Discussion paper: Building Manuals - A Response to the Building Confidence Report

Closed 17 May 2021

Opened 9 Mar 2021

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The Building Confidence Report (BCR), published in 2018, identified issues with the regulatory oversight of the construction of Class 2 - 9 buildings in Australia. It noted that owners of Class 2 - 9 buildings do not always receive complete information about their buildings, which affects their ability to properly maintain their buildings and make informed decisions about their use. This may impact the safety of building users.

Recommendation 20 of the BCR is: That each jurisdiction requires that there be a comprehensive building manual for [Class 2 - 9] buildings that should be lodged with the building owners and made available to successive purchasers of the buildings.

In response to this recommendation, the BCR Implementation Team has developed a discussion paper. It covers the problems caused by building owners not having accurate and complete information about their buildings, and seeks your views on:

  • the information that should be collected in building manuals
  • where information, collected for building manuals, should be stored
  • who should oversee creation of a building manual
  • possible processes to create building manuals, and
  • the types of buildings that should require a building manual.

You can access the discussion paper below or download a copy at the bottom of this page.

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Why your views matter

Introduction of a requirement that certain buildings have building manuals will impact industry and building owners. It may increase accountability of developers and builders of new buildings by requiring that they provide accurate and complete information to building owners and potential building owners. This should allow building owners and potential building owners to:

  • properly assess whether they would like to invest in a building
  • fulfil their responsibilities under the law, such as properly maintaining buildings that they own, and
  • make informed decisions about using buildings that they own.

In turn, this will increase the safety of building users by reducing building defects that are created due to incorrect or inadequate maintenance or inappropriate use of buildings.

We will use your feedback on the discussion paper to develop model guidance for states and territories. Your feedback will help us improve this guidance and consider practical processes for developing and accessing building manuals.

Providing comment

Comments are open until 11:59PM AEST Monday 17 May 2021. Only comments submitted using the online form will be considered.

A preview of the consultation form is provided below.

What happens next

The BCR Implementation Team appreciates your feedback. 

Following your feedback to the discussion paper, model guidance will be developed and provided to the Australian Building Codes Board for its consideration in September 2021.


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