Standards and specifications

Last updated: 8 March 2022

Standards and specifications play a critical role when developing, selecting and specifying the most appropriate products and materials for projects.

What are standards?

Standards are published documents that set out specifications and design procedures to ensure products and services consistently perform safely, reliably, and the way they're intended to.

There are Australian and international standards, standards developed by certain regulators, and industry standards developed by professional industry associations which relate to the performance of particular activities within the industries.

Standards are living documents which are updated to suit the changing needs of the economy and community. Standards are everywhere in your daily life, from the buildings you live in, to the way seatbelts operate in your car.

What are specifications?

Specifications outline the requirements of a specific company or product. A specification provides specific requirements for the materials, components or services used in an application. Sometimes, a specification will also dictate the installation or design layout of those components. Specification requirements may go above and beyond what is required in the standard.

Recycled content standards and specifications

Department of Transport (formerly VicRoads)

The Department of Transport (DoT) is a national leader in the use of recycled products in pavement construction. They take an equal opportunity approach to specification that is intended to allow contractors to choose between equivalent recycled or virgin quarry materials, based on price and availability.

Below are some DoT sections that include considerations for recycled content.

Reference number Title Recycled materials

Section 405

Regulation Gap Graded Asphalt

RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement)

Section 408

Sprayed Bituminous Surfacings

Tyres/rubber

Section 204

Earthworks

RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement), tyres/rubber, aggregate, glass

Section 405

Regulation Gap Graded Asphalt

RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement)

Section 407

Hot mix asphalt

RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement)

Section 421

High Binder Crumb Rubber Asphalt

Tyres/rubber

Section 422

Light Traffic Crumb Rubber Asphalt

RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement), tyres/rubber

Section 610

Structural concrete

Slag, fly ash

Section 701

Underground Stormwater Drains

Slag, fly ash

Section 702

Subsurface Drainage

RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement), slag,aggregate, glass

Section 703

General concrete paving

Slag, glass

Section 705

Drainage pits

Glass, slag, fly ash

Section 707

Fencing

Slag, fly ash

Section 765

Noise attenuation walls

Recycled products with physical properties that comply

Section 801

Materials Sources for the production of crushed rock and aggregates

RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement), crushed concrete, Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) slag, glass and brick (supplementary material only)

Section 812

Crushed rock for pavement base and sub-base

Aggregate, glass, crushed brick, crushed concrete

Section 813

Base and Subbase for Lower Trafficked Roads

Aggregate, glass, crushed brick, crushed concrete

Section 815

Cementitious Treated Crushed Rock for Pavement Subbase

Aggregate, glass, crushed brick, crushed concrete

Technical note 107

Use of recycled materials in road pavements

RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement),tyres/rubber, aggregate, glass, crushed concrete, crushed brick

Please note: Some of these standards cross-reference each other creating opportunities to use recycled materials. For example, Section 705 (Drainage Pits) references Section 703 (General Concrete Paving) which allows the use of slag and unwashed glass.

Organics

Reference number Title Recycled materials

AS 4454-2003

Australian Standard for Compost and Mulch

Organics

AS 4419-2003

Soils for landscaping and garden use

Organics/soils