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Everything you need to know about a Construction Certificate - 1 Nov, 2021

In our articles, we’ve touched on two extremely important and necessary elements for your development – the Complying Development Certificate and Development Approval. However, we haven’t explored another integral piece of documentation needed to begin construction, the Construction Certificate (CC). In this article, we’ll expand on everything you need to know about the CC, including why it’s key for materialising your plans and how you can acquire them.

First, what’s a Construction Certificate?

If you haven’t figured it out yet, a CC is needed to begin construction on your development. The certificate confirms that the construction plans and development specifications for your building design are consistent with the development consent outlined by the private certifier or council authority. It also confirms that the plans and specifications comply with the Building Code of Australia and any other specific council requirements (e.g. height restriction for your council area).

The CC also ensures that:

  • the conditions of the development consent that have to be complied with are met;

  • security listed as a condition of consent is provided;

  • monetary contributions that are needed as a condition of consent, have all been paid

  • structural strength and fire safety matters are met (this occurs with alterations to an existing structure);

  • the application has also been referred to the New South Wales Fire Brigade and that all issues raised have been taken into consideration or rectified

Is a CC mandatory?

Yes! If you plan on carrying out any type of building or construction work, a CC is necessary, Please note that development consent does not take the place of a CC. You cannot begin construction with solely development consent, you must acquire a CC.

The term “building work” is quite vague and does not give specific insight into when a CC is needed. According to NSW Fair Trading, residential building work refers to any work involved in constructing a dwelling, or altering or adding to a dwelling. It also includes repairing, renovating, applying a protective treatment to a dwelling. Therefore, if your scope of work falls into the above, then you must acquire a CC before you begin your project.

This is not to say that there are no exemptions to the rule. Like exempted developments do not need consent, some projects/works do not require a CC. This information can be found in the SEPP- State Environmental Planning Policy. There are many exemptions listed in this policy, however, if you are uncertain whether or not your project requires a CC, speak with a private certifier or your local council. For building works, feel free to get in touch with the ES Design team.

When do you have to apply for a Construction Certificate?

The timeline for applying for a CC is quite simple, however, you should bear in mind that you cannot apply for a CC before you have development consent. You can do either one of the following two options:

  • Apply for your CC after you have received development consent

  • Apply for your CC while you wait for your CDC or DA

    • With this option, your CC will only be issued after your project has received development consent. With regards to time, it does not make your CC progress any faster.

How do you apply for a CC?

Now that we have established a timeline for when you should apply for your CC, let’s take a look at how you should apply for it.

For a CC, you must apply to either your local council or an accredited certifier working in the private sector.

To apply for a CC, you will need to:

  • hold an approved development consent issued by your local council (or have it be in progress)

  • have met all the requirements and conditions that your local council placed upon your development consent

  • provide details of the work that you’d like to carry out for your projects. This may include technical specifications (e.g. contract requirements, descriptions of the quality required for certain works, product details, references to Australian Standards) and construction plans for the development (e.g. the method of construction, the structural system, the wall, floor and roof materials, the internal finishes for kitchens, bathrooms and other built-in joinery). Note: these documents may differ depending on the types of work that you want to carry out.

Once you have applied, it should take between 5 and 7 working days for your CC to be issued.

A CC is integral to beginning building works on your project. To acquire a CC, development consent is needed. If you’re familiar with regulations around the building, then you should know that getting development consent can be tricky and overwhelming. This is where the ES Design team can help. We will organise and submit applications for DA or a CDC, ensuring you have the best chance at success.

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