The Building Code of Australia Volume One (BCA), pertaining to commercial buildings is a performance based document with mandatory ‘Performance Requirements’.
The BCA allows for the ‘Performance Requirements’ to be met via three compliance solutions:
- By meeting the ‘Deemed-to-Satisfy’ provisions, which outline prescriptive requirements as to how to achieve compliance; or
- By satisfying the relevant ‘Performance Requirement’ by using the ‘Verification Methods’ outlined within the BCA to assess an ‘Alternative Solution’.
- A combination of both.
So what are ‘Alternative Solutions’?
An ‘Alternative Solution’ has been defined as ‘a building solution which complies with the Performance Requirements other than by satisfying the ‘Deemed-to-Satisfy’ provisions of the BCA.’
This is represented in the diagram below adapted from ABCB (2013).
Performance -based building codes and the use of ‘Alternative Solutions’ have lead to “significant cost savings and more modern and innovative designs” (Page xxx Australian Government, Productivity Commission Research Report, Reform of Building Regulation, 2004)
Read on about the preparation of ‘Alternative Solutions’.
By Lee Wilson, Disability Access Consultant / DDA Consultant, Melbourne, Victoria. Lee is an Accredited Member of the Association of Consultants in Access, Australia Inc.