Don’t Underestimate the Impact of Being Proactive!

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One of the most interesting things I’ve seen come out of the introduction of BCA A2.2(4) last year is the light it has shed on the importance of deliberate and proactive design choices.

Furthermore, it has exposed a considerable misunderstanding amongst practitioners of how compliance with the NCC is actually achieved.

With the requirements for the performance based design brief and formalization of the technical analysis process, design practitioners need to make active decisions early in the design development on how to tackle compliance – deemed to satisfy, performance solution, or a combination of both.

This decision making early in the process is critical to ensure smooth sailing come building permit application time. 

Gone are the days where a performance (or “alternative”) solution was often the result of finding a way of making designs “work” when the deemed to satisfy provisions could not be complied with. This approach was re-active and does not yield the best regulatory or technical outcomes for stakeholders. It is also important to note that where the deemed to satisfy provisions are silent and do not offer an avenue for demonstrating compliance, a performance solution must be undertaken.

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The introduction of the performance-based design brief is an important (and mandatory) step for building practitioners to establish an agreed acceptance criteria and formalized methodology for assessing whether a performance solution will comply with the performance provisions. 

This structured approach to design decisions will only yield the intended results, however, if implemented correctly. It shouldn’t be viewed “just another piece of paper” to be submitted to the relevant building surveyor, but as a critical tool for practitioners to get the best technical and regulatory outcomes for their designs. 

Whilst the increased documentation required to develop performance solutions is the cause of headaches for many design practitioners, with the right consulting advice and practice with the process, it will eventually become an ingrained way of approaching design development.

Compliance with the BCA is much easier achieved when a proactive approach is taken.

Need help with a performance solution or design advice for your next project? Get in touch with our expert team of residential building consultants today by calling us on 0404 300 268 or email

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