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Critical Stage Inspections

Inspections during construction help to ensure that what is built remains consistent with what has been approved in the development consent and construction certificate, and that the building will meet acceptable standards of health, safety and amenity.

Mandatory critical stage inspections have now been introduced for the construction phase of development. Mandatory critical stage inspections for all classes of buildings, including houses, garages and other domestic buildings (such as carports and pergolas) that require approval, commenced in 2004.

As a consumer, when you appoint your PCA, your PCA needs to give you a list of the mandatory critical stage inspections and any other inspections (determined by the PCA) that will be required during construction of your building.  You need to be aware of these inspections as they need to be carried out at the appropriate time. It is your responsibility to give your principal contractor (builder) a list of the inspections that are required. Your principal contractor will need to contact the PCA at least 48 hours before an inspection is required, an owner builder you will also need to contact your PCA at least 48 hours before an inspection is required.

Clause 162A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 sets out the mandatory critical stage inspections. They are:

For class 1 and 10 buildings (including houses, garages and the like), building work on the development site must be inspected:

  • At the commencement of building work
  • After excavation for, and prior to the placement of, any footings
  • Prior to pouring any in-situ reinforced concrete building element
  • Prior to the covering of any framework for any floor, wall, roof or other building element
  • Prior to covering waterproofing in any wet areas
  • Prior to covering any stormwater drainage connections
  • After the building work has been completed and prior to any occupation certificate being issued in relation to the building

In the case of a class 2, 3 or 4 building, the building work on the development site must be inspected

  • Prior to covering waterproofing in any wet areas
  • Prior to covering any stormwater drainage connections
  • After the building work has been completed and prior to any occupation certificate being issued in relation to the building

In the case of a class 5,6,7,8 and 9 building, the building work on the development site must be inspected:

  • At the commencement of building work
  • Prior to covering any stormwater drainage connections
  • After the building work has been completed and prior to any occupation certificate being issued in relation to the building

Depending on the type of building being constructed and how it is being constructed, your PCA may be able to carry out two or more of the required inspections at the same time.

The PCA has the discretion as to whether to require any additional inspections during the construction stage of the project.