Compliant building solutions are what all building professionals strive for… but there has been a recent history of buildings in Australia that have unfortunately had non-conforming and non-compliant building systems used and this trend has garnered the kind of public attention that no building professional wants.
So how do you ensure that the buildings you are designing will stand the test of time? One method of ensuring compliance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) is through CodeMark certification verifying compliance with specific Performance Provisions of the BCA.
Recent changes to the BCA have helped clarify and reduce confusion in how to demonstrate compliance with the code. Both Volumes 1 & 2 of the BCA have standardised Parts A1 to A6, with parts A2 and A5 providing the framework for determining compliance pathways and assessing evidence presented to consider whether a building product or system meets the minimum requirements for compliance.
Compliance is achieved through either a Performance Solution or Deemed to Satisfy (DtS) Solution pathway, or a combination of both. The methods of assessment for claiming compliance are defined in Part A2 of the BCA Volumes 1 & 2.
If you’re keen to ensure the products and building systems that you are using are in fact compliant with the BCA, you may need to rely on CodeMark and building systems with Certificates of Conformity.
CodeMark is a voluntary national compliance certiﬁcation scheme, that provides third party compliance reviews of building products and construction systems under the BCA Volumes 1 and 2. Construction systems and products certiﬁed under CodeMark are recognised as being compliant with the nominated sections of the BCA.
The rules defining Evidence of Suitability under CodeMark replicate the same Evidence of Suitability rules as outlined in Part A5 of the BCA Volumes 1 & 2. A summary of such evidence presented may be in the form of one of the following or a combination of:
- Certificates of Conformity
- Certificates of Accreditation
- Certificate (other than those listed above) issued by a Certification Body stating that the properties or performance of the product or system fulfills specific requirements of the BCA.
- A test report issued by an Accredited Testing Laboratory
- A certificate or report issued by a Professional Engineer or appropriately qualified person
- Other documentary evidence
All evidence must demonstrate that relevant Performance Provisions of the BCA have been met and clearly provide the basis for such conclusions.
Like the BCA, CodeMark has also recently undergone changes with dramatic improvements in certificate structure, template updates and document control, thus, providing architects, engineers, designers, building professionals and certifiers greater confidence that construction systems are compliant with the appropriate BCA clauses & standards.
While CodeMark is not the only means available for providing certification of compliance to the BCA, it is the most widely accepted and the most robust certification scheme as it includes installation of the construction systems / products being certified. Rather than simply looking at the products as they are manufactured, if products are not installed correctly or the installation documentation is inadequate, they may be deemed non-compliant or non-conforming by a diligent building certifier.
An important aspect of CodeMark certification is the fact that numerous audits are conducted on manufacturing, the supply chain and installation processes, additionally the Certification Authority must be satisfied that there are suitable quality processes in place to ensure consistency across all aspects of the product or system from manufacturing to installation.
CodeMark considers the product, manufacturing processes, the intended uses, conditions of use and installation to ensure the product or construction system satisfies specific Performance Requirements of the BCA.
Once a product or solution has been identified as being compliant with various requirements of the BCA, the assessment methods conform to Part A2 of the BCA, the evidence presented is accepted under Part A5, and there are suitable quality processes in place for manufacturing, distribution & installation, the product or construction system is issued with a Certificate of Conformity.
CodeMark Certificates of Conformity provide evidence that a product has been assessed by an independent certifier, that the supply chain processes of that product can maintain compliance with the BCA and provides confidence in the quality and performance of the product.
Annual audits are conducted to ensure the product or construction system continue to meet the Performance Provisions of the BCA and remains fit for purpose. The audit process involves a review of the quality system documentation and the manufacturing operations ensuring consistency of compliance for the product or system.
The rigorous review and audit process provides comfort to building surveyors and allows them to approve the use of products and construction systems for various approved applications across different building classes.
Permanent Formwork Wall Solutions & CodeMark
AFS Permanent Formwork walling solutions Logicwall® fibre cement and Rediwall® pvc formwork systems meets the provisions of the BCA and has subsequently attained CodeMark Certificates of Conformity. Both Logicwall® fibre cement and Rediwall® pvc formwork systems meet the BCA requirements of Volumes 1 and 2, allowing the walling systems to be used in all building types and for all wall applications; including but not limited to external walls, internal walls, basement perimeter walls, shafts (lift, stair, service) and columns.
The CodeMark Certificates of Conformity confirms the Logicwall® and Rediwall® complies with the following pillars of the BCA:
Further, the methods of assessment used and evidence presented for Logicwall® and Rediwall® has been meticulously reviewed by the independent CodeMark Certification Authority and is fully compliant with Parts A2 and A5 of the BCA Volumes 1 & 2.
In subsequent articles we will explore in greater detail how AFS Logicwall® and Rediwall® achieve CodeMark certification and therefore compliance with the BCA.
When considering specification of any construction system, ensure you cover yourself and request evidence that the products’ compliance documentation meets both Parts A2 and A5 of the BCA.
For more information on the compliance and certification of AFS permanent formwork please contact the AFS Technical Team on 1300 727 237.