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Performance Solution Approvals in South Australia

So you've decided to get some fire engineers involved on your project for some Performance Solutions. Not sure what a Performance Solution is? Check our previous post. This post is intended to provide a general overview on getting a Performance Solution reviewed and approved in South Australia.

fire engineers steps

At the time of writing, the process is governed by several documents including those listed below.

Initial Deficiency Identification

fire engineers discussion

It all starts with your appointed Building Certifier. It is their role on the project to undertake a review of the proposed designs and identify issues with the design relative to the Deemed to Satisfy (DtS) provisions of the National Construction Code (NCC).

Our fire engineers can get involved at this point of the project and assist with issue identification and provide early advice to the design team to resolve trivial issues before submission to the building certifier for their initial review.

Preliminary Consultations

fire brigade consultation

Armed with a list of fire safety deficiencies, our fire engineers would undertake initial consultations with the SAMFS or CFS depending on the location of the proposed development.

The fire authorities are involved in the review process under Section 45 of the Planning Development and Infrastructure Regulations where proposed Performance Solutions will have an impact on intervention of a fire authority. It is up to the appointed building certifier to make this determination.

Parties required for this meeting are listed below:


  • Appointed building certifier

  • Fire safety engineer

  • Client (optional)

  • Project Manager (optional)

  • Architect (optional)

  • Fire protection services engineer (optional)

The optional parties are listed as they would benefit from involvement in these initial consultations to obtain a holistic view of the project and to engage constructively in discussions which achieve the project's design principles whilst also maintaining satisfactory levels of fire and life safety.

Discussions in these consultations focus on:

  • Proposed Performance Solutions

  • Methodology to justify the proposed Performance Solutions

  • General impact of firefighting operations from the proposed Performance Solutions

  • Details surrounding the design fire scenarios to be considered

The minutes from the meeting form the foundation on which the Performance Based Design Brief is founded.

Performance Based Design Brief (PBDB)

fire engineering brief

Following the initial consultations, the fire engineer prepares the PBDB for submission to the appointed building certifier and the relevant fire authority.

The PBDB is the precursor to the Fire Engineering Report and describes the project via the following details:

  • Project scope

  • Regulatory framework

  • Proposed building works

  • Proposed fire and life safety systems

  • Specific fire hazards

  • Proposed Performance Solutions and how the relate to the DtS provisions

  • Acceptance Criteria which, if proved, will result in successful justification of the Performance Solution

  • Methodology proposed to justify how the Performance Solutions shall satisfy the Acceptance Criteria

Under Section 45 of the Planning Development and Infrastructure Regulations, the relevant fire authority has 20 business days to respond to a submitted PBDB otherwise, the appointed building certifier may be able to assume the relevant fire authority does not wish to respond and may proceed without comment.

Fire Engineering Report (FER)

fire engineering report

Following receipt of comments from the relevant fire authority and the appointed building certifier noting approval to proceed to the FER stage, the fire engineer expands on the PBDB's contents to form the FER. The FER must contain all of the elements from the PBDB and also include:

  • Analysis and results following the methodology described for each Performance Solution

  • Clear conclusions drawn showing how the analysis and results satisfy the Acceptance Criteria

  • Clause-by-clause review of the relevant Performance Requirements associated with each Performance Solution with descriptions on how the proposed Performance Solution satisfies the Performance Requirement.

In addition to the FER, the proposed fire protection services drawings, architectural drawings and other drawings relevant to the FER are to be submitted accompanied by the relevant application forms listed below.


  • BE001 - Regulation 45 Application for Fire Authority Report

  • BE002 - Regulation 45 Required Information Form

  • BE003 - Regulation 45 Document Submittal Form

  • BE004 - MFS Service Agreement Form

These forms can be found on the SAMFS website


  • DAS07 - Application for Regulation 45 Comment and Report

This form can be found on the CFS website

Final Reviews and Approvals

fire engineering approval

Much like the PBDB, the relevant fire authority has 20 business days following submission of the FER to prepare a report (known as the Regulation 45 Comment and Report). This report shall detail the nature of each Performance Solution, the submitted justification from the FER and the fire authority's comments on acceptance or rejection of the proposed Performance Solution.

The relevant fire authority often contacts the fire engineers during the review period to seek clarification or additional information where required. The process is generally collaborative to a degree.

If the correct process has been followed and the FER aligns with the approved principles contained within the PBDB, the Regulation 45 Comment and Report would generally contain the approval of the relevant fire authority.

With this approval, the appointed building certifier can safely proceed with further review (or issuing Building Rules Consent) knowing the relevant fire authority supports the proposed Performance Solutions.

What happens if the relevant fire authority rejects the proposed Performance Solutions? This will be covered in a future post.


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