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What are performance requirements in construction?

An Overview on Performance Requirements

Setting Performance Requirements, the National Construction Code (NCC) is a performance-based code that sets national consistency to technical standards for buildings by prescribing minimum standards to the design and construction of buildings, including plumbing and drainage systems. Therefore, the National Construction Code sets mandatory standards for the technical requirements and controls of buildings. However, the Code also has flexibility for the obtaining of innovative Performance Solutions to satisfy Performance Requirements.

By prescribing both mandatory minimum standards and flexibility with Performance Solutions to comply with Performance Requirements, the National Construction Code is a performance-based code that is also intended to promote innovation with the creation of alternative design solutions within the construction industry to improve constructability, efficiency, cost effectiveness, and encourage bespoke solutions not ordinarily expected within standard industry practice.

In this article, we address the frequently asked questions:

What is the National Construction Code?

The National Construction Code (NCC) is split into three volumes. In summary:

VolumeSummary
Volume OneVolume One addresses the technical construction requirements for all Class 2 to 9 buildings, with certain carve-ins for relevant classes of buildings and structures.
Volume TwoVolume Two addresses the technical construction requirements for: buildings in Class 1 and 10a building, with certain carve outs for relevant classes of buildings and structure.
Volume ThreeVolume Three contains the technical construction requirements for plumbing and drainage systems in new and existing buildings.

Topics that explore the application of the National Construction Code, include:

What are Performance Requirements?

Within Volume One and Two, Performance Requirements may be satisfied by either of the following:

  • Performance Solution
  • Deemed-To-Satisfy Solution
  • A combination of Performance Solution or Deemed-To-Satisfy Solution.

In summary, Performance Requirements are requirements stating the level of performance that either a Performance Solution or Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution must meet.

What is a Performance Solution?

A Performance Solution may be achieved by demonstrating compliance with Performance Requirements, or the Performance Solution is at least equivalent to the relevant Deemed-To-Satisfy Provisions. The demonstration of compliance may be shown through either or a combination of the following Assessment Methods:

  • Evidence of Suitability
  • A Verification Method
  • Expert Judgement
  • Comparison

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What is a Deemed-To-Satisfy Solution?

In general terms, a Deemed-To-Satisfy Solution is a method of satisfying the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions. If a Deemed-To-Satisfy Solution is compliant, then generally, it will meet the standards expected in the Performance Requirements.

A Deemed-To-Satisfy Solution can also show compliance with Deemed-To-Satisfy provisions through the following Assessment Methods: Evidence of Suitability meeting Deemed-To-Satisfy Provisions, or Expert Judgement.

What is an Assessment Method?

For either Performance Solution or Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution, an Assessment Method is a method that may be used to determine whether either solution complies with Performance Requirements.

What is Evidence of Suitability?

Evidence of Suitability is a type of Assessment Method. Within Part A5 (Documentation of Design and Construction), the requirements to satisfy Evidence of Suitability is listed. Therefore, Part A5 sets out the evidence required to show that the National Construction Code requirements are met, and a product is fit for purpose. A product may be fit for purpose if it is supported by appropriate evidence of suitability and is constructed in an appropriate manner.

In general terms, appropriate evidence of suitability may include:

  • a Current CodeMark Australia or CodeMark Certificate of Conformity
  • a Current Certificate of Accreditation
  • a Certificate issued by a Certification Body accredited by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ)
  • a reported issued by an Accredited Testing Laboratory
  • a Certificate or Report from a Professional Engineer, or other Appropriate Qualified Person
  • another form of document evidence demonstrating and setting out the basis for fulfilling the requirements of National Construction Code

What is a Verification Method?

Verification Method is a type of Assessment Method. A Verification Method is a test, inspection, calculation, or other method that determines whether a Performance Solution complies with the relevant Performance Requirements.

The Verification Method may be one or a combination, of the following:

  • Verification Methods provided in the National Construction Code
  • Other Verification Methods, accepted by the appropriate authority that show compliance with relevant Performance Requirements
  • Expert Judgement
  • Comparison with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

What is Expert Judgement?

Expert Judgement is a type of Assessment Method. It is the judgement of an expert who has qualifications and experience to determine whether a Performance Solution or Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution complies with Performance Requirements.

National Construction Code (NCC): Overview | National Construction Code (NCC): Format and Layout | Building Code of Australia (BCA) | Building Classes

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Authored by:
Ben Franklin, Managing Partner (LIV Accredited Specialist – Property Law), &
Matthew Tran, Lawyer.

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