Solving performance for a product-specific performance solution
By Alex Wood
By Danielle Warfe
01 December 2021
This one’s for the designers, particularly those who like to use a performance solution.
To refresh, a performance solution is a design solution that varies from the “recipes” (deemed-to-satisfy solutions) provided in the National Construction Code (NCC). It can be a building product or system (for example, Hebel PowerPanel50) or it can be a design approach to address constraints or opportunities specific to the project (for example, room heights or energy efficiency).
The NCC’s new requirements for performance solutions became mandatory on 1 July 2020, which means providing a performance-based design brief and a final report with each performance solution. The aim of the brief is to describe the performance solution and ensure that everyone is aware of it and agrees on the evidence needed to support it.
We think the brief is a good idea, unless the performance solution is for a building product that has a CodeMark certificate (for example, Hebel PowerPanel50). In these instances, the product has already been proposed as a building solution, complete with its own documentation on what it is, how it’s to be installed, and what its limitations are. And it has been rigorously tested, verified and independently certified as being able to achieve that solution. This is what makes a CodeMark certificate such strong evidence of a product’s performance.
We have found it a circular exercise to obtain agreement on something that already provides the information needed and has already been approved as a performance solution. So where a product-specific performance solution is proposed and in accordance with recent advice from the Australian Building Codes Board, we will continue to ask for what we have always asked for:
- its CodeMark certificate and installation guide,
- that the product is appropriately and correctly specified in the design documentation, and
- that the owners are aware of the performance solution and agree to it being used.