Posts Tagged ‘Accreditation’

Generic alternative solutions for building regulation compliance?

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Why are generic alternative solutions not more common?

Black and Gold

Generic (DTS) or Brand (Alternative Solution)?

With all the obligations in Part A0 of Volume 1 of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) to document the alternative solution to demonstrate compliance with the Building Regulations 2006 it is surprising more generic alternative solutions have not been developed. Or is it?

This is because of the way the Deemed-to-Satisfy provisions work. They are a very broad way of characterising buildings to fit within ranges of occupation criteria. For example, look at the wide range of building uses which fit within the Class 8 or 7 classifications in the BCA.

The benefit of alternative solutions is that the design can be very specific to a certain “building characterisation”. This means efficiencies in the design with resultant cost savings. But it also means the building’s occupation becomes very limited to specific criteria e.g. occupant natures and types, management procedures, credible fire scenarios, design fires, fire loads, process and storage hazards etc. For example a factory which manufactures rolled cold steel products is very different from one which manufactures hot rolled steel products e.g. the hazards in the process are very different.

This is why generic alternative solutions  are best managed through the S14 Regulatory process for accreditation or through acceptance under the DTS provisions where appropriate. Alternatively you might use the Building Appeals Board S160 modification process to get a variation to the regulations without encumbering the occupancy with very specific limiting criteria.