Class 2 building industry reforms

Changes are coming to the residential building industry.

What are the changes?

From 1 July 2021, we are introducing changes to the residential building industry to restore consumer confidence and make sure that apartments being built are trustworthy.

We are starting with class 2 buildings. These are typically multi-unit, multi-storey residential buildings where people live above and below each other.

We see class 2 as the highest priority right now, but the NSW Government will expand the reforms to other classes of construction in the future. Stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide feedback on any future reforms.

Among the changes are two new registration schemes for class 2-related work: one for Professional Engineers and one for designers and builders.

Certain designs will need to be declared for compliance with the Building Code of Australia and other relevant standards before building work can start, and declared designs will need to be lodged on the NSW Planning Portal. Builders must then construct according to those designs.

We’re making these changes to ensure that buildings are safe and secure, that the industry is more customer-focused, and that better data is captured throughout the building life cycle.

Practitioners will be required to rectify design issues before construction begins – saving everyone involved time and money, and avoiding disappointment and stress for customers.

These changes form part of the NSW Government’s response to the Shergold Weir Building Confidence Report that committed to strengthening compliance in the building sector.

The changes start from 1 July 2021 when the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 and supporting Regulation commence.

If you'd like more information about how the changes will affect Professional Engineers and Design and Building Practitioners, see:

Compliance Declaration Scheme for organisations

A design firm that is a body corporate can register as a Design Practitioner or Principal Design Practitioner under the Compliance Declaration Scheme.

If the firm itself is registered, it must also have an employee who is a registered Design Practitioner in the appropriate classes, or a Principal Design Practitioner, to make the compliance declarations on behalf of the firm.

Developers, building businesses and body corporates can register as a Building Practitioner. Organisations that register as a Building Practitioner need a nominated individual to make building compliance declarations.

Body corporates cannot register in the Professional Engineers scheme.

More information

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