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There are a number of ways a building product can prove it meets the relevant building code or Australian Standards requirements, including: labels, brochures, certificates, material safety data sheets, technical information brochures and the like.
Depending on the risk in using the product for its intended purpose, you can choose how much information you get to verify that a product meets these Standards. For major structural components, the building certifier will expect you can provide written evidence that the material you have used meets the required Standards.
Detailed conformance information can be provided in two ways and you should be able to obtain this information for the major structural components in a home, such as bricks, windows, steel, timber and concrete.
The two options are:
Technical information is currently provided by building product manufacturers or suppliers in an array of formats and with varying level of detail. These documents should provide you with the essential information you need, regardless of format. The following list of key elements is a guide to what an acceptable level of relevant technical information should be provided on the product, hopefully in a succinct manner.
The technical information provided by a manufacturer or supplier should include the following:
Providing good technical information on a building product may not cover everything needed to demonstrate compliance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA). To fill this gap the manufacturer or supplier may provide a supplementary Product Technical Statement (PTS).
If provided, this type of information should include the following elements:
The PTS should accompany, not replace, the technical information for a building product and it should cross-reference any other documents that provide evidence to support:
Ideally, supporting documents should be uniquely identifiable by date or version number to avoid any possibility of confusion. Just because you use the same timber for each job doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get an up-to-date copy of the technical information or PTS for each project. From time to time manufacturers will change their processes, which can affect the scope of the product, so you should always check.
To gain the maximum benefit from a PTS it should be readily available. Assertions about conformance and a detailed scope of use will assist building designers when specifying a product and will help building certifiers when assessing building approvals or inspecting completed building work.
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