Building Certification - FAQ's

Below you will find answers to some of the most common building certification questions we receive. While looking through the list, click on a question to view the answer for that particular question.

If you have a development consent, you need a construction certificate before you can start building work.

A construction certificate confirms building plans comply with the BCA, are 'not inconsistent' with the development consent, and comply with relevant conditions of the development consent.

A construction certificate must be obtained before building work commences.

Without one, you cannot obtain an occupation certificate at the completion of building work.

The complying development portion of State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development) 2008 is commonly referred to as the 'Housing Code' and provides for approval of residential developments including detached single and double storey dwellings, home extensions and other ancillary development.

A Complying Development Certificate is essentially an approval that indicates a development proposal complies with the provisions of the NSW Housing Code.

The work subject of a CDC must meet the pre- defined set of standards eg: height limits, floor space ratio, distances to boundaries, and comply with the Building Code of Australia.

Complying Development is development that does not require neighbour notification during the assessment process and therefore provides a streamlined approval process.

To be eligible for a complying development certificate, a proposal must meet all of the relevant development standards nominated.

Put simply, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) is a national code specifiying the technical health, life safety, general safety and amenity provisions for buildings.

A detailed explanation of the BCA and its requirements may be found at the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) website.

An occupation certificate is a certificate that enables an owner or occupier to legally occupy or use a building.

Occupation Certificates indicate that a building is fit for use in accordance with its classification under the Building Code of Australia.

An occupation certificate can only be issued by the PCA appointed for the building work.

There are two (2) types of occupation certificates:

Interim Occupation Certificate

An Interim Occupation Certificate permits occupation of a completed portion of a building.

To enable a PCA to issue an interim occupation certificate, the PCA must be satisfied that the building is structurally adequate and that relevant health and safety provisions of the BCA have been met.

Final Occupation Certificate

A Final Occupation Certificate is issued upon completion of all building work and certifies that all conditions of consent have been complied with.

The PCA is a public official whose first responsibility is to meet public safety and regulatory requirements.

A PCA inspects building work during construction by undertaking Critical Stage Inspections to ensure the work is being carried out in accordance with the approval (i.e. development consent/construction certificate or complying development certificate), and the Building Code of Australia.

At the completion of construction, a PCA will issue an Occupation Certificate.

Note: The PCA must be appointed by the owner of the land.

You can appoint us as your PCA when lodging your CC or CDC application by simply tick the Appointment of Principal Certifying Authority box on Council's application form.

Critical stage inspections are those inspections that are required to be carried out on building structures during the course of construction as set down in Clause 162A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations.

In the case of the erection of a class 1 building (eg a new dwelling, additions and alterations to a dwelling etc) or class 10 building (eg an outbuilding or associated structure such as a garage, shed, deck, pool etc), the occasions on which building work must be inspected are:

  • After excavation for, and prior to the placement of, any footings, and

  • Prior to pouring any in-situ reinforced concrete building element, and

  • Prior to covering of the framework for any floor, wall, roof or other building element, and

  • Prior to covering waterproofing in any wet areas, and

  • Prior to covering any stormwater drainage connections, and

  • After the building work has been completed and prior to any occupation certificate being issued in relation to the building.

In relation to a swimming pool, in addition to the above inspections, the regulations also specify that an inspection is required:

  • After the construction of the swimming pool is completed and the child resisting barrier has been erected and before the pool is filled with water.

There are different mandatory critical stage inspections that apply in relation to class 2-9 buildings which will be nominated.

Critical stage inspections must be carried out by the PCA appointed for the building work, unless otherwise agreed by the PCA, by another accredited certifier, wtih the exception that the last critical stage inspection must be carried out by the PCA.

Inspections must be carried out by the PCA irrespective of whether the building work is also inspected by a consulting structural engineer.

Part 4 A Certiticates are assessed by NSW Building Professionals Board accredited building surveyors who are employed by Blacktown City Council. Our work is not subcontracted to third parties.

Work may commence two days after you have forwarded a Notice of Commencement of Building Work to the PCA.

NSW planning legislation places a responsibility of site safety and coordination of building work with the nominated principal contractor for the site.

All inspections are conducted by our own accredited Building Surveyors.

Because we are specialists in the Blacktown area, we can focus on your requirements.

We provide a next business day inspection service for bookings made before 5:00pm on the business day prior to the inspection date.

Home warranty insurance needs to be provided by for the majority of residential building work undertaken in NSW.

The NSW Department of Fair Trading administers the Home Owners Warranty insurance provisions in NSW.

A current Home Warranty Insurance Certificate must be provided to the PCA prior to building work commencing.

Council is unable to inspect building works if a copy of the insurance certificate has not been provided.

The NSW Department of Fair Trading administers the Owner Builder Permit provisions in NSW.

A current Owner Builder Permit must be provided to the PCA prior to building work commencing.

Council is unable to inspect building works if a copy of the Owner Builder Permit has not been provided.

The Builder's Long Service Levy (LSL) is a NSW government levy imposed on all building and construction work with a value of $25,000 and above (inclusive of GST).

The current levy rate is 0.35% and is paid by the owners of a building or construction project into a fund administered by the Building and Construction Industry Long Service Payments Corporation, to fund long service leave payments to NSW building and construction workers.

By law LSL payment is required prior to the issue of a Construction Certificate or Complying Development Certificate.

Since July, 2004 an applicant for a development consent or complying development for new homes including dwellings, dual occupancies, villas, townhouses and residential flat buildings, have been required to submit a BASIX certificate when lodging their development application.

A BASIX certificate will address the thermal performance, water and energy management of the proposal.

From July 2007 applicants for approval for additions and new pools were also required to submit a BASIX certificate when lodging a development application or complying development certificate application with a value of $50,000 or more or for pools that have a volume exceeding 40, 000 litres.