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Technical Information on your building products what you should be providing?

This information sheet sets out an approach to the provision of technical information and product technical statements for building products.

This information sheet sets out an approach to the provision of technical information and product technical statements for building products. This approach is intended to assist both manufacturers and suppliers to provide the right type of specific and concise information to builders, designers, and building cenifiers using your products to verify that a building product is fit for the purpose they intend to use it for.

How do you show your product conforms?

There are a range of ways that 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. As a manufacturer, you should provide technical information most appropriate for the intended use of the product, based on its risk. For major structural components, the builder will normally be required to provide written evidence to the building surveyor that the product meets the required standards.

Detailed conformance information is best provided by written documentation that you can make available to the builder. The major structural components used in a home, such as bricks, steel, windows, timber and concrete, along with critical fittings and fixtures like electrical and plumbing goods should have some type of information available.

There are two main types of conformance information that can be developed and made available to your customers:

  1. Technical information provided by the building product manufacturer or supplier
  2. A Product Technical Statement (PTS) provided by the building product manufacturer or supplier

You should choose the most appropriate option based on the type of building product.

Technical Information

Currently technical information is provided by building product manufacturers or suppliers in an array of formats and with varying levels of detail. These documents should all provide the essential information needed by the builder or cenifier, regardless of format. The following key elements are a guide to what should be included in any technical information you prepare to support a building product. The information should be delivered in a succinct manner.

The key elements of technical information provided with a building product should include: Description: a short description of the product — what it is and its intended use.

Language: instructions in plain English, with clear sentences and diagrams.

Design Instructions: clear statements to help designers successfully integrate the product with other products, producing a compliant building system such as lightweight cladding using polystyrene, fibreglass mesh, adhesives and render.

Construction Instructions: clear instructions to assist builders and contractors successfully install the product. Clear statement outlining when an approved installer must be used.

Maintenance requirements: guidance for the building owner to effectively maintain the product over its lifetime. Clear statements describing potential consequences if specified maintenance is not carried out.

Test Results: details of any tests carried out on the product, and what those tests showed.

Quality Assurance: information about any measures in place to ensure consistent production quality. May include a statement of acceptable variations.

Product Support: Australian contact details for organisations able to provide product advice and support.

Product Technical Statement

Providing good technical information on a building product may not cover everything needed to demonstrate conformance with the Building Code of Australia. 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:

Statement of Building Code conformance: a clear statement of the Building Code of Australia clauses that relate to the product and a self-declaration of conformance with the performance requirements of those clauses.

Scope of use: a statement using recognised Australian terms (e.g. high wind, bushfire zones and corrosion zones) that outlines the product’s scope of use, including any conditions or limitations on its use.

Consenting instructions: any statements useful to a builder or building cenifier to assist them in making decisions about the conformance of building work that uses the particular building product or construction system.

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:

  • the conformance claims, such as test reports or technical opinions
  • the use of the product, such as installation or maintenance manuals.

Ideally, supposing documents should be uniquely identifiable by date or version number to avoid any possibility of confusion.

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 cenifiers when assessing building approvals or inspecting completed building work.

Easy access to supposing documents will allow builders to correctly install the product, and building owners to correctly carry out any maintenance required to ensure the product meets its conformance claims.

To find out more, contact HIA’s Building Services team.

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