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Learning & Resources

Building classification

By Danielle Warfe

04 April 2018

You may have come across references to Class 1a houses or Class 10a outbuildings. Building classification is used to define the risks in a building according to its use, not its construction.

Building classes are nationally consistent and set the scene for applying the appropriate requirements for a specific project:

Class 1a –
a house, but not if it’s located above or below another dwelling.
Class 1b –
a boarding house with less than 12 residents, or a dwelling used for short-term accommodation.
Class 2 –
multi-residential dwellings located above one another or above a common carpark.
Class 3 –
accommodation buildings for unrelated people and generally transient in nature, e.g. hotel, shearers’ quarters, backpackers.
Class 4 –
a single residence in a Class 5-9 building, e.g. a flat above a shop.
Class 5 –
offices used for professional or commercial purposes, e.g. medical practitioner, accountant, government agency.
Class 6 –
a place for the sale of goods or services, e.g. shopping centre, kiosk, laundromat, restaurant.
Class 7a –
a carpark.
Class 7b –
a building for the storage of goods or the display of goods for wholesale, e.g. farm shed, warehouse.
Class 8 –
 a building for the manufacture, repair, assembly, packing or cleaning of goods, e.g. workshop, laboratory, factory.
Class 9a –
 a health-care facility where patients may be incapacitated, e.g. hospital.
Class 9b –
 a building where people assemble, e.g. church, school, child-care centre, sports centre, cinema, conference centre.
Class 9c –
 an aged-care facility.
Class 10a –
 a non-habitable building that is not used for living or sleeping, e.g. shed, private garage, deck, pavilion, public toilet.
Class 10b –
 a structure, e.g. fence, flagpole, swimming pool, retaining wall, outdoor tiered seating.
Class 10c –
 a bushfire shelter.


A building with mixed uses will have multiple classifications, with a different class applying to each part of the building. For example a hotel with a restaurant, carpark and conference centre would be Class 3, 6, 7a and 9b.

Alternatively, a building might have multiple uses and have a shared classification. For example, a bank with offices and service counters would be Class 5/6.


In all cases, the building class is based on the use of the building and determines the safety features it requires. If you’re looking to change the use of your building, this may change its classification and therefore its requirements. At Pudding Lane, we’re always available to discuss the implications of change-of-use for your development.


Danielle Warfe

Building Surveyor (Limited)

Danielle is an experienced researcher, skilled in communication, risk assessment, and the evaluation of evidence. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Building Surveying and Certification.