3 Must-know facts on laws governing office fit outs

Legislation, regulations and codes

Building regulations, legislations and codes are a foundational form of quality control. Knowing your office fit out is 100% compliant is one way you can rest assured the finished product will be safe, inclusive and habitable. The design and construction of office fit outs in Queensland are subject to some of the following legislations, regulations and codes:

Contractors have high and low seasons, and matching your timeline to when they’re quieter is one of the best ways to make your money go further. Generally, the low season would be outside of any school, public or festive season holiday. 

That’s a lot! Thankfully, if you go with registered and licensed fit out contractors, they’ll be aware of how each and every one of these codes and acts affects your project. This will ensure that any work that’s planned or completed is in full compliance with the law. 

Related: Find out what you can expect when working with a qualified office fit out contractor in Queensland — visit our plastering and fit out service page for an overview of how we can help, our licences and registrations, and what it’s like to work with us. 

Approvals you’ll need

According to the Queensland Office Accommodation Management Framework, there are four approval processes involved with an office fit out project for government agencies. These are:

    1. Design approvals. These are required as part of the design and documentation process and will be needed at schematic design, design development and contract documentation stages of an office fit out project.
    2. Technical fit out approvals. These are issued after an assessment and ensure technical aspects of the project, such as electrics and plumbing are compliant.
    3. Building-owner approvals. Before any work starts, you’ll need approval from the owner. This applies to both leased and owned office-buildings. In strata properties, you may need Body Corporate sign off.
    4. Financial approvals. The work should be approved by your funding source. 

If you’re in the private sector your office fit out may not be subject to exactly the same approvals, but double-check with your building maintenance and fit out company partners if you’re unsure about your own process. They’ll have worked in similar environments before, and can help make sure you don’t miss a step.

Licences your contractors will need

According to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission, anyone helping you with an office fit out needs a contractor licence, unless the total value of the work is under $3,300. The following licence classes can undertake fit out work, subject to the limitations of the licence class’ scope of work:

  • Builder: Open, medium rise or low rise
  • Builder: restricted to shopfitting
  • Shopfitting (trade)
  • Carpentry
  • Structural metal fabrication
  • Joinery

Hiring a building maintenance company with experience in office fit outs is the best way to ensure they have every licence needed. They may seem like the costlier option, but the peace of mind you’ll get from working with a company who are automatically licensed, insured and legally compliant can save you time, effort and costly fixes in the long run. 

You may also be surprised at just how cost-effective a fixed-price contract can be. The quote you’ll get from a fit out company will be all-inclusive, meaning you don’t have to pay a cent more than is contracted for. But seeing is believing! Get in touch and arrange your own free, no-obligation quote on your next office fit out, or ask us your questions about the laws and regulations that may affect your project. 

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*Please note: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a lawyer for official details.

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