National Construction Code
Some of you may have been developing Performance Solutions for some time now. If so, you will already be aware that in the past there hasn’t been a formal process described in the NCC for the development of Performance Solutions…well, not until now.
This formal process is found in provision A2.2(4) of the NCC. Whilst inclusion of the provision into NCC 2019 Amendment 1 was published in July 2020, the provision only comes into effect from 1 July 2021. This process contributes to the implementation of Building Confidence Report recommendations 14 and 15.
If you’re a regular user of Performance Solutions, you’ll understand how they encourage innovative design and offer a flexible way of achieving compliance with the NCC. If you’re accustomed to using Deemed-to-Satisfy Solutions and are considering the use of performance based building design, the ABCB has produced a number of publications and educational tools to assist with the development of NCC Performance Solutions, see below.
A2.2(4) specifically identifies the documentation required where a Performance Solution is proposed as a means of meeting a Performance Requirement/s. The process demonstrates clear expectations, better information to end users and a greater auditing ability through improved record keeping and documentation.
The process is suitable for both simple and complex Performance Solutions. Documentation needs to be sufficient to reflect the complexity of the Performance Solution. Here is a summary of the key elements of the A2.2(4) provision:
- The development of a performance-based design brief, in consultation with key stakeholders of the design, to ensure a clear pathway for the design process.
- A robust analysis and evaluation process of the design proposal/method. This forms part of the documented record of activities and outcomes for the final report.
- A final report which demonstrates how the design will be acceptable and confirms that the Performance Requirements are met.
Why the change?
An expert assessment of Australia’s building regulatory and compliance systems was undertaken, which found systematic issues affecting application and compliance with the NCC. The outcomes of the assessment (the Building Confidence Report) sets out a series of recommendations aimed at ensuring compliance and enforcement systems deliver buildings that meet the objectives of the NCC and improve public trust in building regulatory systems.
The development of A2.2(4) is one measure that will assist in ensuring higher levels of compliance with the NCC are achieved and will assist in returning confidence to the construction industry.
If you’re new to performance-based design, or just wish to increase your knowledge and understanding, the ABCB has developed several supporting resources to help you. Some of these include:
- Performance Solutions process guidance document
- The NCC: Meeting the Performance Requirements video
- The NCC: A performance-based code video
- The NCC: Developing Performance Solutions video
- NCC CPD course about Performance Solutions (for building surveyors)
- NCC CPD course on Evidence of Suitability (for building surveyors)
Over the coming months, we’ll be developing additional resources which will be available from the ABCB’s resource library.