Your product needs to be underpinned with reliable information and evidence to demonstrate its assurance and back up the claims you make.
As the manufacturer or supplier of a product, you make claims about how your product can be used and how well it will perform. These claims must be correct and backed up with suitable evidence and information that confirms this.
You need to provide this technical evidence to:
- meet your Building Act obligations under section 14G
- show compliance with the Building Code
- assure users every product is made to the same specification and quality.
The information and evidence you provide needs to be reliable and suitable for many users. It may be considered by anyone from a merchant choosing your product’s suitability for their store, or a designer wanting to specify materials for a new project, through to a BCA deciding whether building work containing your product is Building Code compliant.
- technical opinions
- independent assessments
- laboratory testing
- proof of in-service history.
Establishing your evidence
At a minimum, your evidence must include:
- relevant technical information
- a purpose and use statement including any limitations relating to the product’s use
- clear design, construction and installation information and support for designers and builders
- clear maintenance information – what is required and what is the impact on ongoing performance, especially durability, if this is not done?
For your evidence and information to be reliable, you need to demonstrate that it is:
To show your information and evidence is comprehensive, you should show your product’s performance complies with all the performance requirements for that product type. This could include following Acceptable Solutions, Verification Methods or standards cited in these.
You could also provide other evidence such as relevant testing or performance history.
Make sure the organisation carrying out any product assessments or testing for your product is appropriately qualified. They should only make
s claims about your product they if they are competent to do so.
Evidence of this could include third party accreditation, ISO certification, membership of quality programmes or appropriate professional organisations, and so on.
Ensure your information and testing relates to your current product. You may decide to show this by linking to manufacturing standards or other quality control measures.
State where, when and how the product can be used so that it is fit for purpose. You should clearly state any limitations the product has, so that designers, installers and builders are aware.
You may also provide information about design instructions, links to installation manuals or similar.
Making your claims factual
Your technical information should include fact-based performance claims. This means providing statistical data about your product’s past performance rather than anecdotal evidence.
If your product has been used in New Zealand, you should include information on:
- how it performs in different local conditions (such as in high wind zones or corrosion zones, seismic zones, or with high levels of UV exposure)
- the effect of these conditions on product life.
You may choose to back up these claims with the results of:
- independent product testing or certification
- certification of quality management systems (such as ISO 9001)
- a history of successful manufacture, sale and use in relevant situations or markets.
Relevancy to New Zealand
You may have a wealth of material to show your product has been tested against international standards and used successfully overseas.
However, your product must meet the specific performance requirements of the New Zealand Building Code.
If you have overseas test results, you will need to provide information showing their relevance to New Zealand’s Building Code and environment – and you should present this so it is easy for the BCA to follow.
Even if the associated Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods are not completely relevant to your product, they may contain cited standards or refer to measurement units that could be applicable.
You may need to have your overseas tests results translated into measurement units that are used and understood by the New Zealand building industry, to help show compliance with the Building Code.