As part of NCC 2019 Amendment 1, one of the key changes is a new provision; A2.2 (4) in the Governing Requirements.
The provision requires a process be followed when developing and documenting Performance Solutions.
Delayed date of effect
As noted in the clause below, A2.2 (4) of NCC 2019 Amendment 1 will not come into effect until 1 July 2021. However, appropriate documentation, consultation and the assessment of Performance Solutions should be occurring now.
Why make the change?
Following a number of high-profile building failures, a review of building regulatory systems found public confidence in industry’s ability to deliver safe building outcomes is diminishing. The Building Confidence Report (BCR) found systematic issues and set out a series of recommendations aimed at ensuring compliance and enforcement systems deliver buildings that meet the objectives of the NCC and improve public trust in building regulatory systems.
The approach to Performance Solutions is singled out in two of the BCR recommendations, for their lack of adequate processes and required documentation, resulting in:
- some new buildings not achieving compliance with the NCC’s Performance Requirements; and
- some building approvals not providing transparency and accountability for decisions associated with Performance Solutions.
The NCC amendment sits within the Building Confidence National Framework (National Framework). The ABCB was tasked by Building Ministers with delivery of the National Framework of which a proposal to formalise a process for the development of Performance Solutions was proposed.
Regulation impact statement (RIS) informed the new provision
The ABCB developed a RIS on the process for development of Performance Solutions to inform interested parties and to assist the ABCB in its decision making on the proposed amendments to the NCC. The Consultation RIS was released earlier this year (Feb/Mar 2020). The Decision RIS focused on the marginal impacts of changing current practice for assessment and documentation of Performance Solutions and the administrative regulatory burden.
The goal of this proposal is to ensure that the right balance between process and flexibility is achieved. This goal is aimed at enhancing the use of Performance Solutions while safeguarding the public against the inherent risk of insufficient process and documentation whey they are developed.
The Performance Solution Process guidance document developed by the ABCB, is available as an educational resource. The guidance document provides further detail on the four-step process identified in the new provision A2.2 (4). It replaces the previous Development of Performance Solutions guidance document. Like the previous document, it has also received broad endorsement from many industry and professional bodies.
The ABCB has practical scenarios (some of which are shown below) known as 'Performance Scenarios' that apply this process. These include:
- Performance Scenario: High rise apartment stack
- Performance Scenario: Eurovent Standards for chillers
- Performance Scenario: Macerating toilet system
- Performance Scenario: Single storey house energy efficiency
- Performance Scenario: Energy efficiency of fans
- Performance Scenario: Construction of houses in a flood hazard area
Further support materials are also being developed to assist practitioners apply the process and will be released prior to it taking effect.