The Australian Dream Series


Building regulations

Each new home built throughout Australia must comply with the provisions of the Australian Building Code. The code is produced and maintained by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) on behalf of the Australian Government and State and Territory Governments with the basic objective of ensuring that acceptable standards of structural efficiency, fire safety and health and amenity are maintained. The BCA sets down the objectives and performance requirements and deemed to satisfy provisions in relation to the construction of all classes (types) of buildings.

Throughout its pages together with specific requirements it will often make reference to Australian Standards pertaining to the particular topic.
For example -
Under Structural Provisions, the requirements for materials and forms of construction are satisfied if they comply with - Masonry (including masonry veneer, unreinforced masonry, and reinforced masonry) to AS3700. Concrete construction to AS3600. Steel construction to AS1250 or AS4100.
These various Australian Standards relating to topics ranging from 'Concrete Slab and Footing Construction - AS2870'  throught to 'Wind Loads - AS4055' and "Snow Loads - AS1170'  tell the building designer what requirement and detailing is required for your particular project.
Another example would be for a home to be constructed in a designated bushfire prone area. AS3959 stipulates construction methods and material types that may be used that would satisfy the 'deemed to satisfy' provisions of the code, right down to in some situations the need to install an alternative to aluminium mesh flyscreens.

Together with this comprehensive list of regulations, State and Territory legislation in the form of State or Territory Building Regulations can add to or over-ride the Building Code of Australia.
In Victoria state building regulations require a home to have its front building line within the first one third of the site. There are strict regulations on overlooking a neighbours window if it is within a 9 meter radius of one of your windows.
In South Australia currently you are required to achieve a level of '4 Star' energy efficiency on a new home. In Victoria 5 Stars.

In addition to State and Territory regulations Local Councils may have further variations under their local planning schemes.
As mentioned above, Victoria requires an energy efficiency level equivalent to 5 Stars ( with no requirements for extensions to existing dwellings) At least 2 Councils - Port Phillip and Melbourne are requiring levels of efficiency for extensions.

In summary - Building regulation requirements pertaining to your new home will have to be addressed and complied to on a National level, State or Territory level and possibly a Local Government (council) level.



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