:
- a completed application form
- detailed building and construction plans with specifications
- full payment of the application fees
- any documents requested to be submitted to the consent authority as a condition of development consent
- any other relevant documents.
If applying to Council, use the pdf form available on the Development Applications and Forms pages of the website.
The key questions a Building Surveyor needs to be able to answer from your application documentation are:
- Will the proposal comply with all relevant parts of the Building Code of Australia? and
- Are the plans and specifications consistent with the Development Consent?
If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ to either of these questions, the Building Surveyor will not be able to issue your Construction Certificate.
The NSW Government have published a Practice Standard that outlines in detail what Building surveyors (Registered Certifiers) are expected to do and not do. Although the main body of the document is aimed at Class 2 buildings (apartments), most of the requirements apply to all buildings.
The Practice Standard is available as a PDF from the Fair Trading website by clicking here.
You need to provide enough information for the Building surveyor to be able to answer the above questions. In most cases, the bulk of the information will be in the form of detailed plans and specifications. It is also sometimes beneficial to provide a separate report that outlines how each requirement of the Building Code is complied with by the proposal, with references to the other documents.
The following sections outline in more detail what should be included in each set of documents.
Many design decisions and building details cannot be easily put into plans/drawings and therefore rely on a written text document to be described.
The purpose of a specification is to describe the standard to which a building is to be constructed, in terms of structural, operational, and aesthetic aspects.
The building specification should include but not be limited to:
- reference to the plans
- a description of construction materials for the walls (internal/external), floors, windows and roof including linings
- the relevant standards to which the following building components are to be constructed:
- footings (structural and geotechnical standards),
- timber framing,
- site drainage,
- building work associated with the installation of oil or solid fuel heating,
- termite control,
- fire safety measures (fire resistance levels and essential services),
- wet areas,
- lighting and ventilation,
- sound transmission class rating,
- stair construction,
- balustrades and the like
- evidence of any accredited components, process or designs to be relied upon, where relevant
- site preparation
- Any matters required by the BASIX Certificate(s) to be shown on the plans or specifications that is not easily shown on the plans.
Plans must be specific to the building and cover the entire scope of the building work the application is for.
Plans must be drawn to suitable scale, be fully dimensioned and include, but not be limited to:
- A title block, drawing number and revision, date of the drawing, and details of who prepared the drawing, and the project address and lot details.
- A key for abbreviations, colouring and hatchings and a north point.
The types of plans submitted with a Construction Certificate application should include:
- A site plan, showing the location of the proposed building, setbacks from boundaries, levels of adjacent ground, existing buildings on site and other site features such as easements, and fire source features.
- Floor plans for each floor of the building, showing all building elements and detailed layouts at a suitable scale, which should include:
- Reduced levels and proposed finished levels.
- The intended use of each room.
- Dimensions of rooms.
- Dimensions of walls and structural elements.
- Internal and external wall construction, including details of any sound insulation, fire resistance or the like.
- Locations of door and window openings.
- Floor coverings.
- Reflected ceiling layout.
- Layouts or rooms within the building and location of fixtures.
- Locations of services.
- Details of any performance solutions as relevant
- Architectural Elevations of the proposed building, showing the relevant floor levels and heights, design, finishes and materials, which should include:
- Dimensioned heights, including the overall height.
- Proposed external materials.
- Proposed finished floor and ceiling levels.
- Floor to floor and floor to ceiling heights.
- Location and sizes of window and door openings, balconies another external features.
- Details of any performance solution as relevant.
- Architectural Sections of the proposed building of at least two intersecting sections showing building elements and construction methods, which should include:
- Sections of ramps and other elements with gradients and stairways.
- Finished floor and ceiling levels.
- Floor to ceiling heights.
- Wall, window and door heights.
- Thresholds and set downs.
- Structural supports.
- Building services and equipment.
- All relevant vertical and horizontal building elements and their relationship to the building.
- Architectural Details showing building elements and construction methods, which should include:
- Details of junctions and interfaces between and within major building elements.
- Details of key areas of the building such as a glass curtain wall interface with the floor slab.
- Details of penetrations and proposed protections methods.
- Methods of weatherproofing and attaching building elements.
- Waterproofing details.
- Tanking and damp-proofing details.
- Wall details such as for fire resistance and sound insulation.
- Access ramp, landing, threshold details.
- Provision for fire safety and fire resistance, showing which elements are fire resisting, the proposed level of fire resistance, and any fire compartmentation. Ideally plans should be colour coded differentiating all the fire-resisting elements and clearly identifying fire compartmentation and bounding construction for the building.
- Other design and construction drawings such as:
- Structural designs and plans
- Hydraulic services design and plans.
- Mechanical services design and plans.
- Electrical design plans.
- Fire safety services designs and plans.
- Lift services design and plans
Other Supporting Documents
Other documents should be attached to your application for a Construciton Certificate as appropriate.
These may include:
Council Building Surveyors will require a boundary survey (from a registered land surveyor) in the following situations:
For Class 1 and 10 development: Where the gap between a building (or part) and a boundary is relied on for fire separation and the gap to be provided is less than 1000mm more than the minimum required by the Deemed-To-Satisfy provisions of the Building Code.
In other cases, where the gap between a boundary and a building (or part) is less than 1000mm.
For other classes of development, or buildings/structures of an industrial or infrastructure nature, where the building or structure (or part) is less than 6000mm from a boundary.
In any instance where there is doubt as to the location of the boundary.
- Boundary Surveys
Council Building Surveyors will require a boundary survey (from a registered land surveyor) in the following situations:
- For Class 1 and 10 development:
- Where the gap between a building (or part) and a boundary is relied on for fire separation and the gap to be provided is less than 1000mm more than the minimum required by the Deemed-To-Satisfy provisions of the Building Code.
- In other cases, where the gap between a boundary and a building (or part) is less than 1000mm.
- For other classes of development, or buildings/structures of an industrial or infrastructure nature, where the building or structure (or part) is less than 6000mm from a boundary.
- In any instance where there is doubt as to the location of the boundary.
- Copies of any compliance certificates relied on for the plans or specifications.
- A copy of any relevant BASIX Certificate(s)
- Details of provisions made for fire safety and fire-resisting construction.
- A list of the existing fire safety measures installed in the building.
- A list of the fire safety measures proposed to be installed in the building (not applicable for Class 1a or 10 buildings).
- Geotechnical Reports and Soil Assessments
In recognition of the consistent soil type in city of Broken Hill which typically classifies as M-D (in accordance with AS2870-2011), the following guide applies.
- For all new dwellings and additions over 50m2, a full soil report from a suitably qualified and experienced geotechnical engineer will be required.
- For additions of up to 50m2 to existing buildings, the following applies:
- In accordance with the BCA Volume 2 clause 126.96.36.199 footing and slabs may be similar to existing footing and slab on the site.
- Where a soil report is not provided applicants will be required to submit a “Soil Assessment” containing the following:
- Provided details of the existing dwellings footings and slab.
- Show how the performance of the existing building has been satisfactory ie minimal defects evident.
- Provide a description of the soil in the area of the additions and include a photo.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
8. Certification from a Structural Engineer
- 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:
- Ask another engineer/company for a quote.
- 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).
- Source a design that is already certified (for example, from a kit manufacturer- see below).
- Redesign the proposal so it does not need an engineer (for example, many timber structures do not require an engineer to certify the design).
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and refer to your application number and address in their email.