The Australian construction industry has developed a landmark guide to construction product quality, to address growing industry concern over product failures, and the attendant risks to workers and occupiers safety.
Led by the Australasian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC), a group of organisations representing government, im电竞下载iosers, constructors and product manufacturers released a guide to achieving compliance for Procurement of Construction Products in September.
As there are hundreds of thousands of building and construction products on the market – produced both domestically and internationally – it is extremely difficult to ascertain whether or not they all comply with the National Construction Code (NCC) and/or conform to the requirements of the relevant Australian or international standard where they exist.
The compliance and durability of construction products are major risk factors which need to be managed as they impact significantly on the service life and quality of building and construction projects.
Evidence suggests that the market penetration of non-conforming products in several key construction product sectors in Australia may be up to 50%2. This is a sobering and alarming statistic.
In Australia, there have been numerous instances in which non-compliant construction products have caused failure or damage to buildings, such as the collapse of buildings and motorway signs, and failure of key building elements, such as glass panels, steel fixings and more.
The most concerning consequence of construction product failure is its impact on safety. In the most extreme cases, such failure can lead to serious injury or loss of life. The potential risks to the community and construction industry workers are immeasurable and should not be underestimated. Without doubt, the use of faulty construction products puts lives at risk.
It is, therefore, vital that the industry works together to create an environment in which all stakeholders in the building and construction process, including the community, are confident that construction products meet a minimum acceptable level of quality and compliance, and are fit for the purposes for which they are intended.
It is important to understand the responsibility to determine whether or not a construction product is fit for its intended purpose and the profound consequences in the event that the product is found to be defective. However, the procurement of construction products has become increasingly complex, and information and guidance to assist the procurement process is scarce. In particular, for many ‘safety critical’ products, there is often a lack of credible and accurate information available in Australia to assist stakeholders involved in construction projects to verify construction product compliance and conformance, in order to determine whether o not a product is fit-for-purpose.
This Guide seeks to assist in the decision-making processes for the procurement of construction products in Australia, with a view to elevating levels of compliance and providing a level of confidence to all parties in the supply chain.
An appendix to the Guide provides examples of a number of conformity assessment schemes or guides. By its nature, the appendix is dynamic and will change, therefore it is im电竞下载iosed to be updated regularly.
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