NCBP’s are present in the building supply chain. They can cost millions of dollars to rectify and are damaging the construction industries reputation and reducing consumer confidence. It is important that members know the difference between Non-Conforming and Non-Compliant Building Products to protect themselves from the issues they create.

Non-Conforming Building Products or Non-Compliant Building Products? It does not matter which definition you use; the results are:

  • the wrong product in the wrong place
  • a noncompliant building
  • a liable Builder

All products have potential non-conformance and non-compliance issues. However, with a little care you can protect yourself, your business and your clients by making sure you have processes in place to purchase product that are fit for purpose.

Under Australian Consumer Law products must be of acceptable quality and fit for purpose* and as the Builder you are responsible for the products you choose to use, and supply to your customers.

Follow these 8 steps to protect yourself from non-conforming and non-compliant building products: 

  1. Understand the requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC). 
  2. Only purchase products that meet compliance requirements of the NCC for their intended use. 
  3. Understand the function of the product. 
  4. Use reputable suppliers and brands. 
  5. Understand the specification and the Building Approval. 
  6. Employ a Building Surveyor to assess product suitability. 
  7. Document your decisions and keep all relevant product information. 
  8. Have processes in place to check that products specified meet the requirements for their intended use (the specification may be wrong) and to check that products that have been purchased are being used correctly. 

Also pay special attention to the National Construction Code (NCC) focussing on: 

  • NCC Volume 1 - Building Code of Australia (BCA), Part A2 - Acceptance of design and construction for building class 2 to 9. 
  • NCC Volume 2, BCA section 1.2  - Acceptance of design and construction for building class 1 and 10.
  • NCC Volume 3 - Plumbing Code of Australia Part 2 - Acceptance of design and construction for stormwater. 

If you cannot determine that the product meets the requirements of the NCC do NOT purchase it and remember that the bottom line when it comes to protecting yourself from NCBPs is: 

  • Understand the function of the product.
  • Understand the requirements of the NCC. 
  • Only use products that can demonstrate compliance. 
  • Check and understand certification and documentation. 


Max Rafferty

National Manager - Technical Services

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