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Temporary accommodation buildings and structures code

The Queensland Development Code part MP 3.3–Temporary, accommodation buildings and structures was developed to provide a uniform and acceptable standard for all temporary accommodation buildings.

The code requires temporary accommodation buildings to meet a range of 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 and storage lockers, as well as a minimum number of facilities such as toilets, bathrooms, kitchens, laundries and refrigerators
  • pest, dust and noise mitigation measures
  • energy and water efficient fittings, as well as appropriate insulation.

The code applies to new temporary accommodation buildings and to existing lawful temporary accommodation buildings which are to be moved or relocated.

The code is a performance-based code, meaning that it sets mandatory objective style requirements (called performance criteria) that must be met.

It also details a number of acceptable solutions that can be used to meet the performance criteria.

Licensed building certifiers can approve alternatives to the acceptable solutions, if the alternative is equivalent to the acceptable solution or meets the performance criteria.

However, only the local government can approve a temporary accommodation building remaining on site for more than 2 years.

Temporary accommodation building

A temporary accommodation building is a building that contains a sleeping compartment and includes associated buildings such as dining rooms and communal laundries, which contain facilities required by the code.

Temporary accommodation buildings can only remain on site for a maximum of 2 years, unless the local government approves a longer timeframe before the 2-year period expires.

Temporary accommodation buildings affected by the MP 3.3 code

The MP 3.3 code applies to:

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

Penalties for not meeting the code

All temporary accommodation buildings must comply with the code (unless they are exempt development) and penalties of up to $166,500 can apply for non-compliance.

If the code is not being met, a person can complain to the relevant local government, who can investigate the matter and take any necessary enforcement action or prosecution.

Durations for temporary accommodation buildings remaining on site

Where temporary accommodation is provided as part of an employment agreement or where rent is paid, the code has a staged-application depending on the duration the temporary accommodation building remains on a site.

For example, new temporary accommodation buildings on site for periods of 42 days or less need only meet a basic set of standards for structural adequacy, health, amenity and fire and life safety.

For temporary accommodation buildings on a site for periods greater than 42 days, all requirements of the code apply, subject to some specific exclusions.

For temporary accommodation buildings used for private and domestic residential use, only specific parts of the code relating to timeframes and basic building code requirements apply.

Temporary accommodation building checklist

To assist occupants of temporary accommodation buildings in determining if the requirements of the code are being met, an approved checklist (PDF, 59.2KB) must be displayed on or near the temporary accommodation building if it is on site for more than 42 days and is provided as part of an employment agreement or where a rent is paid.

Existing lawful temporary accommodation buildings

The code does not apply to existing lawful temporary accommodation buildings which are not being moved or relocated.

If an existing building is moved or relocated before 1 July 2012, only certain aspects of the code apply.

For example, an existing lawful temporary accommodation building relocated to a site for 112 days or less, need only meet a basic set of standards for structural adequacy, health, amenity and fire and life safety.

For periods longer than 112 days, the same standards will apply, plus all requirements of the code relevant to the exterior of the building apply.

Other parts of the Queensland Development Code that apply to temporary accommodation buildings

The only other parts of the Queensland Development Code that apply to temporary accommodation buildings are the design and siting standards in MP 1.1, MP 1.2 and MP 1.3, as well as specific criteria in other parts of the Queensland Development Code.

For example, the energy efficient lighting requirements of part MP 4.1 apply, but it is only those specific requirements and not all of MP 4.1.

The code does not apply where certain other legislative requirements address temporary accommodation standards, for example Queensland Development Code part MP 5.6 for pastoral workers accommodation.

Energy efficiency standards for temporary accommodation buildings

The ‘building fabric’ energy efficiency requirements of the national Building Code of Australia (including insulation) apply to the walls and roof of a temporary accommodation building.

However, the energy efficiency requirements for floors do not apply to temporary accommodation buildings.

More information



Last updated 06 August 2012


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