The Australian Technical Evaluation Network (ATEN) is a proposed scheme to bring together a network of selected construction experts and testing facilities to evaluate building construction products and systems as to their fitness-for-purpose. In particular, the scheme’s focus is on high-risk applications employing performance solutions.
A scoping study for ATEN was carried out with the support of Victoria Government Future Industries Fund and a consortium led by Swinburne University of Technology in collaboration with the Victorian Building Authority (VBA), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Association of Consulting Structural Engineers Victoria (ACSEV), and National Association of Steel-framed Housing (NASH).
ATEN’s vision is to support product innovation, enhance evaluation efficiency, and improve life safety and confidence in the building construction industry.
ATEN’s mission is to generate independent, consistent, verified information on the fitness-for-purpose of construction building products in the form of an Appraisal Report that can be used as evidence of meeting all relevant performance requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC) and/or other relevant specifications.
Recent reports have made recommendations that aspects of the construction conformity assessment system require improvement. The ATEN scheme aligns with these recommendations and more importantly, it generates new technical information that is necessary for potential solutions to work. ATEN may provide numerous benefits, including:
- Enhanced safety and public confidence in the building and construction industry through a new robust conformance pathway especially for innovative products.
- More efficient product conformity assessment services through one stop shop collaboration, better information sharing and improved risk management.
- Increased economic activity and skills-based jobs in the construction products supply chain through support of innovation, research, and education.
- Enhanced trade opportunities by facilitating mutual recognition in international markets underpinned by consistent, verifiable and independent construction product appraisals.