Prescribed Temporary Structures

The VBA is the relevant authority under Section 53 of the Building Act 1993 for the purpose of obtaining an occupancy permit for a prescribed temporary structure.

As part of this function, the VBA is empowered to undertake inspections of any place of public entertainment for which an occupancy permit has been issued by the VBA, under section 63 (2) of the Building Act 1993.

Lodging an application

  1. Fill in the VBA’s Prescribed Temporary Structure Application Form.
  2. Fill in the Payment Authorisation Form, including the correct fee.
  3. Ensure all steps have been completed and ticked off as per the Prescribed Temporary Structure Required Documents Checklist.
  4. Submit the application with the relevant fee and supporting documentation via the email address below.

Email

Technical and Regulation
Victorian Building Authority (VBA)
tempstructures@vba.vic.gov.au

Note: Applications must include the minimum supporting documentation as per the checklist above, and the appropriate fee. Incomplete applications will not be considered and will be returned to the applicant.

Prescribed temporary structures fees

New Applications

New Application – Single structure $350.00
New Application – Multiple structures $350.00 per structure

An example of multiple structure applications:

Differing types of structures on the one OP – circus tent, seating stand and foyer tent – 3 structures $1,050.00 total
Marquee with various spans – 10m, 15m & 20m span – 3 structures $1,050.00 total
Seating stand with attached structure (marquee) – 2 structures $700.00 total

Amendments

Amendment application – Single structure $150.00
Amendment application – Multiple structures/changes $150.00 per structure

Amendment apply to a change existing structure only, for example stage height increase, pegging in lieu of weighting or terrain category upgrade.

Amendments that include the addition of a new structure not previously listed on the OP will incur a “new application fee” of $350.00.

Renewal

Renewal Application – Single structure $90.00
Renewal Application – Multiple structures $90.00 per structure

Renewals received after the expiry date will be considered as a ‘new application’ and must follow that process including the appropriate fee. Multiple fee structure will apply to renewal applications as per new applications.

Additional structures or amendments to the original structure will incur the relevant fee for example:

Renewal of single 9m configuration stage $90.00
Amendment to increase height of stage $150.00
New stage – 14m double configuration $350.00
Total$590.00

Timeframes

  • Applications for (new) state-wide occupancy permits can take between 9 to 12 weeks to be issued; this time frame includes the time given for applicants to provide further information when requested and re-assessment of that information.
  • Applications for event specific occupancy permits must to be lodged a minimum of 9 weeks prior to the event commencement date, unless other timeframes have been arranged via pre-event planning meetings.
  • Applications for renewing or amending an application must be lodged a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the permit expiring or the structure being used.
  • Applications lodged less than 2 weeks prior to an event will not be guaranteed of obtaining an occupancy permit.
  • Applications that fail to comply with the specified timeframes will be refused.

The VBA actively enforces the requirement for having an occupancy permit for prescribed temporary structures and will take enforcement action if required.

Wall cladding

The VBA currently adopts the ABCB Temporary Structures 2015 Standard to determine compliance of prescribed temporary structures. The Standard was not written with hard wall claddings in mind and relates to fabric membrane structures only. In addition, the standard does not address multi storey structures. As this is the case, the Standard permits an alternative method to be formulated to the satisfaction of the appropriate authority which in this circumstance is the VBA.

An application for occupancy permit submitted to the VBA for a prescribed temporary structure must now include the following information in relation the fire hazard properties of the structure:

  • Fabric membrane material –
    1. Fire test reports in accordance with Part 4 of the ABCB Temporary Structures 2015 Standard, Table 4.1.2 Fire Hazard Properties; or
    2. An alternative method (performance solution) in lieu of Table 4.1.2 formulated by a registered fire safety engineer.
  • Wall cladding (single storey only) –
    1. Volume One of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) as an alternative method. Fire test report required in accordance with Clause 4 of Specification C1.10 for ‘Specific Areas’ in a Class 9b un-sprinklered building; or
    2. An alternative method (performance solution) in lieu of Clause 4 of Specification C1.10 formulated by a registered fire safety engineer.
  • Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) (single storey only) –
    1. ACP of A2 types only are to be used; or
    2. An alternative method (performance solution) formulated by a registered fire safety engineer, which may be referred by the VBA to the Building Appeals Board in support of an application for determination where deemed appropriate.
  • Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) (2 & 3 storey) –
    1. Ministerial Guideline 14 (MG-14) applies. Where a Prescribed Combustible Product is used (i.e. ACP with a certain amount of polyethylene within its core; or expanded polystyrene (EPS or EIFS)) the applicant is required to have an alternative method (performance solution) formulated by a registered fire safety engineer, which must be submitted in support of an application for determination to the Building Appeals Board.
  • Other materials (2 & 3 storey) –
    1. Where a structure has fabric type roof material, the fabric must comply with Table 4.1.2 of the ABCB Temporary Structures 2015 Standard; or
    2. An alternative method (performance solution) in lieu of Table 4.1.2 formulated by a registered fire safety engineer.
    3. Wall cladding must comply with clause C1.9 of Volume One (Amendment 1) of the Building Code of Australia 2016 (BCA) (deemed suitable where non-combustible required); or
    4. An alternative method (performance solution) formulated by a registered fire safety engineer in lieu of clause C1.9 of the Building Code of Australia 2016 (BCA) and a regulation 126 certificate for proposed building work issued in support of the alternative method.
  • All structures –
    1. Where an alternative method (performance solution) is proposed for fire hazard properties (other than using Clause 4 of Specification C1.10 of the BCA in lieu of Table 4.1.2 of the ABCB Standard), the applicant should engage a registered fire safety engineer to prepare a report and may also require a regulation 126 certificate where the VBA deems appropriate. The applicant may also be required to prepare an emergency management and evacuation plan (EMEP) as part of this process.

Alternative Methods

The VBA currently adopts the ABCB Temporary Structures 2015 Standard to determine compliance of prescribed temporary structures. The Standard allows a choice of compliance with the Normative Provisions of the Standard or formulating an Alternative Method (performance solution) to the satisfaction of the appropriate authority (i.e. the VBA).

The VBA has produced guidance material, including Temporary Structures – A Guide to Alternative Methods, which provides a high-level overview of the process, and Temporary Structures – Preparing an Alternative Method, which provides an in-depth description of preparing an alternative method.

An Application Form for the alternative method is required to be completed by the applicant or owner as applicable.

Certificates of Compliance (Regulation 126)

Regulation 126 of the Building Regulations 2018 prescribes for the purposes of a certificate given under Section 238 of the Building Act 1993 that the certificate must in the form approved by the Authority (VBA).

For the purpose of a certificate for proposed building work given under section 238(1)(a) of the Act, the prescribed practitioner under regulation 122 for the design of a prescribed temporary structure is a practitioner in the category of engineer, class of engineer (civil). A sample certificate for proposed building work has been prepared by the VBA for reference.

For the purpose of a certificate for building work given under section 238(1)(b) of the Act, the prescribed practitioners under regulation 123 relating to the erection of a prescribed temporary structure are practitioners in the category of building surveyor or building inspector, or category of engineer, class of engineer (civil), or category of person who erects or supervises the erection of prescribed temporary structures. A sample certificate for building work has been prepared by the VBA for reference.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is defined as a prescribed temporary structure?

Regulation 207 defines a prescribed temporary structure as being a prescribed class of building that does not form part of another building, other than a temporary structure or temporary building, as follows:

  • Tents, marquees or booths with a floor area greater than 100m²
  • Seating stands for more than 20 persons
  • Stages or platforms (including sky boarders and stage wings) exceeding 150m² in floor area
  • Prefabricated buildings exceeding 100m² other than ones placed directly on the ground surface.

Prescribed temporary structures must not be attached to, erected on or within another permanent building that is classifiable under the Building Code of Australia.

2. What does the VBA consider when assessing an application?

Regulation 212 of the Building Regulations 2018 requires a prescribed temporary structure to be designed in accordance with engineering principles to provide for structural safety and the safety of the public and other persons using the structure.

The VBA assess an application against the requirements contained within the ABCB Temporary Structure Standard which was introduced in August 2015 along with relevant referenced standards and sections contained within the National Construction Code (NCC).

3. What type of occupancy permits can be issued?

There are two main types of occupancy permits issued by the VBA. The first type is a State-Wide permit and the second is an Event Specific permit.

Section 57 of the Building Act 1993 allows the VBA to issue an occupancy permit for a period of no longer than five years. Currently, the VBA issue three-yearly statewide permits.

4. Does the occupancy permit contain conditions?

  • Maximum number of occupants
  • Location (Terrain Category and Region)
  • Maximum wind speed for occupation
  • Minimum hold down / weighting requirements
  • Fire safety equipment
  • Exits
  • Public toilet facilities

5. How high does the barrier need to be at the rear of a tiered seating stand?

It has come to the attention of the VBA that the interpretation of the legislation relating to the rear barrier of seating stands has not met the requirements of the National Construction Code. The issue relates to when the height of the seating stand at rear is more than 4m above the surface beneath. In the instance where the height of the seating stand is more than 4m there can be no horizontal climbable elements from 150mm above the rear seat base to 760mm up the required 1m height from the seat base barrier. This is due to the seat back being a horizontal element that can be climbed upon.

This means that the rear seat backs do not comply therefore, the rear barrier needs to be raised to a height that will satisfy this requirement under NCC Volume One Table D2.16a 3(c) and ABCB Temporary Structures Standard clause 5.1.5(e) or the rear of the stand needs to be enclosed. See below example.

Complaint and non-compliant rear barrier heights