BCA as a Recipe Book

By Adam Southwell, Associate

Recently, I had the experience of being cross-examined in court and had the same dilemma that many Building Surveyors had before me. How do I explain the difference between the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions and the Performance Requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) in a simple and concise way to the judge?

And unlike many Building Surveyors before me, I compared the Building Code of Australia to baking a cake.

The Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions are like following the recipe, tried, true and tested.

You may not be able to get a unique cake or even a good cake, but at least you know it will be edible.

But, say you have some dietary requirements and need a gluten free cake instead. You won’t be able to follow the same recipe anymore, as your plain old wheat flour will need to be replaced with the quinoa, tapioca, rice flour concoction that you have bought from the health store.

As you are no longer following the recipe, you can no longer claim that you are Deemed-to-Satisfy. You may be able to replace the ingredients for a cake and still have it somewhat eatable.

However, in a building if you replace some of the ‘ingredients’ the consequences can be much more severe if it does not work.

When you do need to change the ingredients of a building, and no longer follow the recipe this is called a ‘Performance Solution’. However, we still need to know that the new ingredients will work. This is where you call in your expert; your chef, to review the new ingredients to determine if you still have a cake.

If you wish to have some one review the ingredients of your building to determine if it meets the recipe or to help determine which is the best chef for your Performance Solution, please contact Credwell on (02) 9281 8555 or info@credwell.com.au