In Australia, you need a Construction Certificate (CC) before your home’s construction. This certificate is the ‘go signal’ to start building. Without it, no building work will happen.
It is essential for all homeowners, whether building or renovating, to understand the main purpose of obtaining a CC. For one, it signifies that the work you intend to carry out complies with the Building Code of Australia (BCA). This document also ensures that:
- The design and construction work in the plans and specification is consistent to the one submitted to get development consent
- Any requirement to get the development approval is complied and met before you get the construction certificate
- Security is required as a condition of the consent provided
- All monetary contributions needed as a condition of the consent is paid
- Structural strength and fire protection measures are met in case there’s a change of building use or if there’s an alteration to an existing structure.
- The application is referred to the New South Wales fire brigade and any matter they raised must be taken into consideration.
When do you need a construction certificate
You need a construction certificate when you want to carry out any building work. A building work refers to any physical activity involved in the construction of a building. The building can be a residential, commercial, educational structure etc. The building can mean a portion of a building or the entire building. You need a CC when you plan to build one, renovate one, or alter/modify a part of it.
A moveable dwelling, manufactured house, or any structure that is part of the manufactured home does not fall within the definition of a building. There are more exceptions and you can learn more about them in the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP).
How to apply for a construction certificate
Most people are confused about the process. They don’t know what to apply first: DA or CC.
You can also apply for the DA and CC at the same time. However, most people find it more convenient to apply one at a time. It’s best to apply for the DA first before applying for the CC because the CC will not be issued without the DA.
To make sure you’re on the right track, speak only with an accredited certifier of the local council. They are the people who will guide you towards the right process. Only a consent authority or accredited private certifier can issue a construction certificate.
Is it possible to alter a CC?
Yes, but you need to undergo the same process for the authorities to assess.
In addition, you need to appoint and notify a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) who will oversee the building works. They re the ones who notify the local council before the construction starts.
Once the building work commences, your appointed PCA will carry-out all the required inspections, and issue the compliance and occupation certificates. Then, they will forward these documents to the council for registration.
Get the application form from your local council
Most people start applying for the CC via the local council. Don’t be shocked when the council gives the same form as the development application. It’s the process.