Building Approvals in Queensland

The Professional Certification Group provides one-stop private building approval and inspection services for builders and owners throughout Queensland. Whether you’re working on a residential building or commercial development, we will quickly and competently check your building plans so that you can complete your building project on schedule and with fewer issues.

In Queensland this includes issuing building approvals or building development permits, undertaking building certification, providing building consultancy advice and undertaking inspections.

As one of the top building certifiers and private certifiers in Australia, we offer industry-leading expertise and a range of professional services to every client.

Our services include:

  • Fast, reliable and accurate private building approvals
  • Professional building inspections with next day building inspections in most areas
  • Professional and accurate building advice
  • One-stop approvals for residential work
  • Obtaining ancillary approvals such as plumbing and drainage, build over sewer and stormwater, driveways and water connections
  • Expert advice about complying with local Council town planning schemes
  • Town planning advice

If you would like assistance in completing your application or information on your building project, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always glad to discuss your best options and provide professional advice to help bring your building development to life.

Building Work We Can Certify

Whether you’re building residential or commercial buildings, our private certifiers will help you get the building approvals you need to complete your project. We’ve certified projects of all types and sizes throughout Queensland and New South Wales, so you can be sure we’ll have the expertise and qualifications necessary to issue building approvals, building development permits and carry out inspections for your project.

We specialise in issuing building approval and certification for building work such as:

  • Residential – includes a new house or home, townhouse, duplex flat, apartment and other similar housing
  • Commercial projects – such as a new shopping or retail centre, shop, office, tenancy fitout, factory, warehouse, child care centre, motel, hotel, boarding house, café, restaurant, church, school and the like
  • Renovation – especially major alterations that significantly alter the structure and size of your existing house or premises
  • Demolition – proper certification and approvals for certain types of demolition work
  • Swimming pool – includes a spa and other swimming areas
  • Roofed patio – includes a gazebo, outdoor deck, pergola and other similar additions
  • Garage and shed – includes a carport, shed and other similar structure
  • Repairs and Maintenance – for any major repair and maintenance activities that considerably change the structure and size of your building
  • Energy Efficiency Assessment – We work closely with Accelerate to accurately assess your building’s energy efficiency and ensure compliance with Building Code of Australia energy efficiency provisions.

If you’re unsure of the building approval requirements for your project, simply contact our team to get more information. Building approvals and private certification are what we do best, and we’ll be able to give you the professional guidance you’re looking for no matter what type of building project you’re developing.

Professional Building Approval and Certification

At the Professional Certification Group, we’ll help you navigate the complex development laws and regulations in Queensland so your building project can be completed on time and according to budget. Each of our building certifiers is an expert on the Building Code of Australia and National Construction Code, as well as town planning rules ensuring you’ll get the professional guidance you need to complete your building development with fewer issues or hassles.

We will undertake the following tasks where applicable:

  • Assess the design of the structure to ensure that it complies with the Building Code of Australia and National Construction Code
  • Assess the design of the structure to ensure that it complies with the local Planning Scheme and any conditions of earlier town planning approvals
  • Prepare and issue a building development approval
  • Issue notification of the approval as well as payment of lodgement fees to the local Council
  • Conduct inspections as required throughout the course of construction
  • Collate all necessary certificates
  • Issue final inspection certificates and certificates of classification to allow occupation of the building
  • Conduct energy efficiency assessments in partnership with Accelerate Sustainability Assessments to ensure conformance to energy efficiency provisions

We also help you obtain other approvals that you may need for your project. For building approval in Queensland, we can organise the following approvals from Councils:

  • Town planning approvals
  • Siting relaxations
  • Build over sewer
  • Build over stormwater
  • Driveway cross over applications
  • Plumbing and drainage
  • Water connections

We can assist you obtain town planning approval, working closely with The Professional Planning Group to provide realistic quotes, accurate site assessments and expert advice on town planning projects.

Our Service Standard

As one of the largest and most respected private certifiers in Australia, we’re committed to providing the best service for building approvals, building development permits, building consultancy advice, and undertaking inspections.

We do this by ensuring our services are:

Professional

Whether you’re after expert advice or our full range of private certification, we’ll see to it you get the professional service you’re looking for. Each building certifier and private certifier on our team are highly qualified in their fields, with the experience, expertise and knowledge to move your project forward.

 

Accurate

With the Professional Certification Group, you can rest assured that your application will comply with all relevant legislation and building codes.

We’ll also manage your application according to industry best practices and the latest development guidelines.

 

Quick

We understand that building approvals and certification are merely one part of the building process. That’s why we’ll always do our best to deliver our service and provide results as soon as we can.

We continually streamline both internal and external processes to ensure you get what you’re after as early as possible. This leads to a quick and efficient certification process that gets you results sooner than you may have expected.

On time

Nothing derails a project faster than delayed applications and overdue processes that push back a project from its established schedule. At the Professional Certification Group, we’ll deliver our services on time according to our agreed timetable.

This way, you know exactly when to expect results and be able to plan or adjust your development schedule whenever required.

Reliable

At the Professional Certification Group, you can always trust us to deliver the service we promise.

From delivering results on time to making sure the information we give you reflects the latest guidelines from official governing bodies, we’ll do everything we can to take care of everything for you from our end. That way, you’ll have one less thing to worry about and be able to focus entirely on your building project.

Servicing Queensland 

We proudly operate throughout Queensland and parts of New South Wales, assisting clients with building approval, building consultancy advice, and undertaking inspections they need to complete their building developments. We also do ancillary approvals such as plumbing and drainage, build over sewer and stormwater, driveways and water connections.

For building approvals in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, South East Queensland and other regions and cities in the state, we have a Brisbane-based team ready to assist owners and builders. Owners and builders seeking building approvals in NSW, meanwhile, will be serviced by our team in Kingscliff, who serve practically all areas north of Sydney. Together, these two teams provide the professional services to advance any building project and drive it one step closer towards completion.

We’re also proud to provide next-day building inspections to South East Queensland and many other regions in Queensland provided it is booked before 3pm.

Get Professional Building Approvals Today

If you’re looking for quick and reliable building approvals for your property, you’ll find it here at the Professional Certification Group. We’re known for our fast and efficient certification process, giving you the building approvals you need to continue developing your property and bringing it one step closer towards completion.

Whether you’re building a new home, redeveloping your existing home, or working on a new commercial project, our team will see to it that your project complies with all relevant guidelines and requirements to obtain building certification. Contact us today to get started, or send your enquiry to enquiry@pcgroup.net.au for more information.

At the Professional Certification Group, we’ll always be as invested in the completion of your building project as you are. This commitment drives us to do everything we can to help you get the building approval and certification you need for your building development.

No matter what type of building development you may be working on, don’t hesitate to call our team on 07 3069 5755  if there’s anything in your building plan that you need help with or are unsure about. Our building certifiers and private certifiers in Queensland are all experts in their fields, and we’ll have the answers you need to move your project forward.

Making a Building Application

APPLICATION FORMS

To lodge a building application you must complete the approved government IDAS Forms 1 and 2

Alternatively, if you obtain a quote from us we will send you an Engagement and Fee Agreement Form, and will complete IDAS for you.

You must nominate the builder for the proposed work and the total value of the work including labour, materials and GST.

Should the value exceed $3,300 for residential work, the builder must pay insurance to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). A copy of the QBCC Confirmation of Insurance letter must be submitted before the application is approved.

Should the value of residential work undertaken by the owner exceed $11,000, a copy of the owner builder permit must be submitted with the application.

Should the value of work exceed $150,000 excluding GST, a copy of QLeave Notification and Payment Form must be provided to verify that a levy has been paid or an exemption given.

DRAWINGS

An electronic copy in PDF format is preferred.  Otherwise one copy of all drawings in either A4 or A3 format.  The plans should include:

  • Site plan, elevations & sections containing sufficient information to assess compliance with relevant codes and standards.
  • A framing plan showing all structural member sizes, tie down schedule, and bracing layout & calculations, or if using engineered frames and trusses, the engineering details and design certificates.
  • A soil report and structural engineer’s footing & slab design will be required for substantial building work, including proposed new dwellings and dwelling extensions. Please check that the engineer is recognised by us as competent and registered with the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland (RPEQ).

Please note that drawings should be drawn neatly and to scale.  Poor quality drawings will be rejected.  It is preferable that drawings are prepared by an Architect or licensed draftsperson.

PROPERTY INFORMATION SERVICES

The following property information may be purchased as part of the application process:

  • A current title search (less than 30 days old);
  • A registered plan showing the size and layout of the lot;
  • As-constructed sewer and/or stormwater drainage plans; and
  • Council property information details.

ADDITIONAL MATTERS

In many cases an additional application must be made to Council.  If this is the case, we can prepare and manage this application on your behalf at a small additional cost.

PLUMBING AND DRAINAGE

Should proposed building work involve the installation of plumbing & drainage fixtures such as a basin or toilet, separate approval will need to be obtained from Council.

BUILDING OVER SEWER OR STORMWATER

Building close to sewer or stormwater mains will require a separate application to be made to the Council.

SITING

Buildings that do not meet minimum setbacks applying to the property will require a relaxation application to be made to Council for approval.  In some cases town planning approval may be required.

TOWN PLANNING

Building work may trigger approval under the planning scheme.  If this is the case a separate town planning application will be required.  We can prepare and manage simple applications.  For more complex applications, The Professional Planning Group can handle your town planning application.

AMENITY AND AESTHETICS

Some work triggers a referral to Councils because it might be in extreme conflict with the amenity of a neighbourhood.  Examples include removal houses and shipping containers.

FLOODING

Councils specify minimum floor levels for land affected by flood or high tide levels, stormwater overland flow paths and the like.

BUSHFIRE

Properties designated by Councils as being located in a Bushfire Prone Area will require an inspection of the property to determine the level of construction required for the building work to comply with Australian Standard AS3959-2009 Construction of Buildings in Bushfire-Prone Areas.

ONLINE BUILDING INSPECTION BOOKING

 

 

FORM 16 CERTIFICATES

LINKS TO USEFUL WEBSITES

Professional Planning Group

Accelerate Sustainability Assessments

Australian Institute of Building Surveyors

Queensland Building and Construction Commission

Department of Housing and Public Works

Portable Long Service Leave

Housing Industry Association

Master Builders Australia

LINKS TO QUEENSLAND COUNCILS

Brisbane City Council

Gold Coast City Council

Ipswich City Council

Logan City Council

Moreton Bay Regional Council

Noosa Council

Redlands City Council

Sunshine Coast Council

Bundaberg Regional Council

Gladstone Regional Council

Lockyer Valley Regional Council

Mackay Regional Council

Scenic Rim

Somerset Regional Council

Southern Downs Regional Council

Tablelands Regional Council

Toowoomba Regional Council

TIE DOWN HINTS

Multi Nail Metal Connector Requirements

Single straight straps for tie-down and bracing walls

FACT SHEETS

Is Building Approval Required?

Approval of Existing Building Work

APPROVAL OF EXISTING WORK

Who is the Builder

If the original builder cannot be found, the owner can either:appoint a new builder to take responsibility for the work;

a.  appoint a new builder to take responsibility for the work;

b.  act as owner builder; or

c.  seek to have the work approved without a builder.

Option c is the most likely scenario.  In this situation the owner must pay the Q-Leave levy if the work is over $80,000 (or seek an exemption), and seek a ruling from the QBCC that as no insurance was paid by the builder, there will be no insurance cover for faulty work.

Application

The same material is required as if the application was for a new building.  This includes drawings and in the case of a dwelling or extension, this includes at a minimum a soil report and structural footing and slab design.

Ask the applicant for originals of any other Certificates from contractors they may have in relation to the work e.g. termite certificates.

Site Inspection

Once an application has been received, a site inspection may be carried out.

The inspector must have access to the roof cavity.

Where the works involve a dwelling or extension, the Certifier cannot inspect the structural components of the building such as the footings, slab and frame.  Specialist advice from an engineer recognised by us as competent and registered with the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland (RPEQ) will be required.

Information

Following the assessment, the Certifier will advise what further information is required.  This may include:

a.  specific certificates which may have been provided during the construction process;

b.  if the above certificates are not available, the Certifier may ask for the owner to engage expert advice to establish whether the building complies with the Building Act;

c.  structural engineers are able to inspect works using non-invasive technologies such as ground penetrating cameras, x-rays and concrete test hammers. More invasive inspections may require the removal of wall linings; and

d.  other evidence including photos and statutory declarations from sub-contractors might also be acceptable.

Approval

If insufficient or inadequate information is provided, the application will be refused.  We are then required to notify the local Council.

If the work is approved a decision notice will be issued.  The notice may impose conditions seeking for example:

a.  additional inspection to examine a footing at a sample location to confirm foundation material and footing depth or verify cavity bracing and tie downs; and

b.  additional certificates from competent persons.

The decision notice will also note:

a.  that work was carried out prior to the issue of a development permit;

b.  details of inspections carried out, and any limitation; and

c.  what reliance was placed on certification by other parties.

Application Checklist

Slab and ceiling heights

Adequate footing and slab construction

External wall waterproofing and flashing details

Termite provisions

Existing services (need for BOS)

Subfloor drainage, clearances and ventilation

Roof pitch to suit the sheet profile

Damp proof course and weep holes

Site drainage and stair thresholds

Going and riser heights and balustrade requirements

Boundary clearances (need for variation)

ARCHITECTURAL PLANS

A Site Plan

  • Drawings at 1:100, 1:200 or 1:500
  • Site Boundaries showing dimensions, easements and roads
  • Existing and proposed buildings and structures (including any retaining walls)
  • Setback of proposed buildings from boundaries and existing buildings
  • Location of any underground sewers or stormwater drains and any easements
  • For houses, show vehicle crossovers, access ways and parking areas, including slopes
  • For minor work, significant natural features including:
    • Trees to be removed or affected by proposed works
    • Natural drainage lines

For houses, a full site survey by a licensed surveyor

Floor Plans

  • Drawings at 1:100, 1:200 or 1:500
  • The building layout showing:
    • For residential uses, the room layout with all rooms clearly labelled
    • For extensions, the relationship between existing and proposed work
  • All critical dimensions including room sizes and overall building size
  • All construction materials and finishes:
    • All structural member sizes (unless shown on engineering plans);
    • Bracing plan and tie down schedule; and
    • Any special building systems (i.e. termite protection)
  • The area of the building:
    • Gross floor area of internal areas, measured from the outer wall
    • Areas of decks and covered areas, the latter measured from the outer line of columns

Elevations

  • Drawings at 1:100, 1:200 or 1:500
  • All building elevations and facades, clearly labelled to identify orientation (e.g. north elevation)
  • The number of storeys, floor levels and maximum heights above natural ground level
  • All building materials.

Sections and Construction Details

  • For minor engineered work, a section is not generally required;
  • For new houses show:
    • One section through the building annotating construction materials and finishes.

BUILDING A NEW HOUSE WHERE AN EXISTING HOUSE EXISTS ON THE SITE

Planning Schemes

  • Each local government has its own requirements and interpretations about what constitutes a single house.
  • If a second house is to be built on a site and used or rented by a separate household, then the use will most likely be defined as a secondary dwelling, associated unit, dual occupancy or multi-unit dwelling, and town planning approval may be required (for definitions, please refer to the relevant planning scheme).
  • Some local governments accept that two separate house can be used by a single household, and therefore defined as a single house under the planning scheme.

Building Code of Australia

  • The Building Code of Australia defines a House as a Class 1 building. A Class 1 building must be provided with:

a.  a kitchen sink and facilities for preparation and cooking of food;

b.  a bath or shower;

c.  clothes washing facilities comprising at least one washtub and space for a washing machine, and

d.  closet plan and wash basin.

  • Therefore, if an application is received for two Class 1 buildings on a lot, then it will need to comply with any planning scheme provisions relating to a secondary dwelling, associated unit, dual occupancy or multi-unit dwelling and the like.
  • However if there is only one Class 1 building, then it is possible the planning scheme will define the development as a single house.

What We Look For

A Statutory Declaration from the owner to the effect that the premises is to be used as a single house by a single household.  Some information about the details of the arrangements would be beneficial e.g. the existing dwelling is to be used by teenage children.

Plans demonstrating that there are not two separate houses on the site i.e. one of the buildings would not contain the full range of services in a House as defined under the Building Code of Australia.

The plans should demonstrate that the premises is used as a single house.  Examples include:

a.  The buildings are joined internally i.e. share an entrance;

b.  A common driveway and parking areas;

c   The buildings are tied externally to give the appearance of a single building;

d.  In rural areas, the buildings are in close proximity; and

e  Single

ENCLOSING AN EXISTING GARAGE

Enclosing an existing garage into a habitable room requires a building application and areas below need to be addressed with the application

Areas to Consider

  • Finished height of the slab on ground – the height of the slab on ground above external finished surfaces must not be less than:
    • 50 mm above impermeable (paved or concreted areas) that slope away from the building for 50 mm over the first 1 m
    • 150 mm in any other area
  • External walls (including openings around windows and doors) must prevent the penetration of water into the building
  • The concrete slab must comply with AS 2870 and have a vapour barrier installed under the slab. (When class 1 buildings and class 10 buildings have a continuous slab, they will comply with this requirement, depending on the age of the building.
  • The building must be sited as required for a class 1a or a concurrence application will be required from the council
  • Ceiling height must be a minimum of 2.4 m for a habitable room
  • Provide onsite car parking to comply with the relevant Local Authority Planning Scheme
  • 5% if the floor area is to be provided for ventilations (windows / doors)
  • An energy efficiency assessment will be required to comply where appropriate with the Building Code of Australia
  • A habitable room requires that 10% of the floor area of the rooms to be provided with natural light.