A NSW Government website


Building regulation and certification

Building regulation and certification are important parts of the planning system in New South Wales.

The planning system supports sustainable development and seeks to ensure that buildings are safe and that they meet the performance expectations of the community both at the time of their construction and throughout their effective lives.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) specifies the types of approvals that are required to undertake building work in NSW, and the matters that must be satisfied as part of those approvals.

This includes that building work complies with the relevant requirements of the Building Code of Australia, which forms a part of the National Construction Code.

Sustainable homes and workplaces

Developing sustainable buildings is critical to achieving the NSW Government target of net zero emissions by 2050.

Our productivity increases when we make efficient use of the electricity we generate, the gas we extract and the water we treat. A comfortable living and work environment contributes to our physical and mental wellbeing.

The department has now introduced a state environmental planning policy (SEPP) that will help buildings achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The Sustainable Buildings SEPP will start on 1 October 2023.

Development Certification and Fire Safety

The Development Certification and Fire Safety Regulation (Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021) commences on 1 January 2022. It replaces provisions that were previously located within the EP&A Regulation 2000.

The Development Certification and Fire Safety Regulation supports the provisions of Part 6 of the EP&A Act. The regulation sets out the detailed requirements for undertaking building work in NSW.

The regulation contains the key operational provisions for building regulation and certification, including those relating to:

  • construction certificates
  • occupation certificates
  • fire safety requirements
  • subdivision matters
  • combustible cladding
  • inspection requirements.

Most provisions in the new regulation have been transferred from the EP&A regulation with only minimal changes.

This references table (PDF, 196 KB) lists the existing clause numbers of the EP&A regulation and the corresponding numbers of the new regulation.

For more information, refer to the frequently asked questions (PDF, 166 KB) or email [email protected]

Building Code Advisory Service

The Department of Customer Service operates a Building Code Advisory Service (BCAS) to provide general information only about the Building Code of Australia. This service operates between 9.30am and 11.30am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and can be contacted on 02 9372 9271.

NSW Fair Trading may be able to help with these other matters:

  • builder contractor licences
  • plumbing, electrical or gas installations
  • building contracts and defects
  • workmanship
  • complaints about licence holders or building certifiers.

The Building Code Advisory Service cannot give information about the issues listed above.

Reforms to building laws in NSW

The NSW Government is working to increase confidence in our building industry. Reforms are underway to improve laws, better protect consumers and support workers. Visit Reforming building laws in NSW for more information.