- The Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 regulates design and building work by imposing certain obligations on design, building and engineering practitioners.
- The duty of care reforms commenced 10 June 2020, with the remaining reforms commencing 1 July 2021.
- Building work on residential apartment buildings (class 2 under the National Construction Code) cannot commence until regulated designs and compliance declarations are lodged on the NSW Planning Portal.
Following repeated failures in design and construction processes for residential apartment buildings, the NSW Government introduced key reforms to lift building standards and restore confidence in the NSW construction sector. A lynchpin of these reforms is the new DBP Act which creates a compliance declaration scheme to ensure that designs are developed in accordance with the Building Code of Australia and other prescribed standards, and builders construct in accordance with these plans.
While the initial focus will be class 2 buildings and buildings with a class 2 part, the new requirements will eventually be rolled out to other classes of the National Construction Code.
Where a project includes a class 2 part, the presumption is that all building work on building elements and performance solutions is captured by the new compliance declaration scheme, unless the building work is covered by an exemption to the requirements of the scheme (clause 13 of the Regulation).
New registration requirements for practitioners
The legislation establishes two registration schemes.
First, all engineers working in the six registration classes (civil, structural, electrical, mechanical, fire safety and geotechnical) on class 2 buildings must be registered or be supervised by someone who is registered.