The new National Structural Steelwork Specification and AS/NZS 5131

The new AS/NZS 5131 ‘Structural steelwork – Fabrication and erection’ was published in Dec, 2016 and represents a paradigm shift in how we approach the fabrication and erection of structural steelwork for projects in Australia. The implementation of a risk-based approach, with assignment of a ‘Construction Category’ (CC) from CC1 to CC4 in order of increasing risk to human life embeds a fit-for-purpose layer that balances the often competing facets of project risk, safety, cost effectiveness and compliance.

With AS/NZS 5131 providing a solid technical foundation, it became a relatively straightforward process to develop the ‘National Structural Steelwork Specification’ (NSSS). The NSSS and complementary ‘Standard Drawing Notes’ are intended to be the primary implementation tool for engineer’s and specifiers to embed the requirements of AS/NZS 5131 into good practice steelwork procurement for projects.

Significantly, the NSSS clearly articulates the three notional structural layers within AS/NZS 5131, being the ‘good practice layer’, the ‘risk-based layer’ and the ‘project specific layer’. The NSSS makes it straightforward for engineers and specifiers to establish a clear project-specific quality benchmark and is hence an important tool for engineers to demonstrate duty of care in managing risk on structural steelwork projects.

This presentation will explore the background and basis for AS/NZS 5131, the structure of the NSSS and how to apply it, and a range of other support tools that the Australian Steel Institute (ASI) has developed to support improved compliance outcomes. The presentation also showcases the recent revision to the NATSPEC suite of documents, to reflect AS/NZS 5131 requirements and alignment with the NSSS. ASI and NATSPEC have worked together on both the NSSS and NATSPEC suite to ensure a national and consistent approach to structural steelwork specification in Australia.

Attendance at this seminar is highly recommended. With the publication of the new AS/NZS 5131 we have a unique opportunity to ensure in structural steelwork specification across all projects in Australia, with ensuing project efficiencies and cost savings.


Peter Key BE, PhD

Dr Peter Key is the National Technical Development Manager for the Australian Steel Institute (ASI). Peter has over 25 years of experience in the design of steel structures in a design & construct environment both locally and internationally. Since joining ASI Peter has been responsible for a number of training and technical deliverables, including the ‘Steelwork Fabrication and Erection Code of Practice’ and subsequent development of the new AS/NZS 5131. Peter sits on a number of Standards committees and is a member of the EA Sydney Division Civil & Structural Panel.

Kevin Rooney Ceng, MICE

Kevin Rooney is the Engineering Manager at NATSPEC, publisher of the National building specification of Australia. He has been involved in the design and construction industry for over 20 years, working on a wide variety of building types and a range of civil works. Since joining NATSPEC in 2011 he has been a key figure in the continuing development of NATSPEC and AUS-SPEC, the National Local Government Specification system and he sits on Standards Australia committee TM-012. He has also been involved in the development of the NATSPEC BIM papers and guides, including authoring NATSPEC’s Getting started with BIM paper.

Event Details

Event Status



Tue 18 Apr 2017 - 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm



Registration Closes

Tue 18 Apr 2017 - 5:30 pm


Zenith Theatre
Cnr Railway and McIntosh Street
Chatswood New South Wales 2067



Member Rate: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
Society Member Rate: $30.00 ($27.27 excl. GST)
Student Member Rate: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
Non-Member Rate: $30.00 ($27.27 excl. GST)


Civil and Structural Panel

Key Speaker(s)

Peer Key, Kevin Rooney

Maximum CPD Hours

2 hour(s)

Event Contact

Engineers Australia Member Services
1300 653 113