Building a new home and worried about NSW home building requirements? They’re not as overwhelming as you think—especially if you let an expert handle them.
BUILDING A NEW HOME AND WORRIED ABOUT NSW HOME BUILDING REQUIREMENTS? THEY’RE NOT AS OVERWHELMING AS YOU THINK—ESPECIALLY IF YOU LET AN EXPERT HANDLE THEM.
Building a new home is an exciting time. Once your home loan has been approved, the building journey can be a really enjoyable process to look at a range of different options online and create a vision board for your dream property.
Once you have found the right site or decided to knock-down rebuild or conduct extensive renovations, you can put together ideas on your dream home such as floor plan, where the master bedroom will go, how big your walk-in-robe will be, fixture finishes and features, and what mod-cons your kitchen will include.
However, along with planning paint schemes and balconies, you need to ensure your brand new home is compliant with Local Councils, their Development Control Plan (DCP) and Local Environmental Plan (LEP). Your home builder should assist you with this.
A non-compliant house design is subject to a range of complications, including delays through the approval process and rejection of your application from Council. For this reason, it is important to get things right from the start.
Along with your building plans, the building process include surveys from a registered surveyor, geo-technical reports on the soil and flora and fauna assessments (if required), to ensure your new home is bush fire safe and won’t have overly negative implications for the surrounding environment.
Requirement #1: BASIX Certificate
Whether you’re building a new home design from scratch or just making alterations or additions to your existing one, you’ll need to secure a Building Sustainability Index (BASIX®) certificate. This is a NSW Government planning requirement for anyone submitting a building application.
The certification process for the BASIX is meant to assess your building application’s compliance with NSW’s water and energy reduction targets. The goal of the BASIX is to have all new homes and additions to existing ones provide better comfort to occupants and be less costly to run.
When it comes to your BASIX certificate, the good news is it can benefit you. Research shows that designing your home with BASIX compliance in mind can save you up to $600 a year in terms of water and energy costs.
Requirement #2: Statement of Environmental Effects
Another requirement for building applications in most NSW councils is a Statement of Environmental Effects (SOEE). This is a written report that’s meant to support your drawings and describe the following:
- How the project will comply with local development requirements
- How your home will affect the overall look and character of the surrounding area and land estates
Your SOEE should detail things such as:
- Visual and Acoustic Privacy: How the development will impact the visual and acoustic privacy of neighbouring properties
- Solar Access: How the development will use natural light during the day to cut energy costs
- Views: How the development will impact the views of neighbouring properties
- Parking and Traffic: How many parking spaces and how much manoeuvring space will the development have
- Retention of Trees and Landscaping: How the development will affect existing trees and landscaping in the area and what will be done to offset any changes
A qualified an experienced building designer will be able to keep track of all these so your plans include an SOEE when submitted for approval.
Requirement #3: Bush Fire Assessment Report
If you’re building your new home on a site that’s close to a bushfire-prone area, you’ll need to have it inspected and attach the assessment report with your building application.
The inspection will determine things such as your dwelling’s distance to the fire-prone area, the potential bush fire attack level (BAL) you’ll be exposed to, and the availability of a piped and static water supply nearby.
How can you tell if your site is close to a bushfire-prone area? As a general rule, if it’s within close proximity to large open spaces with lush vegetation, it’s safe to assume that it is. For properties in Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter region, this tends to be the case more often than not.
Ready to start designing a new home?
With the help of an experienced home building designer, your property will not only look great and function perfectly for your family, it will also meet local legislative requirements.
Contact Distinct Building Design to find out more, or book a free site inspection.