Skip to Main Content

Patents, Standards and Codes: Standards and Codes

What is a standard?

A standard is a "documented agreement, containing technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines or definitions of characteristics to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose".

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

The Library does not collect physical copies of standards and only a few are available in hard copy.  All access to standards are through online databases.

Accessing standards

Techstreet : Standards Australia 

Techstreet Enterprise is the new database for accessing Australian and International standards and codes at UWA and replaces SAI Global.

The Techstreet platform provides full text access to all current Australian Standards. This includes Joint ISO/Australian Standards, Joint NZ/Australian Standards, current draft Australian Standards, amendments to Australian Standards and most Standards Australia handbooks.

Standards can be read online using the View Online button or downloaded to a local folder if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader and the FileOpen plugin installed.

User registration

Standards Australia requires each user to register for a Techstreet account using their University email address. Click on the Techstreet full text availability link in the Techstreet Onesearch record to begin the registration process using your UWA email address.

You will first be asked to fill in an online form. You will then receive an email which provides instructions on setting your unique Techstreet password.

Installing the FileOpen plugin

Standards Australia requires that Digital Rights Management (DRM) is enabled to secure PDFs on this platform. If you want to download the full text PDF to a local folder you will need to open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader and have the FileOpen plugin installed. You cannot open the downloaded file from within a browser window.  If the FileOpen plug-in is not installed, the file will be blank when you open it. You may also need to update your version of Adobe Reader to be compatible with FileOpen. Library computers have the correct software preinstalled. UWA staff can install the plugin from the Software Centre.

To install on your own computer.

If FileOpen isn't being recognised by Adobe Reader, consider using the alternative reader Foxit. It will install FileOpen the first time you try to open a standard. Restart Foxit once FileOpen has been installed.

Saving the file locally

Note that downloaded standards cannot be opened within a browser. Save the file to computer (i.e. your downloads folder or desktop), and then open the PDF file with Adobe Reader.

Standards are not viewable individually through OneSearch.  You need to open the Techstreet database from OneSearch and then conduct your search for a particular standard.

1. If you haven't already download the Adobe Acrobat Reader with the FileOpen plugin.

  • Students can download the FileOpen plugin from the Software Download page
  • Staff can download it from the Software Centre

2. Enter Australian Standards or Techstreet into OneSearch then open the database using the Available Online link.

3. Search for your standard by number (e.g. AS 1170.0) or try a keyword search. The search tool looks across titles and descriptions if your keywords don’t match a document number or title.

4. In the Search Results page you can select your standard. You will also see historical versions and the amendment history of the standard.

5. From the standard page you can see an outline of Major Revisions and get a description of the standard in About This Document and View Document Versions. You can also Download the standard. 

6. Once downloaded you do need to open the file in Adobe Reader and not a web browser so if necessary right click on the downloaded file and choose Open With and select Adobe Reader:


7. To do a new search use the search box or select Home at the top of the screen. 

TIP: Techstreet has full text for the Australian equivalent to many international standards so try typing in the ISO code in the search box and look for “This Standard is identical with and has been reproduced from….” in About This Document.

Error when opening files?

The secure PDF files for individual standards cannot be viewed in a browser window, they must be downloaded and opened in Adobe Reader. If a file opens in the browser window (or Preview app on macs) a file load error message will usually display.

For infrequent users - we recommend simply downloading the Standard file and saving it to your computer, then opening it using Adobe Acrobat/Reader. If the file doesn't automatically open in Adobe you can the right-click the file and choose to open with Adobe Acrobat/Reader.

For regular users - you can change your browser settings so that PDF documents will automatically open in Adobe Reader (and not in the browser). Follow Adobe's help guide here:

Other troubleshooting

  • FileOpen and the Chrome Browser (by Techstreet support)
  • FileOpen Troubleshooting FAQs (by FileOpen support) - includes how to open FileOpen protected PDFs in Chrome, Firefox and tips for Mac users.
  • Make sure you have not changed the name of the file when it was saved - this can result in a blank PDF.

PDFs still not opening?

The Techstreet Help Center explains some of the common issues you may experience, including using FileOpen with Google Chrome. The Technical Support section contains further troubleshooting information.

Contact Techstreet support (02) 9161 7799 or

Viewing standards

The Document Details page provides two options for viewing standards: Download or View Online.

Download To save the standard without previewing it make sure you have Adobe Acrobat Reader and the FileOpen plugin installed (see the Registration and software installation tab) and click the Download button. You will then be able to choose a location on your computer to save the PDF.

View Online - This will open standard in the PDF viewer of your browser. This does not always work correctly, so we recommend the download option.

Printing standards

Australian Standards accessed via Techstreet are protected PDF files and require the following software to print downloaded PDFs:

You can print the whole document or select the relevant page numbers to print. To print a standard, click on the print icon in the Adobe Acrobat tool bar. 

Note: The license allows one printout of a standard per user.


Linking to standards

It is possible to link to specific Australian Standards hosted on the Techstreet platform by copying the Document Details page's URL.

1. Search for the required standard. For example 'AS ISO 31000:2018'. Then open the search result.

2. Highlight and copy the URL from the Documents Details page and paste to the required location.

Note: the user who clicks on the link will need to be a registered UWA user of Techstreet and will also need to login in with their Techstreet credentials in order to Download or View the standard. See the Registration and Software Installation tab for details.

If you require an international standard which is listed in Techstreet with a status of 'locked' you will need to...

1. Sign into Techstreet via Onesearch using the email address and the password you have created (see the Registration tab).

2. Search for the standard you require, using the standard number or title.

3. If you are searching inside our subscriptions and receive 'no results' click on the VIEW UNSUBSCRIBED RESULTS link.

4. Select the correct standard from the search results (click on the standard number).

5. Click the Request button for the Secure PDF option. You will be taken to the Request Summary page.

6. Scroll down the Request Summary page to Review & Confirm. At Step 2 Payment Details the correct details are already auto-filled. Just click your mouse pointer on the box and it should turn green and then to proceed to step 3.

7. You will also need to enter details into the Reason for Request field, providing as much information as possible, including your supervisor or unit coordinator's details. Once you have read and accepted the Techstreet Terms of Use, tick the box, then complete the request by clicking the Submit Request For Approval button.

8. Your request will be directed to the Library. For HDR students, approval will be sought from your supervisor/unit coordinator. You will receive a notification informing you of the outcome of your request. If successful, you will be provided with instructions describing how you access the standard.

If you have any questions or experience any problems with the requesting process contact the Library.

Standards issued outside Australia can be searched within Techstreet but not viewed, downloaded or printed. 

A number of these standards are 'locked' unless an additional purchase is made.  If you require a locked standard which from Techstreet you will need to request it (see instructions in the Requesting standards tab). For HDR students, permission must be granted by your supervisor or lecturer before the standard is purchased and unlocked by the library.

Other sources of International standards

IEEE Standards

To search for IEEE Standards go to the IEEE Xplore database.  From the search dropdown menu select 'Standards'. Type in the root number of the standard (for example '16085') and then run the search. Standards that are available for access in the search results will have an open padlock icon next to them allowing you to download the full text PDF.

Freely available ISO standards

An extensive list of ISO standards is made freely available in accordance with ISO/IEC JTC 1 and the ISO and IEC Councils.

The list can be found at

Finding building codes and standards

National Construction Code online (Building Code of Australia)

The National Building Service is a unique reference to the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and contains Australian building standards and regulations. To assist with performance aspects of the code, the commentary also provides explanations for specific code requirements and offers suggestions and option on how code requirements may be fulfilled, including diagrammatic examples.


BDP Environment Design Guide

A comprehensive source of information on environmental issues tailored to the needs of Australia's building design professionals.  This resource covers an extensive range of relevant issues and design solutions.


 Except for logos, Canva designs or where otherwise indicated, content in this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.