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As of the 1st May, 2013 the new BCA/NCC 2013 replaces the 2012 version and always each year we have more changes and regulations to deal with.  This year is no exception and the following are some of the major changes that we all need to be aware of.

BEDROOM WINDOWS TO RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS AND WINDOWS IN CHILDCARE BUILDINGS
Where the floor level at these window locations is greater than 2m above the external finished surface level and the opening sash to the window is less than 1.7m from the finished floor level the window opening is now required to be either:

  • Restricted to a maximum of 125mm opening or
  • Have a secure screen over the opening that withstands a force of 250 newton i.e. security grill or the like.

CONSTRUCTION IN FLOOD PRONE AREAS
Buildings (class 1, 2, 3, 4, 9a and 9b) designed in designated flood prone areas are now required to also be designed to comply with the ABCB standard and handbook for construction of buildings in flood hazard areas.  This standard and handbook can be downloaded from the ABCB website www.abcb.gov.au (Education Events and Resources tab).  As of today the Building Commission has released a new Practice Note 2013 – 65 covering this matter.  The Practice Note can be found at www.buildingcommission.com.au.

WATERPROOF DECKS
At last an Australian Standard specifically for waterproof decks has been adopted this standard contains specific testing requirements in part 1 that any membrane used should be tested to and also in part 2 specific construction details in relation to flashing, drainage etc. i.e. future replacement of spouting.

RESIDENTIAL SLABS AND FOOTINGS CODE
The twelve month transition period has ended which means that AS2870 – 2011 is the only accepted standard.  If you are not already aware multiple options exist in this standard but is heavily reliant on the quality of the external surface drainage system i.e. gradient of pipes, flexible joints etc.

SWIMMING POOL BARRIERS
Yes believe it or not we have another new Australian Standard AS1926 – 2012 which supersedes the other standards.  In this version there are more diagrams for explanation and a number of subtle changes.  As of today the Building Commission has released Practice Note 2013 – 05 covering the changes, what is required on site and minimum documentation required for a Building Permit to be issued.  The Practice Note can be found at www.buildingcommission.com.au.
These are just some of the changes that substantially impact on us immediately.  As more information comes to hand and we are able to further digest the changes we will keep you up to date via the newsletters.  As always if you have any questions at all do not hesitate to contact us.

ELECTRONIC/ONLINE BUILDING PERMIT APPLICATIONS
Have you tried our electronic application process?  It is a simple and cost saving process. Lodge your applications any time of the day or night 7 days a week from the comfort of your office/home.

Quick lesson – go to www.kwabuildingpermits.com.au, submit electronic permit application tab, click here for online application, login (or create login), document manager, create directory (this is a folder, use street number and address), open the directory (folder) just created, browse for documents, upload.  Detailed information is available in Document Manager User Guide in the login section.

If you have any questions or would like a free one on one workshop on the electronic application process please do not hesitate to give us a call.