Definition for building complexity

Closed 1 Nov 2020

Opened 22 May 2020

Feedback updated 14 Dec 2020

We asked

We sought your views on a definition to identify buildings with increased likelihood of non-compliance, and therefore consequences for occupants.

You said

You said the definition needed to be simplified and amended so that it could be understood and implemented with confidence.

We did

To make the definition clearer, we:

  • consolidated and replaced confusing criteria
  • simplified the presentation, and
  • used terminology from the NCC. 

See the What happens next section at the bottom of this page for more information.   

Published responses

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


The defined term for 'Building complexity' has been developed in response to a decision of the Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) that a definition be prepared regarding the design, construction and certification of complex buildings. This work has been undertaken by the Building Confidence Report (BCR) Implementation Team in addition to delivering the Building Confidence National Framework.

The definition has been developed as a risk-based classification system for the purpose of being used as a trigger for additional regulatory interventions to assist with the design, construction and certification of complex buildings.

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Why your views matter

The BMF, at its meeting on 23 April 2020, agreed that the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) publish, on its website, the definition for building complexity. The consultation period will be open for a six-month period, during which time further work will be undertaken by the ABCB on the related regulatory interventions, in consultation with states, territories and industry stakeholders.

Providing comment

Comments on the Exposure Draft of the definition for building complexity is open until 11:59PM AEDT Sunday 1 November 2020. Only comments submitted using the online form will be considered.

What happens next

The BCR Implementation Team used your responses to simplify and improve the definition of building complexity. The revised definition was endorsed by the Australian Building Codes Board, before being agreed by Building Ministers for inclusion in the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 Public Comment Draft at their November 2020 meeting.

The revised definition will be used to inform development of regulatory interventions designed to improve compliance with the NCC and building laws. This includes proposals relating to the BCR recommendations for third-party review and mandatory inspections


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