Feedback and Engagements

Performance-based design - pushing the right buttons

29/03/2017
Smiling buttons

We recently engaged with Architects to understand the opportunities and barriers associated with performance-based design.

As part of our vision for increasing performance-based design across Australia’s building and plumbing industry, we commenced targeted engagement with Australia’s architecture industry.

Previously, we had developed specific supporting materials to raise awareness of the application and use of Performance Solutions. However, its uptake has been limited. This engagement process sought to better understand how these materials could better support industry, and to look at opportunities and challenges associated with achieving compliance using NCC Performance Solutions.

This phase of engagement was primarily targeted at the field of architecture. However, other stakeholder groups across the building, design, manufacturing and regulation sectors also got involved and had their say.

The engagement program included an online survey and focus group sessions.

What we heard…

The survey confirmed that the architecture sector is strongly aware and understands the benefits and process associated with Performance Solutions. A number of barriers blocking practitioners from using performance-based design were also highlighted.

A total of 676 respondents completed the online survey. Of these respondents, 78.4% were male and 19.4% were female. The highest number of respondents were aged between 55 and 64 years. Survey respondents were generous in providing valuable information that contextualised their responses. The following list of barriers were highlighted:

  • Overall, Performance Solutions weren’t considered cost effective; however, when used, the end result justified the investment
  • Reluctance across the regulating sector to verify Performance Solutions
  • Perceived complexity of the assessment and certification process
  • Lack of information, precedents and case studies demonstrating successful Performance Solutions
  • The role of Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Provisions in hindering Performance Solutions.

Focus groups were used to gather new information on the opportunities and challenges and allowed further exploration of the issues and comments raised in the online survey responses. Participants included a mix of architects, building designers, sustainability consultants and representatives from industry peak bodies. They were encouraged to think outside the box and put forward recommendations to increase uptake of Performance Solutions in Australia. The resulting series of recommendations, include some of the following:

  • Provide examples and highlight case studies of successful Performance Solutions that can be shared and used across industry
  • Expand and include successful Performance Solutions in the DTS Provisions
  • Remove the complexity associated with documenting the Performance Solution verification process and provide more information to industry
  • Provide professional development opportunities where industry experts lead discussion and deliver presentations on relevant, relatable and real experiences
  • Create an environment that incentivises industry to adopt and target Performance Solutions and promote industry change
  • Use a mix of communication channels to engage with industry, including webinars, social media, seminars and industry events, and trade shows.

Next steps…

We are considering the ideas and information gathered through this engagement process and is exploring strategies to remove the barriers to, and increase uptake of, Performance Solutions across Australia.

Thanks and the winner is...

Thank you to all of those that participated in the online survey and the focus groups.

Alan Ross from Fremantle architecture firm, Artem Architecture, is the lucky winner of the online survey $100 gift card prize, provided by the consultancy engaged to design and rollout the consultation program. Congratulations Alan!

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