Building and compliance talk in the industry and media has been dominated by flammable cladding. But a new tech start-up aims to address the bigger picture issues of fire safety and BCA compliance.
BECODE is the brainchild of a group of Building Code of Australia experts, fire engineers and project managers.
It’s an online platform that offers subscribers a transparent, simplified and trackable pathway to ensure every element of compliance with relevant Australian Standards and Building Code of Australia requirements around fire safety has been addressed.
According to BECODE director Will Marshall, many people simply don’t read the 800-odd pages of the BCA along with the 100-odd relevant standards.
Instead, they rely on certifiers to wrangle the detail. However, certifiers are time-poor. Mr Marshall said the platform can assist by helping them efficiently get the information to members of a project team at the appropriate time.
The platform takes all the BCA and Standards information and gives users the specific detail that is relevant for their particular building or project. As well as being applicable for new builds, it can be used for compliance verification purposes in the operational phase or during a refurbishment.
In addition to improving compliance, it streamlines the process of producing the BCA reports required for new builds at both design stage and at the Occupancy Certificate stage.
By enabling the relevant members of the project team access to all the relevant information, any potential defects can be identified and addressed early in the design process.
Mr Marshall said the platform already has around 170 subscribers, the majority of them BCA consultants and certifiers.
The product took three years to develop, and the data within it incorporates all the relevant Standards, cross-referencing them to the relevant detail in the latest iteration of the National Construction Code.
“We needed to make sure it is right,” Mr Marshall said.
The benefit is “transparency of the compliance process” and visibility of what certifiers, project managers and others are checking project design and delivery against. It also creates a permanent record of what information was used as the basis of decision-making, and the assessments are a permanent record that cannot be edited or deleted.
“So, you can build up a history on projects and what decisions have been made,” Mr Marshall said.