What is the DBP? The Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (DBP Act) regulates design and building work in NSW by imposing certain obligations on Design, Building and Engineering Practitioners. The DBP Act covers class 2 buildings and buildings that include a class 2 part. In conjunction with the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 (RAB Act), it imposes obligations on construction industry professionals to design and build in accordance with the Building Code of Australia to prevent defects in building work and provides enforcement powers to the Secretary of the Department of Customer Service to maintain effective oversight of building work in NSW. Why the changes? From 1 July 2021, the new scheme will introduce changes to restore consumer confidence.  These changes are to make sure that apartments being built are trustworthy, safe and secure, that the industry is more customer-focused, and that better data is captured throughout the building lifecycle.  What are the key changes?

  • Certain building work on class 2 buildings will now require a design to be prepared by a registered, competent Design Practitioner before that building work can commence.
  • Design and building work must be signed off by registered, competent Design and Building Practitioners.
  • Designs for building elements and performance solutions and declarations that the designs and building work meet the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and other prescribed standards must be lodged on the NSW Planning Portal.
  • If you are doing professional engineering work on a class 2 building in one of the prescribed areas of engineering, you must be registered or supervised by someone who is.

What is the step-by-step process?

  1. Prepare regulated designs.
  2. Make design compliance declaration.
  3. Lodge designs and declarations on NSW Planning Portal.
  4. Commence building work as per regulated designs.
  5. Declare and lodge any variations to declared regulated designs—within one day of any building works commencing.
  6. Lodge expected completion notice—6-12 months before completion.
  7. Make building compliance declaration.
  8. Lodge documents and declarations on NSW Planning Portal.
  9. Lodge Strata Bond (if applicable).
  10. Apply for Occupation Certificate.
  11. Lodge any varied documents, designs or declarations—within 90 days of Occupation Certificate being issued.

How many times does lodgment occur? Lodgment of documents to Fair Trading happens at four different stages:

  1. Before building work starts.
  2. After building work starts for variations. The registered Building Practitioner or an ‘appropriate practitioner’ lodges each varied design and declaration within one dayof the variation. Work may need to stop so that the varied design can be prepared and declared in time to meet this timeframe.
  3. Before applying for an occupation certificate.
  4. After the occupation certificate has been issued.

Credit: All content has been taken from the NSW Fair Trading Course: Navigating the Design and Building Practitioners (DBP) Legislation 2021