Performance-based design brief consultation

An applicant is required to consult with Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) as a stakeholder in the performance-based design brief (PBDB).

When a development proposes to incorporate performance-based design for any fire safety requirement, whether a building design having a performance solution in accordance with the National Construction Code (NCC) Volume 1 (Class 2 to 9 buildings) or other infrastructure where building codes are not applicable, FRNSW must be engaged in the PBDB process as a stakeholder.

Note 1: Under s26 (1) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Development Certification and Fire Safety) Regulation 2021, the owner of a building must ensure that the person who develops a PBDB for a performance solution for a fire safety requirement in the building requests the Fire Commissioner’s comments on the brief if—
(a) the building is a class 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 building, and
(b) a construction certificate is required for the building work comprising the performance solution.

Note 2: Under s26 (2) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Development Certification and Fire Safety) Regulation 2021, the request for consultation must be made—
(a) during the development of the performance-based design brief, and
(b) in the way required by the Fire Commissioner.

Note 3: Guidance on the development of a PBDB is presented in the Australian Fire Engineering Guidelines (AFEG), as identified by the NCC.

FRNSW requires the request for PBDB consultation be made via written application using the performance-based design brief (PBDB) / fire engineering brief questionnaire (FEBQ) available at

The application is to include all relevant information necessary for consultation, as identified by the agreement on the application form.

Note: The CFD/zone modelling inputs form should be provided when modelling is proposed in the assessment method

FRNSW will notify the person who developed the PBDB (i.e. the applicant) and the building owner within 10 working days if comments will be provided or not. If being provided, FRNSW will endeavour to provide a response within 20 working days after the request was made (i.e. document receipt date).

The building owner must not implement the performance solution unless FRNSW comments on the PBDB have been received and considered, unless:
(a) FRNSW has failed to notify the building owner within 10 working days after the request was made whether written comments will be provided or not, or
(b) FRNSW has notified the building owner that FRNSW will not be providing comments on the PBDB, or
(c) FRNSW has not provided written comments within 20 working days after the request was made.

If consultation is being sought on infrastructure or building works not intended to meet the NCC, such as State significant infrastructure as per s5.12 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 or Crown building work as per s6.28 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, then the FRNSW written report application is to be used when seeking comment/s. 

Note: The PBDB/FEBQ Questionnaire should be used when State significant infrastructure or Crown building does involve a building intended to meet the NCC.

If the development is likely to be subject to a condition of consent that requires a fire safety study be done e.g. State Environmental Planning Policy (Resilience and Hazards) 2021, then this study is to be undertaken prior to developing any performance-based design to ensure that recommendations from the fire safety study are being considered and/or incorporated.



PBDB / FEBQ questionnaire (MS Word)

Performance solution summary table (MS Word)

CFD/zone modelling inputs form (MS Word)

What do I get?

The applicant will receive a written report, such as formal comments within the FEBQ response, and the option of having a telephone meeting to discuss aspects of advice given by FRNSW.

Note: The telephone meeting will be at the discretion of FRNSW, and the time allocated to any meeting will be based on the advice given.


The charge applicable is $2,600 for each day (or part of a day) spent by the Commissioner or a fire brigade member providing advisory, assessment or consultancy services.

The applicant has the option of amending the PBDB and resubmitting for new consultation (along with incurring associated charges).

For a full description of the charges applicable including terms, payment options, applying for a waiver or reduction of the charges, please refer to the fees and charges for services page.

Further information

About FRNSW forms

Submitting plans and specifications to FRNSW