Blog - So you have your DA approval: what next?

Congratulations! You’ve received your DA approval!

What does my DA approval mean?

This important milestone gives you permission to build - in principle. This means the council has simply OK’d the size and suitability of your proposal, with respect to local planning laws. The DA drawings do not tell the builder in any detail how the building is to be constructed: that comes next. 

What’s next?

Now, in order to get the final thumbs-up for a builder to start work, you will need your Construction Certificate. This will be referred to as one of the items in the DA “Conditions of Consent”, which are a set of conditions which need to be met prior, during and after construction, in order for your DA approval to stand.

Understanding your Conditions Of Consent

Some consent conditions are relatively straightforward, such as specifying that all construction should conform to the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and be undertaken in accordance with current Australian Standards.

There will also be clauses that are more specific to your project - such as outlining the extent of construction documents required from engineers and other professionals, as well as identifying at which stages of construction mandatory inspections are required.

Other special locality-based considerations may also be identified, such as detailed designs to address bushfire mitigation measures in “fire prone” areas, or regions of the site that may require special consideration due to likelihood of flooding or the presence of an existing easement.

Structural conditions

Most residential DA’s also require structural documentation to satisfy their consent requirements. This could include a series of drawings that provide the “how to build” information, for instance:

  • The design of footings and floor slabs
  • The design of structural steelwork for structural support at openings, or where an existing wall is to be removed
  • The sizing of timber bearers and joists for internal floor space or external decking, or timber framing to support a roof structure
  • Documentation of external retaining walls that are above the height of a landscaping feature

Click here to find out more about structural conditions. 

Getting your Statement Of Structural Adequacy

It should come as no surprise that you need an engineer’s input (called a Statement Of Structural Adequacy) when you plan to add an additional storey to an existing structure.

However you may be surprised to learn that you also need a Statement Of Structural Adequacy when you are reducing the weight of a structure, for instance through the removal of internal walls or enlarging an opening or entranceway.

The reason for this - even though you are reducing the overall load - is to ensure that any redistribution of the remaining load is not excessively concentrated in one location, which could cause problems with your foundation structure further down the track. Read on here to find out more about structural adequacy.

Who can help?

Satisfying your DA’s Conditions Of Consent isn’t something that can be done alone: you will need a professional to certify that everything is being done as it should.

This is where your Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) steps in. A PCA can be either a member of your local council or a private certifier of your choice. Their role is to ensure that the Conditions Of Consent are followed during your build process: this will make sure your DA approval remains valid.

Ready to go?

Once the PCA is satisfied that they have all the information required to satisfy the DA Conditions, a Construction Certificate will be provided. This means you’re ready to start building – let the mess and noise begin!

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