Building Regulations

The Building Interim Regulations 2017 came into operation on 4 June 2017, replacing the Building Regulations 2006 in substantially the same form. Minor amendments have been made to update references to legislation, planning schemes, government departments, the National Construction Code, and Australian Standards, and to reflect current drafting practice.

The Government has commenced a program of reforms to the building system, including amendments to the Building Act 1993, to put in place a strengthened regulatory framework to improve enforcement and domestic building consumer protection. The interim regulations will enable the replacement regulations to be aligned with the implementation of legislative reform.

The Government is now reviewing public submissions on the proposed Building Regulations 2017 (the proposed Regulations).

The Building Interim Regulations 2017 (The Regulations) are derived from the Act and contain, among other things, the requirements relating to:

  • building permits
  • building inspections
  • occupancy permits
  • enforcement of the Regulations
  • maintenance of buildings.

The Regulations adopt the Building Code of Australia as a technical reference that must be complied with.

New regulations or amendments to current regulations can be made according to the requirements of the Subordinate Legislation Act 1994. That Act sets out requirements for the preparation, making and publication of new or amending regulations and requirements for a regulatory impact statement.

The Building Act 1993

The Building Act 1993 (the Act) governs building activity in Victoria. It sets out the legislative framework for the regulation of building construction, building standards and the maintenance of specific building safety features.

The objectives of the Act are to:

  • protect the safety and health of people who use buildings and places of public entertainment; and
  • enhance the amenity of buildings.

Submissions to propose an amendment to the Building Regulations 2006 have now closed.

Plumbing Regulations

The Plumbing Regulations 2008 (the Regulations) are derived from the Act and contain among other things:

  • defining scopes for the various classes of plumbing work
  • qualification and experience eligibility requirements for registration and licensing
  • the fees payable for registration and licensing applications; and
  • the technical requirements that work performed in specified classes of plumbing must comply with.

National Construction Code (NCC)

The NCC incorporates all on-site construction requirements into a single code. The NCC comprises the Building Code of Australia (BCA), Volume One and Two; and the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA), as Volume Three.

  • Volume One: pertains primarily to Class 2 to 9 buildings.
  • Volume Two: pertains primarily to Class 1 and 10 buildings.
  • Volume Three: pertains primarily to plumbing and drainage associated with all classes of buildings.

To download the NCC, visit the Australian Building Codes board website.

Building Code of Australia and Plumbing Code of Australia Amendments

Please visit the VBA Seminar Series pages to find information on amendments to the Building Code of Australia relevant to building, and amendments to the Plumbing Code of Australia relevant to plumbing practitioners.

Building Code of Australia

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) is produced and maintained by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), which is an initiative of the Council of Australia Governments.

The BCA provides a uniform set of technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings and other structures.

The BCA is performance-based and allows for state variations to provide additional requirements or cater for specific community expectations. This means it defines the way of achieving a specified outcome without prescribing a particular method.

Copies of the BCA (Volumes One and Two of the National Construction Code) are available free of charge from the Australian Building Codes Board website.

Plumbing Code of Australia

The Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA), forming Volume 3 of the NCC, is administered and maintained by the Australian Building Code Board (ABCB). The ABCB is a joint initiative of Federal, state and local governments and reports to state, territory and Commonwealth building ministers. In Victoria, this is the Minister for Planning.

The PCA contains the technical provisions for the design, construction, installation, deemed to satisfy method for a particular plumbing installation, or where a plumbing practitioner wants to use an innovative approach to an installation. A Performance Solution may be used for any installation, and must be developed prior to the work being carried out.

How to develop a performance solution

Plumbing practitioners intending to use a performance solution for their plumbing installation need to be aware of the process and requirements for this method.

For a high level summary of how to develop a performance solution, view this video.

The VBA has also developed an industry guide for Victorian practitioners outlining the expected process, documentation and requirements to be followed.

In addition to the VBA's industry guide, the Australian Building Codes Board also has further information on performance solutions available at http://www.abcb.gov.au/NCC/How-it-works.

Plumbing Regulations Sunset Review

The Plumbing Regulations 2008 (the Regulations) will expire in November 2018. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is in the process of reviewing the current regulations and will develop options for new regulations to replace them. This work will be undertaken with support from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). The VBA will also assist with targeted engagement with stakeholders as well as providing technical input as the regulator.

New regulations will be made following the preparation of and public consultation on a Regulatory Impact Statement and draft regulations.

The Plumbing Regulations Sunset Review will focus on matters that can be addressed via the regulations. The scope of matters that may be prescribed in regulations is outlined in sections 221ZZZV and 262 of the Building Act 1993.

Invitation to Comment

Stakeholders and the community are invited to make submissions on the operation and effectiveness of the current Regulations. Feedback will inform the Plumbing Regulations Sunset Review project and the creation of new regulations.

For further information on this project, please email plumbing.review@delwp.vic.gov.au.