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April 2015

Reactivation of existing buildings

Encouraging innovation

Whilst Adelaide's laneways have undergone a physical and cultural transformation in recent years, a number of studies have identified barriers that still exist when trying to reactivate buildings themselves. The State Government is working to remove barriers to ensure that our regulations support and encourage innovation rather than be an impediment to change (priority 7).

The Building Policy team are currently considering a number of these barriers including the impact of heritage listings, the range of triggers that require a building to be upgraded, the impact of legislation such as the Premises Standards and which aspects of the National Construction Code impose the geatest costs on building owners seeking to reuse their assets, provide small business opportunities and contribute to the State's vibrancy. 

We need your input! - email us:

  • with suggestions about provisions that you think are redundant or overregulated when applied to existing buildings, 
  • about whether you think a different level of performance could be applied to existing buildings,
  • with proposals to amend or vary parts of the Building Rules.

Updated rebuilding in bushfire areas fact sheets

In response to the Sampson Flat bushfires, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure has released two fact sheets titled Rebuilding in areas affected by bushfires and Ways to make your home more resistant to bushfires. Queries about rebuilding can be directed to the Department's hotline on 1800 752 664. General information about obtaining assistance can be found on the State Government website.

6-star energy efficiency and solar offsets

Claims of Departmental support for alternative solution

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure has been advised of claims that it supports an alternative solution to the 6-star energy efficiency requirements, which permits the use of a 5-star rating for the building fabric and offsetting the star rating difference with solar panels. This is incorrect. 

A similar concession has been provided in clearly prescribed circumstances in South Australia  - this concession was based on affordability criteria. 

The fabric of the building has a distinct and separate Performance Requirement 2.6.1, which relates to thermal comfort for the occupants, to that of the services (P2.6.2) which address the use of on-site renewable energy sources.

Consideration should be given to the ABCB Information Handbook Using onsite renewable and reclaimed energy sources which clarifies the need to deal with the two Performance Requirements separately.

Swimming pool safety barrier inspections and reports

The Department receives a number of calls seeking advice about who is considered appropriate to inspect existing pool safety barriers.

The swimming pool safety webpage has been amended to reflect a recommendation made to the Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) that a private certifier* is considered to be an appropriate professional to undertake the inspection of pool safety barriers and certify (or otherwise) compliance.

The REISA have issued this advice to their members and will also be amending their website to reflect this recommendation.

*Note that private certifiers subject to Condition C on their registration are not considered appropriate.

House energy rating assessors - FAQ's

#2 - Can a house energy rating be accepted from a non-accredited rater?

There is currently no requirement in South Australia for a person using house energy rating software to be accredited. The decision as to whether a house energy rating is acceptable (or not) resides with the relevant building surveyor. There is also no requirement for house energy raters to be registered in South Australia unless they independently assess and certify another parties design.

Schedule 7 levy returns due

A reminder to private certifiers and councils that the 1st quarter of 2015 7% levy return under Schedule 6 and 7 of the Development Regulations 2008 is due 10 business days from 1 April 2015. A response should be forwarded even if there is a Nil return. 

Credit card payments can be made to Planning Services, telephone 08 7109 7018. Cheques should be made payable to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

Emergency Egress For All Occupants Project

The final decision Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) for Emergency Egress for All Occupants has been released by the ABCB.

The project has considered a number of proposals aimed at improving the accessibility of features required by the NCC for emergency egress.  

Review of the Premises Standards

The Commonwelath Department of Industry and Science, in conjunction with the Attorney-General’s Department will soon be calling for submissions regarding a review of the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 (the Premises Standards).

To keep informed subscribe to the mailing list.

Staff changes

Farewell to Jowen Apostol, Senior Compliance Auditor with the Building Policy Team. Jowen has accepted a 12 month position as the Principal Internal Auditor with the Department for Education and Child Development. We thank Jowen for his contribution during his 2 years with the Department and wish him well for the future.

The Building Policy Unit issues this newsletter to inform the industry about changes and developments in legislation, policy and practice. It is intended as general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice or an accurate statement of the relevant legislation provisions. If you are uncertain as to your legal obligations you should obtain independent legal advice.


We welcome your feedback and suggestions – please contact us via email

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Page last modified Tuesday, 13 August 2019