Temporary accommodation buildings and structures code

The Queensland Development Code (QDC) MP 3.3 – Temporary accommodation buildings and structures (PDF, 102KB) provides a uniform and acceptable standard for all temporary accommodation buildings.

A temporary accommodation building:

  • is a building intended to be used on site or is approved for use on a site for a limited period
  • and
  • either contains a sleeping compartment or contains facilities to service a sleeping compartment (i.e. a dining room, communal laundry etc).

Temporary accommodation buildings can remain on site for no more than 2 years unless the local government approves a longer time frame before the 2 year period expires.

Who the code applies to

MP 3.3 applies to:

  • new temporary accommodation buildings
  • existing lawful temporary accommodation buildings that are being moved or relocated.

This includes:

  • temporary accommodation buildings for private and domestic residential use
  • all temporary accommodation buildings provided as part of an employment agreement or where rent is paid, such as those on mining sites.

How the code works

MP 3.3 is a performance-based code: it sets mandatory, objective style requirements (performance criteria) that must be met.

It also provides acceptable solutions that can be used to meet the performance criteria.

Building certifiers can approve alternatives to the acceptable solutions if the alternative meets the performance criteria.

However, only local governments can approve a temporary accommodation building to remain on site for more than 2 years.

Minimum standards

Under MP 3.3, temporary accommodation buildings must meet minimum standards, including:

  • the same structural wind loading requirements that apply to permanent buildings
  • adequate fire safety standards, such as smoke alarms and emergency exits
  • defined amenity standards, such as minimum space per bed, power points, communication facilities, storage lockers and a minimum number of facilities (e.g. toilets, bathrooms, kitchens, laundries and refrigerators)
  • pest, dust and noise mitigation measures
  • energy-efficient and water-efficient fittings, and appropriate insulation.

Non-compliance with the code

All temporary accommodation buildings must comply with MP 3.3 (unless they're considered exempt development).

Significant penalties can apply for non-compliance.

If a person believes a temporary accommodation building doesn't meet the code, they can notify the relevant local government, who can investigate the matter and take any necessary enforcement action.

Duration for remaining on site

For temporary accommodation that's provided as part of an employment agreement or where rent is paid, MP 3.3 has a staged application, as described under Table T1 of MP 3.3, depending on how long the temporary accommodation building remains on a site.

For example:

  • a new temporary accommodation building on a site for no more than 42 days need only meet a basic set of standards for structural adequacy, health, amenity, and fire and life safety.
  • a temporary accommodation building on a site for more than 42 days must meet all code requirements, subject to specific exclusions
  • a temporary accommodation building used for private and domestic residential use need only meet the parts of the code relating to time frames and basic building code requirements.

Displaying approved checklist

This approved checklist (PDF, 78KB) must be completed and displayed on or near the temporary accommodation building if it is both:

  • on site for more than 42 days
  • provided as part of an employment agreement or where a rent is paid.

This information helps occupants of temporary accommodation buildings determine if the building meets code requirements.

When the code doesn't apply

The code doesn't apply to existing, lawful, temporary accommodation buildings that have been approved for use on the site and that aren't being moved or relocated.

Other QDC parts that apply

Other parts of the QDC that apply to temporary accommodation buildings are:

  • design and siting standards in MP 1.1, MP 1.2 and MP 1.3
  • specific criteria in other parts of the QDC.

For example, the energy efficient lighting requirements of MP 4.1 apply, but not all of MP 4.1.

The code doesn't apply where other legislative requirements address temporary accommodation standards (e.g. QDC MP 5.6 for pastoral workers accommodation).

Energy efficiency requirements

The 'building fabric' energy efficiency requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC) (including insulation) apply to the walls and roof of a temporary accommodation building.

However, the energy efficiency requirements for floors don't apply to temporary accommodation buildings.

More information