An Examination of the Performance Based Building Code on the Design of a Commercial Building

John Greenwood


Abstract

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) is the principal code under which building approvals in Australia are assessed. The BCA adopted performance-based solutions for building approvals in 1996. Performance-based codes are based upon a set of explicit objectives, stated in terms of a hierarchy of requirements beginning with key general objectives. With this in mind, the research presented in this paper aims to analyse the impact of the introduction of the performance-based code within Western Australia to gauge the effect and usefulness of alternative design solutions in commercial construction using a case study project. The research revealed that there are several advantages to the use of alternative designs and that all parties, in general, are in favour of the performance-based building code of Australia. It is suggested that change in the assessment process to streamline the alternative design path is needed for the greater use of the performance-based alternative. With appropriate quality control measures, minor variations to the deemed-to-satisfy provisions could easily be managed by the current and future building surveying profession.

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