Environmental Sciences: Standards

What is a standard?

Standards are published documents which establish specifications and procedures to ensure that a material, product, method or service consistently performs as intended. They define quality and safety criteria to guarantee consistency in physical, chemical and biological measurement.

Standards are developed by various bodies, agencies and trade and professional association. Some standards are voluntary. Others are enforced by legislation (mandatory).

Australian standards

Most Australian standards are produced by Standards Australia, which is an independent organisation. Standards Australia's policy is to adopt International Standards wherever possible.

Useful sites - a selection

The National Construction Code (NCC)

The National Construction Code (NCC) is an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) developed to incorporate all on-site construction requirements into a single code. It comprises the Building Code of Australia (BCA), volume 1 and 2; and the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA), as volume 3.

  • Volume 1: pertains primarily to Class 2 to 9 buildings
  • Volume 2: pertains primarily to Class 1 and 10 buildings
  • Volume 3: pertains primarily to plumbing and drainage associated with all classes of buildings.

Use the NCC Standards Interactive House - simply pick a room to begin.

Looking for the National Construction Code online? 

From 2015 the Australian Building Codes Board made the National Construction Code freely available online.

Alternatively, the Library has 2 databases that  will provide access:

  • The BCA + Standards database provides access to the NCC vols. 1-3 (1 user licence)
  • The LexisNexis database offers an unlimited user licence, but the interface can be difficult to navigate. Go to LexisNexis>select Source Directory tab>Construction Law folder>Building Regulations Australia vol. 1 Annotated Code (this includes vol. 1 & 2 of the NCC)>click or browse. To view the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA) select Building Regulations Australia vol. 4  National Plumbing Code.  Generally, the PCA is known as vol. 3, but LexisNexis have listed it as vol. 4. Use the menu on the left-hand side to drill down to the various sections of the NCC.

A print version of the NCC is also available on the Library shelves at the City East campus.

Finding standards

Scandalous Miami Groundbreaking by Xynn Tii CCLicence Attribution 2.0 Generic, Image source: flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/xynntii/4332986045/

The Library subscribes to databases which provide access to standards online. These are searchable by keyword or standard number. Some also include other material, in these databases look for the option to limit your search to standards only. Some of these databases have limited user licenses. If you cannot access them initially try again later.

The Library has some standards in print format which can be found by searching by title or keyword in the Library Catalogue.

For example: SAA Loading Code or standards construction