Documentation guideline for building approval applications

As part of its comprehensive reform program, the ACT Government is continuing to strengthen the building regulatory system.

The introduction of a new documentation guideline for building approval applications is a major reform as correct design from the start will prevent many problems becoming an issue further down the track.

The Canberra community can rightly expect that buildings are designed to comply with building standards and that important aspects of the building design are checked before a building approval is issued.

The guideline covers minimum documentation and information for building approval applications for class 2-9 buildings, including information on the maintenance requirements for essential safety systems in the building, such as the fire protection systems. They cover apartment buildings, commercial accommodation and other commercial buildings.

They will confirm to designers and applicants the expectations for the minimum information that can be included in an application to a building certifier.

The guidelines have two sections:

  1. Important concepts that relate to the ACT building approval system and information about how the guidelines will apply.
  2. The required information, including examples of plans and drawings showing relevant detail.

A preview version of the guideline is now available for industry before a final version is adopted under the Building Act in June. After their adoption, there will be a short transition period before the guideline becomes mandatory.

See the guideline.

Information sessions

These sessions will cover the history of the document and what it includes, followed by a Q&A session.

  • Monday 3 June, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
  • Thursday 6 June, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

These sessions will be held in the Ground Floor Function Room, North Building, Dame Pattie Menzies House, 16 Challis St Dickson.

If there is sufficient interest, further sessions may be added.

Please RSVP to

Written comments close on Friday 14 June 2019.

To register your interest in information sessions or to provide any comments on the guideline please email

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