Modification & compliance applications

If you believe that a particular clause of the building regulations, or the Building Code of Australia, shouldn't apply to your building project or should apply in a modified or varied form, you can submit a modification request to the Building Appeals Board (BAB).

If a regulation relates to access provisions for people with a disability, the application must demonstrate how meeting this requirement would impose unjustifiable hardship on the applicant.

You can make a modification application if you are:

  • the owner of the building or land
  • a representative acting on behalf of the owner
  • a municipal building surveyor or a public authority
  • a lessee (for modifications to access provisions)

Under Section 160 of the Building Act 1993, the Relevant Building Surveyor or a related person should not apply for a Section 160 Modification

An owner, building surveyor or the Victorian Building Authority may apply to the BAB for a determination that the design of a building complies with the Act, the building regulations or the Building Code of Australia.

What to submit to the BAB

As part of your application you must submit:

  1. the completed application form(s)
  2. a detailed written submission with supporting documentation
  3. the application fee by completing a separate Payment Form

Providing sufficient evidence with your application is very important. You can include drawings, photographs, plans or expert reports.

You must send copies of your initial application and all subsequent correspondence to any other parties in the matter.

Where to send your application

By e-mail

In person
Building Appeals Board
Goods Shed North
733 Bourke Street
Docklands, Melbourne

By mail
Building Appeals Board
PO Box 536
Melbourne VIC 3001

Once you've submitted your application

We will send you a letter of acknowledgement upon receipt of your application.

We aim to list your application for hearing within seven weeks of us receiving your fully completed application.

Modifications are typically assessed on Thursday mornings. In simple matters, and provided the Board requires no extra information, the determination will be mailed to you within 2–3 days of the hearing. Matters regarding access provisions will take longer to complete.

The Board will only approve modifications it believes are reasonable and not detrimental to the public interest.

Please note that modification applications cannot be fast tracked.

Modification application forms

To apply for a building modification, download the relevant application form(s) from the list below.

BAB Application form - Modification (PDF, 772.49 KB)  160
BAB Application form - Compliance assessment (PDF, 1127.73 KB)  160A
BAB Application form - Disabled Access provision modification (PDF, 535.54 KB)  160B

To find out how much your application will cost and to download a Payment Form to be submitted together with your application, visit our Forms & Fees page.

Modification application examples

Download our BAB modification application – examples (PDF, 455.89 KB) to help you prepare.

For more information about modification applications, see Practice Note 1 (2019) - Applications for modification and compliance assessments (PDF, 271.89 KB).

For information about Plumbing modifications please visit the VBA website.

Applying to modify Building Regulation 157

For information regarding when the next mapping review is likely to take place in your area, call 136 186 or email

Should you wish to apply to the Building Appeals Board for a modification to the relevant building regulation applicable to your site, please complete a modification application form.

In addition to completing the application form you will be required to provide the following documentation to support your submission:

  1. A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment of your site conducted by a BAL assessor (provide copy of the BAL report)
  2. Photos of the site and surrounding vegetation to assist the board in considering the matter.
  3. Copy of Certificate of Title (provide written owner consent if you are applying on behalf of the owner)
  4. Copy of the relevant Plan of subdivision
  5. Copy of Staged Development Plan (available from the land developer)
  6. Copy of Building Permit and endorsed plans for proposed building.
  7. Written comments from the Relevant Building Surveyor.
  8. Relevant fee $126.75 per matter to be determined.

It is suggested that you seek the assistance of a building practitioner, i.e. the services of a consulting building surveyor in preparing the application if you are not familiar with relevant building legislation or if you are unable to interpret the above requirements.

Please note the general timeframe for an application of this type to be assessed is up to 12 weeks, however may vary should further information be required or where the application is received incomplete.