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March 2016

Adaptive reuse of existing buildings

National Construction Code - state variaton for small arts venues

On 1 May 2016 state variations to the NCC will be adopted that provide concessions for small arts venues (buildings used for cultural purposes including live music, visual arts displays, dancing, poetry and spoken word performances).

The concessions will apply to the whole or part of a building that has a rise in storeys less than 2, a floor area that does not exceed 300sqm and where there are no pyrotechnics or theatrical smoke (smoke machines, hazers or the like) used.

The concessions are in response to recommendations made by the Music Industry Council Report, Enhancing live music in South Australia and are the first initiative aimed at reactivating existing buildings and spaces and were developed in conjunction with the Metropolitan Fire Service, Adelaide City Council, the live music sector and private certifiers.

Minister's Specification for upgrading existing buildings

The Development Act 1993 and the Development Regulations 2008 have provisions that can trigger and impose requirements for upgrading the safety and health of existing buildings under certain circumstances.

In June 2015 the Department established two Working Groups to consider the National Construction Code provisions as they relate to existing buildings and develop concessions or exemptions they consider to be appropriate.

The Minister’s Specification is in its final stages of development and will be released for public consultation in due course.

Non-conforming and non-complying building products

The Minister for Planning recently wrote to Councils, the Development Assessment Commission, private certifiers and relevant stakeholders seeking information about the extent of non-complying and non-conforming building products. A reminder that acknowledgement, responses  and supporting documentation should be forwarded to so that the Minister can be advised of the information received.

Changes to bushfire risk assessment tools

On 1 April 2016, the Bushfire Risk Assessment Tool on the Government of South Australia website was decommissioned. 

Bushfire protection areas and the level of bushfire risk can now be determined by using one of the two following tools:

A guide to assist in identifiying bushfire risk using the PLB is available on the bushfire protection areas webpage.

DPTI staff changes

In late January 2016 Mr Stuart Moseley resigned from the Department to take up the position of Deputy Director General with the Queensland Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning. Mr Chris Zafiropoulos has also left the Department, having accepted a position with the City of Salisbury.

Following a recent restructure there have been a number of changes to the Building Policy Unit. Mr Noel Mensforth, who has been with the Unit for 20 years has accepted a position within the Facilities and Asset Management area of the Department. We thank Noel for his commitment to the Unit and his contribution to life safety issues such as swimming pool safety, roof trusses and more recently, the review of the farm buildings specification.

The Unit welcomes Ms Anna Frazelas. Anna was successful in obtaining the position of Building Officer and brings with her broad experience in both the private sector and government and expertise in design, heritage and contract management. Mr Tony Albanese has also joined the Unit as a Senior Building Officer. Tony is a Building Surveyor and has extensive experience in both local and state government and the private sector.

Ms Jodie Evans has been appointed Unit Manager and the Unit is completed by Ms Mary Andruchowycz as Senior Building Officer, Ms Emma Bradley as Project Officer and Ms Deb Aitken as the Units' Business Support Officer. The Unit reports to Mr Andrew Grear, Manager of Strategic and Development Planning under the Investment Management Directorate.

Australian Building Codes Board update

ABCB website changes

The ABCB website has been updated with the aim of providing better functionality for tablet and smartphone access. The improved website features a full resource library with a suite of new and updated NCC related educational material and practitioner resources.

Subscribers to the NCC will need to update or re-enter their password as a consequence of the changes.

NCC 2016 is available to view on the ABCB website. The anticipated adoption date for South Australia is 1 May 2016.

Consultation RIS

The ABCB has released a Consulation RIS entitled Automatic fire suppression systems for covered balconies in residential buildingsThe RIS was developed at the request of the Building Ministers following two incidents where the absence of sprinklers on balconies was considered to contribute to the severity of the fire.  

Responses to the questions posed in the RIS close on 26 April 2016. Further information is available on the ABCB website.

Advisory Notices Building

Notice 01/16 Withdrawal of the registration scheme for House Energy Rating Assessors
Notice 02/16 Energy efficiency provisions and the use of solar offsets
Notice 03/16 Consistency between planning and building consents (Re-issue)
Notice 04/16 Application of the change in use provisions (dwelling status)
Notice 05/16 Private bushfire shelters

Missed an issue of the Building Standard or previously issued Advisory Notices? All newsletters and notices are available on our building advisory information and services webpage.

Pinery bushfires - Waiving of the 7% levy

The Minister for Planning has waived the collection and remittance of the 7% building rules assessment levy for development applications that are seeking to reconstruct buildings destroyed by the Pinery bushfires (Schedules 6 and 7 of the Development Regulations 2008).  The four affected councils and all private certifiers have been advised of the Minister's decision and have been provided with a map indicating the location of the properties affected.

Electrical and plumbing news

The Office of the Technical Regulator issues a bi-annual newsletter for electrical, water and gas industry practitioners. Issue 37 discusses upcoming changes to the Certificate of Compliance requirements including a move away from the current paper-based process to an automated, electronic, self-service model.  

For previous issues or to subscribe visit the Government of South Australia website.

Recent Environment, Resources and Development Court Judgements

The following ERD Court judgements include matters relating to the Building Rules. They are provided for information only.

Development Assessment Commission vs Oldfield [2015] SAERDC 49 - 2 December 2015

City of Charles Sturt vs Kotory Developments P/L [2016] SAERDC 7 - 8 March 2016

Fast facts

Over the past 12 months building approvals have increased in South Australia by 2.5%. This is in contrast to an 8.7% decrease nationally. 

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