Building / Surveying
Building Act 2011
Submitting a building permit application
Planning approval requirements for single houses
Site management and inspections
Doing it right
What needs to be addressed?
Stormwater and drainage
Unauthorised building work
Strata title applications (built)
Building in bushfire prone areas
The Shire processes Development Applications (Town Planning Approval), and/or Building License Applications utilizing procedures and processes that have been developed to ensure compliance matters are considered and that the time involved in processing applications is minimized. In order that residents can gain approvals in a timely manner.
Building Act 2011
The Building Act 2011 governs the way you obtain approvals to build within the Shire and Western Australia. A fee structure applies under the Act and other fees apply from the Shire to enable other functions to be provided.
The Building Regulations 2012 that accompany the Act set out strict timeframes for a Permit Authority (the Shire) to process various applications for Permits. They are 25 working days for uncertified applications and 10 working days for Certified Applications.
A Certified Application has all the certification of the building standards (BCA & Australian Standards) completed prior to the application being lodged with the Shire. A signed Certificate of Design Compliance must be lodged with the application as evidence that the required certification has been undertaken by a Registered Building Surveyor. This certification can be provided by a Private Building Surveyor or in some instances can be undertaken by the Shire’s upon request.
An Uncertified Application can be submitted for Class 1 (dwellings) and Class 10 (outbuildings, patios, pools etc). The Certification process has not been undertaken when the Building Permit application is submitted and the Shire will have the plans and specifications assessed by a qualified Building Surveyor as a part of the process, issue the Certificate of Design Compliance if the plans comply with the building standards and then issue the Building Permit.
If information is missing from the application for a Building Permit, the Permit Authority will provide the applicant at least 21 days to provide the necessary information. If the information is not received within a reasonable time, the Permit Authority may refuse the application. In that case, the Permit Authority keeps the fees and the applicant will need to reapply.
Swimming Pool Applications
Swimming pool companies must submit engineering details (when required) with the application rather than relying on the Permit Authority advising them every time a Structural Engineer needs to become involved, which will include excavations in proximity to buildings and boundaries. A separate Building Permit application is required for pool safety fencing if the pool builder is not responsible for the erection of the fencing. This application may be submitted by the owner or a fencing contractor.
Applications must be complete.
You may not submit incomplete applications for a Building Permit. Items such as those listed below must accompany the application;
Engineering plans or certification Builder must be nominated
All owners must sign the application form (or agent with authority)
DFES approval or evidence of submission of plans when required
Septic tank approval if not on sewer
Town Planning approval
Residential Design Code variations
Building Code Alternative solution reports
Health Department approval
Any other Authority that you may need approval from must accompany the application. If you do not do this, you will have your application delayed or returned unassessed
Drafting offices must provide full details so that the applicant can demonstrate compliance and to eliminate the Permit Authority having to seek clarification because of the poorly detailed plans. If the Permit Authority has to request additional information this will delay the assessment.
The Shire recommends that you visit the Building Commission’s website to gain additional information
Adversely Affecting Adjoining Land
There is a new concept introduced by the Act known as adversely affecting adjoining land. By definition in the Act, adversely affecting other land includes:
Reduce the stability or bearing capacity of the adjoining land or a building or structure on the land; or
Damage, or reduce the structural adequacy of a building or structure on the land; or
The changing of the nature site drainage in a way that reduces the effectiveness of the drainage of the land or existing or future buildings or structures on the land.
Where any of the above occurs, the applicant or builder must get the permission of all owners of the adjoining property for the work to be undertaken. If they cannot get this, the applicant or builder can apply for a court order.
Notice of Completion
The Builder is required to send a Notice of Completion to the Shire within 7 days of completing the building project. A standard form for this is available from the Building Commission's website. The Building Regulations 2012 provides for a penalty if the Builder fails to send the notice within the 7 days.
A number of fees apply under the Building Act 2011 and are gazetted in the Building Regulations 2012. Others are for certification services that the Shire is also providing along with the private sector. These services include the provision of;
Certificate of Construction Compliance
Certificate of Building Compliance
Certificate of Design Compliance
The Shire recommends that you visit the Building Commission website and access the detailed information provided for further advice - follow the link below.
A number of standard application forms have been produced by the Building Commission and are available on their website. The correct form must be used for the application type you are requesting.
Should you wish to discuss any of the above further, please contact the Executive Manager of Development Services on 90411611 or visit the Building Commission website?
Submitting a building permit application
Under the Building Act 2011 a building permit must be obtained prior to commencing construction, alteration or structural repair works to a building. This includes minor structures such as patios, sheds, swimming pools and spas. Please check with the Shire to confirm that your proposal is not exempt as there are some exemptions that apply
Making an application
There are two ways to apply for a Building Permit for new building work.
A Certified Application (application form BA1) must include a Certificate of Design Compliance (form BA3) from a Registered Building Surveyor confirming that the design complies with the National Construction Code and other statutory requirements. The Certificate of Design Compliance must reference plans and specifications that demonstrate compliance, which must also be provided in the application.
An Uncertified Application (application form BA2) requires the Local Government, as the permit authority, to assess the proposal and issue the Certificate of Design Compliance in conjunction with the Building Permit. Under the Act an Uncertified Application can only be made for class 1a and class 10 buildings, however the Shire also offers a certification service for other building classifications where a Certified Application must be made. For more information about the Shire of Merredin’s certification service, please call the Executive Manager of Development Services.
Both application types must include 1 copy each of the application form, the Certificate of Design Compliance (if applicable) and any referenced or required documents. The Shire will only accept complete applications with the documents and application fee paid at submission. The Shire provides checklists and information sheets to guide in the preparation of an application. Applications that are incomplete cannot be assessed, resulting in delays in the overall approval process, and may be refused.
Determining an application
Applications are assessed for compliance with the Building Act 2011, which requires compliance with the National Construction Code, planning requirements and other relevant legislation. When the Building Surveyor is satisfied that the proposal complies with the relevant requirements a Building Permit is issued.
The Shire must determine a Certified Application within ten business days of submission unless amendments or additional information is requested. For an Uncertified Application, the Shire must assess the proposal and determine the application within twenty-five business days unless amendments or additional information are requested. Information must be provided within twenty-one days of a written request to avoid refusal, unless other arrangements are made with the Building Surveyor.
A Building Permit is issued with conditions to the approval. These conditions must be carefully read and understood prior to commencing work, and must be adhered to for the life of the work or the building.
Builder Registration and Owner-Builder Approval
If the value of the building work is less than $20,000 a Registered Builder is not required. The permit may be issued to any person who is nominated and signed as the Building Contractor on the application form. In most cases where the value is $20,000 or more a Registered Builder is required. The Registered Builder must be named on and sign the Building Permit Application form, thereby accepting responsibility for the work.
An owner may apply as an Owner-Builder in place of a Registered Builder. This would enable them to build or sub-contract the building of their new house or other works. To be an Owner-Builder approval must first be obtained from the Building Commission of Western Australia, and a copy of that approval must accompany the application for Building Permit. For more information about being an Owner-Builder, including requirements and limitations, please refer to the Building Commission of Western Australia website.
Duration of building permits
A Building Permit is valid for two years from the date of issue, unless otherwise stated on the permit. If the work cannot be completed within two years the Shire may consider a written request for an extension, provided that significant works have commenced on site.
Appealing against a decision
If an application is refused due to non-compliance and the applicant is aggrieve by the decision, they are provided an avenue to appeal the decision through the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT). For more information about the appeal process, please refer to the State Administrative Tribunal website.
Please direct enquiries to the Executive Manager of Development Services on (080 9041 1611.
An owner may apply for an Owner Builder approval from the Building Commission in accordance with the Builders Services (Registration) Act 2011, which will enable them to build or sub-contract the building of their own residence, when the value of works, including materials, labour, plant, equipment fees and charges, profit and overheads, exceeds $20,000.
Council cannot issue a Building Permit unless the applicant is a Registered Builder or an Owner/Builder in accordance with the Builders Services (Registration) Act 2011.
Owner/Builder Information can be accessed at the Building Commission website.
Planning approval requirements for single houses
The Shire’s Town Planning Scheme No. 6 (TPS 6) sets out when planning approval is and is not required for single houses and associated outbuildings. Specifically, planning approval is required where:
The subject site is less than 260m2 in area.
The development involves a variation to the "deemed-to-comply" provisions of the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes).
The development involves a variation to an adopted Detailed Area Plan.
Where an element of a development involves a variation to the "deemed-to-comply" provisions of the R-Codes, that element will be assessed against the corresponding "design principles". In this regard, Council will use/ adopted a quantitative assessment parameters for such an assessment.
It should be noted that the R-Codes sets out what information must be submitted to support an application that seeks assessment under the "design principles". It is recommended that applicants familiarise themselves with the R-Codes so as to submit appropriate proposals and minimise assessment delays.
Site management and inspections
Building inspections of work under construction are not mandatory in Western Australia; however you may contact the Executive Manager of Development Services for advice on building related issues.
Please ensure, prior to any deviations being made from the approved plans, that amended plans are submitted and assessed by the Shire to ensure compliance with regulations, and to maintain accurate records.
Doing it right
During the construction phase of any development measures must be taken to minimise the impact of the construction on:
- Existing property owners within the area
- Natural environment such as our waterways
- Existing infrastructure such as street drainage, footpaths, power and light poles, street signs and street trees
- Road users and pedestrians wishing to pass the building site
- Other builders on other properties.
- The benefits of good construction management principles for the builder are:
- A better looking, more marketable site
- Less downtime after wet or windy weather
- Fewer public complaints
- Better public image
- Reduced stockpile losses
- Safety for its employees and the public.
- Ensure approval has been obtained to store materials on the verge
Where it is proposed to use any part of a road reserve or other public property for safety works, scaffolding, storage or placement of temporary site buildings and the like, approval from the Shire must first be obtained.
Where it is proposed to use any part of an adjoining public or private property to undertake part of the building works, whether it be for storage, scaffolding or access to the building site, then permission in writing from the owner of that land must be obtained by the builder prior to utilising that land.
Fencing of Building Sites
Building site fencing must be provided where required by Worksafe WA. Fencing must be a minimum 1.8m high chain link wire or other as specified by Worksafe, and must be contained within the property boundary of the building site.
Where fencing is required to be placed within an adjoining public or private property, then the permission of the owner of that property must be obtained.
Any fencing in a road reserve will be considered based on its impacts on pedestrian access past the site and its impacts on road safety for vehicle users in terms of sight lines for passing traffic and for vehicles entering and leaving the site.
Access points to the building site
Where possible, the entry exit point to a building site is restricted to one point and must be clearly defined. The location of the access point needs to be assessed on the basis of the number and type of vehicles that will need to access the site and the impact this will have on other road users.
Vehicle entry points to a building site must have a minimum width of 3m and a maximum width of 6m.
The surface of the access point must be suitably stabilised using crushed limestone or other temporary stable surface that will not easily erode and is suitable for the type of vehicles that need to access over it. Where an access road slopes towards the street, a diversion hump or cut off drain should be provided to direct any stormwater to the side where it can be disposed into an easily drained soil or temporary soak well, to prevent runoff into the street and street drainage system.
This will ensure that:
- Sand does not end up on the street and street drainage systems, waterways or adjoining properties
- Minimal sediment will be tracked off site
- Disturbance to other parts of a site is minimal
- Any risk of damage to infrastructure such as kerbs and footpaths is confined
- Better access for delivery vehicles
- Certainty for other road users of where vehicles will be entering and leaving the building site
Responsibilities associated with wind, water and litter
It is the builder's responsibility to ensure that sand, buildings and building material and associated litter is properly contained within the building site. In order to prevent the impacts associated with wind, water and litter from leaving a building site, the following measures should be adopted:
- All building materials and any general litter that is susceptible to being lifted by wind is to be suitably weighted, tied down or placed in covered bins
- Any minor buildings such as site toilets, power poles and site building are to be adequately tied down to prevent overturning, becoming airborne, or from being washed away
- Sand stockpiles are placed in protected locations or suitably screened with a wire and shade cloth screen to a height of 1.8m
- Sand embankments having a maximum slope of 1:2
- Sprinklers used on sand stockpiles during periods of heavy winds
- Watering of vehicular access ways during periods of windy weather
- Ensuring site vehicles and workers traffic are confined to specified areas
- Providing stabilized access ways
- Connecting roof stormwater downpipes at the same time as installation of the roof cover
- Providing temporary drainage gullies and soak pits to ensure that stormwater and sand does not end up on the street and street drainage systems, waterways or adjoining properties.
An infringement of $250 may be issued to any person, builder or contractor where it is found that litter leaves a building site under the provisions of the Litter Act. A maximum fine of $5,000 and daily penalty of $250 applies where a prosecution is undertaken. (These costs may vary with time.)
What needs to be addressed?
Site Management Plans - What needs to be addressed?
Where a site management plan (SMP) is required to be submitted to the Shire as part of a Planning or Building Approval, the SMP must address the following:
Extent and location of fencing of the building site
Details of the proposed use of any part of any area within a road verge, street or parking area
Details of when and where road closures may be needed in order to undertake any works
Method of controlling dust and rubbish as a result of wind
Method of suitable containment of rubbish including site bins
Method of controlling erosion by water
Ensuring pedestrian and vehicle access past the property is maintained to the satisfaction of the Shire
Specified hours of days during which work will be undertaken (in particular, times for deliveries)
Traffic management details including any times for road closures, deliveries, loading, access routes to ensure least resistance to roads and other related matters
If intended to use any part of a privately owned adjoining property, permission in writing is to be obtained for from that adjoining owner prior to the use of their property
Locations of storage of materials
Locations of any temporary site buildings
Access points to the building site are to be identified, kept to a minimum and are to be stabilised such as a rammed limestone or other compacted material
Parking for builder and trade representatives
Parking for delivery vehicles
Details of where any excess spoil material is to be dumped or used
Details of any wash down or cleanup needs and what is being provided to ensure any toxic residue is not left behind
Confirmation and details of a signboard being placed on the property indicating the builder's details including a contact phone number
Inspection of adjoining properties to be undertaken prior to works commencing where proposed works may affect the existing condition of those properties
Method and responsibility for making good any damage or need for cleaning of adjoining properties or public infrastructure as a result of development works.
Where it is permitted to fence, place scaffolding or site buildings, or store materials in any part of a road reserve, the builder will be required to ensure that public liability insurance that extends to those works is covered to a minimum value of $10,000,000.
Stormwater and drainage
Stormwater - sub divisional development
Stormwater drainage is to be constructed and designed in accordance with the requirements of the Shire. In our part of the State we treat water as a precious commodity.
Stormwater - residential / commercial / industrial development
The Shire requires the installation of a drainage system that protects people and other properties from the adverse effects of redirected rain water. Different soil types affect the method of stormwater disposal for your property. Recycling and re use of our water is preferred.
The Shire maintains an extensive drainage network designed to prevent the flooding of roads and properties.
As part of this maintenance, sweeping of roads and cleaning of gullies is undertaken on a scheduled basis to reduce buildup of leaf litter and other rubbish in drains. Although a considerable level of effort is undertaken, leaves and debris washed from private property can still block the drainage network.
Residents can assist in preventing flooding by clearing any leaves or other debris from drainage grates on the road.
What is an easement?
An easement provides a person, company or authority the right to access or use a portion of land owned by another. Generally easements relate to services connected to a property, such as water, sewer, stormwater drainage, electricity and gas, and would be in place to protect the infrastructure and allow the service provider access for maintenance and repairs.
How do I tell if there is an easement on my property?
An easement is an encumbrance on the land title, and would be detailed on the land diagram. The title would provide details of the easement and who it is provided for, while the diagram would show the location and size of the easement.
A copy of the land title and diagram can be obtained through Landgate. Any questions about the use or purpose of an easement should be directed to the relevant authority, and their consent may be required to undertake building work adjacent to an easement.
How does this affect my property?
In most cases an easement will have minimal impact on the enjoyment of your property.
Buildings are generally not permitted within easements as they may cause damage to the infrastructure in the easement, and also prevent access if the need should arise. This can be discussed further with the relevant authority.
It is also important to understand that landscaping may also impact on an easement. Retaining and fencing should be considered carefully to avoid damaging the infrastructure, and only plants with shallow or surface root systems should be planted in or near easements.
Demolishing all or part of a structure can be dangerous and can affect the surrounding landscape. Any person demolishing a building or part of a building/structure must obtain a Demolition Permit prior to the commencement of any work. Please contact the Executive Manager of Development Services on 90411611 for advice.
Before applying for a demolition permit notification shall be given to:
- Western Power and other supply authorities
- Water Corporation
- Department of Occupational Health and Safety (where necessary).
When the work includes structures or properties that are Heritage listed, the applicant is to liaise with the State Heritage Office and/or Council's Local Heritage Officer. Evidence of the decision or recommendation is to be provided upon application and the application will be referred to Council.
When required by Council, the permit holder may be instructed to install a temporary crossing over the verge area as specified by Council.
Fees for a demolition permit are set out in Schedule 2 of the Building Regulations 2012. Please refer to Councils Schedule of Fees.
Health and safety requirements
All buildings being demolished must be treated for rodents at least 7 days before demolition. A certificate from a certified pest control operator must be submitted with the demolition application or a private individual can provide photographic evidence and documentation to confirm baiting has been carried out.
Septic tanks and leach drains must be decommissioned, the septic tanks must be emptied by a licensed controlled waste operator the bases broken and then filled with clean sand, and alternatively they can be completely removed. Evidence of the decommissioning must be forwarded to the Shire’s Health Officer.
Unless otherwise authorised by the Building Surveyor, any materials removed or displaced from the building cannot be placed on a floor within the building. They must be immediately lowered to the ground and thereafter removed from the site. Materials are not to be placed on any street, road or right of way and under no circumstances may they be burned on the site.
When the demolition work comprises of more than one story each story shall be removed in descending order commencing with the uppermost story. Where the work may pose a risk to the public a hording and overhead gantry must be provided to protect pedestrians.
Where the site includes materials containing asbestos the demolition work and disposal of the materials is to be as required by the Department of Occupation Health and Safety. All existing luminous signs and ionization smoke detectors incorporation radioactive substances are to be disposed of in a manner approved by the Radioactive Health Section of the Health Department of WA. Where necessary, the site shall be kept sprayed with water to prevent any nuisance from dust. The demolition site shall be cleared and left tide to the satisfaction of the Building Surveyor within 90 days of commencing the work.
Phone the Shire on 90411611
Alinta Gas - 13 13 58
Telstra - 13 22 00
Water Corporation - 13 13 95
Worksafe - 1300 307 877
Western Power - 13 10 87
State Heritage Office - (08) 6552 4000
Unauthorised building work
Under the Building Act 2011 it is an offence to undertake building or demolition work without a valid permit, unless the work is exempt. The Shire may take legal action against owners and/or builders who commence building work without a valid permit, with penalties including a fine of up to $50,000 for a first offence, or up to $100,000 and 12 months imprisonment for subsequent offences.
How do I know if a building has been approved?
The Shire is required to maintain records of all Building Approvals, and a property owner may apply for a search of the Shire’s records to obtain copies of any Building Approvals on their property. Please NOTE: the Shire of Merredin has a number of building that have existed prior to the legislative requirement for Building Approvals and some plans may not be available. Building plans could then be used to confirm if each building has been built in accordance with a relevant approval.
If you are considering purchasing a property it is recommended that you request a plan search from the property owner to confirm all buildings are approved prior to settlement. If an offer has been made and accepted for the purchase, the purchaser may apply for a plan search by providing the Shire with a copy of the offer and acceptance.
What if I find that a building is Unauthorised?
The Act provides an avenue to obtain retrospective approval for an Unauthorised Building by way of an application to the Permit Authority.
For Unauthorised work relating to a class 1a or class 10 building, an application may be lodged for a Building Approval Certificate (application form BA13). This includes residential work, such as unauthorised alterations to a dwelling, and minor structures, such as patios, sheds, swimming pools and spas. For Unauthorised work relating to commercial buildings, approval may be sought by an application of occupancy permit (application form BA11).
Both application types must include a Certificate of Building Compliance (form BA18) from a Registered Building Surveyor confirming that the building complies with the National Construction Code and other requirements under the Act. The application must also include 2 copies of any plans and specifications referenced in the certificate that demonstrate compliance and the certified state of the building. An application for Building Approval Certificate or Occupancy Permit must be determined within 10 business days.
What if retrospective approval cannot be obtained?
Submitting an application for approval does not guarantee that the building will be approved. If a building is found to be non-compliant the Shire may require works to be undertaken in order to achieve compliance. If the required works are not completed, or if the building is significantly non-compliant, the Shire may refuse to approval the application and take further action to see the building removed.
The Shire may also take further action where it is satisfied that the owner or applicant is flagrantly disregarding the requirement to obtain a permit prior to commencing work, or where required information is not provided within the prescribed timeframe.
If you have any further questions please contact the Executive Manager of Development Services on 90411611.
Strata Title applications (built)
A Strata Title is a means of dividing up a property title to allow for multiple ownership. The Shire only forms part of the approval process for having a Strata Application lodged with Landgate for their endorsement and issue of Strata Titles.
A property owner seeking to strata title a property would need to determine if a property meets all requirements to allow it to be strata titled. If so, a Licensed Land Surveyor would need to assist with the preparation of the Strata Title documents.
Prior to commencing the strata process the Shire recommends that the property owner establishes that all existing buildings and alterations are authorised and any required occupancy or building approvals for existing buildings has been issued. If approvals do not exist then retrospective approvals need to be applied for and issued before the strata approval process can proceed.
There are two main types of Strata Title:
Built Strata Title
Generally this type of strata title is relevant to a building/s on a lot/s. The Strata Plan demonstrates the area of the building/s (i.e. square meters).
Survey Strata Title
This type of strata would normally be relevant to the land only and as such a building need not be on the land. If a building is shown on the proposed Survey Strata Plan it would not generally include the floor area of the building/s.
Documents to be submitted for a built strata application:
Form 1 or 2 Strata/Survey - Strata Plans
Form 4 Annexes Sheet (where necessary)
Form 5 Certificate of Licensed Surveyor
BA11 Application for Occupancy Permit - Strata for all Class 2-9 commercial Buildings or BA15 Application for Building Approval Certificate - Strata for all Class 1 & 10 residential and incidental Buildings (These documents replace the Form 7) Both types of applications are to be accompanied by a Certificate of Building Compliance (BA18) issued in accordance with the Building Act 2011 s.57 and the Building Regulations 2012 r.36 for both new and existing buildings.
Form 26 Certificate of Grant of Approval by WAPC to the Strata Plan (WAPC approval is issued under delegation by the Shire’s Executive Manager Development Services).
Note: Form 26 WAPC approval is required only when:
The Strata Scheme is a residential development of more than five (5) dwelling units situated on a parcel of no more than 2500m2 and for
All commercial/industrial (class 2 - 9) developments.
A vacant strata lot is to be created as part of the proposal.
Process for approval
Strata plans produced by a Practicing Licensed Land Surveyor with the relevant nominated documents and applications fees are submitted to the Shire.
The strata plan and original approved plans and conditions imposed on the Building Permit/License and Development Approval/s are checked for consistency and compliance.
The BA11 Application for Occupancy Permit-Strata for all Class 2-9 Buildings is to be checked and this is to be accompanied by a Certificate of Building Compliance (BA18) issued in accordance with the Building Act 2011 s.50, s.54 and s.57 and the Building Regulations 2012 r.36 for new and existing buildings. All prescribed information must be provided with a Certificate of Building Compliance.
The BA15 Application for Building Approval Certificate-Strata for all Class 1 & 10 Buildings. This is to be accompanied by a Certificate of Building Compliance (BA18) issued in accordance with the Building Act 2011 s.50, s.54 and s.57 and the Building Regulations 2012 r.36 for both new and existing buildings. All prescribed information must be provided with a Certificate of Building Compliance.
An initial site inspection is carried out to ensure the building is of sufficient standard and suitable to be divided into strata units.
An inspection report is prepared if required, listing items to be addressed for compliance and is forwarded to the applicant. These items would need to be addressed before a follow up inspection is arranged and if all is in compliance then approval can proceed. If additional inspections are required there will be an additional charge per inspection.
Effect of unauthorised works or no occupancy permit
Should a proposed strata property be found to include unauthorised building works or an occupancy approval has never been issued by the Shire then separate Occupancy and Building Approval Certificate applications will need to be submitted and approved prior to the Shire being able to approve the Strata Application. An owner may request copies of previous approvals issued by the Shire to confirm if the correct approvals are in place.
Once assessment is complete and the application satisfies all of the requirements of Building Act 2011 and the Building Regulations 2012, the relevant approvals can be issued:
BA12 Occupancy Permit-Strata is issued and forwarded to the licensed Land Surveyor or
BA16 Building Approval Certificate-Strata is issued and forwarded to the licensed Land Surveyor.
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) has energy efficiency provisions for the design and construction of all Class 1 to 9 Buildings and any Class 10 buildings with a conditioned space.
When making an application for a permit to build, evidence of compliance with the energy efficiency provisions is required.
In May 2012, the increased energy efficiency provisions of the BCA, including the WA addition for water use, became mandatory for all new buildings in Western Australia.
New Class 1 and 10 residential buildings - '6 star'
The Building Commission has two check sheets for Class 1 and 10 residential buildings that can be used to aid compliance with Part 3.12 Energy Efficiency of the BCA. The BCA provides two options on acceptable construction practice.
Option 1 - An Energy Rating
An energy rating of at least 6 stars must be achieved and certain additional energy-saving features within the deemed to satisfy provisions of the BCA met.
Option 2 - Elemental Provisions
Compliance is required with all the detailed deemed to satisfy elemental provisions within the BCA.
It is strongly recommended that individuals do not attempt to establish documentation without the use of an appropriately trained Energy Efficiency Consultant.
Alterations and additions to existing buildings
The Building Regulations 2012 prescribe energy efficiency requirements for buildings or incidental structures that are being renovated, altered, extended, improved or repaired. This means an alteration or addition can use the '5 star' energy efficiency 'Deemed-to-Satisfy requirements set out in BCA 2009.
Building in Bushfire Prone Areas
The State Government has passed new legislation requiring new homes and associated structures built in bushfire prone areas to comply with the bushfire construction requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC). These requirements begin to become mandatory from 8 April 2016.
What are the requirements?
The NCC and AS3959 (Construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas) provide a variety of building solutions intended to reduce the risk of ignition due to ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact. These requirements apply to lots in designated bushfire prone areas depending on the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) of the lot.
What is a BAL?
A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) provides design criteria for a building in a bushfire prone area. The BAL is assigned based on the risk and level of bushfire exposure, and may vary from site to site within a subdivision. To identify what requirements need to be met for a lot, a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment must be undertaken.
When is a BAL assessment required?
A BAL assessment is required when a building is proposed in a designated bushfire prone area. To help identify if an assessment is required the State Government has provided a mapping system outlining designated bushfire prone areas across Western Australia. These maps are available through the Department of Fire and Emergency Services website.
For more information
For more information about bushfire prone areas, refer to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services website. You can also find more information about the Bushfire policy framework through the Western Australian Planning Commission and the Building Commission of WA