Building approval, also called 'certification' is required for development that involves carrying out building work under the Planning Act 2016 (PA), as well as under specific building legislation.
Building approvals require assessment against the Building Code of Australia (forming Volumes 1 and 2 of the National Construction Code) and Queensland’s Building and Plumbing Regulations. These codes and regulations are mainly concerned with issues such as:
- whether the building is soundly designed and constructed and will be safe
- that the building has an appropriate degree of fire safety
- whether the building is adequately protected from pests
- whether the building is adequately sewered and drained
- that the building meets the minimum energy and water efficiency standards.
While building approvals are usually only issued once for a specific structure or building, building legislation may require various technical inspections at different stages of the building process, including completion.
Building approvals are issued by accredited private building certifiers. However, Council can also provide building certification services upon request. It is in the customer’s best interest to obtain quotes from multiple certifiers before choosing a building certifier.
Building certifiers are responsible for lodging building approvals and certification information with Council.
There are some development functions that a building certifier cannot handle. You must arrange these approvals through Council. Examples include:
- any town planning matters that are not accepted development, subject to requirements under Brisbane City Plan 2014
- houses more than 9.5 metres in height from the natural ground level in the majority of residential zones
- redevelopment or removal of heritage and character buildings.
The following activities will require a Council decision:
- building work on sites with vegetation protected by the Natural Assets Local Law 2003
- building work that impacts on stormwater infrastructure or sewer infrastructure may require a Request to build over infrastructure - CC10829 (PDF - 87.5kb) to be lodged and approved by Council or Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU). Minor building work may be assessed by a building certifier or a Registered Professional Engineers of Queensland (RPEQ) engineer
- stormwater needs to be connected to a legal point of discharge from your property. You can download the following factsheets to help you connect properly:
- depositing material on footpaths requires an application/notice to work on Council property form
- vehicle crossings and driveway gradients require an application/notice to work on Council property form
- erecting signs
- soil and erosion control for site works
- relaxation of boundary clearances, known as a siting variation.