Building Code of Australia Performance Hierarchy

The BCA performance hierarchy currently consists of the following parts represented in the diagram below adapted from the BCA Clause A0.3.

The BCA performance hierarchy is a pyramid, with the following headings, starting at the top and moving downwards, Objectives, Functional Statement, these are both Guidance Levels. Performance Requirements, BCA Solutions, which can be Prescriptive Deemed-to-Satisfy solutions or Performance Solutions, also known as Alternative Solutions, or there can be a combination of the two. These levels are called Compliance Levels.

This hierarchy of requirements for buildings draws heavily on the hierarchy that was published by the Nordic Committee on Building Regulation in the late 1970s.[1] Where each part of the hierarchy is:

  • Objectives – describe the community expectations for buildings.
  • Functional Statements – describe how buildings are to achieve the objectives.
  • Performance Requirements – outline the mandatory performance level that needs to be met for a building to meet the Objectives and Functional Statements.
  • Building Solutions – BCA Volume One, pertaining to commercial buildings is a performance based document with mandatory ‘Performance Requirements’. The BCA allows for the ‘Performance Requirements’ to be met via three compliance solutions:
    • By meeting the prescriptive requirements (also known as the ‘Deemed-to-Satisfy’ provisions), which outline prescriptive requirements as to how to achieve compliance; or
    • By satisfying the relevant ‘Performance Requirement’ by using the ‘Verification Methods’ outlined within the BCA to assess a ‘Performance Solution (also known as an ‘Alternative Solution’).
    • A combination of both approaches.

[1] The Centre for International Economics (CIE), Benefits of Building Regulatory Reform, p.14,, viewed 20 September 2015

Buildings need exit and emergency signs to identify parts of the accessible means of egress. An Accessible Exit Sign Project Initiative.

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