For NSW design and building Practitioners, the act of declaring and lodging designs just got a little more complex. Starting July 1, these professionals will be asked to complete an advanced registration scheme in compliance with the Design and Building Practitioners Act, and in an attempt to build confidence in the quality and safety of area apartment buildings and structures. And, really, BDAA building designers and building practitioners throughout Australia should be aware of these vital new rules.

These reforms will dictate that regulated designs and compliance declarations on class 2 buildings must be lodged on the NSW Planning Portal before any work can start.

In these instances, a registered Design Practitioner must file a declaration that submitted designs comply with the Building Code of Australia and other relevant standards. And all designs must be built in accordance with compliant designs and the Building Code of Australia.

To administer the construction of class 2 buildings, you must register as a Building Practitioner–even if you possess a NSW building licence.

In essence, Building Practitioners must declare and lodge registered plans before building commences. This protects everyone, as it will require practitioners to contemplate designs before they become buildings—ensuring that they comply in all ways with the Building Code of Australia.

While the Building Practitioner will lodge designs, which they must first formulate with everyone involved in the planned build, a Design Practitioner can lodge documents on their behalf, save for the building compliance declaration which the Building Practitioner must lodge themselves. Lodged and declared designs will be scanned technologically, and declared designs for class 2 buildings in NSW all will be reviewed thoroughly.

Each regulated design must include a standard title block, an informational table containing data relevant to the design and its development—for use by the NSW Planning Portal. The title block will be accessible to practitioners in a .dwg format so that it can be included in AutoCAD systems.

The final ‘construction-issued regulated designs’ must feature the proposed dimensions of the finished structure, the characteristic and materials comprising the proposed building, as well as the location of the building elements and systems proposed for building.

An appointed Principal Design Practitioner can render principal compliance declarations stating that design compliance declarations have been made by registered and authorised practitioners.

We know and take pride in the fact that BDAA Design Practitioners make it their business to create and present detailed, compliant designs that form the basis of successful and safe building projects. They indeed stand as role models for all NSW building practitioners.

Declared designs must be declared and lodged on the NSW Planning Portal before building can commence; advanced registration by Design and Building Practitioners is required.

To provide further clarification, the term Building work encompasses the entire process of construction, alteration and additions, repairs, renovations, and protective treatments on a class 2 building.

A performance solution translates to a tailored solution to conform to performance mandates outlined in the Building Code of Australia.

Building elements refer to common structural features that play a key role in the quality and safety of the building that include:

  • fire safety systems
  • waterproofing
  • building structure
  • building enclosure
  • building services.

Interior design, surveying, painting or landscaping will not be covered in this scheme.

For more information, visit the BDAA’s related fact page at