A Performance-Based Mind-Set

In 2015, the NCC was amended to include a fourth publication titled Performance Requirements extracted from the NCC 2015. This fourth document includes a summary of all the performance requirements from NCC Volumes 1, 2 and 3.

The ABCB has moved towards changing attitudes within the building industry and to promote the use of performance-based solutions, as well as establishing an enabling environment, which encourages a new mind-set. A building or plumbing solution will comply with the NCC if it satisfies the relevant performance requirements which are the actual parts of the NCC that one must comply with.

The ABCB recently announced three strategies that aim to create a built environment where the use of performance-based solutions is recognised, encouraged and supported, these include:

  1. Create a performance mind-set
  2. Build capacity
  3. Establish an enabling environment

How one currently achieves compliance in a building solution can therefore include a prescriptive ‘Deemed-to-Satisfy’ solution (as defined and prescribed within the many parts of the NCC volumes), or by adopting a performance-based approach to compliance through development and acceptance of an alternative solution, or through a combination of both approaches.

In 2012 The Centre for International Economics (CIE) acknowledged the benefits of using a performance-based approach to compliance and stated:

The objectives behind a performance-based building code have been well established internationally: by focussing on the outcomes that the building is required to deliver, it is expected that the market will have more flexibility to develop innovative and cost effective solutions. The ultimate goal is to improve the efficiency of the market in delivering no less than a minimum level of building quality, without being overly prescriptive and impeding the uptake of new technologies and design principles.[1]

[1] The Centre for International Economics (CIE), Benefits of Building Regulatory Reform, p.13, http://www.abcb.gov.au/~/media/Files/Download%20Documents/About%20the%20NCC/The%20CIE%20-%20Benefits%20of%20building%20regulation%20reform%20-%20Final%20Report.ashx, viewed 20 September 2015

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