Somebody told me yesterday that heritage buildings don’t have to comply with the Building Code of Australia (“BCA”).  This statement is partly true but comes with some important exemptions.

An old building, including a heritage building does not have to be upgraded as the BCA is updated.  Nevertheless, all buildings when renovated must install or erect works in accordance with the BCA.  Hence, all new works need to comply.  

What is important is that, you need to ensure that where the BCA sets out safety practices, the building complies.  If it is a known safety standard set out in the BCA, and the building does not comply with the BCA, if injured, the Owners Corporation is responsible.  Remember the case of O’Meara, where the student fell off a balcony where the balustrade was too low.  The Owners had to pay her compensation even though they were not required to upgrade the building.

In short, you must upgrade your building to BCA standards where they are new building works and where there is a need for safety.