What types of projects does the DBP Act apply to?

The DBP Act applies to class 2 buildings or buildings that contain a class 2 component. Under the Building Code of Australia (BCA), Class 2 is classified as a multi-unit residential building, or apartments where people live above or below each other, or may also be single-storey attached residentials with a common space below.

Examples of Class 2 buildings include:

  1. Single-storey attached dwellings where there is common space below.
  2. A dwelling with an attached granny flat
  3. Multi-residential apartment buildings

Examples of mixed-use buildings with a class 2 component include:

  1. An apartment building with a carpark
  2. An apartment building with shops on the ground or first floor (a.k.a shop top housing)
  3. An apartment building with offices occupying some floors

Why Class 2?

The reason NSW is targeting Class 2 is to improve the quality of the places we call home, and boost consumer confidence in consumers who are most vulnerable, considering housing blunders in recent builds. This is why the DBP Act is being rolled out onto Class 2 first. However, future plans will be for NSW to eventually roll out the same or similar requirements to all building classes. It is the first step towards huge reforms in the construction industry that will make NSW leaders Australia-wide for generations to come.

Are there exemptions?

Yes, exemptions apply. They are as per Clause 13 of the DBP Regulation 2021:

(a) work that is carried out as exempt development,

(b) work that is waterproofing, but only if—

(i) the work is carried out as a result of alterations to a bathroom, kitchen, laundry or toilet, and

(ii) the alterations are carried out as exempt development, and 

(iii) the work, including the agreement to carry out the work, relates only to a single dwelling,

(c) work that is carried out in compliance with an order given by a council for the purposes of the Local Government Act 1993, section 124,

(d) work that is carried out in compliance with a development control order under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Division 9.3,

(e) work that is exempted from a provision of the Building Code of Australia under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, clauses 164B, 187 or 188,

(f) work that is the repair, renovation or protective treatment of a fire safety system for the purposes of maintaining a component of the fire safety system, except a load-bearing component that is essential to the stability of a building,

(g) work that is the repair, renovation or protective treatment of a building, but only if —

(i) the work involves a mechanical, plumbing or electrical service, and

(ii) the work is carried out for the purposes of maintaining a component of a system in the building,

(h) work that is excluded from being residential building work in the Home Building Act 1989, Schedule 1, clause 2(3)(a), as if a reference to residential building work in that Act is a reference to building work,

(i) work that is carried out under a contract for which a party to the contract received a grant under the HomeBuilder Grant scheme for the work,

(j) electrical or plumbing work that is a performance solution for building work,