Got the Building Permit Blues?

Building Permits Being Approved

Sounds like the headlining number for most designers and builders these days.

The increasing demand on building practitioners is being felt at all levels and it’s having serious consequences on project outcomes and stakeholder relations.

Whilst there’s no one single reason to this industry wide headache, anecdotally, the primary sources of pain seem to be the perpetual regulatory changes, increasing levels of required documentation and inconsistent interpretations of the regulations.

There’s a great divide between the building permit application stakeholders and the relevant building surveyor.

The Building Surveyor

On 01 January 2021, the VBA released the first Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors. The Code of Conduct was introduced to establish a baseline for the professional conduct of building surveyors and an avenue of enforcement for inappropriate conduct. According to the VBA, the ultimate goal of the Code is to improve safety and oversight in the building industry.

The Code of Conduct makes it clear that building surveyors must act within the public interest, comply with the law, act with integrity and avoid conflicts of interest, including involving themselves in the design process with builders (VBA, 2022).

The introduction and enforcement of the Code has drastically changed the nature of the relationship between the relevant building surveyor and the applicant – owners, designers and builders.

Increasing pressures from insurers and regulators on building surveyors means the degree and depth of detail on building permit documentation must be increased to ensure regulatory and technical compliance is properly demonstrated.

The Designer

Keeping up with the ever-changing regulatory landscape is a challenge…and admittedly, as design professionals, you’d probably rather be focusing on the creative work than getting bogged down in regulatory jargon. Unfortunately, it is a critical aspect of getting the design results you’re aiming for and a building permit application over the line.

Throw in the mix the issue of building surveyors who don’t ever seem to agree on a single interpretation of a regulatory issue. The conflicting and inconsistent application of the regulations seems to be a major understandable source of frustration for designers.

building plan banner

The Builder

After a hard day on the tools, who wants be bombarded with emails and paperwork?

You’ve gone through the tendering process, got your client on board and signed the contract. But…still no building permit in sight…There’s delays on obtaining approval because of the building surveyor is still not satisfied all regulatory matters have been addressed in the construction documentation.

There are contract dates you need to adhere to and cash flow to manage, so getting the approval over the line is imperative.

The Consultant

A building consultant is the bridge between all the stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition to obtain building permit approval.

A building consultant can provide design advice and be involved with the project team in ways that the relevant building surveyor cannot. They are experts in regulatory matters and understand the obligations of the relevant building surveyor, so can provide critical insights to the project team. 

The key for a successful relationship with a building consultant is early intervention. Having their services in your arsenal early in the design phase is critical for ensuring success before you’ve even applied for a building permit. 

If you’ve got a serious case of the building permit blues and are looking for solutions, contact us today by calling 0404 300 268 or reach out via email at

work with us

Click below to partner with our building surveying team for your next project.

Recent articles

Private Building Surveyor Assessing Plans

The Role Of A Private Building Surveyor In Victoria

Private building surveyors play an important role in the Victorian construction industry, supporting home owners, developers, designers and builders to achieve compliance in their designs and fix issues before they become problems on the construction site.

Read More »