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Summary of Changes to the EP&A Regulations

The object of this Regulation is to implement some of the recommendations made as a result of the independent review of the Building Professionals Act 2005. This was achieved by amending the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 dealing with fire safety and building certification so as to:

(a) Require plans and specifications to be submitted in relation to changes to certain existing fire safety systems in class 2–9 buildings, and

(b) Introduce additional critical stage inspections for class 2, 3, 4 & 9 buildings, and

(c) Introduce a new alternative solution report requirement for fire safety requirements in class 2-9 buildings, and

(d) Require fire safety statements and fire safety certificates to be in a form approved by the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment, and

(e) Provide for the Secretary of the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation to recognise persons as competent fire safety practitioners (who are qualified, under the amended provisions, to prepare alternative solution reports and endorse plans and specifications).

This Regulation is made under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, including sections 81A (5), 85A (7), 109H (3) (d), 109Q and 157 (the general regulation-making power).

• A competent fire safety practitioner must design any hydraulic fire safety system, fire detection and alarm system (but not simple home smoke alarms), or mechanical ducted smoke control system; (See NOTE 1 below)

• For any of the above systems, the applicant must submit plans and specifications endorsed by a competent fire safety practitioner, to the certifying authority; (See NOTE 1 below)

• Proposed performance solutions (alternative solutions) must include a report from a competent fire safety practitioner;

• Two new critical stage inspections apply, to bounding construction (class 2, 3 and residential parts of class 4 buildings), and fire protection of service penetrations (class 2, 3, 9a and 9c and residential parts of class 4 buildings); (162A (5) & (6))

• The applicant may apply to the certifying authority for an exemption from a BCA provision, for a minor modification to an existing fire safety system, subject to strict regulated criteria; (164B)

• Fire and Rescue NSW will have power to inspect class 2 and 3 buildings before occupation, if work on relevant fire safety systems has been carried out;

• Standard fo rms will apply for fire safety certificates and annual fire safety statements (181 (1));

NOTE 1: The requirement to use a competent fire safety practitioner accredited by a Government recognised scheme will commence when the accreditation framework is set and industry managed accreditation schemes are recognised.

Reference: Review of Changes to the EP&A Regulation 2000.

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