Due to the complexities involved with ensuring SDAs are assessed and remain compliant, consulting services as a minimum must be undertaken by an Accredited SDA Assessor and in accordance with the following legislation
When designing a dwelling for enrolment as SDA, it must include features that meet the Minimum Design Requirements set out in the NDIS Price Guide. But although meeting these requirements may deem that the dwelling is fit for use, there could also be other legislative requirements that need to be met to ensure the building is compliant.
It’s important to understand from the beginning whether there are other codes, standards or requirements that the proposed building needs to adhere to such as building and planning. If building requirements apply, it can then trigger additional compliance with other documents such as the Australian Standards and Building Code of Australia. If the building falls under planning laws, the design will need to comply with local council’s planning scheme.
You’ll need to understand exactly which legislative requirements are applicable to your building project from the outset. Failure to do so can have significant consequences including ineligibility for enrolment as SDA, infringement notices, retrospective upgrades or even demolition. Before you enrol a dwelling for SDA consideration, check with your local council or building authority to make sure that all relevant building and planning requirements have been met.
One of the criteria to determine the eligibility of a dwelling for enrolment as Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) includes designing the dwelling to contain features that meet the Minimum Design Requirements contained within the NDIS Price Guide – Specialist Disability Accommodation.
Although meeting the Minimum Design requirements may deem a dwelling is ‘fit for use’ under the Price Guide, it is important to understand that these will not be the only requirements that dictate the final design. For example, the proposed works may trigger legislative requirements that are outside the NDIS, such as Building and Planning.
Building requirements would trigger ensuring that the design complies with Technical documents such as the Building Code of Australia and Australian Standards, while Planning can trigger design requirements specific to a Council’s Planning scheme.
During the initial stages of design, it is crucial to understand if other legislative requirements are applicable that impact how the dwelling can be designed. Not considering these can have dire consequences for the project such as ineligibility for enrolment as SDA, orders to stop works or vacate the building, infringements notices, demolition and/or retrospective upgrade works to the building.
Anyone considering enrolling a dwelling for SDA will need to ensure that all relevant Building and Planning requirements have been adopted into the design. For help to understand Building and Planning requirements and the effect they may have on the design consultation should be sought from your Local Council.