The following is a section of the Building Code of Australia Part A3 – Classificatin of Buildings and Structures
Principles of Classifications

The classification of a building or part of a building is determined by the purpose for which it is designed, constructed or adapted to be used.


Buildings are classified as follows:

Class 1: one or more buildings which in association constitute

-Class 1a -a single dwelling being:

i) a detached house; or

ii) one or more attached dwellings, each being a building, separated by a fire-resisting wall, including a row house, terrace house, town house or villa unit; or

-Class 1b -being either

i) a boarding house, guest house, hostel or the like:

a) with a total floor area not exceeding 300m2 and

b) in which not more than 12 persons would ordinarily be resident, or

ii) 4 or more single dwellings located on one allotment and used for short-term holiday accommodation,

which is not located above or below another dwelling or other Class of building other than a private garage.

Class 2: a building containing 2 or more sole-occupancy units each being a separate dwelling.

Class 3: a residential building, other than a building of Class 1 or 2, which is a common place of long term or transient living for a number of unrelated persons, including:

a) a boarding-house, guest house, hostel, lodging-house or backpackers accomodation; or

b) a residential part of a hotel or motel; or

c) a residential part of a school; or

d) accomodation for the aged, children or people with disabilities; or

e) a residential part of a health-care building which accomodates members of staff; or

f) a residential part of a detention centre.

Class 4: a dwelling in a building that is Class 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 if it is the only dwelling in the building.

Class 5: an office building used for professional or commercial purposes, excluding buildings of Class 6, 7, 8 or 9.

Class 6: a shop or other building for the sale of goods by retail or the supply of services direct to the public, including:

a) an eating room, cafe, restaurant, milk or soft-drink bar; or

b) a dining room, bar, shop or kiosk part of a hotel or motel; or

c) a hairdresser’s or barber’s shop, public laundry; or undertaker’s establishment; or

d) market or sale room, showroom, or service station.

Class 7: a building which is –

-Class 7a -a carpark; or

-Class 7b – for storage, or display of goods or produce for sale by wholesale.

Class 8: a laboratory, or a building in which a handicraft or process for the production, assembling, altering, repairing, packing, finishing, or cleaning of goods or produce is carried on for trade, sale, or gain.

Class 9: a building of a public nature –

-Class 9a – a health-care building; including those parts of the building set aside as a laboratory; or

-Class 9b – an assembly building, including a trade workshop, laboratory or the like in a primary or secondary school, but excluding any other parts of the building that are of another Class; or

-Class 9c – an aged care building.

Class 10: a non-habitable building or structure –

-Class 10a – a non-habitable building being a private garage, carport, shed or the like; or

-Class 10b – a structure being a fence, mast, antenna, retaining or free-standing wall, swimming pool, or the like; or

-Class 10c – a private bushfire shelter.

Multiple Classification

Each part of a building must be classified separately, and

a) where parts have different purposes

i) if not more than 10% of the floor area of a storey, being the minor use, is used for a purpose which is a different classification, the classification applying to the major use may apply to the whole storey; and

ii) the provisions of (i) do not apply when the minor use is a laboratory or Class 2, 3 or 4 part; and

plant room, machinery room, lift motor room, boiler room or the like must have the same classification as the part of the building in which it is situated; and
c)  if a building has parts of different classification, each part must comply with all the relevant provisions for its classification.
Parts with more than one classification

a) Notwithstanding a building or part of a building may have more than one classification applying to the whole building or to the whole of that part of the building.

b) If a building or part of a building has more than one classification applying to the whole building or part in accordance with a) that building or part must comply with all the relevant provisions of the BCA for each classification.

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