Complying with the National Construction Code  – Performance Solutions vs Deemed To Satisfy

Builder utilising performance solution in residential construction project

Understanding the difference between Performance Solutions and Deemed To Satisfy Solutions is key to construction efficiency, helping designers and builders to avoid delays in the design development process of their projects. The National Construction Code sets out very specific standards that designers need to meet or satisfy with an alternative solution, with nuances within this code often tripping up home owners before they get started.

No matter which option is selected, designers and builders will need to have strong evidence to support the avenue they choose to utilise in order to gain approval for their projects from building authorities. In this article, we’ll define what performance solutions and deemed to satisfy provisions are, how you can achieve compliance and methods you can utilise to get your projects started faster.

Core Concepts Of The National Construction Code

Here at Deemed To Perform Consulting, one of the first enquiries we get from new clients is assistance with the submission of building permits to local council (or their private building surveyor) and meeting the requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC). This is often the case for smaller projects, like a new extension or veranda, with home owners unsure of how to properly meet NCC requirements. But this can be equally true of experienced designers and construction professionals, who may have more knowledge of the code but are unaware of the complex compliance procedures within the NCC.

With this in mind, it is important to properly define these concepts before assessing which method of compliance is more suitable for your project:

Deemed To Satisfy Solutions

A Deemed to Satisfy Solution adheres to a predefined set of instructions detailing what, when, and how a design should be executed. It relies on the designated Deemed To Satisfy provisions outlined in the NCC (the ‘recipe book’ style of compliance), encompassing materials, components, design principles, and construction techniques that, when employed, are considered to fulfill the Performance Requirements. These Performance Requirements are the minimum mandatory level that buildings, building elements, and plumbing and drainage systems must meet in order to be deemed acceptable within the requirements of the NCC.

Performance Solutions

While Deemed To Satisfy Solutions follow a set of rigid guidelines, Performance Solutions are customised approaches that suit the specific circumstances of an individual build. These tailored solutions are often required for builds in tricky areas or when a client wants something unique in their build, with innovative design and technology needed to accomplish the right outcome. They are also required when the NCC is silent on a particular design or construction matter. Construction professionals who wish to utilise a Performance Solution for their projects will need to ensure that it directly addresses and meets the minimum standards set out in the Performance Requirements by using one or more of the Assessment Methods available in the NCC.

Once our clients understand these concepts then they often quickly realise which solution is right for their project. Those building a standard home or structure without the need to factor in unusual terrain or design concepts will usually take the Deemed To Satisfy route, staying within the provisions outlined by the NCC. Those looking for a more customised structure, to meet hilly terrain or distinct design choice for a client for example, will likely need to utilise a Performance Solution in order to satisfy the Performance Requirements and assessment methods contained in the NCC.

Surveyor analysing performance solution on residential housing project construction

Achieving Building Compliance: The Essentials

No matter the chosen approach, robust evidence is a prerequisite for gaining approval from building authorities. Builders and designers must substantiate their chosen avenue with comprehensive evidence demonstrating its efficacy in meeting safety and quality standards. For Deemed To Satisfy provisions, adherence to predefined standards is paramount. Whereas Performance Solutions necessitate a detailed and clear demonstration of how the proposed solution meets or exceeds the Performance Requirements outlined in the NCC.

The assessment methods for Performance Solutions are explicitly defined by the NCC, with any combination of the four methods below able to be utilised in order to meet Performance Requirements:

1. Evidence of Suitability requires evidence, as described in NCC Part A5, to support claims that a material, form of construction or design meets the Performance Requirements.

2. Verification Methods are tests, inspections, calculations or other methods, which determine whether a proposed Building or Plumbing and Drainage Solution complies with the relevant Performance Requirements. Verification Methods are not limited to using those in the NCC. Another Verification Method may be used if the appropriate authority is satisfied that it establishes compliance with the NCC. However, in making a decision, the appropriate authority may have regard to the relevant Verification Methods or DTS Provisions provided within the NCC.

3. Comparison with the DTS Provisions allows a comparison between the DTS Provision and a proposed Building or Plumbing and Drainage Solution. If it can be demonstrated to the appropriate authority that the Performance Solution complies in an equivalent or superior way to the DTS Provisions, then it can be deemed to meet the relevant Performance Requirements.

4. Expert Judgement is the judgement of a person who has the qualifications and experience necessary to determine whether a Building or Plumbing and Drainage Performance Solution complies with the Performance Requirements. Where physical criteria are unable to be tested or modelled by calculation, the opinion of a technical expert may be accepted.

Knowing which assessment method to use is often where we see construction industry professionals tripped up. While they may know how to properly tackle a customised build and address the Performance Requirements outlined in the NCC, they may not know how to properly gather the evidence that demonstrates these techniques, or fill in the appropriate paperwork that building authorities want to see before approving any Performance Solution. Submissions without appropriate evidence are quickly met with rejections by relevant building surveyors.

If this is the case for your project, or if you are unsure of whether your proposed solution meets the requirements, then this may be where you need to utilise the services of a building surveying consultancy like Deemed To Perform Consulting. Our aim is to take the hassle out of every application process by providing expert guidance in the permit process, from the initial assessment, completing the required technical briefs and reports and through to advocacy post-submission. With over 17 years of experience within the construction industry and experts in the development and approval of performance solutions, you can feel comfortable that your documentation will be rigorously assessed and optimised by an experienced industry professional, helping you to avoid setbacks during the permit process and commence building faster.

Want to learn more about the National Construction Code? Be sure to check out this Undercover Architect Podcast episode with our director Laura Terrnova, featuring expert insight into the latest updates to the National Construction Code and the role of building surveyors in the construction industry.

You can also learn more about building regulations and any of our building surveying consultancy services by sending us an email today at or calling our team on 0404 300 268.

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