When do you need a Building Approval (BA)?

Updated: Feb 8

A certifier's summary - Queensland


Building work in Queensland requires a building approval (BA).



The Building Act 1975 governs BAs for Queensland. As per the Building Regulations (Schedule 1) there is some work which is prescribed. Prescribed work is considered low risk and may not trigger an approval.



Q: When is a BA not required?


A: When all of the scope of work fits in to the work identified in the Building Regulations (Schedule 1).


Even if an approval is not required, work should be undertaken

- with a contract, with QBCC insurance paid.

- by QBCC licensed contractors, acting within their scope.


A RPEQ engineer will be required to design and inspect all structural elements to ensure structural stability.


Examples of prescribed work (ie not requiring a BA)

  • minor structures or repairs that are self-assessable

  • repairs/ maintenance to existing buildings

  • fences under 2m (not including swimming pool fencing)

  • retaining walls - approval is only required where a retaining wall

  1. exceeds 1m in total (height)

  2. is within 1.5m of a structure

  3. includes a footing that will impose a surcharge loading to any nearby infrastructure/footings.


However, if even one element of the project is out of the scope outlined in Building Regs 2006 Schedule 1 Part 3 it does trigger the need for approval.


For example, if a retaining wall is 900mm high, but only 1m away from another structure, a building approval is required.



For more information – see the Building Regs 2006

Need BCC related information?

Brisbane City Council general BA info here and Retaining Wall advice here


Need a Building Approval?

Building Approvals and Advice (BA&A) are ready to help with domestic approvals - contact our certifiers for a fee proposal.

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