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June 2015

Thank you to those who filled in the DPTI survey about the effectiveness of the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 (Premises Standards). A significant number of comments were made about the impact of the Premises Standards on existing buildings when they are subject to a change of use / change of classification application. The comments received will also be considered as part of the Department's project to reactivate existing buildings. 

Regular updates about the progress of the project will appear on the latest building policy news webpage. Projects currently underway include -

  • reconsidering the classification of small mixed-use cultural venues - are they Class 6 or 9b - or neither?
  • establishing broad guiding principles to ensure safety, health and amenity are achieved,
  • scoping possible seismic and fire safety concessions, 
  • the development of a guideline to assist practitioners understand the role of the Building Rules Assessment Commission and its role in considering cases of unjustifiable hardship.

We again thank individuals including members of the Building Advisory Committee who are supporting the Department with this project.

The farm buildings guideline, published in May 2015 to assist in applying Ministers Specification SA H3.2 Concessions for farm buildings, has been amended to include an additional diagram.

New on the ABCB website

The Australian Building Codes Board's (ABCB) website has been updated to include the following items of interest:

On consultation - Draft NCC 2016

The public comment draft of NCC 2016 is now available to view on the Australian Building Codes Board website. Proposed changes from the current edition are marked with underlining (for new text) and strikethrough (for deleted text).

Some key topics included in the public comment draft include: 

  • verification methods to assist with the increased use of performance agenda,
  • the definition of effective height,
  • requirements for farm type buildings,
  • the regulation of telecommunications pathways and spaces

The period for comment on the NCC 2016 draft proposals closes on Monday 3 August 2015. This will be the last amendment to the NCC until 2019.

House energy rating assessors

The Department's registration scheme that currently recognises individuals who have attained the Certificate IV in NatHERS Assessments (the register of House Energy Rating Assessors) will be phased out from Wednesday 1 July 2015. New registrations will not be accepted and renewals will not be required. Individuals currently listed will remain on the website (and therefore be able to provide third party assessments) until 30 June 2016. 

An Advisory Notice will be issued in due course to address any concerns that practitioners may have.

Seminars and training

Upgrading fire safety of existing buildings
The Australian Institute of Building Surveyors (AIBS) is hosting an all day training session on fire safety upgrades for existing low rise development.

The training session will be held in Adelaide on Wednesday 17 June at the BioSA Conference Centre, 40/46 West Thebarton Road, Thebarton, SA. Contact the AIBS ( for further information or to register.

Fire Protection Australia
The Fire Protection Association of Australia is hosting a two day seminar which will provide information on the regulatory and technical requirements for maintaining fire protection systems and equipment in accordance with Minister's Specification SA76 (2015) and AS 1851-2012. Delegates can choose to attend the regulatory session, specific technical sessions or all sessions across both days.

The seminar will be held in Adelaide over two days - Wednesday 24 June and Thursday 25 June at the BioSA Conference Centre, 40/46 West Thebarton Road, Thebarton, SA.

Increased use and quantification of performance

A webinar on the increased use and quantification of performance project will be held on Tuesday 23 June 2015. The purpose of the webinar is to provide more detailed information about the proposed verification methods and longer term issues such as capacity building within professions.

Advisory Notices

Advisory Notice Building 03/15 Minister's Schedule of Construction Indices 2015-16

Advisory Notice Building 04/15 Swimming pool safety: Water recirculation systems skimmer boxes

Articles of interest

Regulatory programs - it's not about catching crooks 
A large amount of government activity revolves around the regulation of people's behaviour such as road safety and consumer protection. While the role of regulatory programs is to increase compliance with the law many people see their regulatory role as reprimanding people who do not comply with the law. Is this misguided and what is the 
role of a regulatory program?

Lacrosse Docklands fire report

The release of the Post Incident Analysis Summary about the Docklands apartment fire has raised a number of development related issues including product conformity, post occupancy issues relating to the maintenance of safety equipment and the ongoing Class 2 vs class 3 classification issue.

Take the time to read the report. More information will be provided in uncoming issues.

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.


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Page last modified Tuesday, 13 August 2019