The Building Code 2016

WHAT IS THE BUILDING CODE 2016?

The Building Code 2016 is the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (the Building Code) which commenced on 2 December 2016.

Amendments to the Code commenced operation on 21 February 2017. The amended Code can be found here .

A fact sheet explaining the amendments can be found here

WHEN DOES THE BUILDING CODE APPLY?

Building contractors and Building industry participants that can be required to comply with the Building Code by section 34 of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016, becomes subject to the Building Code 2016 from the first time they submit an expression of interest (EOI) or tender (howsoever described) for Commonwealth funded building work on or after 2 December 2016. They become a “code covered entity”. Specific requirements in the Building Code apply to code covered entities.   

The Building Code 2013 continues to apply in relation to building work to which it applied immediately before 2 December 2016.

DOES THE BUILDING CODE APPLY TO MY PRIVATELY FUNDED PROJECTS?

Once you become subject to the Building Code, you will be required to comply with the Building Code on all new privately funded projects. You are not required to ensure subcontractor compliance on privately funded construction sites.  

DOES THE BUILDING CODE APPLY TO MY RELATED ENTITIES?

Yes.  A related entity of a code covered entity becomes subject to the Building Code at the time the code covered entity becomes subject to the Building Code. A sanction against you under the Building Code may impact upon your related entities and their ability to undertake Commonwealth funded building work.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE BUILDING CODE?

The Building Code contains a range of requirements for code covered entities.  Contractors should familiarise themselves with  these requirements in the Building Code to ensure they can comply .

The Building Code’s requirements for code covered entities include these matters:

The Building Code also places obligations on funding entities both during the procurement of Commonwealth funded building work and during the conduct of that work. 

The Building Code’s requirements for funding entities include these matters:

  • Workplace Relations Management Plan (WRMP) approval by the ABCC
  • eligibility requirements for engaging contractors on Commonwealth funded building work
  • obtaining information from tender respondents/preferred tenderers such as commitment to training and skill development, numbers of apprentices, trainees and visa holders, prior breaches of certain laws or unsatisfied judgment debts, the extent of domestically sourced and Australian standard building materials, assessment of whole-of-life project costs, project’s impact on jobs and contribution to skills growth
  • only engaging a code covered entity that only uses products that comply with Australian standards
  • notifying the ABCC of relevant tenders, contracts and breaches of the Building Code

WHAT IS THE ABCC’S ROLE IN Monitoring compliance with the Building Code?

The ABCC has responsibility for monitoring compliance with the Building Code. The ABCC’s monitoring role includes education, advice, site visits, site inspections and compliance audits.

The ABCC may exercise compliance powers under the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCI Act) when undertaking activities.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A BUILDING CONTRACTOR BREACHES THE BUILDING CODE?

Code covered entities must ensure as far as is reasonably practicable that their subcontractors take remedial action to rectify non-compliant behaviour.

Code covered entities must notify the ABCC of breaches or suspected breaches of the Building Code, advise of the proposed steps to rectify the breach, then notify the ABCC of the steps taken to rectify the breach.

The ABC Commissioner can refer a failure to comply with the Building Code to the Minister for Employment with a recommendation for a sanction where a contractor has failed to comply with the Building Code. The Minister  is responsible for imposing any sanctions. The Minister may consider factors such as whether the failure to comply with this code of practice was intentional, ongoing and/or subject to timely notification and voluntary rectification.  

The ABC Commissioner may publish details of non-compliance with the Building Code, including the name of the person who has failed to comply, where the ABC Commissioner considers that it is in the public interest to do so.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE BUILDING CODE?

A copy of the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 Link opens external website in new tab is available here.

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Need more information?

For further information, advice or assistance please contact the ABCC at 1800 003 338 or enquiry@abcc.gov.au.