Building certification is the process of engaging accredited certifiers to independently check and approve building works to ensure they comply with the safety, health, amenity and sustainability standards specified in legislation and building codes. The main role of certifiers is to determine applications for Construction Certificates and Complying Development Certificates. Accredited certifiers may also be appointed as the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) for the development. The Principal Certifying Authority issues the Occupation Certificate at the completion of the development. The Principal Certifying Authority carries out critical stage inspections during construction to ensure the building work is in accordance with the development consent and legislative requirements. At the completion of construction, the property owner must apply to the Principal Certifying Authority for an Occupation Certificate. The Principal Certifying Authority will conduct a final inspection and issue this certificate if they are satisfied that the building is suitable for occupation or use. A building must not be occupied or used without an Occupation Certificate.
A Development Application (DA) is a formal application for development that requires assessment and development consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. It is usually submitted to your local council and consists of standard application forms, supporting technical reports and plans. The NSW government and local Councils have comprehensive and complex requirements for the lodgement of Development Applications. Buildcert Planning can assist you to prepare and submit all of the necessary information required by council and to avoid costly time delays which can obstruct your development project. Prior to lodging a development application (DA) with Council, you need to review planning policies that apply to your land, in order to prepare your plans and supporting documentation. To see what local environmental planning constraints, applicable planning policies and permissible uses apply to your land or property, you can use the New South Wales Government Planning Portal. If consent is granted for your development, a schedule of conditions will be issued with the notice of determination. The development consent is structured to assist in the project management of the development and these conditions must be complied with. The conditions should be read in conjunction with the stamped approved plans.
Development planning is the process of researching the development application requirements for a development proposal. If you are planning to construct something on your property – from fences, carports, sheds to a new residential, industrial or commercial building – you need to know whether you are required to obtain an approval and what development controls apply. Development planning should identify the relevant requirements from Council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP).
An application for an Owner Builder Permit may only be submitted to the Office of Fair Trading once the Complying Development Certificate has been issued. You are required to provide the Certifier with a copy of the Owner Builder Permit at least 2 days prior to commencing works. For further information relating to Owner Builder Permits, visit – http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/Tenants_and_home_owners/Home_building_and_renovating/Becoming_an_owner_builder.page
Please click on the diagram below. If you intend to do any building work including new builds, renovations, demolition, developing or change of use, please contact a Buildcert office and our experienced team will guide you through each stage of the building approval process. If you have any questions about the Building Approval process, call us on 1300 457 400.
Long Service Levy is a NSW Government fee, payable for building and construction projects costing $25,000 and above (inclusive of GST) and is payable online at https://online.longservice.nsw.gov.au/bci/levy . The levy is paid into a fund administered by the Long Service Corporation, and from this fund, the Corporation makes long service payments to building and construction workers. For owner builders you may be entitled to a refund up to 50% after the levy is paid in full. Download the LSL Exemption application form.
Yes, you can replace your existing PCA by completing an application form ‘Notice to appoint a replacement principal certifying authority (PCA)’, this form must be signed by your current PCA. Alternatively, should your current PCA be unavailable or unwilling to sign you may apply through the Building Professionals Board by completing an ‘Application to replace a principal certifying authority (PCA)’.
Without a PCA you will be deemed to be carrying out unauthorised building work and council can stop work on the building. If work is stopped you will need to apply to council for a Building Certificate to authorise the completed building work. You may also be required to modify your development consent and Construction Certificate. You may also be liable to a large fine under the EP&A Act.
The main roles of the PCA are to: Ensure compliance with the development consent and the construction certificate or the complying development certificate; Ensure compliance with all development conditions; Ensure compliance with the Building Code of Australia; Carry out all the required inspections associated with the building works; Issue the occupation certificate when all works are completed.
Our experienced Accredited Certifiers may be the appointed Principal Certifying Authority (PCA). Our appointed PCA will work efficiently with the builder/developer and will undertake mandatory critical stage inspections at different stages during construction to ensure that the proposed building works comply with the building regulations and are generally consistent with the approved plans. At the completion of the project, the PCA will confirm the building is to fit to occupy and will be responsible to issue the Occupation Certificate.