1. What is the National Construction Code (NCC)?
The NCC is a document that provides a set of minimum requirements for health, safety, amenity, as well as, a guide to sustainable design and construction of new structures in Australia. With regular updates, the NCC incorporates all the on-site construction requirement into one code which covers both Plumbing and Building codes of Australia ("The role of Standards in building and construction - DesignBUILD", 2018).
2. Why does Australia have building regulations?
The main aim of building regulations in Australia is to codify best practices technical requirements and methods that provide a sustainable and safe built environment for the country. They are a reference point for both the government and the public health authorities in their formal mandate of providing baseline safety requirements for the buildings.
3. The BCA has Objectives and Functional Statement written into it as well as performance requirements and Deemed to Satisfy Provisions. What parts of the BCA are mandatory?
The mandatory part if BCA code is performance requirements which are also classified at level 3 of the operative provisions hierarchy. In these set of guidelines, an outline of suitable design factors, building materials, construction methods and components that match the relevant functional statements and consequently the relevant objectives are provided. For instance, one of the performance requirements stipulated in the BCA code is that any space or a room must have a height that does not disproportionately hinder its design function (Australian Building Codes Board, 2016).
4. What is Alternative solution?
Alternative solution is a 4th level operative provisions in the BCA structure that help in the implementation of the performance-based BCA. This part of the code ensures that the user of the code gets an approval of the relevant requirement even if the specific provisions differ from the deemed to satisfy provision of the code provided that there is demonstration of design compliance for the performance requirement. Essentially, it makes code flexible regarding the building materials, construction method or components provided they satisfy the relevant performance requirements (Australian Building Codes Board, 2016).
5. Why would you want to include an Alternative Solution in a building design?
The main reason I would use an Alternative Solution in a building design is the flexibility it offers in terms of the choice of materials and building methods. With provision, as long as I can be able to prove the method and the material used comply with relevant performance requirements, I can be able to deliver a unique design and customized to the user's taste.
6. BCA volume Two contains "Acceptable Construction". What does this mean?
Acceptable Construction essentially provides the designers with Deemed to Satisfy solution to guide them in the design of class 1 and class 10 buildings. This section of the code distinctively provides with acceptable methods of preparing a site, framing, fire safety, structural design manuals, safe movement and access, constructing a roof, glazing and other basic construction procedures (Australian Building Codes Board, 2016).
7. What types of building work need to comply with the BCA?
Ideally, all the building works that involve structural capacity adherence must comply with
BCA regulations. The type of building works requiring BCA approval include ,additions to buildings, alterations that main affect the structural soundness of a dwelling or a building ,construction of garages ,construction of boundary wall above 2 meters high ,construction of Masts and Antennas more than 3 meters above the building's highest base point ,construction of retaining walls ,re-blocking , construction of roofs ,construction of swimming pools extending to more than 300mm depth and construction of verandah attached to dwellings (Standards Australia, 2007).
8. The BCA contains State or Territory Variations and additions. Why do they exist in a national building code?
The main reasons for the variations are to take into account the varying geographic, climate and policies with each state. For instance, because of the long-standing regulations specifically regarding public entertainment places, NSW varies its Part H1 of the codes. Additions on the other hands serve to cater for particulars that the States may be willing to add and has not been covered by the BCA. These additions are usually due to consolidation of regulations (Australian Building Codes Board, 2016).
9. Many provisions of the BCA apply to specific classifications of building. The BCA describes each classification but what do these classifications actually represent?
These classifications represent a spectrum of structures that vary depending on the use of the building. Every time a building's use goes beyond the provided purpose scope, the BCA provides new Background to the specific class and incorporate different requirements. For each classification, a detailed description regarding given class of houses is documented in the code and this usually comprises of class 1 providing for the requirement of the single and small boarding house to Class 10 for non-habitable structures such as garages, swimming pools and bushfire shelters.
10. Name the following Australian Standards
AS 1684 Residential Timber Framed Construction Standard
AS 2870 Residential Slabs and Footings Standard
AS 3000 Electrical Installation (Wiring Rules)
AS 3500 Plumbing and Drainage Standard
AS 3600 Concrete Structures Standard
AS 1530 Fire Test to Building Material Standard
11. Consider the following single line outline of building. How would you classify them?
a) Cross section of 5 Townhouses, Class 3
b) Cross section of dual occupancy, Class 2
c) Out plan, Class 1b
d) Out plan Class 3
Dwelling Class 1a
Garage Class 10a
Pool Class 10b
f) Floor plan (Rooms of equal size) of a computer shop
Classification (s) Class 7b and Class 8
g) Cross section of 6 Storey Building
Mixed building classifications
Residential flats - Class 2
Dance studio - Class 6
Solicitors office - Class 5
Restaurant - Class 6
Shops - Class 6
Basement carpark - Class 7a
Office -Class 5
Furniture factory - Class 8
g) Cross-section of a Town House development
Town Houses - Class 3
Basement Carpark for 20 vehicles - Class 7a (Australian Building Codes Board, 2016).
12. The BCA requirements are in performance format to provide flexibility. In your own words explain what this flexibility refers to.
Flexibility in this context refers to the freedom of innovation to adopt the unlimited types of material or construction methods as long as the chosen material or method can be proved effective and the performance meets the threshold bar as required by the code. This essentially means that the designer does not have to worry about the resources he/she plans to use for a given building provided they meet the necessary safety and performance requirements as per code dictation.
13. Explain the difference between "deemed to satisfy' and an alternative solution?
Deemed to satisfy essentially is a prescriptive clause that provides the designer or user with specific instruction. For instance, the clause may dictate that a stair rise must not exceed 190mm and must not be less than 110mm. These are very specific instructions that are easy to follow and generally provides a one size fits all solution for building works.
Alternative solution, on the other hand, gives the designer the freedom to creatively to use other better solutions that are cost-effective and achieves the ultimate goal of the deemed to satisfy solution.in other words, Alternative Solution clause leaves room for development of solutions that meet descriptive and non-specific parameters (Australian Building Codes Board, 2016).
14. Classification of buildings and structures are found in Section 1 of the BCA. How is the classification of a building determined?
The purpose for which a building or a structure is designed or adopted use marks the fundamental basis for classification on the BCA. This is because, as the use of a building change, the Background for this classes also vary hence the need for different classes for each building (Australian Building Codes Board, 2016).
15. A building Solution can be assessed in different ways. Explain a method of determining that a building solution complies with the performance requirements.
The widely used method of determining the compliance status of a building solution is known as evidence of suitability. Under this method, several provisions documented in A2.2 (Volume 1) and 1.2.2 (volume two) must be adhered to and often carried out through submission of evidence that a design or a material complies deemed to satisfy or Performance Requirement provisions of the BCA. As evidence of suitability, this submission must include a comprehensive report from a registered testing authority, approval from a professional engineer, up to date certificate of conformity, updated product certificate from a body that has been accredited by JAS-ANZ, and any other document that proves adequate suitability of use ("Assessment Methods", 2018).
16. Describe the objective of providing light within a building.
The primary objective of providing light within a building is to strike a balance between the quantity and quality of light in all work areas. By ensuring that there is proper lighting in a building, a designer is able to create a visually appealing environment that reduces visual and uniformity chaos ("Provide Comfortable Environments | WBDG Whole Building Design Guide", 2018).
17. State the Functional Statement for smoke alarms
According to performance provision, A Class 1 building should be provided with the necessary safeguards to ensure that the occupants of the building are warned of a fire so that they can be able to evacuate safely as early as possible- F2.3.1Fire detection and early warning.
18. State the number and title of the performance requirement that would be applicable for a footing on a Class A site and least 4 actions that should be considered.
The number and the title for the performance requirement of footings are AS 2870 -2011: Residential slabs and footings.
For a Class A site, the code classifies its ground conditions as mainly composed of rock and sand with just little to no ground movement with moisture content. Because of these ground conditions, therefore, the following actions are recommended by the code ensure the Performance requirements for a footing is achieved;
A shallow footing such as a pad footing would suffice.
While designing the footing, the designer should comply with detailed requirements
The type of walling should also be considered, wherein the case of Class A Site Articulated full masonry is recommended.
19. The Acceptable construction practice in the BCA for unreinforced masonry can only be used for building, provided:
That the performance requirement of the P2.1.1 Structural stability and the resistance to actions is satisfied for the unreinforced masonry, masonry-veneer included. The construction should also be done in accordance with AS 3700 and AS 4773 parts 1and 2 (Products, 2018).
21. Masonry wall ties must be protected against corrosion. What level of protection would be suitable for a building located within 50m of the foreshore of the Swan River in Nadi and?
According to AS 3700 and AS 2699 on masonry structures and masonry ties respectively, the grade of the steel tie used depends on the distance of the building from the coast and whet...
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