Understanding quality and compliance can be confusing so we’ll start with what the difference is between the two:
Quality means: “The standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.” It’s the perceived value of the product compared to other similar options in the market. Quality relates to design, reliability, and durability which all contribute to the product’s value and quality perception.
Compliance is: “The action of fact of complying with a wish or command.” So, if an authoritative body sets some rules to abide by, manufacturers must stick to them when designing and manufacturing their products.
Quality is related to the standard of the products being manufactured and it isn’t a requirement by law, whereas compliance is the act of meeting regulations set by a regulatory body. One is the judgment of the manufacturer, and the other is enforced on them.
In the Australian Construction Industry, all building work must conform and comply with the National Construction Code (NCC) to make sure our buildings are safe and durable. All the products and materials used in the build must also be ‘fit-for-purpose’.
Recently there’s been concerns about risks of substandard or non-conforming building products and materials being used or being used incorrectly which makes them non-compliant. Non-conforming and non-compliant products can cause considerable costs from repairing and replacing products, to potential safety risks and even building failure.
What is the National Construction Code?
The National Construction Code (NCC) is a national building code for the construction of all buildings and structures in Australia, previously known as the Building Code of Australia or BCA.
The aim of the NCC is to have nationally consistent, minimum necessary standards of relevant safety (structural safety and safety from fires), health, amenity, accessibility, and sustainability of all new buildings.
Who is responsible?
Everyone has a responsibility to be aware and make sure the right products are used for the right purposes. Depending on your place in the supply chain you can face specific risks and liabilities if the products you utilise in your build are non-compliant or non-conforming.
Why do you need to consider both for your product?
Both quality and compliance are important for products and also businesses. With a focus on both quality and compliance, products continue to improve, and customers, therefore, continue to use and rely on them.
How does FTI fit in with this?
FTI have a qualified in-house design team who examine buildings, particularly stair cores, all day every day.
They pick up potential compliance issues during the design phase and highlight them to customers during the design stage. We’ve come up with our own guide on Handrail Compliance which outlines the most common issues we come across, click here to download your copy.
Substantiating the compliance of our products, we have reports and documentation which have been endorsed by well-known engineers in the industry which provide assurance as to the compliance and conformance of our Fast Tread® preformed concrete stairs.
And we’ve recently launched FTI BIM Content for Fast Tread® stairs and handrails. The suite consists of a Revit Project demonstrating how the Revit Content can be used and applied in various scenarios including stairs, multi-riser stairs and guardrails to achieve code-compliant handrails.
Not only does the Revit Content make modeling and documenting less time-consuming, but FTI’s highly parametric Revit Content also has embedded design guidelines that assist with interpreting Australian Standards and the National Construction Code as it applies to railings & stairs. The Fast Tread® Revit Content will flag any potential compliance issue and give options to consider for compliance, making it easier to design a fully compliant stair core.
Our customers can be assured of the quality of FTI Products, so much so that we enjoy a high level of repeat business, coupled with FTI supplying well over 3,200 buildings internationally.