Know your dwellings from your non-habitable buildings with this handy list from the Australian Building Code Board.

When searching for commercial property there are a number of class details to look out for. These classes are part of the Building Code of Australia and classify buildings and structures. Here is a summary of the codes and what types of business or the buildings are approved for. You wouldn’t want to purchase or lease a building only to find out too late that your business can’t run there.

This list below provides the definitions of Building Classes as set out in the Building Code of Australia.

Classes of Building

Class 1
Class 1a - A single dwelling being a detached house, or one or more attached dwellings, each being a building, separated by a fire-resisting wall, including a row house, terrace house, townhouse or villa unit.
Class 1b - A boarding house, guest house, hostel or the like with a total area of all floors not exceeding 300m2, and where not more than 12 reside, and is not located above or below another dwelling or another 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 Class 1 or 2 building, which is a commonplace of long term or transient living for a number of unrelated persons. Example: boarding-house, hostel, backpackers accommodation or residential part of a hotel, motel, school or 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. Example: café, restaurant, kiosk, hairdressers, showroom or service station.

Class 7
Class 7a - A building which is a car park.
Class 7b - A building which is 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.
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.
Class 9c - An aged care building.

Class 10
A non-habitable building or structure. Class 10a - A private garage, carport, shed or the like.
Class 10b - A structure being a fence, mast, antenna, retaining or free standing wall, swimming pool or the like.
Class 10c - A private bushfire shelter.

Types of Construction

Class of building 2, 3, 9:
Type A (3+ storeys)
Type B (2 storeys)
Type C (1 storey)

Class of building 5, 6, 7, 8:
Type A (4+ storeys)
Type B (3 storeys)
Type C (1 or 2 storeys)

Further Resources:

Note: The classification of buildings and the type of construction can vary from the standard model depicted in the tables at the discretion of the BCA. Concessions can be provided that change the type of construction. The concessions can relate to the design of the building, its size, and the number of escapes. If you have any questions regarding BCA classes or your next project please contact a master builder.