Project Designs Architects
APPROVAL PROCESS FOR HOUSE EXTENSIONS Whether you need to upsize, modernise, renovate or part detonate, a house extension and alteration can make very good sense - especially in today’s current economic climate. While navigating through the construction process can be challenging, a good architect will be able to help, explaining approval procedures and guiding you through the various stages of the build. While each and every project varies, there are some standard procedures that all new builds in Brisbane need to go through.
Approval to carry out Building Work Extensions to an existing residence may require an application for Town Planning approval prior to applying for building approval for a number of reasons. Under the provisions of the Brisbane City Town Plan a residential site may also be included in a Demolition Control Precinct that limits works that can be carried out without Planning Approval, particularly to the front section of the house. (Note that pre 1946 dwellings in Demolition Control Precinct may not be removed or demolished). If the site is less than 450 square metres or has a frontage less than 15.0 metres then the site falls within the Small Lot Code with further restrictions on what works may be carried out without Planning Approval.
Council Searches The first step is to check Council records for the location of existing sewer and storm water connections, zoning information and if the site is subject to the Waterways Code or affected by flooding. A copy of the drainage plan should also be obtained to ensure that the planned works are clear of existing drainage lines. If the new building works are to extend over any existing sewer or major storm water services, applications to build over these lines will be required.
Survey Plan A copy of the survey plan should be obtained from the Titles Office by the Surveyor. The Surveyor may be required to carry out works on site in order to prepare a features and contour plan. He may also be required to re-peg part or the whole the site if the proposed new works are close to any alignment or if the true location of the alignments are in question.
Plumbing and Drainage For an extension to an existing house, no application to the Brisbane City Council (BCC) for approval to carry out plumbing and drainage works is required prior to the works being undertaken by a licensed plumber.
Soil Test and Footing Design For all construction works, geotechnical engineers are required to carry out a soil test on the property in the name of the new owners and to design the new footings and any concrete slabs involved. An earlier soil test for the property commissioned by the current owner may well be sufficient if it covers the area of the site where the extension is planned.
Building Approval Requirements Architectural working drawings showing the location of the proposed extensions on the site, together with elevations, sections, design and structural details are required by the building certifier together with the appropriate supporting documentation. A large extension may also need an Energy Efficiency report to be prepared by a qualified consultant specialising in this work. A copy of any existing drainage and storm water plans are needed to show that the proposed works are clear of existing lines and man holes. Both the Building Services Authority (BSA) insurance receipt and proof that the Portable Long Service Levy (Q-Leave) has been paid, must be handed to the building certifier before a building approval can be issued. The BSA receipt is supplied by the builder once a building contract has been signed – whereas the Q-Leave payment is paid by the owner at any Post office.
Summary The process to obtain building approval is lengthy and often quite arduous. The services of an architect who is well versed in the housing sector can ensure that any potential ‘pit falls’ are avoided and a successful outcome is assured.
With over thirty years experience in the industry & a cache of housing awards to his name, architect Colin Lewington specialises in residential property for the prestige market. With a focus on clean lines & fluid forms, his designs are a study in space & light, creating inspired visions that effortlessly blend the practical requirements of a family home with the finesse of a tangible artform.