Upcoming changes to the NSW Design and Building Practitioners Act


The NSW Government has recently published the Building Legislation Amendment (Building Classes) Regulation 2023. The Amendment Regulation intends to expand the Design and Building Practitioners (DPB) and Residential Apartment Buildings (RAB) Acts to include construction work on new class 3 and 9c builds.

Class 3 Builds:

Applies to long-term or temporary living accommodation, for unrelated individuals. Some examples may include:

  • Boarding houses
  • Guest houses
  • Hostel or Backpackers accommodation
  • Dormitory style accommodation/Workers’ quarters
  • ‘Care-type’ facilities such as accommodations for the elderly, children or individuals with disabilities which would not be classified as a Class 9 building.

Class 9c Builds:

‘Aged care’ buildings where 10% or more residents require physical assistance in conducting daily activities and evacuation procedures.

When will the changes be made?

Since 2020, the DPB and RAB Act have applied to class 2, residential apartment buildings. From 3 July 2023, the new regulation will now expand the Acts to include class 3 and 9c buildings.

The alteration or renovation of existing class 3 and 9c buildings will come into effect on 1 July 2024.

What changes will be made?

From 3 July 2023, the following changes will apply to any new class 3 and 9c builds:

  • To complete certain works on Class 3 and 9c buildings, Design Practitioners, Building Practitioners and Professional Engineers must be registered under the DBP Act.
  • The amendment regulations new class of Design Practitioner-Building Design will not have restrictions on building height for class 3 and 9c buildings. However, building designers on class 2 work will continue to be restricted to design and work on low and medium rise buildings.
  • To assure compliance with the Building Code of Australia, certain designs will need to be declared and lodged on the NSW Planning Portal before building work can begin.
  • Class 3 and 9c buildings must adhere to declared designs.
  • Developers will be required to provide notice before the completion of work for these buildings and will need to pay building work levy.
  • Builders under the new regulation will be granted an extension of the grace period to acquire insurance in accordance with the DPB Act.

Who will be impacted?

All builders, developers, certifiers, owners, consultants and financiers must acquaint themselves with their obligations under the DBP Act concerning class 3 and 9c buildings.

If you are undertaking work on Class 3 and/or 9c buildings, you will now need to be registered. If you are already registered to do regulated work on class 2 buildings, your registration will be extended to include work on class 3 and 9c buildings.

Should you want further information please don’t hesitate to contact us at Keystone Lawyers: mail@keystonelawyers.com.au