Building Code of Australia

--- Pam Drakopoulos

--- Pam Drakopoulos

The design of a dwelling is required to meet the Building Code of Australia (BCA-Vol 2) in terms of Structure, Weatherproofing, Fire Safety & Health & Amenity, Safe Movement & Access and Efficiency. During preliminary design stage, the project designer will not only assess Recode compliance, but also consider all relevant sections of the BCA, to confirm the dwelling meets all requirements. For example, the walls on site boundaries are required to comply and achieve one hour fire rating, therefore we need to consider and incorporate specific wall materials and structure that comply with this fire rating.

Consideration also needs to be made not only to the location of windows in habitable rooms, but also to the size of the windows. The BCA requires a window to a habitable room achieve light, measured to equate to 10% of the floor area of the room. Further, the window is required to provide an opening for ventilation equating to 5% of the floor area of the room. The project BCA assessment can also become complex when we are required to achieve fire rating between multi dwellings and carports / garages by providing separating walls, as well as consider eave encroachment and location of roof lights. What is important is that the project compliance is achieved at the front end, to ensure approval can be issued by council and the building surveyor down the track.