FORM 15 in QLD

ArchiEng RPEQ Form 15 QLD Rondo

Form 15 QLD - Certificate of Compliance

What is Form 15 (Compliance Certificate for Building Design or Specification)In Queensland, a Form 15 Compliance Certificate for Building Design of Specification certification is issued by an appointed competent person to affirm whether or not an aspect of building work – if performed as outlined – will comply with building assessment provisions as per section 10 of the Building Act 1975 and sections 73 and 77 of the Building Regulation 2021. In another word, Form 15s are used to certify the design of particular systems or components within a building that are outside of the building certifier's expertise. ArchiEng is Chartered Professional Engineer, NER, RPEQ and Fellow of Engineers Australia, with relevant building and engineering qualification nationally and we are therefore happy to supply you with a Form 15 to give to your certifier.

Essentially, this means that the appointed person will look at a proposed component or facet of a construction project (e.g., lightweight steel stud wall, seismic ceilings, seismic restraints for MEP services) and confirm whether or not it will meet current regulations if all goes to plan.

During the completion of the certificate, the appointed competent person will:
1. Describe the property
2. Describe the aspect/s to be certified
3. Communicate the basis for certification (what tests, rules, specifications, standards or codes of practice were relied upon)
4. Relay any referencing documentation
5. Provide the building certifier’s reference and building application development numbers
6. Provide their details
7. They will then sign the certificate, provided they are satisfied the work will comply with current regulations

Upon completing a Form 15 in Queensland, the appointed person will provide the certificate to the building certifier, who will then use it as documentation in the building approval process.

Are Forms 15 mandatory?

Yes. The Building Regulation 2006(BR) requires that any certificate given by a building certifier or a competent person about a building design or inspection must be in the approved form if it is to be relied on by a building certifier to perform building certifying functions.It should be noted that even though the forms are mandatory, Forms 15 may not be required if the work is within the expertise of the certifier. The certifier does not need to decide a QBCC(Queensland Building and Construction Commission) licesee is competent to give inspection help provided they are appropriately licensed to carry out work in the aspect.

When must Forms 15 be used?

Form 15 must be used when a competent person is requested to provide a certificate for the matters relating to the design/specification help they are giving to a building certifier. The certificate provided must cover such things as the design of a particular material, system, method of building or that a building element complies with the BCA(Building Code of Australia) or a provision of the QDC(Queensland Development Code).

Does the signature on Forms 15 have to be an original?

Any Form 15 given by a building certifier, competent person or QBCC licensee is required to be signed. Generally the provisions of the Electronic Transaction(Queensland) Act 2001 allow a copy of a signed document to be accepted by a person the certificate is to be given to. However, the person receiving the certificate has the discretion to accept a copy of the certificate or request it with an original signature.

The person required to sign a certificate is the person the building certifier has decided is competent to give design/specification or inspection help. For QBCC licensees where the company is licensed, it is acceptable to have the licensed nominee or other person authorised by the company to sign the certificate.

Can Forms 15 or any approved Forms be changed?

No. The information required in all approved forms is the minimum information required by legislation. The versions of the forms on the Department's web site are the current approved forms and all relevant sections are to be completed.

Forms 15 make provision for other material such as specifications, standards, codes or other publications etc to be referenced to. If the space on a form is not sufficient to accommodate all of this material, you can refer to this material in an addendum or attachment.

However, the forms are approved in a Microsoft Word version so you can download the forms and add material directly to the particular parts of the form. Including a large volume of material on a form may mean the item boxes on the forms are extended. This is acceptable and does not change the approved form.

Can Form 15 be used for standard or generic designs?

Yes. Form 15 can be used to certify standard or generic designs of materials, systems, methods of building or that building elements comply with the BCA or a provision of the QDC.

The certificate must set out the parameters and any limitations for the design such as the range of soil conditions or wind loads in accordance with relevant Australian Standards. The building certifier must ensure the proposed building work does not exceed these parameters.

Due to the nature of standard or generic designs, specific property descriptions will not always be known. In these cases it is not necessary to complete the property description details. However, where these details are known or the design is produced as a ‘one-off’ or is specific to a particular site, it is important to provide the property description details.

Do architects and designers have to use Form 15?

No. It is not intended architects and building designers have to provide a Form 15 for the overall design of a building. Form 15 is intended to be used for the design of particular systems or components within a building that are outside of the building certifier’s expertise. Examples of these are systems and components such as concrete footings and slabs, mechanical air handling or fire alarm systems etc.

Does Form 15 apply to the design of components such as suspended ceiling?

The design of suspended ceiling systems are engineered components within a building that may require certification by a competent person. Before accepting the certificate, the certifier must have decided the person responsible for the design of the frame or truss system is competent.

In Item 7 of Form 15, am I certifying the whole building complies with the Building Act 1975?

No. The reference to the BA in item 7 of Form 15 does not mean the whole building complies with the BA. This reference is taken to mean that a particular material, system, method of construction or a component of building work complies with the ‘building assessment provisions’. Section 30 of the BA sets out what the building assessment provisions are. They include documents such as the BCA and QDC which in turn refer to certain Australian Standards or other technical provisions.

Form 15 makes provisions to clearly describe the extent of the work being certified and the basis of the certification. The basis of the certification allows the person giving the certificate to nominate any relevant Australian Standard or specific provisions of the BCA or QDC that may be applicable.

The purpose of Form 15 is to certify the components identified in the certificate. Items 2, 3 and 4 of Form 15 provide the person giving the certificate the opportunity to clearly identify the extent of certification and the components it applies to.

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