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Technical Q&A


Q: Could you advise if a balcony is required to be weatherproofed?

A: The question of weatherproofing to a pergola was raised as a question in a Member Update August last year.

A balcony could be considered as a similar structure to a pergola and would be classified as a Class 10a structure as defined under the National Construction Code, Building Code of Australia (BCA).

A Class 10 structure is defined in the BCA as – a non-habitable building or structure being:

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

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

The BCA, Part 2.2 – Damp and Weatherproofing specifies that the requirements of this Part of the BCA does not apply to a Class 10 building except where its construction contributes to the weatherproofing of the Class 1 building.  Compliance with this Part of the BCA would be required where a Class 1 building is located below the balcony.

Class 10a buildings or structures are considered to be non-habitable and as such are not required to be weatherproofed and there is no necessity to prevent the penetration of water into these types of buildings or structures.

Dwellings that are classified as Class 1 buildings under the BCA are considered habitable and are required to be constructed to comply with Part 2.2 of the BCA.

The BCA requires that Class 1 buildings must be constructed so as to prevent the penetration of water entering from the roof and wall and also resist moisture rising from the ground so as to prevent unhealthy or dangerous conditions or loss of amenity for the occupants and undue dampness or deterioration of the building elements.

If there was a contractual arrangement in place within the contract requiring that this balcony was to be constructed so it would not leak, then then this would override the BCA requirements that Part 2.2 of the BCA does not apply.

If there was a requirement within the contract then you, as the builder, would be obliged to have constructed the balcony to be weatherproofed and prevent the entry of water.

If you have any technical questions you can contact Master Builders ACT on (02) 6175 5900