Building approval is required for most developments to ensure the building complies with building laws, including the Building Code of Australia. Building approval is usually obtained after a development approval is obtained (if necessary). However, there are some exemptions to development approval and/ or building approval. Building approval must be granted before construction begins.
To get a building approval:
- appoint an ACT licensed building surveyor as your certifier;
- apply for building approval and pay the relevant fees (your certifier will inform you); and
- apply to appoint your builder with the Certifier or become licensed as an owner-builder (there are¬†eligibility restrictions on owner-builder licences).
Before work begins, the person licensed to build needs to apply to your certifier for a commencement notice¬†and you or your appointed agent need to sign this application. The building work can start once your certifier has¬†issued the commencement notice, provided work has not been prohibited by law.
Most builders will subcontract electricians, plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers and other trades during¬†construction. The builder is required to ensure that any persons engaged are appropriately skilled and, if¬†required, are licensed.
Approval for plumbing work may also be required. For some plumbing work, you will need to employ a licensed¬†plumbing plan certifier to approve the plumbing plan.
A number of notifications and inspections may need to be made during construction. This helps to ensure the¬†work is carried out to the required standards and legislative requirements. These records along with others must¬†be presented to Access Canberra before you can apply to be issued with a certificate that allows you to have¬†legal occupancy or use of the building.