Building regulations have traditionally used a ‘classification’ system to separate distinct building types into classes.The current BCA has a 16 class system which goes back to at least the 1970’s, is essentially unchanged from this period and is therefore at least 40 years old.

Things were very different in the 1970’s, where theatres used flammable film, smoking was allowed, and venues may well feature tiered fixed row seating with drapes for example.

This report looks at the differences in application of building regulations prescribed by the National Construction Code, Building Code of Australia Volume One (BCA) for Class 6 retail buildings (specifically hotel bar area) and Class 9b public buildings. In particular the report will considers the implications of a Class 6 hotel bar area also having live music, which is typically considered as a Class 9b use in accordance with the BCA.

In recent years, both NSW and Victoria have introduced state specific regulations to better support live music venues within this system. With variations also being considered in other states, the case is building for adopting these reforms as a nationally consistent approach.

Read the Live Music Office Live Music Venues and the Building Code of Australia Issues Paper.

This report was prepared by Stephen Kip – Director, SKIP Consulting Pty Ltd