Building Amendment (Construction of Swimming Pools and Spas) Regulations 2016

Building Amendment (Construction of Swimming Pools & Spas) Regulations 2016

The continued raft of building regulation changes continues with latest directed to pool-regsdomestic pools and spas. One concern we have also seen is the lack of attention to just when a pool project is finished and therefore we have seen pools and spas in full operation but without proper fencing completed. Generally  we have not be had anything to do with pool project but find ourselves now dealing with the non-completion. Essentially the pool companies and home owners have been employing the extended period of completion related to normal building to give a window of not completing the pool enclosure.

“The new rules appears fair and reasonable to us.”

The Building Amendment (Construction of Swimming Pools and Spas) Regulations 2016 (S.R. No. 104/2016) will come into effect on 3rd October 2016. These reduce red-tape by aligning the completion periods for building work relating to a swimming pool or spa and any associated barrier or safety equipment with the completion period for other building work that is being carried out concurrently on an allotment.

From 3 October 2016, building permits issued for the construction of a swimming pool or spa may reflect the completion date of other building work being carried out concurrently on the same allotment. When calculating the completion date, the RBS should only consider building permits that are in force at the time that the building permit for the construction of the swimming pool or spa is issued.

For a copy of proposed change: Link to government regulation here

So keep your property safe this summer and ensure you know what your obligations are as pools and spas. Small kids simply don’t mix well unattended and unfenced pool areas so get your fences done sooner to enjoy your pool and spas.

Pool and Spa Permit

Thinking of purchasing a new pool or external spa then days have been long gone where we as home owners decide whats safe and whats not.

Within Victoria there is a requirement, when installing a new pool or spa, to get a building permit for the construction of the pool or barrier.

Things to think about when proposing a new pool

In the excitement of getting a new pool or spa not always do we focus on the fencing and gates that will be required to comply to building codes. The style, cost and location of fencing and gate will ultimately be critical to the overall outcome of your pool area.

Having a in-ground pool installed:

It is probable that if getting an in ground pool installed Permit requirements may be undertaken by your pool company. Certainly check to ensure it is included and that temporary fencing is allowed for the period between filling the pool and final pool fencing being installed.

Above ground or Spas

Rules remain the same for these projects so although you may or may not need a permit for the actual spa the spa enclosure will require a permit and inspections to ensure it’s installed to building code requirements.

Remember you cannot fill your pool or spa unless you have installed a temporary Glass Pool Fencing. Note: Check with your local council as to what requirements are applicable for temporary fence options and maximum length of time you can maintain this method of barrier.

Permanent fencing to building code requirements and had relevant permit inspections.

The Building Commission advises ” New swimming pools in Victoria now require four-sided pool fencing as the Building Code of Australia 2010 came into effect on 1 May 2010″. With the new code came a new set of construction requirements and options to consider dependant upon the differing conditions your site offers.

The Project Centre does prepare plans for pool enclosures and arrange building permits for pool fencing. We currently do not provide plans for actual pool construction.

So what is a pool fence or safety barrier?

The Building Commission describes a Safety barrier” refers to a fence, wall, gate or screen, and includes gates, windows, locks, latches, hinges and self-closing devices attached to them.  Safety barriers are required for in-ground swimming pools, jacuzzis, indoor swimming pools, above-ground swimming pools and spas. This includes inflatable and portable units that are capable of holding water greater than 30cm (300mm) in depth.

The responsibility of swimming pool and spa owners to maintain and use safety barriers can help save lives. Remember when children are near water, adult supervision is essential.”

For more information read  What you need to know about Swimming Pool and Spa Safety Barriers (1.02MB)

The following list is to be considered when considering your pool or spa enclosure.

  • Have a safety barrier for all swimming pools and spas with a depth greater than 30cm (300mm).
  • Obtain a building permit for the construction of the pool and barrier.
  • Complete the barrier within six months of building work commencing on the swimming pool or spa.
  • Engage a registered building practitioner to carry out the work if the value of the work exceeds $5,000 (including labour and materials).
  • Maintain the barrier and any self-closing and self-latching gates in good working order.  (All gates are to have a self-closing, self-latching device – regardless of when the pool was built).
  • Never prop open any gate providing access to the swimming pool or spa.
  • Non-compliance with the Regulations risks lives, and pool owners could incur a fine of over $5,000.
  • Access from dwellings is not permitted directly into the pool area via external doors.
  • Indoor swimming pools and spas must have self-closing, self-latching doors that swing away from the pool area.

Refer to Building Commission Pools and spas for further and more detailed information