National Construction Code

Subject Matter Experts for performance-based design

Image of workers around a meeting table

The ABCB is focused on identifying opportunities to both increase the use, and improve the calibre, of Performance Solutions across Australia, and supports the architecture and building design sectors in shifting towards a performance mindset.

The Subject Matter Expert (SME) Network is here!

This journey has seen the ABCB establish its most recent initiative - the SME Network. The SME Network is comprised of some of Australia’s leading practitioners, engineers and thought leaders. Established as a pilot initiative, the network aims to provide advice and support on the best practice application of Performance Solutions, and highlight opportunities for applying performance-based design by Architects and Building Designers.

Recent sector research conducted by the ABCB revealed the barriers preventing the use of performance-based design. The study identified a need for greater awareness of Performance Solutions across Australia’s architecture and building design sectors, particularly in relation to cost-effectiveness, the perceived complexity of the assessment and certification process, and verification challenges.

How the network will operate

The SME Network will work closely with the ABCB to further develop meaningful sector resources such as presentations, training materials, case studies and FAQs. Additionally, they will be attending industry events (e.g. panels, seminars and information sessions) in both a networking and presenting capacity.

The SME Network aims to break down perceived barriers, ensure the sector can seek adequate support, and help guide in the development and application of performance-based design.

Sharing their knowledge, experience and expertise, the SME Network will respond to general enquiries about the development and approval of Performance Solutions*, and create and present information on performance-based design.

How to contact the SME Network

Architects and building designers are highly encouraged to tap into the experts’ knowledge by:

You can also visit our LinkedIn page dedicated to Increasing Performance Solutions.

Introducing our SME Network Members

Members of the SME Network were selected following an expression of interest process, which saw more than 50 applications submitted from outstanding candidates, including architects, building designers, engineers and building certifiers.

The selected members have a diverse portfolio - with both national and international experience.

Representing disability access, fire safety, energy efficiency, plumbing, structural safety and health and amenity disciplines, the final SME Network includes seasoned practitioners and passionate Performance Solutions champions, including:


Dr Penny Galbraith: Director for the Centre for Universal Design Australia.
Mark Relf: President of the Association for Consultants in Access Australia.
Lee Wilson: Disability Access and Egress Consultant and Director of Egress Group Pty Ltd.


Sid Thoo: Award-winning architect and Director of eTool.
Evan Logan: Energy Manager and Lead ESD Consultant at CADDS Energy + Sustainability.


Will Marshall: Fire Safety Engineer and Director of Performance Based Consulting.
David Graham: Fire Safety Engineer at Arup.
Dr Marianne Foley: Arup Fellow and Principal Fire Engineer.


Jonathan Barnett: Technical Director – RED Fire Engineers and National Chair of Engineers Australia Society of Fire Safety.
Paul England: Managing Director of EFT Consulting, specialising in fire safety.

What our SME's are up to?

  • Sid Thoo has been busy writing an article, published in LinkedIn, on taking a performance-based approach early in the design stage of a build to demonstrate a residential building meets the energy efficiency requirements of the NCC.
  • Evan Logan is presenting at the Perth ADEB Building Industry Seminar, 13 April 2018. The presentation will identify design features of a section J NCC 2016 compliant building that need to change when designing to 2019 requirements.
  • Marianne Foley is presenting at the 12th International Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods Conference, April 23-27, 2018. Marianne is presenting on the benefits of performance-based design.

The ABCB would like to thank each of the SME Network members for their commitment to engendering a performance mindset. We are very excited about this collaboration and look forward to the fruition of the SME Network.

*Members of the SME will not advise on, develop or participate in the development of performance solutions for specific projects.

Was this article helpful?

In a few words, please tell us how we could improve future articles on ABCB Connect