BASIX not required for large Boarding Houses in NSW – 1 March 2022

The application of BASIX to larger boarding houses has been contentious since about 2007, soon after Section J of the building code commenced. It was never meant to be an issue! BASIX was not intended to be applicable to large boarding houses (ie those boarding houses defined as Class 3 buildings under the building code). However, through common usage, over time, Councils required both BASIX and Section J for boarding houses which naturally caused confusion and additional costs of compliance. We have written on this topic before. For a bit more history refer to the link below.

Boarding Houses – Do they need Section J, BASIX, or both? – Application Solutions – Application Solutions

But for now, let’s jump straight into the changes.

As of 1 March 2022 BASIX is no longer required for large boarding houses (Class 3).

Here is an extract from the Dept of Planning announcement.

Amend the Regulation so a large boarding house, seniors housing, a group home or a hostel does not have to obtain a BASIX certificate. This is because these types of developments are class 3 buildings and are already subject to energy efficiency requirements under the Building Code of Australia and water efficiency requirements under the National Construction Code and Australian Standard AS/NZS 3500.

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment publication

For those of you who would like to see the actual new regulation refer to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021 under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Click the link or see the extract below.

Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021 (

[6] Schedule 2, definition of “BASIX building”
Omit the definition. Insert instead—
BASIX building means a building that contains at least 1 dwelling, but does
not include the following—
(a) hotel or motel accommodation,
(b) a boarding house, hostel or co-living housing that—
(i) accommodates more than 12 residents, or
(ii) has a gross floor area exceeding 300 square metres.

So, there we have it. After 15 years of confusion the problem has been fixed with a simple change to the definitions and we are back to where we started.

Earlier Application Solutions newsletter items on this topic:

2016 How Does Section J Apply to Boarding Houses? – Application Solutions – Application Solutions
2019 Boarding Houses – Do they need Section J, BASIX, or both? – Application Solutions – Application Solutions
2020 BASIX Announcement – Boarding Houses – Application Solutions – Application Solutions

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