The Grenfell Tower and Lacrosse Building fires happened a few years ago now and in 2019 the National Construction Code (NCC) was updated to provide new guidance on the required pathways to compliance for cladding products. This revision was made to ensure a clear understanding of how to determine which products are and are not compliant to current Australian building standards. However, confusion still remains. Why is this the case?
Opinion v Evidence
The continuing confusion over product compliance is often the result of opinion-based information that filters out to the industry and gets interpreted as fact. This information can sometimes go against the NCC or contradict it completely which adds further confusion around the topic of cladding compliance. However, it is simple. If you understand the requirements within the NCC you can be rest assured that the product that you are specifying and using is fully compliant. Remember, these guidelines have been prepared on behalf of the Australian Government by independent specialists who are responsible for writing the Code to determine which products are truly compliant based on research and evidence.
It is important that we use this method as choosing products is serious and should not be based on an individual’s own opinion or personal preferences. If we do this, then we are unlikely to get on top of the current cladding crisis and it is unnecessary when the Pathways to Compliance under the NCC are so clearly defined.
Pathways to Compliance
The National Construction Code (NCC) is a performance-based Code containing all the Performance Requirements for the construction of buildings throughout Australia. It is built around a hierarchy of guidance and code compliance levels, with the Performance Requirements being the minimum level that buildings and building elements must meet. A building solution will comply with the NCC if it satisfies the Performance Requirements, which are the mandatory requirements of the NCC.
A key point to using a performance- based NCC is that there is no obligation to adopt any type of material, component, design factor or construction method. This provides a choice of compliance pathways. As shown below, the Performance Requirements can be met using either a Performance Solution (Alternative Solution) or using a Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Solution.
It really is as simple as that. If you have any queries about this topic, our expert team would be happy to help. As manufacturers and suppliers of two fully compliant façade cladding products in accordance with the latest NCC guidelines: NCP (Non-combustible panel) and SAP (solid aluminium panel) we know what is required to be a truly compliant cladding solution for new builds as well as façade rectification projects. Contact us here.