Tell us what You want blogged on the Building Regulations!

We are constantly adding new ideas and thoughts to our growing list of blog drafts from our work at BDC or Architect’s queries.

But we are always looking for more. Send us all your Building Regulation, Building Code, Building Permit, BCA, Energy Efficiency, Alternative Solutions queries and issues that you have come across.

We will add them to the rapidly growing list. Stay tuned.

Add your comments below.

17 Responses to “Tell us what You want blogged on the Building Regulations!”

  1. Diana Choquette says:

    I live in Mosman NSW (not the outer suburbs) and my neighbour does not have gutters on the roof of their house. They do not have drainage pits around their house and there is considerable erosion from their premises and they are near three boundaries.
    Can a city dwelling not have gutters or drainage?

  2. admin says:

    Hi Diana,
    There is no requirement to have gutters on a house. Gutters are just a means to discharge “storm” water from the point of collection (on your roof, paving etc) to the “legal point of discharge” (e.g. kerb and channel in the street, underground street drain, creek etc) as approved by the drainage authority e.g. Local Government or Water Authority. The obligation on a building owner is to discharge the collected water from their property to one of these “approved” locations.
    For existing buildings uncontrolled overland drainage onto adjoining properties will be managed through “public nuisance” or possibly even through local by laws.

  3. Roy Harrison says:

    I have been trying to get some definitive guidance on the appropriate regulations governing the design requirements of public access stairs in the landscape – such as boardwalks, beach access etc.

    I have not been able to confirm whether the BCA or The Platforms and Landing Standard controls.

    Could you please clarify?

  4. Brendan says:

    i looking for the classification of buildings for fire safety purposes. These buildings are water infrustructure assets single rooms with off takes and an electrical board with some larger pump stations also larger single rooms.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  5. Hi Brendan, It’s likely that as non-habitable buildings they are likely to be (what we would call a) non-classifiable-structure (NCS). This means they are not classifiable under Clause C3.2 of the Bulding Code of Australia. Most building surveyors would call them a Class 10a “shed”, but we consider Class 10a buildings (that are not sanitary compartments) only to be associated with Class 1a dwellings.

  6. Chris says:


    I wish to build the XS tiny home, from Tumbleweed homes. There is an article on on this site about Tumbleweed homes , however I cannot seem to find any evidence of one ever being built before in Australia. I have been researching how to do it but I’m not sure if it’s even possible at this stage, at least with the XS on a trailer. Can you tell me if it is possible to build a tiny home like the XS in Australia?

    Thank you for your time


  7. Chris says:


    Is is possible to build an XS Tinyhouse by Tumbleweed houses here in Australia?



  8. Chris says:

    My question keeps disapearing?

    Can I build a XS tiny house by tumble weed in Australia?

    Tnakyou you

  9. Chris says:


    What do the regulations have to say about building a Tiny House on a trailoer in Australia? Possible?

    Thanks for your time


  10. Hi Chris, Nothing in the Building Regulations about this. The Building Regulations only deal with buildings or structures. The Building Act 1993 defines a building as “includes structure, temporary building, temporary structure and any part of a building or structure.” It does not anticipate mobile structures.

    The Victorian Government through VicRoads provides the following advice .

    Interesting query Chris. Certainly possible, but I am not familiar with these other requirements.

    Good Luck.

  11. Hi Chris,

    There is no restriction on the size of the house. The criteria are (in summary) does it have the required facilities, amenity and safety features.
    So you need:
    kitchen sink and facilities for preparation of food
    bath or shower
    clothes washing facilities (washtub and space for washing machine)
    closet pan and washbasin

    Beyond that its about: smoke alarms, drainage of the roof to some approved point, construction of the building for ventilation, warmth, cool, waterproofing etc.

    The site location is going to impact on some of these approvals, so you would need to consider the specifics of the site. You may need town planning approval in some locations too.

    Nothing on the YouTube video seems particularly an issue to me Maybe the closet plan would be an issue? If you had a small chemical toilet that might be acceptable. I would have to do some research on the plumbing regulation requirements. The clothes washing aspect is potentially problematic. You would need an alternative facility e.g. external? With the mobile version you would use the trailer park facility?

    The problem lies not in the building with the closet pan, but the basis for approval of disposal of the waste and grey water. You would need a permit from the local Council to dispose of the waste from the closet pan and your grey water from the sink/shower as a building. If you are not connected to the town sewer, you will need some sort of on site treatment.

    The trailer mounting is a separate issue (see my other response re the VicRoads website). Subject to the VicRoads approval, this may be the better approach

    I would be happy to review the Tumbleweed plans for this home. Send them through and I can give you some more feedback.

  12. Dan says:

    I can’t find anywhere building code regulations that relate to the situation of the flat I’m in. Myabe you can shine some light on it .

    I’m in an old, wooden framed, three story building that’s set up against an excavation wall so the actual two floors of flats are the middle and top floors, and the ground floor garages are like a basement relative to the entrance to the flats, like this (D for door at bottom of stairs, X for me):

    | |
    | |
    |_ _X______|
    |_- |
    |_ – |
    /////// | ____ |
    ////// /| __|___|_ |
    ////////|_ 0_____0_|_____

    I’m in the upstairs flat, and there’s only one entrance, at the bottom of an internal staircase, and the doorway itself is recessed under an overhanging floor.

    The stair case is wooden, with plenty of gaps for air and light, and I daresay fire, to rapidly work its way up if a fire started downstairs. I know that up against the other side of the wall at the bottom of the stairs the neighbours have their TV and stereo equipment, and sometimes for all I know, burning candles.
    My point is it’s possible for a fire to start in the highly combustible stairway and prevent safe egress from the only ground floor exit I have. Even if the rest of the front of the building hadn’t caught before I, for example, woke up, I would still be looking at defenestrating from a second story window. If the timber structure went as fast as I reckon it would, I would be looking at a three story drop from any other window.

    You might be thinking ” what sort of an idiot would move into the top story of a multi story wooden dwelling with only one exit at the bottom of a wooden stair well leading to a door that could itself be rendered inoperable by a collapsing floor above it, getting between safety and the occupant?” .

    Well,it wasn’t like that when I moved in. There WAS a rear staircase, but one day, rather than spend a little on maintainence, and without a by-your-leave of any sort, he hired a guy with a chainsaw, a length of chain , and a truck, to just pull the staircase down, and board up the back doors. Leaving us top floor tenants with a long drop in case of any inferno at the front.

    Is it kosher in (post-childers) qld building reg terms to leave people in that position?

    Thanks, Dan

  13. Myke says:


    I’m on the hunt for Ministerial Specification 10 and haven’t been able to find anywhere that has it to copy or purchase. Have you got any ideas? Is there an old codes database anywhere?

    thanks for any help you have.

  14. Brian says:

    Hi David

    What are the regulations regarding power points and plumbing fittings such as sinks, basins and troughs.



  15. janelle says:

    Hi Brian,

    For electrical regulations see;
    “As a first step in implementing the recommendations of the Electrical Equipment Safety System Review ERAC has created a central portal for the making of applications for certification of electrical equipment under current electrical safety laws in Australia”, (direct quote from ERAC website).

    For plumbing fittings regulations, the following is extracts from the Plumbing Codes of Australia 2011;

    Part G1.1, “This part defines the certification and authorisation procedures for plumbing and drainage materials and products so that they may be used or installed in plumbing and drainage installations.”

    Part G1.4, “A material or product that is listed on the WaterMark Product Database and is marked in accordancce with the WaterMark Certification Scheme is recognised by authorities having jurisdiction as being used for use in a plumbing or drainage installation.”

    Hope this helps,
    Janelle Smith

  16. Bruce says:

    Does installing an extended coverage sprinkler system require an alternative solution report?

  17. Diana Choquette says:

    You have put my question as part of your blog. Could you please remove it? It was a question I asked but you did not tell me it was going to be blogged.

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