The notion of seeking a peer review for an ‘Alternative Solution’ is not new and is a recognised option to verify that the relevant ‘Performance Requirement’ will be met.
This concept has been well documented by some Councils, including the City of Vancouver (Canada) and Wellington City Council (New Zealand), as well as various fire and rescue emergency services authorities across Australia (for fire engineered solutions).
Where an Authority, Council, Client or Relevant Building Surveyor / Building Certifier wants to reduce risk, ensure compliance or has concerns over the content of an ‘Access Alternative Solution‘, or the level of experience and competency of the Access Consultant who prepared the report, he or she has essentially three options to consider:
- Accept the report, and accept the inherent risk that comes with it;
- If possible, make an application to the relevant building commission / building authority to confirm compliance with the relevant ‘Performance Requirement’; OR
- Obtain confirmation of compliance with the relevant ‘Performance Requirements’ from another Access Consultant, preferably one who is Accredited in a company that has consultants:
- experienced in working in the building regulatory system
- experienced in developing ‘Alternative Solutions’
- ideally holding the Graduate Certificate in Performance Based Building and Fire Codes from Victoria University
- an understanding of the ‘intent’ of each access provision and any impact a variation from a ‘Deemed-to-Satisfy’ approach may have.
Read more about Project Risk and Access
By Lee Wilson, Disability Access Consultant / DDA Consultant, Melbourne, Victoria. Lee is an Accredited Member of the Association of Consultants in Access, Australia Inc.