Classification of Farm Buildings and Sheds

Image of a farm shed

NCC 2016 introduced Part H3 Farm Buildings and Farm Sheds. This Part permits concessions for Class 7 and Class 8 buildings used for farming.

This article helps you understand the classification of buildings on farms, including whether you can still classify a shed on a farm as Class 10a.

Why was Part H3 for Farm Buildings and Farm Sheds introduced in NCC 2016?

Part H3 contains concessions for Class 7 and Class 8 buildings used for farming. Concessions from certain requirements are provided because these buildings pose a lower risk to occupants than buildings of the same class that are not used for farming.

Buildings used for farming are identified in the NCC through the new defined terms 'farming', 'farm building' and 'farm shed'. The defined term 'farming' details what is considered to be farming for the purposes of the NCC while the defined terms 'farm building' and 'farm shed' detail two different types of buildings used for 'farming'. Part H3 distinguishes requirements based on whether a building is a 'farm building' or a 'farm shed'.

The size of the building and level of occupancy are the two criteria that differentiate between a 'farm building' and a 'farm shed'. This differentiation allows further concessions to be applied to 'farm sheds', which present less hazard than 'farm buildings'.

It is important to note that the classification of a building is a separate process to identifying whether a building is a 'farm building' or a 'farm shed'.

Can you still have a Class 10a shed on a farm?

Under the BCA, a building’s classification is determined by the purpose for which it is designed, constructed or adapted to be used. Therefore you can still have a Class 10a shed on a farm.
Some judgment is required to discern the difference between a Class 10a shed and a Class 7b shed. When determining if a storage building is Class 7b or Class 10a it is necessary to consider the building’s size, purpose and the extent to which it is occupied. A storage building that presents a hazard on account of being large and used by employees in a large farming operation could be appropriately classified as Class 7b. Conversely a small storage shed that presents little hazard, such as that shown in the photograph above, could be appropriately classified as a Class 10a building.

Who is responsible for the classification of buildings?

Classification of a building is the responsibility of the appropriate authority e.g. the Building Certifier. It is a process of categorising buildings of similar risk levels based on use, hazard and occupancy.

Guide to NCC Volume One

Some of the explanatory information from this article has been drawn from the Guide to NCC Volume One. The Guide is a companion manual to Volume One and is intended to be used as a reference for people seeking clarification of Volume One provisions.

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