Building work that is assessable development must have a building approval issued by a building certifier.
Building Certifiers can be either Council Building Certifiers (certifiers employed by Council) or Private Building Certifiers(certifiers who provide a private certification service completely independent of Council).
In addition to the building approval other approvals such as a siting variation or amenity & aesthetics referral agency approval may be required. These approvals are issued by Council regardless of whether you engage a Council building certifier or a private building certifier.
Ask your building company if they are using a Council building certifier or a private building certifier. If a private building certifier has been engaged to certify your building works and you have been advised a referral agency application has been submitted to Council ASK for a copy of the Council receipt as this will detail the lodgement date of the application.
Council is unable to assist you with the progress of your privately certified building application, however provided you are the intended owner of the building you can contact Council, with the details of your referral agency application receipt, and Council will advise you of the applications progress.
What is a 'private certifier' and what is their role?
A private building certifier is licensed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), to issue Building Approvals, however they do not work for the government or for a Council.
They are Private Building Surveyors with the regulatory authority to issue Building Approvals. Their role once engaged, is to ensure each building they have approved is built to the minimum standards specified in the relevant codes and complies with the approval itself.
Can I do the work myself or do I need a builder?
Building works can be carried out by a registered builder or an Owner Builder. Where the value of work is $11,000 or more, Owner Builders will be required to provide proof of the Owner Builders Number for proposed work when you lodge an application.
For more information about undertaking Owner Builder work please refer to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) website Owner Building page.
What are needed to complete when lodge a building application?
Application forms relating to building works are available from the Queensland's Planning System website under Resources.
DA Form 2 - Building work details MUST be used to make a development application involving building work.
DA Form 2 - Referral checklist for building work MUST also be completed where an aspect of the building work requires referral (including Council for matters relating to design and siting, amenity and aesthetics or removal, demolition or reinstatement of a building).
Do my plans need to be certified by an engineer?
Footings, structural steel, reinforced concrete sections of the proposed building work and any works outside of the capacity of AS1684 all need to be designed and certified by a Queensland Registered Engineer.
Can I get an engineer to do the inspections?
The Building Certifier must carry out all mandatory inspections. This is stipulated on your decision notice. When a person other than the Building Certifier is to inspect the staged inspection, they must be considered a competent person by the Building Certifier.
What are the minimum boundary setbacks for residential properties?
Can I build over/near infrastructure (stormwater, sewers, water mains)?
Building work over or near relevant infrastructure must be assessed against Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part 1.4 (MP 1.4) 'Building over or near relevant infrastructure'.
MP 1.4 applies to all building work for a building or structure to be carried out on a lot that contains, or is adjacent to a lot that contains relevant infrastructure (sewer, water main, storm water drain or combined sanitary drains).
The Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 prescribes relevant service providers as a concurrence agency for the purpose of referrals for MP 1.4 when the proposed work does not comply with the acceptable solutions of the code or is for an applicable class 2-9 building.
Home warranty insurance is insurance paid to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission by the builder when undertaking residential construction work exceeding a value of $3,300 (including GST).
The "Confirmation of Insurance" document needs to be forwarded to your building certifier to allow the Building Approval to be issued. The insurance is paid on all residential work including unit developments up to a certain number of storeys.
What is QLeave?
The Building and Construction Industry Portable Long Service Leave Levy, Building and Construction Industry Training Fund Training Levy and Workplace Health and Safety Fee are payable on the total cost of all building and construction work in Queensland costing $150,000 or more.
The levies and fees are usually paid by the project owner and must be paid prior to receiving a development permit (Building Approval). If a development permit is not given, they must be paid prior to the start of work.
The combined levies and fee are calculated at 0.425% of the total cost of work and can be paid at any Australia Post office or agency, or directly to QLeave.
Do garden sheds require approval and where can it be erected?
In accordance with the Queensland Building Act 1975, a building approval is required for the construction of a carport, shed or garage where any of the following apply:
A plan area of more than 10m²; or
an overall height of more than 2.4m; or
a mean height of more than 2.1m; or
any side longer than 5m; or
not freestanding (attached to another building or structure).
Mean height is the total elevational area of the building divided by the horizontal length of the building facing the boundary.
Note: If approval is not required for the shed, the following should be considered:
The shed should be securely fixed to a concrete slab or footing system; and
It should be placed at least 1.5m clear of Infrastructure on the site; and
The roof water must be taken to a lawful point of discharge and should not cause a nuisance to the neighbouring sites; and the area around the shed and fences and/or retaining walls in close proximity should be maintenance free.