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BCA 2013 WHATS NEW

Monday, May 13th, 2013

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.

BUSHFIRE REGULATION CHANGES

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Changes to Bushfire Regulations

Great news, it has just recently come to our attention that the entire State of Victoria, as of today is no longer declared as a Bushfire Prone area under the Building Regulations.

As of 8 September, 2011 the Building Regulations have been amended and the Minister has designated specific areas in the State that are declared bushfire prone.

You are now able to determine if your site is in a declared bushfire prone area by simply accessing the Land Channel website, www.land.vic.gov.au.

If your site is in a declared bushfire prone area and Planning have not specified a BAL rating, a BAL assessment is required but will not be less than a 12.5 rating (BAL-LOW is not recognized/permitted).

Hopefully, this will ease some of the bureaucracy we have all had to contend with?

NOTE: The Wildfire Management Overlays under Town Planning still apply and override the above changes (Building Regulations) in relation to the BAL assessment.

I am sure there will be further developments to which I will keep you up-to-date.  As always, if you have any questions or Building Permits you require please do not hesitate to contact us.

Building Regulation update

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Building Code of Australia (BCA) now known as part of the National Construction Code series.  BCA 2011 is now in operation.

Yes its that time of the year when the BCA gets amended and we have to sort through the various changes so that we can advise you of its impact.

The major changes that impact on the industry are as follows:

Domestic buildings including new structures, additions and some alterations are now required to achieve a six star rating together with the water tank or solar hot water service requirements OR comply with the extensively revised deemed to satisfy provisions.

NOTE:  The substantial design concessions under Section 10 of the Building Act apply as part of the transition period.  So if you can demonstrate substantial design on the project was completed prior to the 1st May, 2011 the five star requirements can still be used and approved.

Access and mobility has been expanded significantly to include buildings which previously did not require it i.e. 2 storey office buildings, bed and breakfasts and small accommodation buildings now require both access to and within the building including facilities.  Fortunately the Regulations do have some concessions and they do not impact on single dwellings this time round.

All designers and builders should obtain the new adopted Australian Standard for access and mobility AS1428.1-2009.  The reason I strongly suggest purchasing this standard is that all your standard details will need changing and many additional details will need to be included.  This new standard has changed significantly from what the 2001 standard required for example:

–          Larger sanitary compartments.

–          Larger circulation spaces.

–          Larger doorways.

–          Increased distances to latched side of doorways.

–          Step ramp is now a maximum 1:10 grade.

–          Different handrail configurations subject to size and type of kerb to be adopted.

–          Lever handled furniture to be of D type or similar etc.

 

REMINDER

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, Applications/Login, Click here for Online application, login (or create login), document manager, create directory (street number and address), open the directory (folder) just created, browse for documents, upload.  Detailed information available in Document Manager User Guide also in the login section.

Have you tried our new electronic application process?  It is a simple and cost saving process and 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.

ALERT – DON’T GET CAUGHT OUT

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

If you are designing a project or a project is currently going through the planning system in the MPSC please obtain current property information from the Building Office in relation to flood prone and designated land or works i.e. Building Regulations 802 and 806.

Recently the MPSC has expanded the designated areas significantly and have also increased the flood levels which impact of course on your finished floor level and subsequent height of the building etc.

In most cases a Report and Consent from the council building office is required as the Town Planning process may not address this issue.

Do not think because you are on high ground you will be exempt, we recently issued a Building Permit for a project in Arthurs Seat with a finished floor level of 253mAHD.  I am not joking, this project still had to obtain a Report and Consent in addition to the Town Planning Permit all of which take time. 

GOOD NEWS         

Requesting a fee proposal can now be submitted though our website  www.kwabuildingpermits.com.au simply click on the tab “request a fee proposal” on left hand side, complete details, attach plans and submit.

Electronic applications can be submitted through login on our website, plans up to and including A0 size can be accepted.

Application form can now be signed with an electronic signature and then submit to KWA.