DBP Act, Safe as Houses…

The DBP Act now applies to NCC Class 3 & 9c buildings, which is a good thing, says AJC Director, Brian Mariotti.

Seniors and students are now ‘as safe as houses’, as the DBP Act is now in force covering seniors care buildings, student accommodation and hotels. 

You may have missed this, but since July 2023, the Design and Building Practitioners Act (DBP Act) now applies to new-build student accommodation, hotels and co-living (NCC Class 3 buildings) as well as residential care (NCC Class 9c buildings). Alterations and renovations to these types of buildings will be subject to the Act from July 2024.   

With five in-house registered Design Practitioners, and experience delivering residential apartments and seniors Independent Living Units (ILU’s) under the DBP Act, AJC has the experience and expertise to deliver these types of projects that now fall under the expanded legislation. Beyond these mandatory qualifications, we have been working behind the scenes with the construction industry to ensure that quality standards are maintained in design, documentation and construction. 

Historically, these types of buildings have been developed and built by and on behalf of their long term owners and operators – so called ‘build to hold’ developers – with professional teams of client-side design and project managers to manage the design and construction teams, oversee and ensure design and build quality. 

We are working with our clients to help them understand our increased obligations, as well as how our involvement from inception to documentation will benefit all parties and deliver a higher quality product. This is in everyone’s interest as it will reduce operating costs and offer better living environments to residents.  

Bringing our experience from the residential sector, we continue to work closely with builders to understand construction processes and design for buildability whilst maintaining the integrity of design. This opportunity will mean as designers we are welcomed on site, and we can collaborate more effectively resulting in a better product. 

We continue to work with other registered design practitioners (engineers and specialists) and our subconsultants to ensure lines of communication are strong and changes in design are correctly documented, and that all stakeholders understand the way these changes affect the project. 

So, I see these new rules as an opportunity to raise the quality bar, work together as an industry to deliver a great product that ultimately benefits residents. I hope the travellers, retirees and students of the future thank us! 

I see these new rules as an opportunity to raise the quality bar... This is in everyone's interest as it will reduce operating costs and offer better living environments to residents.  

AJC Director, Brian Mariotti

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