VIC – HENDRY building surveyors advise that the Building Act 1993 Part 2 – Building Standards in Section 15 ‘Effect of accreditation’ for the accreditation of building products under the Building Code of Australia provides that the relevant building surveyor cannot refuse to approve building work on the grounds that any building product or construction method is unsatisfactory if that product or construction method is accredited by the Building Regulations Advisory Committee.

Building Act 1993 part extract of Section 15 ‘Effect of Accreditation’ follows:

Section 15 ‘Effect of Accreditation’

(1)  The Building Regulations may provide for the issue of certificates of accreditation for building products, construction methods, designs, components and systems accredited by the Building Regulations Advisory Committee or a prescribed person or body.

(2)  The relevant building surveyor must not refuse to approve building work on the ground that any building product, construction method, design, component or system connected with the building work is unsatisfactory if the product, method, design, component or system is accredited by the Building Regulations Advisory Committee or a prescribed person or body and it complies with that accreditation.

Building Regulations 2006 part extract Part 14 – Building Product Accreditation follows:

PART 14 – BUILDING PRODUCT ACCREDITATION

Division 1 – General

1401 Definitions

In this Part—

building product includes construction method, design component or system connected with building work;

Committee means the Building Regulations Advisory Committee.

1402 Prescribed body to accredit products

For the purposes of sections 14 and 15 of the Act the Australian Building Codes Board is a prescribed body.

Certificates of Accreditation – CodeMark

The national equivalent to accreditation as provided for in sections 14 and 15 of the Building Act is administered with the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) through CodeMark. This certification or accreditation is defined in clause A1.1 of BCA Volume One and clause 1.1.1.2 of the BCA Volume Two.

Certification is recognition that a product, material, method or system of construction, design or component relating to building work, meets specified performance criteria of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Certification can apply to new and innovative products and systems for which no test method, Australian Standard, etc exists, as well as to existing commonly used products and systems.

Certification of products and systems is not mandatory and is only one of a number of forms of evidence of suitability recognised in clause A.2.2 of BCA Volume One and clause 1.2.2 of BCA Volume Two.

Certification will only be issued following consideration of an appraisal, which can be defined as “a detailed and reasoned technical opinion issued by an appropriately qualified person/ organisation having not been involved in, or having any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in the invention, design, production, manufacture, sale or distribution of the product”.

An appraisal shall include:

(a)   identification of the appraised item and its purpose, being a purpose within the scope of the BCA.

(b)   Identification of the manufacturer (and installer is necessary).

(c)   An opinion that the item is suitable for its purpose provided it is manufactured and installed under specific conditions.

(d)   A specification of the product and, if necessary, of the manner of its installation.

(e)   The specific conditions to which the opinion is subject.

(f)     The basis of appraisal.

(g)   A list of other documents (if any) that need to be referred to in order to check that an individual application of the appraised item conforms to the conditions.

An appropriately qualified organisation/ person might be a firm of consultants, a commercial laboratory, the commercial arm of a university or research body, or other suitable organisation that has necessary skills, qualifications and experience to issue an appraisal. The appraisal organisation must have no proprietary interest in the appraised item.

What is CodeMark?

CodeMark is a building product certification scheme. Third-party CodeMark certification bodies evaluate and certify products to ensure they meet specified requirements of the Building Code.

CodeMark gives users the confidence that their building products comply. Building materials, forms of construction and designs can come under the scheme. Relevant legislation requires building control authorities around Australia to accept CodeMark certified products in the building approvals process.