Building product safety – New National Building Product Assurance Framework Issued by Australian Building Codes Board
The Australian Building Codes Board has developed a new Building Product Assurance Framework. The aim of the Framework is to help ensure that building products are used in a way that complies with the Australian National Construction Code (NCC).
This new policy has been developed as part of the National Building Reform Process. However, it does not have any legal force until adopted by each State and Territory jurisdiction as part of their building regulations.
The Framework defines a ‘building product as any material or component incorporated with or could be incorporated with, a building or building work’. It can take the form of materials, systems, and components.
The Framework sets out four proposed deliverables under four elements.
- Element 1: Strengthened NCC evidence of suitability
- Element 2: Information obligations for manufacturers and suppliers
- Element 3: Product traceability and identification
- Element 4: Improved surveillance, research and information sharing
- Identifying details: description of the building product (e.g. the unique identifying number, manufacturer, supplier, name/brand and model/variant number).
- Declaration of performance: a clear statement of how the building product is intended to perform (e.g. NCC Performance Requirement, in whole or in part, it satisfies or referenced standard).
- Basis of the declaration: basis on which the declaration is made (e.g. test results summary, quality assurance measures etc.) including the core assumptions and the extent to which other documents are relied upon (e.g. standards, specification, software or other publications or documents). The NCC Deemed-to-Satisfy, evidence of suitability pathway or Verification Method followed where applicable.
- Description of application: a statement of the application and/or intended use of the building product.
- Limitations: relevant limitations and conditions of use insofar as they relate to the specified performance, including ways it could be misused and any relevant NCC Performance Requirements or referenced standard it does not satisfy.
- Instructions: for the handling, storage, installation, occupancy and maintenance to ensure product conformance and safe use with other building products likely to be nominated and over the life of the building.
- Warranty: details of any warranty or guarantee provided for the building product.
- Contact and version details: including details covering the currency, expiry, version and contacts details for advice and support.
As State and Territory Governments have committed to implementing the various new ABCB policies, these requirements will move from guidance to regulation in due course. Owners, Developers, Designers, and Contractors will need to implement updated procedures and processes to ensure this information is available, captured, and retained for future audits and due diligence.
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