January 12, 2016 Written By iEDM ABCB Temporary Structures Standard
Late in 2015, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) released the much awaited (well, for us maybe) Standard – Temporary Structures. The Standard has been a long time coming for those of us in Australia who have struggled to meet the deemed to satisfy provisions of the BCA (or NCC) as well as other State specific building legislation when planning and constructing temporary structures.
The Standard helps to clear up and soften some elements within the BCA and how they are applied to temporary structures. For instance, the Standard provides differing levels of engineering parameters to clearly identify the obvious lower risk associated with structures that are only in place for a very short period of time. The document will no doubt aid the further development of a lot of Event’s structure policies. However, it is not the silver bullet we were probably all hoping for and there remains a lot of ‘grey’ which Event Promoters need to look at with their professional consultants. Further, at this stage, each State’s relevant law’s prevail over the Standard and it is unclear how, or if, each of the States will adopt or reference the Standard.
iEDM provided advice to the ABCB during the development of the Standard from the point of view of an Event Promoter. Our advice was based on providing an achievable platform for temporary structure delivery which allowed for the fluidity experienced on Event sites and the nature of the design of event precincts. For example, tying a requirement for amenities to a structure is largely not applicable to a lot of events because amenities may be shared by lots of people or multiple structures. Further events where people are drinking alcohol will be completely different from events where people are not. So creating a Standard which dictates these levels is not really relevant. Some of our advice was taken on board and some was not, but we were very humbled to have been included in the process.
In summary, the ABCB Standard – Temporary Structures is a great document and we applaud the ABCB for listening to the industry. However, it still needs to be used with the State or Local Government specific legislation and implemented by adaptable professionals who have the ability to provide reasonable and practical solutions to elements of Events which will never fit inside a box. The Standard can be found at the link below: