Building certifiers (also known as a private certifier or a building surveyor) play a crucial role in the construction and development process. The certifier’s primary responsibility is to ensure that buildings meet specific legal and safety requirements. Here are some key tasks performed by building certifiers:
Issue Construction Certificates
A construction certificate is required to be issued by the building certifier before building works can start. The construction certificate verifies that the construction plans are consistent with the Development Consent and comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA)/National Construction Code (NCC). A construction certificate can only be issued after your local council has issued the development consent.
Issue Complying Development Certificates
A building certifier can issue complying development certificates (CDC), which is a streamlined and fast form of development approval for certain types of minor or straightforward building projects, such as new homes, home renovations, and swimming pools.
Complete site inspections
A building certifier carries out mandatory inspections during construction and issues a record of inspection confirming if the inspected building works were satisfactory or whether additional work is required to ensure compliance with the approved plans, development consent or complying development legislation, and relevant building codes and standards.
The following inspections are typically necessary:
- Building site inspection before issuing the Complying Development Certificate or Construction Certificate.
- Footings inspection after excavation and before concrete placement.
- Inspection of steel reinforcement in slabs prior to concrete placement.
- Inspection of timber and/or steel framework before insulation/internal linings are installed.
- Waterproofing inspection in wet areas, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms, prior to tiling.
- Stormwater connection inspection before backfilling.
- Final inspection, at completion of the construction
Issue Occupation Certificates
Upon the completion of the construction, the property owner is required to make an application to the Principal Certifier in order to obtain an Occupation Certificate. This certificate signifies the final step in the certification process and grants legal authorization for the building’s occupancy. The Principal Certifier will issue the certificate once they are satisfied that the development adheres to the relevant standards.
When issuing the Occupation Certificate, the Principal Certifier will undertake the following tasks:
- Conduct a thorough inspection to verify that the building’s construction is consistent with the approved building plans, development consent or complying development legislation.
- Ensure that the building meets the criteria specified for its building classification, as outlined in the Building Code of Australia.
- Request and evaluate any necessary compliance documentation to demonstrate the building’s adherence. Such documentation may include surveys, engineering certificates, waterproofing certificates, and glazing certificates.