Model requirements

Model requirements

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Before you lodge your application we strongly recommend contacting the City of Sydney's modelling team to discuss all of the requirements relevant to your application.

Any development that involves changes to the building envelope of the city centre requires physical and 3D (electronic) modelling to be included with the DA.

For all other areas, new developments or major alterations and additions costing more than $5 million, or that result in a building over 3 storeys, physical and 3D models are required.

The specifications for electronic modelling can be downloaded below.

Physical and digital models can only be lodged at Town Hall House so they can be reviewed by our modelling team.

Physical model specifications

The model scale is to be 1:500 and detailed to show all:

  • setbacks
  • colonnades
  • balconies
  • significant fenestration
  • roof detail
  • parapets
  • plant rooms.

All buildings within your site boundaries need to be modelled in detail, including existing buildings that will be retained or adapted in the development.

The model construction is to be of a professional standard using only approved materials:

  • timber
  • acrylic
  • PVC
  • solid polystyrene.

Unacceptable model construction materials include:

  • starch-based rapid prototype medium
  • polystyrene foam
  • balsawood
  • cardboard.

The model needs to be spray-painted flat white.

Site context 

The model needs to show its relationship to the surrounding areas and buildings, on an incremental scale showing a distance of:

  • 100 metres for buildings up to 10 storeys
  • 200 metres for buildings over 10 storeys.

Surrounding roads need to be labelled in title block with the address, north point and context shown in a contrasting colour (light grey). Clear acryclic lids are not to be fixed and must be removable without tools.

Please note: if the site context has already been modelled by the City, it does not need to be supplied by the applicant. Templates of applicants' sites that have already been modelled by the City are available from the City's modelling team.


The individual model of the proposed development needs to be able to be removed from its base and the site context. The footprint of the individual model should extend from reduced level (RL) 0.0 (Australian Height Datum) and be of solid construction (not on stilts).

Important note: models should not be larger than 800mm x 800mm or weigh more than 25kg.

Construction certificates

After DA approval, if there has been any external changes or if an authority other than the City provided development approval, an updated model is required before a construction certificate can be issued.

The model must be an honest representation of the finished building. Providing extra models to a larger scale is at the discretion of the applicant.


Special requirements may apply to sensitive areas in relation to physical model specifications. To discuss this further, please contact:

City Modelling Team
02 9265 9333

Downloads Document Downloads
3D CAD model specifications PDF 436.3 KB Download

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Last updated: Friday, 11 January 2019