Due to the variety of sectors in the building and construction industry, many different regulations exist. Each industry has areas of conforming and compliance that are particular to them.
Plumbing and drainage have a number of important regulations to adhere to, without which, major problems can be caused for the projects they are integrated in.
Minimum size requirement is an important element of plumbing regulations as a drain with too small an outlet for wastewater will not be compliant. Load prescriptions are another vital aspect in construction standards related to drainage. For example, a
drain with a pedestrian load classification could not be used for a project where the drain will be put under vehicle access – which varies from light to large vehicles. In such cases, even if the product itself is conforming, used in the wrong application, it will
be deemed non-compliant and has the potential to jeopardise the entire project. Drainage systems should not only be able to withstand frequently occurring actions, but also ‘a number of extreme, but expected, events’.
Access and mobility is also integral to the success of drainage systems. The Australian Standard Design for access and mobility provides building professionals with the minimum design requirements for new building work, to enable access for people with disabilities. In terms of drainage, this addresses a number of elements such as the angle of ramps and slip resistance.
Systems can be designed to make areas completely accessible. For example, a threshold drain will assist in achieving compliance by ensuring there is no step-down, creating a hidden water barrier between interior and exterior living areas.
Although products might carry the Watermark and meet the requirements of the standards, employing them in the noncompliant way can cause a breach of contract further down the line. In the healthcare industry where hygiene is paramount, one
of the contractual obligations could be that a drain needs to be cleaned regularly and to a high standard. Drainage that is difficult to clean will encourage a lax cleaning approach. By ensuring that the drainage employed is easy to access and sanitise,
healthcare facilities can be confident in the knowledge that the task will not fall down on the cleaning staff’s list of priorities.
The issue of non-conforming and non-compliant products affects every stakeholder in the industry. Building professionals endanger, not only their own reputation, but also the status of the entire industry.
The key to overcoming the issue of non-compliance and non-conformance in the building industry is for professionals in the sector to be aware of, and adhere, to standards of the industry. The first step to achieving this is to work with
companies that value the importance of regulations and strive to produce products that follow protocol.
Stormtech drains are fully compliant with a number of building codes, in particular Plumbing Code AS3500. With 25 years experience in architectural drainage, Stormtech have all products certified by Greentag and Level 2 Watermark. The
Australian, family-owned business works closely with regulators, legislators, end users, trades and distributors to develop problem-solving products. Our experienced team welcomes any questions about product selection and compliance.