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Public Documents

This section contains public documents available to the industry from external sources.

Expression of Interest: Architects, Building Designers, and Landscape Architects
   Apartment Design Advisory Service

The Victorian Apartment Design Advisory Service (ADAS) offers expert advice to assist developers and designers to comply with the Better Apartments Design Standards. The service will help make planning approvals processes easier and apartment buildings more liveable for Victorians.

The role of ADAS service members is to work collaboratively to provide excellent design advice that is consistent with the planning scheme and be available to attend ADAS sessions on the third Wednesday of the month and quarterly session review meetings.

DELWP is looking for talented, skilled and forward-thinking design professionals to join ADAS in 2019. Expressions of interest are invited setting out in 300 words or less, how you meet the selection criteria. Email statements to before 5pm on 18 March 2019.

Selection Criteria 

• Demonstrated experience and role in designing exceptional and liveable apartment developments in Victoria.
• Knowledge and use of the Better Apartment Design Standards (or, clause 58 of the Victoria Planning Provisions) and, local planning schemes and planning policies.
• Experience in coaching or mentoring others in a professional setting on how to achieve good design outcomes (such as, membership of a design advisory panel or similar).
• Ability to provide clear concise written and verbal communication.
• The ability to maintain professional indemnity insurance cover until March 2020.
• The professional fee for a half day rate, travel rate and hourly rate for advisory services.
• Two professional referees.

To see the ADAS Briefing Engagement and Advertising summary, CLICK HERE.

To see the ADAS Communications Fact Sheet, CLICK HERE.

For more information about ADAS visit or contact the ADAS coordinator by phone: (03) 8392 4057 


Cladding Options

A member query seeking guidance on their search for conforming cladding has prompted a reminder to members of the NatSPEC National Construction Product Register (NCPR) which was launched in 2017 to raise awareness of product conformity.  It can be accessed at The NCPR is an online searchable database of construction products which have authenticated evidence of conformity to relevant Australian and international standards.  It does not provide information or recommendations on the suitability or use of any product for any particular application, situation or project (that is whether it is compliant or non-compliant). As an extract (current as at 5 September 2018), see the accompanying summary of BDAV sponsor cladding products that are listed on that site by CLICKING HERE.

Garden Area and Siting Requirements

The garden area and siting requirements that were introduced in the planning scheme on 27 March 2017 and updated on 15 May 2018, are now included in the Building Regulations 2018 under regulation 76A minimum garden area.

Building Amendment (Garden Area and Siting Requirements) Regulations 2018 was adopted on 10 July 2018 and is available at by CLICKING HERE.

National Police Check

As part of the VBA five-year registration renewal process, applicants have to fill out the “National Police Checking Service Informed Consent Form”. As this form is somewhat difficult to locate, we have provided it HERE for members to access.

Cladding Risk Assessment Tool

The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has issued a Guidance document and an accompanying Risk Assessment Tool that may assist in assessing fire risk on buildings with combustible cladding.

To access the Risk Assessment Tool, CLICK HERE.

To access the Guidance document, CLICK HERE.

Student Grants 2018

Information about the BDAV's Student Grants for 2018 is available by CLICKING HERE.

Member Alert re Misuse of the Terms Architecture and Architectural

Members will be aware of the BDAV’s Legal Note on the Misuse of the terms ‘Architecture’ and ‘Architectural’. However, it has come to the BDAV’s attention that further ‘misuse’ of this terminology may affect Graduates. The Architects Registration Board of Victoria has published a Compliance Announcement at its website, to which BDAV offers advice to its members.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Energy in Buildings: 50 Best Practice Initiatives

A handbook intended to guide the selection of possible initiatives at the earliest stages of design and planning only. It provides advice of a very general nature, and should not be used as a substitute for specialist project-specific advice from building industry professionals. To download the handbook, CLICK HERE.

VET Student Loan scheme

The BDAV's submission relating to the omission of 22268VIC Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) from the eligible course list for access to VET Student Loan scheme commencing 1 January 2017 is available by CLICKING HERE.

Know Your Council

A Herald-Sun article published on 23 November 2016 titled ‘Planning overhaul’ highlighted the latest 2015-2016 data from the Know Your Council website ( prompting the BDAV to prepare summarise some of the data for each of the 79 Victorian local government jurisdictions in regard to some of the information captured on statutory planning obligations, particularly in relation to Timeliness, Service Standards, and Decision Making. The BDAV will be using this information to assist with lobbying for reforms to the planning scheme as part of the Victorian Government’s Smart Planning Program. The information was updated in February 2018. To view the summary data, CLICK HERE

Building Amendment – Specific Use Bushfire Protected Buildings

The Building Amendment (Specific Use Bushfire Protected Buildings and Other Matters) Regulations 2016 were made on 6 September 2016 to apply bushfire performance standards to the construction of new and significantly modified (by more than 50 per cent of the original volume of the building) ‘specific use bushfire protected buildings’. ‘Specific use bushfire protected buildings’ are schools, kindergartens, childcare facilities, aged care facilities and hospitals in designated bushfire prone areas in Victoria.

The changes to commence from 30 September 2016 will require such buildings in designated bushfire prone areas to: 
- undergo a risk assessment for potential exposure to bushfire attack; 
- be built to construction standards according to the assessed risk; and 
- to be built to minimum construction standards to better withstand ember attack.

The regulations reduce the vulnerability of these buildings to bushfire ignition from ember attack, radiant heat and flame contact, at a level that is appropriate to the building’s assessed risk of exposure to bushfire attack. 

Applying the regulations will increase the likelihood of a building surviving a bushfire. This means that the risk that the building could injure individuals inside or nearby (if unable to evacuate in time) is minimised. Risk of damage to vulnerable use buildings is also reduced, avoiding or minimising reconstruction costs. The potential costs of disruption for users of these buildings (such as the costs of relocating aged care residents) is also likely to be reduced.

The likelihood of the spread of bushfire to other nearby buildings is also minimised reducing the potential for social disruption and supporting the community by avoiding the loss of important social infrastructure to  ensure it is available when most needed.

The proposed regulations apply to:
new ‘specific use bushfire protected buildings’ in a designated bushfire prone area in Victoria;
to newly constructed parts of an existing ‘specific use bushfire protected building’; and 
to the newly constructed parts and existing parts of an existing ‘specific use bushfire protected building’ if the building is modified by more than 50 per cent of the original volume of the building. In this case, both the existing building as well as the newly constructed parts of the building will need to comply with AS 3959. This would likely involve some retro-fitting parts of the existing building.

‘Specific use bushfire protected buildings’ in a designated bushfire prone area that are not significantly modified, will not require retrofitting to comply with the proposed regulations. 

Ministerial Direction No. 3 (Bushfire Provisions for Buildings of a Public Nature) issued by the Minister for Planning on 1 February 2010 (under section 30 of the Project Development and Construction Management Act 1994) already requires Government departments and public bodies (including statutory authorities and state-owned corporations) to comply with AS 3959 when constructing or making significant modifications to buildings of a public nature, including public hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, assembly buildings such as schools, early childhood centres, preschools, public halls and aged care buildings (public construction).

Building Amendment (Construction of Swimming Pools and Spas) Regulations 2016

The Building Amendment (Construction of Swimming Pools and Spas) Regulations 2016 (S.R. No. 104/2016) will come into effect on 3 October 2016. These reduce red-tape by aligning the completion periods for building work relating to a swimming pool or spa and any associated barrier or safety equipment with the completion period for other building work that is being carried out concurrently on an allotment.

From 3 October 2016, building permits issued for the construction of a swimming pool or spa may reflect the completion date of other building work being carried out concurrently on the same allotment. When calculating the completion date, the RBS should only consider building permits that are in force at the time that the building permit for the construction of the swimming pool or spa is issued.

If other building work is not being carried out concurrently on the same allotment at the time that a building permit for the construction of a swimming pool or spa is issued, the building permit for the construction of a swimming pool or spa must require that the building work is complete within 6 months after the building work commences.

A new note has been inserted to draw to practitioners' attention the ongoing obligation to ensure that all excavations are fenced or otherwise guarded against being a danger to life or property before and during the carrying out of building work. A swimming pool must continue to be fenced in accordance with regulation 604(3) of the Building Regulations 2006 until the swimming pool fence that is required by the building permit is completed.

Further improvements have been made to clarify provisions relating to staged building permits, when a building permit lapses, and when the RBS may extend a commencement or completion date for a building permit. It is not intended that the substance of these provisions be modified, however building practitioners should review cross references to regulation 315 to ensure that they reflect the regulations as amended.

A copy of the amending regulations is available by CLICKING HERE.

Building Legislation Amendment (Consumer Protection) Act 2016

The Executive Council, on Tuesday 23 August 2016, approved a proclamation to commence a range of provisions in the Building Legislation Amendment (Consumer Protection) Act 2016  ('Amending Act') and consequential amendments to the Building Regulations 2006 ('Regulations'). For further details, CLICK HERE.

Building Amendment (Siting Requirements) Regulations 2016

The Building Amendment (Siting Requirements) Regulations 2016 have made amendments to Schedule 5 of the Building Regulations to include recently amended planning schemes into that Schedule. It also inserted the exemption for battleaxe-allotments. For more information, CLICK HERE.

NABD Award Winners 2015

Several BDAV Members who were winners in the NABD 2015 Design Awards were featured in an article in Melbourne's Herald-Sun on 11 November 2015. To read the article, CLICK HERE.

AIA 'Ask an Architect' Campaign

The Australian Institute of Architects launched a new consumer engagement program last year, ‘Ask an Architect’, to which the BDAV has taken objection. To read the Member Bulletin on this matter, CLICK HERE.

James Hardie Technical Bulletin

James Hardie have produced a Technical Bulletin on non-combustible façade systems. To read the bulletin, CLICK HERE.

Herald-Sun Profiling Building Designers

The BDAV has been approached by a journalist to provide regular features for the Herald-Sun. If you have a project for which you would like to obtain free promotion/advertising, please provide the information requested in the template including some photographs and the BDAV will present your project for consideration. We hope to provide a selection of projects every month, so please share your amazing work. To download the template, CLICK HERE.

Victorian Auditor-General's Report

On 7 December 2011, the Victorian Auditor-General handed down a report on Compliance with Building Permits.
This audit assessed the effectiveness of the building permit system in assuring approved works meet requisite building and safety standards. To view a key extract of this report which contains observations that are pertinent to the building design profession, CLICK HERE. To view the full report, CLICK HERE.