BCA 2010 - ABCB - Australian Building Codes Board


BCA 2010 - ABCB - Australian Building Codes Board





BCA 2010









The Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


The Australian Building Regulation

Bulletin (ABRB)

The objective of the magazine is to provide

industry with technically based information.

The publisher reserves the right to alter or

omit any article or advertisement submitted

and requires indemnity from advertisers and

contributors against damages or liabilities

that may arise from material published.

n Cover story

16 Climate Change Adaptation Challenges For The Built Environment

n Features


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The ABRB has a national circulation

amongst the building and construction

industry reaching approximately 15,000

subscribers and a readership

of 45,000+.


Material in the ABRB is protected under

the Commonwealth Copyright Act 1968.

No material may be reproduced in part

or in whole without written consent

from the Commonwealth and State

and Territory Governments of Australia.

Requests and inquiries concerning

reproduction and rights should be

addressed to:

The General Manager

Australian Building

Codes Board

GPO Box 9839

Canberra ACT 2601

A State Perspective

14 Building a Better Queensland


20 Comparative Stringency of Elemental Glazing Provisions For

BCA 2010 Volume Two


22 Four Decades of Service to Product Evaluation in the U.S


26 Building Australia’s Future (BAF) 2009 Conference Overview


30 Draft Standard for Private Bushfire Shelters


32 LPG Powered Cars - New Regulations for Garages in Austria

34 Fire Protection Issues for Multi-Storey Buildings in China

36 Fire Engineering, the Building Codes and Sustainability


38 Leading Products for the Built Environment

n Regulars

2 Chairman’s Address

4 BCA and Industry News – including the latest on BCA 2010

Disclaimer: The views in this

magazine are not necessarily

the views of the Australian

Building Codes Board.

44 Conference & Events Calendar

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 1


Mr graham huxley AM

Welcome to the Autumn 2010 edition

of the Australian Building Regulation


On reflection, 2009 was a busy year

highlighted by the development of

enhanced energy efficiency measures

for the Building Code of Australia (BCA)

as agreed by Governments, a new

national bushfire standard for residential

buildings and on-going engagement

about important life safety issues arising

from the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal

Commission’s work.

The Building Ministers’ Forum met in

November 2009 to consider several

matters impacting on the building

regulation reform agenda. This

included consideration of the National

Construction Code (NCC) which was

subsequently referred to COAG. At its

meeting on 7 December COAG agreed

to integrate the Plumbing Code of

Australia and the Building Code of

Australia into a single document which

will address areas of inconsistency and

overlap between the two codes. This

will enable the development of a more

consolidated and integrated national

construction code.

Looking to the year ahead, we expect

to have our hands full once again in

2010. In addition to assisting with the

development of the NCC, the ABCB

will be responding further to the Royal

Commission on Bushfires, including the

development of a national standard for

the design and construction of bushfire

shelters for personal use.

Government is considering its response

to the House of Representatives

Standing Committee on Legal and

Constitutional Affairs report on the

Draft Disability (Access to Premises

Buildings) Standards and the

ABCB remains ready to respond to

Government direction on this important


As foreshadowed earlier, BCA 2010

contains increased energy efficiency

stringency levels for all buildings,

including 6 star requirements for

houses. Some States and Territories may

not be adopting these changes in BCA

2010, so it would be best to check the

status of these new measures in your

jurisdiction with your local Building

Control Administration (see page 31 in

this Edition).

With the new provisions for energy

efficiency bushfires, swimming pool

safety barriers and other amendments

relating to life safety, the new look BCA

2010 contains quite a few changes. I

encourage you to attend our National

BCA Seminar Series, commencing in

March, where you will be informed of

these changes. Further information

on the Seminars can be found in this

edition, or on our website at


Graham Huxley AM


2 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


To achieve total R3.2 to meet

BCA Part J compliance


Cover plate

to adapt Roof Rack

to suit pierce

fixed roofs


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Creating an environmentally

sustainable future




Last month, the Building Products

Innovation Council (BPIC) farewelled

chief executive, David Sharp, who has

returned to the “land of the long white

cloud” to rejoin BRANZ as Business

Development Manager.

David has been a very popular figure

at ABCB conferences and Building

Code Committee meetings for over 10

years and impressed everyone with his

technical knowledge and his “Yorkshire”

sense of humour which was used

to great effect when he MC’d many

conference dinners.

David played a most significant role in the

future of the building industry through

his management of the BPIC Industry

Cooperative Innovation Program (ICIP),

an Australian Government supported

project that that will produce a Life Cycle

Inventory (LCI) for building materials.

This sound, transparent data system will

improve the sustainability of the building

and materials industry across Australia.

David will continue to contribute to the

project wearing his BRANZ hat.

BPIC’s 10 major building material

Maintaining BPIC’s direction; Ian Frame with David Sharp

national associations have provided

valuable support and participation in

this project which will provide:

• a level playing field methodology for

use in the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

of building products and materials

• an extensive database of LCI data for

construction materials and products,

all compiled in accordance with the


• a database of replacement lives for

materials, products and assemblies

used in Australian buildings

• an LCA protocol that will describe

how the LCI data should be used. e.g

by LCA Tools and Ecolabels.

The BPIC LCI database is a joint initiative

by BPIC, BRANZ, the Australian Life Cycle

Assessment Society (ALCAS) and the

Department of Innovation, Industry,

Science & Research. The project, due for

completion in November 2010, is now

at an exciting stage where the building

product associations have agreed on a

methodology and are now collecting

LCI data. The project team has engaged

with a wide group of stakeholders

through a national series of Weighting

Workshops held in 11 cities, designed

to establish how Australians judge

the relative importance (weighting) of

environmental issues and risks.

Ian Frame, who was Executive Director

Building Product Associations contribute to the Life Cycle

Inventory Database

of the Australian Window Association

for 20 years has taken over the CEO role

at BPIC. Ian was secretary of BPIC for

seven years, after playing a leading role

in its establishment in 2002. Ian and the

other chief executives of the building

materials sector believed then, as they

do today, that regulators, designers and

the consumer will significantly benefit

from BPIC’s key objectives:

• A level playing field so that all

products can be fairly and genuinely

compared through performance

• A nationally consistent regulatory

framework which is critical, especially

in maintaining housing affordability

throughout Australia

• Strengthening Australia’s building

material sector through innovation

and adherence to Australian

Standards and the Building Code of


BPIC is working to better protect

homeowners, builders, designers and

building surveyors from non-compliant,

and in many cases unsafe, products

being used in Australian construction.

Appreciating that knowledge and

education are the best possible

means to eliminate non-compliant

products, BPIC and SAI Global are

pursuing, through meetings with the

ABCB, Housing Industry Association,

Master Builders Association and the

Property Council of Australia, the ability

to provide Australian Standards and

the Building Code on line at the most

affordable rate possible.

BPIC is optimistic that both state

and federal governments will assist

in helping reduce the very real and

dangerous cost to homeowners of living

in buildings that have been constructed

with non-compliant materials. Ian

Frame would welcome both support

and information that could assist in

achieving this goal.

Email: IanFrame@bpic.asn.au

About BPIC

The Building Products Innovation

Council (BPIC) is the national body

representing Australia’s building

product associations. BPIC’s

membership directly employs more

than 200,000 Australians with more

than 470,000 employed indirectly.

Their collective industries are

worth more than $54b annually to

the Australian economy. For more

information, please go to:


4 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

John V. McCarthy AO, to hold Presidency of CIB

On 13 October 2009, in Brussels,

Belgium, CRC for Construction Innovation

Chair, John V. McCarthy AO, was voted

by the international board of the CIB

(International Council for Research and

Innovation in Building and Construction)

to take over the Presidency of the global

group from May 2010 for three years.

The vote is expected to be ratified by

World Building Congress delegates in

May 2010, and will be the first time an

Australian has held this prestigious CIB


As many of you will know, John has

a distinguished record of industry

leadership in Australia, including as

a member of the Built Environment

Industry Innovation Council advising

the Australian Minister for Innovation,

Industry, Science and Research and as a

former Board member of the Australian

Building Codes Board. John is currently

Chairing the interim Board for the

incoming Sustainable Built Environment

National Research Centre as the

successor for the CRC for Construction

Innovation, which he has chaired for the

last eight years. John is also an Adjunct

Professor at QUT in Brisbane.

John’s energy and focus will deliver

clear benefits for expansion of the CIB’s

international research role and will

coincidentally bring the 2013 World

Building Congress to Australia …

stay tuned!


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Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 5

ific metal screens in buildings with a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) up to and including BAL 40.

factured locally as an Insulating Glass Unit (IGU), incorporating specially processed, high


ty Viridian float glass products, the new bushfire resistant Viridian PyroGuard 40 TM in conjunction

a suitably tested framing profile offers a range of valuable benefits. These include reduced noise,

um thermal performance, (improved comfort and savings on heating and cooling costs all year

d) and outstanding

viriDiAN Media Release LAUNCH





the bushfire


flame front for




assessed at up to and

ding BAL TESTED 40; it’s TO extraordinary! THE ABSOLUTE

4 November 2009


Australian glass manufacturer, Viridian,

has designed a bushfire resistant

glass specifically for use in bushfire

prone areas. Used in conjunction with

a specially tested bushfire resistant

window system, Viridian PyroGuard

40 can help protect human lives and

property by providing a barrier against

radiant heat and ember attack.

The special ultra-thin transparent

coating within Viridian PyroGuard 40

minimises the transfer of radiant heat

from the bushfire front through the

glass and into the home; even when

subject to radiation levels of 40kW/

m2, less than 3% of the radiant heat is

transferred through a window glazed

with PyroGuard 40. This not only

protects combustible materials such

as curtains and furnishings within the

home, but helps to provide significantly

increased protection for occupants.

The high radiation levels of a bushfire

front normally only last for a short

period, rising to a peak as the front nears

the building, reducing at a similar rate

as the front moves away. PyroGuard 40

provides further protection after the

front passes. Research has demonstrated

that many homes ignite well after the

fire front has gone. With the integrity of

the window maintained, human life and

property are further protected.

6 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

system, PyroGuard 40 offers effective

protection from the effects of ember

attack and radiant heat created that

would otherwise threaten life and

property well after the fire front has


Viridian Launch New Bushfire Resistant IGU -

Tested to the Absolute

ore information on Viridian PyroGuard 40, high resolution

es or to arrange an interview with Paul Cocker - Marketing and

ess Development Manager, Viridian, please contact Jill Johnson

exandra Gregory on 03 9510 5466.

Victorian window fabricator Miglas,

has just launched their new bushfire

resistant window system, the Miglas

Fireguard 40. Glazed with Viridian

PyroGuard 40, it has passed

the rigorous testing procedures

documented in AS 1530.8.1.2007. As

provided for in AS3959 ‘Building in

Bushfire Prone Areas’, installation of this

window system removes the need for

unsightly bushfire resistant shutters or

specific metal screens in buildings with

a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) up to and

including BAL 40.

Australian glass manufacturer, Viridian, has designed

a bushfire resistant glass specifically for use in


bushfire prone areas. Used in conjunction with a

specially tested bushfire resistant window systems,

er 2009 Viridian PyroGuard 40 can help protect human

lives and property by providing a barrier against

radiant heat and ember attack.

Manufactured locally as an Insulating

Glass Unit (IGU), incorporating specially

processed, high quality Viridian float

glass products, the new bushfire

resistant Viridian PyroGuard 40 in

conjunction with a suitably tested

framing profile offers a range of valuable

benefits. These include reduced noise,

optimum thermal performance,

(improved comfort and savings on

heating and cooling costs all year round)

and outstanding protection from the

bushfire flame front for sites assessed

at up to and including BAL 40; it’s


an Launch The special ultra-thin New transparent Bushfire coating within Resistant IGU -

Viridian PyroGuard 40 minimises the transfer of

radiant heat from the bushfire front through the glass

d to the Absolute

and into the home; even when subject to radiation

levels of 40kW/m2, less than 3% of the radiant heat

is transferred through a window glazed with

glass manufacturer, PyroGuard 40. Viridian, This not has only designed protects combustible

resistant materials glass specifically such as curtains for use and in furnishings within the

rone areas. home,

When glazed Used but

as part in helps conjunction to provide

of a specially with significantly a increased

ested bushfire

tested protection bushfire

resistant for occupants.

window systems,

roGuard 40 can help protect human

roperty by providing a barrier against

at and ember attack.

al ultra-thin transparent coating within

roGuard 40 minimises the transfer of

at from the bushfire front through the glass

e home; even when subject to radiation

0kW/m2, less than 3% of the radiant heat

red through a window glazed with

40. This not only protects combustible

such as curtains and furnishings within the

helps to provide significantly increased

for occupants.

Paul Cocker Cocker - Marketing - Marketing and Business and


Business Development

Manager, Viridian

Manager, Viridian

The high radiation levels of a bushfire front normally only las

a short period, rising to a peak as the front nears the building

reducing at a similar rate as the front moves away. PyroGua

40 provides further protection after the front passes.

Research has demonstrated that many homes ignite well aft

the fire front has gone, with the integrity of the window

maintained; human life and property are further protected.

When glazed as part of a specially tested bushfire resistant

window system, PyroGuard 40 offers effective protection f

the effects of ember attack and radiant heat created that wou

otherwise threaten life and property well after the fire front ha


The high radiation levels of a bushfire front normally only last for


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New Safety Standards at OneSteel Reinforcing

OneSteel Reinforcing has taken

proactive steps to ensure the safe

handling and loading of its Trench Mesh

steel reinforcing onto transport trucks.

Following a comprehensive evaluation,

OneSteel Reinforcing has renewed

Trench Mesh handling procedures for

OneSteel Reinforcing employees and

contract truck drivers.

The new guidelines implemented

by OneSteel Reinforcing, are seeing

significant improvements in safe

handling practices being achieved

across OneSteel Reinforcing’s


The Australian Standards on lifting

devices, (AS 3775 Chains and Slings and

AS 3776 Hooks and Rings) recommend

the device must be able to provide

positive retention of the load in order

to prevent the load separating from the


While the use of a safety clip or latch

provides a positive retention device,

standard hooks do not fit well into

Trench Mesh, making it difficult to use a

clip or latch.

“Prior to the implementation of this

initiative there was a possibility of the

load, if not properly secured, moving

when being

loaded.” Said

Wayne Miller,



Safety Advisor.


Reinforcing has

identified that

wool or cotton

bale hooks, also known as bailing hooks,

are the most suitable for use with its

Trench Mesh steel reinforcing.

While bale hooks are not new to the

industry, their use has predominantly

been for lifting bales of cotton or wool.

They are long shank hooks that pull into

the mesh upon lifting, thereby causing

greater retention.

Bailing hooks do not lift from the

bottom cross wires but are placed five

cross wires in from each end, and part

way down a mesh pack of 25-30 sheets.

This evenly disperses the load placed on

the packing straps.

As a consequence, the bale hook design

does not require the use of a position

retention device to stop the Trench

Mesh load detaching from the hook as

it’s being loaded onto a truck.

Bale hooks are not suitable for other

reinforcing mesh products with larger

apertures. For these reinforcing mesh

products, OneSteel Reinforcing employ

the use of a H-frame with hooks and

pins to provide a secure lifting solution.

“We have been encouraging our

employees to recognise that the most

important aspect of loading and

handling all our reinforcing products is

their safety,” Wayne said.

“We believe that working safely and

being aware of your surroundings and

instilling the importance of safe work

procedures must be the natural and

instinctive way we all go about doing

our daily tasks.

“There are a number of positives to

come from this review, most notably

that procedures have been put in place

to provide our workers and contractors

with a safer work environment, which is


“The benefits of good safety are

undeniable, good safety is good

business. The benefits of a well

maintained and safe workplace and

equipment are not only obvious but

vital to ensure the long-term future of

OneSteel Reinforcing maintaining our

reputation of having safe company work


One of the main focuses of the initiative

was to emphasise to all OneSteel

Reinforcing employees the importance

of daily safe product handling, to

prevent complacency.

Wayne said, “It’s our company objective

to ensure everyone

goes home safe and

well at the end of

the day.”

Since the review

there has been a

dramatic increase

in the awareness

of hazard risks.

It has also been

useful in identifying

areas where

improvement is

required to enhance

the company’s

safety culture and

a concerted effort is being made to

continue safety awareness.

OneSteel Reinforcing has committed to

the continual improvement of workplace


and have

published a

Best Practice

Guide for

lifting Trench


The guide



demonstrates the use of shanked Bailing

Hooks and is freely available to all

industry participants, customers, and

users of OneSteel Reinforcing Trench

Mesh and steel reinforcing products.

Further details on lifting Trench Mesh

safely, is available from Wayne Miller,

Safety Advisor OneSteel Reinforcing.

Wayne can be contacted via the

reinforcing website, details below.

OneSteel Reinforcing is a leading supplier

of residential, commercial and civil

construction steel reinforcement products,

with a product range that includes





For further information on these and

other OneSteel Reinforcing products

or view product installation videos visit

www.reinforcing.com and




REIDBAR and ROMTECH are registered trade

marks of OneSteel Limited, ABN 63 004 410 833.

8 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


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The CeeLux HB13 comes in a 60 degree beam

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The fitting operates at a low temperature ensuring

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It is easy to install, requiring a 100mm cutout.

The trim measures 110mm. The CeeLux

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Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 9


Report on Development of BCA 2010

Development Process

The development process for the 2010

edition of the BCA (BCA 2010) was

consistent with previous practices, the

principles expressed in the current

Inter Government Agreement and

good regulatory practice. The process

included the following elements:

• An individual or organisation

proposing a change to the BCA was

required to justify the change in

accordance with COAG regulatory

principles through the ABCB’s

Proposal for Change (PFC) process.

This included documenting all

impacts (costs and benefits),

consultation undertaken and

demonstration of market failure.

• Following the April meeting of COAG,

the ABCB office was directed to

develop enhanced energy efficiency

provisions in BCA 2010.

• Extensive consultation with

stakeholders was undertaken, with

a particular focus on the energy

efficiency provisions and affected

industries. This included the

availability of drafts of BCA 2010

on the ABCB website for 6 weeks

during June and July and, in respect

of the energy efficiency changes,

wide consultation on the draft

provisions and the RISs including two

webcasts to thousands of building


• The Building Codes Committee (BCC)

was provided with BCA 2010 drafts

and all public comments received

plus an analysis of those comments

and recommended action. BCC met

on 19–20 October to consider the

comments and further develop the


Matters included in BCA 2010

Referenced documents

BCA 2010 references a number of

amendments and new editions of

Standards and other documents.

Loading Standards

The agreed transition period for 1170.4

has now ended and all references to the

older 1993 edition of AS 1170 Part 4 have

been deleted. As a consequence, several

editorial changes have been necessary.

The proposed removal of AS 1170.4 1993

was advised in BCA 2009.

Swimming pool Standards

AS 1926-2007 Amendment 1 replaces

AS 1926-1993. Both Part 1 (dealing

with safety barriers for swimming

pools) and Part 2 (dealing with the

location of safety barriers for swimming

pools) have been updated. The new

standard provides greater clarity on the

arrangement of acceptable construction

for pool fences, including diagrams.

In addition to referencing the 2007

version of AS 1926, new provisions have

been included in the BCA restricting

the use of child-resistant doorsets in an

outdoor swimming pool safety barrier

and prescribing the direction of swing of

side hung doors in an indoor swimming

pool safety barrier.

Bushfire Standard

The 2009 edition (including Amendment

1) of AS 3959 “Construction of buildings

in bushfire-prone areas” is referenced

in BCA 2010. As part of the referencing

of the new edition, the provisions have

been extended to apply to Class 10a

buildings and decks associated with a

Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 buildings.


Due to the enhanced energy efficiency

provisions, a number of defined terms

have been added, modified or removed.

As a result of changes to the natural

lighting provisions, the word roof light is

now a defined term for that purpose.

Natural lighting

The requirements for roof lights have

been amended to reduce the aggregate

light transmitting area for roof lights

providing natural lighting to not less

than 3% of the floor area of the space

served. This is because roof lights are

more efficient at transmitting light

when compared to windows. The

consequence of this is the potential to

reduce costs by using a smaller roof light

which, in turn, assists in compliance with

the energy efficiency provisions through

a reduction in heat gains or losses

through the roof light.

Other matters

A number of other minor changes

have been made to clarify intent where

confusion existed.

Class 2 to 9 Buildings

(Volume One)

Nickel Sulphide glass failure

As a consequence of glass failures

related to nickel sulphide, the BCA now

references ASTM C1279 “Standard

Test Method for Non-Destructive

Photoelastic Measurement of Edge and

Surface Stresses in Annealed, Heat-

Strengthened and Fully Tempered Flat

Glass” and EN 14179 Part 2 “Evaluation

of conformity/Product standard”. It has

been necessary to use international

standards as the proposed amendment

to AS 1288 to address these issues will

not be ready in time for BCA 2010. There

will be a transition period to allow

industry to adjust.

Power operated doors

A new provision clarifies the

requirement for certain power operated

doors to be opened manually in the

case of power failure. This provision now

applies to power operated doors in a

path of travel to an exit.

Water flow for fire hose reels

BCA 2010 now references Amendment 1

to AS 2441. As a result, the requirements

for water supply for a fire hose reel have

been relocated from the standard into

the BCA.

Smoke hazard management in large

isolated buildings

The provisions in C2.3 dealing with

smoke hazard management have been

relocated into Table E2.2a.

Sanitary facilities

The number of required sanitary

facilities has been adjusted for certain

Class 9b buildings, including schools,

theatres and cinemas with multiple

auditoria, sports venues or the like. For

schools, there is a reduction in pans,

urinals and washbasins for students,

which has assisted in the removal of a

State variation and achieved nationally

10 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

consistent requirements. For theatres

and cinemas with multiple auditoria and

sports venues, the number of female

facilities has been increased.

Energy efficiency

The energy efficiency provisions have

been enhanced in 2010 as a result of a

COAG directive.

The energy efficiency provisions include

the following:

• Sole-occupancy units for Class 2

buildings and Class 4 parts of

buildings must achieve an average

of 6 stars. This must be determined

through software programs.

• Due to the need to reduce

greenhouse gas emissions, the

Performance Requirement has been

revised and new Deemed-to-Satisfy

Provisions have been added to

require a building’s services to use

energy from a renewable source or

a source with low greenhouse gas


• The Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

for Class 2 to 9 buildings (other than

sole-occupancy units in Class 2

buildings and Class 4 parts of

buildings) have been enhanced in

line with the COAG direction.

• The maintenance provisions have

been amended to align with the

changes to the energy efficiency


Housing Provisions

(Volume Two)

Corrosion protection

A revised table for acceptable corrosion

protection for sheet roofing has been

included. The amendment aligns with

the changes made to the corrosion

protection of built-in structural steel

members which was included in

BCA 2009. This was done to increase

consistency for how corrosion

protection is dealt with in the BCA and

to better reflect currently available

products and industry practice.

Energy efficiency

The energy efficiency provisions have

been enhanced in 2010.

The energy efficiency provisions include:

• A requirement to achieve a 6

star rating using software or an

equivalent using an elemental


• In tropical areas such as climate

zones 1 and 2, the star rating may

be reduced if outdoor living zones

which meet specific requirements are

included as part of the building.

• Due to the need to reduce

greenhouse gas emissions, the

Performance Requirement has been

revised and Deemed-to-Satisfy

Provisions have been added to

require a building’s services to use

energy from a renewable source or

from a source with low greenhouse

gas intensity.

• In the appropriate locations,

explanatory information has been

inserted stating that designers

of ceilings need to consider the

additional loadings due to the

increased ceiling insulation required

by the enhanced energy efficiency


Other matters

A number of other minor changes have

been made to correct typographical

errors and clarify intent where confusion


Guide to the BCA

A number of changes have been made

to the Guide to the BCA to reflect the

above changes to Volume One.

There is also a new look to BCA 2010,

with State and Territory variations

and additions to Volume One now

consolidated into a separate publication.

Refer to the following page for more



Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 11


Energy efficiency provisions • Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas

Swimming Pool Safety Barriers • Lighting • Glazing • AND MORE

You will also recieve the State and Territory Appendices Booklet and Online Access to the

2010 Energy Efficiency Lighting & Glazing Calculators and all ABCB Handbooks.

It’s here… BCA 2010 complete with the latest updates and information for building compliance. The first change you will notice

is what appears to be a fourth volume. The Volume One Appendices are now bound as a separate document forming part of the

complete BCA package of Volume One, Volume Two, Variations & Additions, BCA Online and E-Guide to the BCA.

This year is particularly important with changes to, and information on, new national energy efficiency provisions; buildings in

bushfire prone areas; swimming pool safety barriers, lighting, glazing and more.

As part of your subscription service, you will also have access to a 1300 technical information line. If you have an enquiry on the

BCA, call the Customer Service team where your call can be directed to the most appropriate technical area within the ABCB. If your

enquiry requires more specific building related information, we can connect you through to the relevant State or Territory building

control administration, or Government Department. Throughout the year, we will keep you up-to-date via the ABR Online and

ABRB magazines; email alerts; and ABCB web-casts.

New subscribers can contact the BCA Customer Service team to discuss the purchase options that are available for individuals,

students, educational institutions, and organisations.

Your 2010 Subscription Inclusions and Online Access…

• ABRB Hard Copy Magazine • ABR Online • All Historical BCA’s • E-Guide to the BCA • Energy Efficiency Glazing Calculator

• Energy Efficiency Lighting Calculator • Durability in Buildings Handbook • Sound Insulation Handbook • Landslide Handbook

• Digital Building Telecommunications Access Handbook • … and soon to be released: Energy Efficiency for Electricians and Plumbers;

and Energy Efficiency in Class 2-9 Buildings • Digital TV Antenna Systems Handbook • Digital TV Antenna Systems for Homes

Handbook •

BCA Customer Service on 1300 134 631

Email: bca@abcb.gov.au Fax: 02 6290 8831 www.abcb.gov.au

12 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

Do your windows & doors

comply to the BCA?



Members manufacture window and door products in compliance with all relevant

Australian Standards

Members verify their window's design performance using a NATA accredited

testing laboratory

Members performance label their windows to the required 'wind pressure' and

'water penetration' requirements of AS2047

Members provide windows that will make you home more comfortable, reduce

energy costs and conforms to the solution paths for energy efficiency within the

Building Code of Australia

It is your responsibility to ensure your window manufacturer has compliance to AS2047.


Don’t take any chances! All AWA & WERS members undergo testing and auditing to verify

performance claims of products.

Choose AWA & WERS Members



Photo courtesy of DLG Aluminium m & Glazing

Australian Building Regulation www.wers.net

Bulletin • 13


Building a better


Written by Building Codes Queensland

Building Codes Queensland is the

division within the Department of

Infrastructure and Planning responsible

for Queensland’s building and plumbing

policy, legislation and standards.

The past 12 months have seen a raft of

major reforms aimed at improving the

built environment for Queenslanders.

From a major overhaul of Queensland’s

pool safety laws to a range of Australianfirst

sustainability measures and reduced

red tape for plumbers, it has been a year

of firsts for Queensland. Amongst the

changes, Queensland will have its first

state-wide register of pools to support

new mandatory point of sale and lease

pool safety inspections. Homeowners

will complete a sustainability declaration

when marketing their property for sale.

Anti-sustainable restrictions such as

covenants that set minimum floor areas

for houses will be banned and licensed

plumbers will be able to self-certify

installation of solar and heat pump hot

water systems.

Building Codes Queensland has been

a hive of activity over the last year and,

with plenty of exciting new projects on

the horizon, this enthusiasm and output

is only expected to continue. Below is

a snapshot from our Directors of some

of the most current policy initiatives.

More information is available from our

website at www.dip.qld.gov.au

Written by Glen Brumby, Executive

Director, Building Codes Queensland.


Pool Safety

In 2008–09, eight children drowned

in Queensland pools. An estimated

50 young children are presented to

emergency departments each year

due to immersion injuries, some of

whom suffer permanent brain damage.

Defective fences have been a recurring

significant factor in coronial findings

on fatal immersion accidents of young

children in swimming pools.

In December 2008, the Premier

of Queensland announced the

most comprehensive review of

Queensland’s pool safety laws in

nearly 20 years. An expert committee

was subsequently formed and made

23 recommendations for improving

pool safety in Queensland. Following

extensive public consultation, the

Queensland Government approved the

implementation of a two staged pool

safety improvement strategy.

Stage one was implemented on 1

December 2009 and applies to new

pools. It includes adoption of the latest

pool fencing and CPR signage standards,

mandatory follow-up inspections,

provisions to allow temporary pool

fencing and a major increase in funding

of the government’s pool safety


Stage two is proposed to commence on

1 December 2010 and will apply mostly

to existing pools. Measures include:

• adoption of the latest pool

fencing standards for all existing

and new pools (indoor and outdoor)

associated with Class 1, 2, 3 and 4

buildings and caravan parks

• phasing out child resistant doors

for existing pools

• mandatory inspections at point of

sale and lease of properties with a


• a new license class for swimming

pool safety inspectors

• a requirement for portable pools

300mm or deeper to be fenced

• a swimming pool register

• narrowing the ability for local

governments to vary or add to pool

safety laws and strengthening local

government powers of entry.

Written by Lance Glare, A/Director,

Building Legislation and Standards


14 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin




There is growing concern about the

potential impacts of climate change and

the need to improve existing housing

stock. Encouraging prospective buyers

to make informed choices about the

sustainability performance of residential

buildings is becoming increasingly

important. Properties with a greater

number of sustainability features

potentially have lower energy costs and

use less water. They can also be more

comfortable to live in and generate

fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Homes with access features may be

more liveable for occupants during their

various life stages and the inclusion of

safety features can reduce potential risks

around the home.

From 1 January 2010, a sustainability

declaration must be completed when a

house, townhouse or unit is marketed

or offered for sale. This declaration will

inform buyers about the sustainability

features of a property and increase

community awareness of the value of

such features. The declaration identifies

the dwelling’s environmental and

social sustainability features in four

key areas—energy, water, access and

safety. It also indicates the possible

ongoing financial and environmental

benefits that could be achieved with

specific features. It is anticipated that

the declaration will help promote the

sustainability of a home and become a

key marketing tool for real estate agents

and private sellers.

To assist sellers, including those with

limited pre-existing knowledge of

sustainability features, the Department

of Infrastructure and Planning has

released a reference guide and fact

sheet to help the public in filling in the

sustainability declaration.

The sustainability declaration, reference

guide and fact sheet is available on the

department’s website


Written by Natalie Wilde, A/Director,

Reform and Legislative Services Branch

Solar and Heat Pump

Hot Water Systems

From 1 January 2010, existing houses

and townhouses (Class 1 buildings)

located in a natural gas reticulated

area must install an energy efficient

hot water system (i.e. gas, solar or

heat pump) when the existing electric

resistance system needs replacing.

Householders will not need to replace

existing electric resistance hot water

systems that are in good working order.

This initiative, part of Queensland’s

Climate Change Strategy, is the first of

its kind in Australia and follows action

by the Queensland Government to ban

the installation of electric resistance

hot water systems in all new houses

and townhouses (Class

1 buildings only), which

came into effect on

1 March 2006.

Around 27 per cent of

electricity used in the

average Queensland

household is for heating

water—making hot water

Image supplied courtesy of the Queensland Government

systems one of the highest single energy

users and greenhouse gas contributors

in the home.

At this stage, owners of homes located

outside these areas will still be able

to replace their existing hot water

system with another electric system or

voluntarily upgrade to a greenhouse

efficient system. To ensure energy

efficient hot water systems are installed

properly, and to streamline the

approval process, a new endorsement

on a plumber’s license or provisional

plumber’s licence has been created. The

legislation has also been amended to

allow a plumber or provisional plumbers

with the endorsement to self certify the


This means that plumbers and

provisional plumbers can self certify

their work and simply advise the

local government that the work was

completed. The local government may

audit work for compliance.

Given that installers will have

undertaken training to gain an

endorsement, there can be a greater

level of confidence that installations are

being undertaken correctly.

Written by Michael McGuinness,

A/Director, Plumbing Legislation and

Standards Branch

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 15


Climate Change Adaptation

Challenges for the Built


Written by the Department of Climate Change

The impacts of unavoidable

climate change on the built

environment are likely to be

substantial. Australia’s coastal

and peri-urban settlements will

be particularly vulnerable. Sealevel

rise and more extreme

weather events are among

projected changes that will

have both direct and indirect

consequences for Australia’s

communities and the buildings

and service infrastructure on

which they rely. Developing

effective adaptation responses

will be critical in reducing the

economic and social costs of

climate change.

The Australian Government is leading

efforts to help Australia better

understand and prepare for the risks

that climate change presents for

settlements and infrastructure.

Climate change poses significant threats

to Australia’s built environment and

is likely to result in increased damage

and higher maintenance costs. The

built environment includes houses,

offices, factories, community and

emergency service buildings, energy,

telecommunications, transport and

water infrastructure and, importantly,

the services they provide.

Stress to the built environment will

come from the transition to new

climate conditions as well as from the

new conditions themselves. These

Photo courtesy of the Department of Climate Change

stresses will come from creeping

change—higher average ambient air

and sea surface temperatures, sea-level

rise, coastal erosion, ocean acidification

and altered wave patterns—and from

extreme events—bushfires, storm

surge and flood inundation, heatwaves,

storms and cyclones.

By 2030, it is expected that structural

design criteria for buildings and

infrastructure subject to extreme

weather events are very likely to be

exceeded more frequently 1 . Small

changes in climate can trigger rapid

and complex effects, particularly when

design thresholds are exceeded. For

example, research undertaken on behalf

of the Insurance Council of Australia

shows that a 25 per cent increase in peak

wind gust speed can result in a 650 per

cent increase in building damage. A

25 per cent increase in intensity of a

30 minute rainfall event can see a 100

year flooding return period reduced to

17 years. Figure 1 shows the effect of

an increase in average temperature on

extreme temperatures.

Coastal settlements and infrastructure

will be especially vulnerable to

combined effects of climate change

including sea level rise, increased air

and sea surface temperature, increased

storm intensity and frequency, ocean

acidification, and changes to rainfall

and run-off 2 . Of the 711,000 existing

residential properties close to the water,

Simulated inundation from a sea-level rise of

1.1 metres and a 1-in-100 year storm tide using

medium resolution evaluation data É CNES 2009

/ imagery supplied courtesy of SPOT Imaging

Services and Geospatial Intelligence PTY LTD.

(Department of Climate Change, Climate Change

Risks to Australia’s Coasts, 2009.)

16 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

Photo courtesy of the Department of Climate Change and Arthur Mostead

between 157,000–247,600 properties

are identified as potentially exposed

to inundation with a sea-level rise

scenario of 1.1 metres; and nearly

39,000 properties are located within 110

metres of ‘soft’ shorelines, at risk from

accelerated erosion due to sea-level

rise, storm surge and changing climate

conditions 3 .

In addition to describing threats to

coastal areas from climate impacts, the

recently released report, Climate Change

Risks to Australia’s Coasts, outlines the

role of adaptation as part of a balanced

and staged response to manage

key risks. The assessment has been

underpinned by a large investment in

the development of a detailed coastal

geomorphology map and a medium

resolution digital elevation model

for the entire coastline of Australia.

The report, together with videos and

questions and answers is available on

the Department’s website at


A national coastal forum is planned for

February 2010. It will bring together

experts, government, industry and

other interested parties to discuss the

challenges faced by our coastal cities

and towns and to begin to map a way

forward to address current and future

climate challenges.

Meeting the

challenge of

climate change


Most of Australia’s 2025

built environment is

already in place. To

cope with the effects of

a changing climate, it

will become increasingly

important to identify

cost effective strategies

for modifying or

retrofitting buildings and

infrastructure to maintain

their integrity and the

reliability of the services

they provide.

Further risk analyses

need to be undertaken

to better understand

the unavoidable impacts

of climate change on

buildings, and infrastructure providing

essential services. This information will

help inform revision of building codes

and design standards for new buildings,

but it must also consider measures

for retrofitting existing structures for

future climate change and identify cost

effective ways of adapting.

More information is needed about

the implications of climate change

for materials and structures to inform

standards development and revision.

Practitioners need access to up-todate

research and science to underpin

decisions and decision support tools.

There is also a need for better networks,

including means of sharing practical

experience about adapting to climate


In recognising these adaptation

and other challenges, the Australian

Government is implementing a

climate change adaption agenda that

will provide leadership for actions

of national priority, including the

development of information and tools

necessary to support investment



Figure 1- Effect of an increase in average temperature on extreme


Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 17


Damage to houses in Innisfail, Queensland caused by Tropical Cyclone Larry.

Photo credit: Peter Otto, Bureau of Meteorology

Research, tools

and resources

The Australian Government is

supporting a broad range of climate

change science research activities

through our $31 million Australian

Climate Change Science Program. The

research is helping

us to better

understand global

and regional climate

change and its

potential impact on

Australia’s natural

and managed


The Government

has adopted a

new Australian

Climate Change

Science Framework

to set climate

change research

priorities over the

next decade and

identify the people

and infrastructure Australia needs to

meet our future science requirements.

A further $387 million is being invested

to enhance our research in marine and

climate science through the Marine

and Climate Super Science Initiative, by

funding high performance computing,

new observing systems, and replacing

key facilities.

The Australian Government’s $126

million Climate Change Adaptation

Program is helping Australians to better

understand and manage risks linked

to the carbon pollution already in our

atmosphere and to take advantage of

potential opportunities.

A National Climate Change Adaptation

Research Facility and associated

research networks are generating the

information Australians need to manage

climate change risks in critical areas such

as water resources, settlements and

infrastructure, emergency management

and health.

Major risk assessments are being

prepared in vulnerable areas such as

biodiversity, infrastructure and human

settlements. These assessments

include the recently completed Climate

Change Risks to Australia’s Coasts, which

assessed the risks to Australia’s coastal

landscape to see how rises in the sea

Photo courtesy of the Department of Climate Change and Glen Hooper

18 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

level and storm surges will affect coastal


The Australian Government recognises

that local government will be at the

forefront of managing climate change

impacts on communities and essential

services. The Local Adaptation Pathways

Program is assisting more than 90 local

councils to identify key risks and to

develop strategic adaptation plans to

respond to those risks.

Improving the resilience of our built

environment to climate change impacts

will be increasingly important to the

resilience of our communities and the

protection of our vulnerable citizens.

The Government is providing funding

for activities to support this objective.

These include:

• Revision of the Australian Rainfall

and Runoff Handbook, which will

provide an important source of

technical information for use in

designing infrastructure to withstand

the impacts of extreme rainfall,

flooding and storm surge;

• Research to better understand

concrete degradation under various

greenhouse gas emissions scenarios

and to identify cost-effective

strategies to maximise effective life of

reinforced concrete stuctures above

and below ground and in marine


• Cost-benefit analyses of adaptation

responses to various climate

impacts on infrastructure in selected

locations; and

• Financial assistance for the

development of the ICLEI Local

Government Adaptation Tool Kit, which

is being used to support councils’

decision-making processes and

strengthen the capacity of staff to

identify risks and opportunities that

arise from climate change.

The development of robust partnerships

with research agencies—including

CSIRO and Geoscience Australia—other

levels of government, business and

community interests are fundamental

to ensuring that current and future work

addresses priority needs for building

resilience in the built environment.

The decisions made today will have

lasting consequences for future

generations. By considering the

future climate when making these

decisions Australia will be in a better

position to cope with the unavoidable

impacts of climate changes.

Further information

Department of Climate Change –


National Climate Change Adaptation

Research Facility – www.nccarf.edu.au

CSIRO – www.csiro.au/org/


Department of Innovation, Marine and

Climate Super Science Initiative –


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

Change –www.ipcc.ch

ICLEI Local Government Adaptation Tool

Kit – www.iclei.org

Engineers Australia, Australian Rainfall

and Runoff Handbook –




Hennessy, K., Fitzharris, B., Bates, B. C., Harvey,

N., Howden, S. M., Hughes, L., Salinger, J. and

Warrick, R. 2007. Australia and New Zealand.

In: Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation

and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working

Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report

of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

Change. (Ed. by Parry M. L., Canziani O.F.,

Palutikof J. P., van der Linden P. J. and Hanson

C. E.). pp 507-540. Cambridge University Press,

Cambridge, UK.


Thom, B., Cane, J., Cox, R., Farrell, C., Hayes, P.,

Kay, R., Kearns, A., Low Choy, D., McAneney,

J., McDonald, J., Nolan, M., Norman, B., Nott,

J., Smith, T. 2009. National Climate Change

Adaptation Research Plan: Settlements and

Infrastructure (Consultation Draft), National

Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.


Department of Climate Change, 2009. Climate

Change Risks to Australia’s Coasts: A first pass

national assessment, p.71.



Insisting on BRANZ Appraised

building products or systems

will give you the confidence

of knowing they will perform

as specified.

When products or systems

are BRANZ Appraised you

can be sure they have

been comprehensively and

independently assessed to

comply with the Building Code

of Australia (BCA) so you can

build with confidence.

Look for our mark

Visit our website for a list of

valid BRANZ Appraisals –


For all queries call

1800 080 063 or




Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 19


Comparative Stringency

of Elemental Glazing

Provisions For BCA 2010

Volume Two

Written by Bruce Lightfoot, Consultant, Australian Building Codes Board

Key points:

1. Glazing Provisions for BCA

2010 use a somewhat different

approach than BCA 2009, which

prevents a direct comparison

of stringencies in simple terms

of percentage area change.

However, examining the types

of glazing needed at typical

glazing ratios (ie the proportion

of glazing to floor area) is a

practical means of comparing


2. The BCA 2010 provisions allow

for minimal changes of glazing

systems although glazing ratios

may be constrained in some


3. Glazing ratios under the BCA

2010 provisions, nevertheless,

remain comfortably within

the typical range (20-30%)

identified by an ABCB Office

survey in 2002 and found in


1. Elemental glazing

method for 2010

Provisions for BCA 2010 extend the BCA

2009 calculation method to produce

outcomes closer to those achieved by

simulation. In particular, the provisions

assess wintertime solar access in detail

to reward good orientation and glazing


Stringency has been increased by

changes to the glazing constants

(in Table and flexibility has

been improved by adding winter

exposure factors for the calculation of

conductance requirements in climate

zones 2-8 (in Table The new

exposure factor is applied in a revised

conductance calculation for climate

zones 2-8 in Part

Although slowing heat conduction into

or out of a dwelling can be beneficial

year round, the stringency is set by

ensuring that the rate of heat loss in

winter does not exceed the rate of heat

gain that can be supplied by wintertime

solar radiation. Winter gains can be

at risk from shading or glass tinting

to control summer gains unless good

orientation and

beneficial shading

geometries are used.

The new winter

exposure factors

take account of

these opportunities

to balance the


summer and winter


2. Table of glazing types

needed for similar


The extended calculation method for

BCA 2010 means that 2009 and 2010

stringencies cannot be compared

simply in terms of percentage changes.

Comparing requirements for similar

dwellings, however, can illustrate their

relative impacts. The table on the

following page shows how the 2009

provisions and the 2010 provisions

affect dwellings with similar glazing

layouts in each BCA climate zone. Two

configurations are compared.

The first configuration assumes that the

total glazing area is distributed equally

between the four faces of the dwelling

which are oriented to the North,

East, South and West. The dwelling is

therefore “orientation neutral”, meaning

that there is no advantage in rotating

it through any 90° step. A typical level

of shading by eaves is assumed for

each climate zone and the table shows

the glazing system needed if the same

system is used throughout the dwelling.

The glazing system needed may vary

20 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

under the 2009 and 2010 provisions. The

table also shows the permitted glazing

ratio (the proportion of total glazing

area to the dwelling floor area) in each


The second configuration slightly skews

glazing distribution to the favourable

North orientation. 33% of the glazing

faces North and 22% to each of the

remaining cardinal orientations. The

same glazing system is applied to this

configuration but shading is increased

in some cases to take advantage of

opportunities for larger glazing areas. The

effects of this favourable orientation are

most obvious in climate zones 7 and 8.

The examples shown are for houses

with concrete slab on ground floors

and Standard air movement levels. As

in BCA 2009, the requirements are more

demanding for houses with suspended

floors but less so for houses with high

air movement levels. Table now

allows ceiling fans to be used to meet

the “High” air movement requirements.

The “Standard” air movement provisions

in Part have reduced the

minimum opening area needed for

some situations in climate zone 1 from

15% to 10%. This change prevents the

opening requirements driving glazing

areas to unhelpfully high levels.

The assumption of a consistent glazing

system throughout both example

configurations is conservative because,

in practice, North orientation in

most locations will permit simpler

and cheaper glazing systems than

nominated for the whole dwelling.

3. ABCB Office survey of

typical glazing ratios

Before energy efficiency measures for

housing were introduced into the BCA,

the ABCB Office conducted a

survey of residential glazing

ratios (the proportion of

glazing to floor area) and

published the findings on the

ABCB website in 2002. The

principal findings reported


• Glazing ratios ranged from

14% to 30% and averaged


• The highest average value

for any one location was

27% in Hobart.

• The lowest average value

was 16% in Alice Springs.

• The populous centres of Brisbane,

Sydney, Adelaide, and Perth had

location averages lower than the

national average of 22%.

• Melbourne had a higher location

average of 26%.

The 22% national average glazing ratio

identified by the survey coincided

exactly with the average figure found

by the original developers of the

Nationwide House Energy Rating

Scheme (NatHERS).

ABCB Energy Efficiency project - 2010 elemental glazing proposals printed 10/2/10


Comparison of glazing systems needed for similar dwellings in 2009 and 2010

The examples shown are for houses with concrete slab on ground floors and Standard air movement levels.

Requirements are more demanding for houses with suspended floors but less so for houses with High air movement.

Calculations assume half of all glazing is 2100mm high and half is 1200mm high. Shading projections shown can include the depth of any window reveals (recesses).

Equal glazing on all four sides

One third of glazing facing North



glazing /

floor area

glazing system



glazing /

floor area

glazing system

Climate zon e 1 2009 24% single clear glass in improved aluminium frames No change



(eg. Darwin, Townsville) 2010 23% single toned glass in improved aluminium frames Wintertime solar heat gain is not considered in this climate

Climate zon e 2 2009 33% single clear glass in improved aluminium frames 39% single clear glass in improved aluminium frames



(eg. Brisbane) 2010 27% single low-e glass in improved aluminium frames 34% single low-e glass in improved aluminium frames

Climate zon e 3 2009 21% single clear glass in timber or UPVC frame 25% single clear glass in timber or UPVC frame



(eg. Longreach) 2010 22% single low-e glass in improved aluminium frames 23% single low-e glass in improved aluminium frames

Climate zon e 4 2009


30% double clear glass (6mm air gap)


30% double clear glass (6mm air gap)

(eg. Wagga Wagga) 2010 24% double clear glass (12mm air gap) 25% double clear glass (12mm air gap)

Climate zon e 5 2009


35% single clear glass in improved aluminium frames


35% single clear glass in improved aluminium frames

(eg. Sydney, Adelaide, 2010 28% single clear glass in improved aluminium frames 34% single clear glass in improved aluminium frames


Climate zon e 6 2009 33% double clear glass (6mm air gap) 35% double clear glass (6mm air gap)



(eg. Melbourne) 2010 27% double clear glass (12mm air gap) 31% double clear glass (12mm air gap)

Climate zon e 7 2009 38% double clear glass (12mm air gap) 38% double clear glass (12mm air gap)



(eg. Canberra, Hobart) 2010 28% double clear glass (12mm air gap) 39% double clear glass (12mm air gap)

Climate zon e 8 2009 40% double low-e glass (12mm argon gap) in timber frame 40% double low-e glass (12mm argon gap) in timber frame



(Alpine) 2010 40% double low-e glass (12mm argon gap) in timber frame 73% double low-e glass (12mm argon gap) in timber frame

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

page 3 of 3

• 21

INDUSTRY Perspective

Four Decades of Service

to Product Evaluation

in the United States

John Nosse

Written by John Nosse, President Emeritus - ICC Evaluation Service, Inc.

In the United States, regulation of

building construction is primarily

the responsibility of state and local

governments in lieu of the federal

government. States and local

governments adopt laws, generally

known as building codes, that are

enforced by these bodies. They often

encounter building products, materials,

and methods that are not covered

in the code, and help is needed in

determining whether these items meet

code requirements. This is how product

evaluation services evolved.

The leading building product

evaluation service in the United

States is ICC Evaluation Service, Inc.

(ICC-ES), which is a subsidiary of the

International Code Council (ICC). ICC

publishes International Codes, which

are the building codes used currently

throughout the United States. ICC-

ES is separately incorporated and

serves building departments by

publishing evaluation reports on the

code compliance of specific building

products. These reports are also useful

to building-product manufacturers,

as they provide the evidence needed

to gain product approval from local

jurisdictions for use in the field.

After a number of years in private

practice designing buildings, I joined

the International Conference of Building

Officials (ICBO) and was involved in

all facets of its operations from code

changes, plan review and education to

product reviews. My involvement with

evaluation reports began in 1971, when

I was appointed Assistant Technical

Director. At the time, there were three

model building codes used in the United

States, each in a different part of the

country. ICBO published the Uniform

Building Code (UBC) that was used

throughout the Western states.

As Assistant Technical Director, I helped

to manage the ICBO product evaluation

program, which in the early seventies

had about 600 active evaluation reports

addressing a wide range of building

products. When a manufacturer

voluntarily applied for a report, one of

four ICBO product evaluation engineers

was assigned to evaluate the product

and determine whether it complied

with the UBC. The engineer’s staff

report was then considered in monthly

open hearings by ICBO’s Research

Committee, made up of building

officials representing local governments.

In closed sessions, the committee

discussed and voted either to approve

the staff report and recommendation or

to hold it for “further study.” Approved

product reports were published and

distributed as hard copies to building

22 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

departments throughout the region

where the UBC was used. Members of

those building departments could use

the reports when they encountered

unfamiliar products in the field.

I assumed responsibility of the program

in 1980. In 1983 the charge of the

Research Committee was changed.

Instead of approving individual

evaluation reports, the committee

discussed and approved “acceptance

criteria” for different types of products

on a quarterly basis in an entirely open

and transparent process. The criteria

were drafted by the ICBO technical staff

which received valuable input from

manufacturers, testing laboratories,

consultants and other interested parties

during open hearings. The criteria

included testing requirements, quality

control and installation considerations

for products to be addressed in

evaluation reports.

In 1986, ICBO Evaluation Service

(ICBO ES) was formed as a subsidiary

corporation of ICBO, and I was its

first president. At this same time, the

Research Committee was renamed the

Evaluation Committee. The meetings

and committee deliberations continued

to be open and transparent which is

still the case today with the Evaluation

Committee of ICC-ES. These meetings of

building officials, where the proponents

and opponents of given technical

acceptance criteria have the opportunity

to express their views to make their

cases in open hearings, are one of

the strongest elements of the ICC-ES

evaluation process today.

In the late eighties, ICBO ES began to

address international issues such as

trade in building products and related

challenges of technical recognition.

As president of ICBO ES, I made

many visits to Asia, especially Japan,

where ICBO had just assisted in the

formation of the Japan Conference of

Building Officials with the Ministry of

Construction. ICBO and ICBO ES were

also active in Latin America, especially

Chile and Argentina; and in the Middle

East, where American engineering firms

involved in the development of the oil

industry used the UBC extensively as a

technical reference. I made a number

of presentations with others in South

America which led to ICBO opening an

office in Argentina to promote the UBC

and the organization.

During this period in the United States,

there were still three “model” building

codes being used in different parts of

the country; but the first steps were

being taken towards creating one

set of U.S. building codes, and one

organization to publish those codes.

As far as product evaluation was

concerned, the three different code

organizations had earlier partnered in

1975 to form the National Evaluation

Service (NES). This was a cooperative

effort whereby a manufacturer could

obtain a “National Evaluation Report”

that covered all three U.S. codes. The





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Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 23


manufacturer could then use the report

to help market his product nationwide.

ICBO ES remained a member of the NES

until 1999, when the decision was made

to withdraw since the ICBO ES process

for product evaluation was so radically

different from the methods of the other

NES members.

The culmination of efforts to produce

a single American building code came

in 2000 when the first edition of the

International Building Code (IBC) was

published. In 2003, the three model

code groups—ICBO in the Western

states, BOCA (Building Officials and

Code Administrators International) in

the Northeast and Middle West, and

SBCCI (Southern Building Code Congress

International) in the South—merged to

form ICC and publish the 2003 IBC. The

previous organizations also merged

their respective product evaluation

services into NES which was renamed

ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES). I

was named as the first


ICC-ES commenced

operations in 2003 with

1800 evaluation reports,

which had originally

been prepared by the

four previous evaluation

services using different

building codes. However,

ICC-ES immediately began

issuing new reports

under the IBC as a single

integrated organization,

as well as converting old

reports (known as “legacy”

reports) to address the

new code. That process


My career in product

evaluation is coming to an

end. After four decades

and a fulfilling leadership

role with ICBO, ICBO ES, and

now ICC-ES, I am stepping

aside for younger people

who can better address the

challenges of the future.

My hope is that ICC-ES will

expand its services and

its role both nationally

and internationally, while

maintaining its reputation

for technical excellence.

For more information,

please go to:


24 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

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Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 25


Building Australia’s

Future (BAF) 2009

Conference OVERVIEW

Written by Max Winter, Wintercomms on behalf of ABR Bulletin

The Building Australia’s Future

(BAF) Conference is the premier

two-yearly event for those

practitioners of the regulatory

built environment who need to

keep up to date with the latest


In September last year the BAF

Conference and Exhibition was held

at the RACV Royal Pines Resort at

the Gold Coast, and the themes of

Climate Change, Performance through

Innovation and Energy Efficiency were

presented to the record number of

government, industry, association and

individual delegates that attended.

Given the Council of Australian

Governments’ (COAG) charter for the

Australian Building Code Board for more

stringent energy efficiency measures

in the Building Codes of Australia

(BCA) in April last year, the Conference

timing and topics were excellent, and

provided an ideal avenue for conference

delegates to hear nationally and

internationally renowned speakers, to

contribute to discussions and interactive

workshops, to enjoy the excellent

cuisine on offer at the lunches and

breaks, and to network through the

extensive social program.

Day One: Climate Change: a

moving target

The first day of the Conference was

themed Climate Change: a moving

target, and Graham Huxley AM,

Chairman of the Australian Building

Codes Board, set the scene for an

engaging day of presentations that

outlined the challenges that lay ahead.

Meeting the climate

change challenge

Geoff Mitchell, the QLD/NT Director

of the Australian Institute of Building

Surveyors, gave a broad outline of the

challenges posed by the effects of rising

sea levels. He provided a graphical

representation of what these rising sea

levels translated to in terms of built

environment coast line under water,

and the strategies required to deal with

these outcomes.

A passion for creating the future

As if to set the scene, Charles Kovess,

Australia’s Passion Provocateur, provided

delegates with the timely reminder

that we all have the power and the

responsibility individually, to effect

positive change within our thinking, our

environment, and our lives.

Adapting the built environment

for climate change impacts

Risk mitigation has been a phrase

coined in relation to the challenge of

climate change, and this was certainly

the basis of the presentation by

Catherine Farrell, Director, Settlement

and Built Environment, Department

of Climate Change in her address –

‘Adapting the built environment for

climate change impacts’. Catherine’s

presentation provided an overview of

the varied issues faced by government,

local councils and industry groups in

preparing for the outcomes of climate

change, and left us in no doubt that

the sheer number and scope of the

challenges were awesome.

26 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

The environmental assessment

of buildings

David Sharp ,Chief Executive of

the Building Products Innovation

Council, and Nigel Howard from Edge

Environment provided the business

case for Full Life Cycle Assessment of

buildings moving forward, arguing that

ultimately the full life cycle assessment

of buildings – as opposed to an

indicator of energy efficiency only - is

the only true indicator of a building’s

environmental footprint.

Risk of damage to roofs from

natural hazards

Charles Slack-Smith, Director of Davis

Langdon, spoke on the history and

likelihood of hailstorms, and pointed

out that the largest losses in Australian

insurance history resulted from the April

1999 Sydney hailstorm. Charles also

spoke about roofing types and damage,

and the need for the BCA to address the

increasing likelihood of more frequent

and bigger impact hailstorms due to

climate change.

Methods for dry-proofing

housing: possible solution to

climate change-related urban

flood hazard

One of the more intriguing

presentations, by Dr Ivan Cole, Deputy

Chief - Science CSIRO, presented on

methods for dry-proofing housing

to cope with the increased likelihood

of flooding due to general sea level

rise, increased storm surges, and

more intensive rainfall events. These

changes equated to an increased risk

of flooding in urban areas, and Dr Ivan

Cole presented research results on dryproofing,

which is about preventing

low-level floods from entering the

building. Two prerequisites for any

success were required; firstly that the

structure was capable of withstanding

the force of moving water, and secondly,

that the flood be only temporary.

Full life cycle assessment: the

advantages, benefits and what

we still have to learn

Ross Maher, Sustainability Manager

at Think Brick, spoke broadly on

the emerging science of life-cycle

assessment in buildings,

and more specifically on

the interplay of thermal

mass and material

R ratings in arriving

at thermal comfort

calculations in buildings.

In the afternoon an

Australian Institute of

Building Surveyors (AIBS)

workshop was held,

and Tina Rakes, Director

of Codes and Zoning,

Baldwin City, Kansas,

USA, gave a presentation

on her volunteer team’s

work in certifying and

processing buildings

demolished or damaged

by hurricanes. The

extent of the damage

caused by these

events simply defied

description, and the

images of flattened

towns and littered

streets projected on the

conference screen left

attendees shocked.

Day Two-


through Innovation: meeting

objectives & expectations

Dr Brian Meacham introduced delegates

to the theme of day two of the

Conference, which was Performance

through Innovation: meeting objectives

and expectations.

Overview of global bushfire

(wildland) regulations

Jon Traw, Principle, Traw Consulting, a

registered civil and fire engineer gave

an insightful overview of the status of

bushfire regulations worldwide, the

differences between U.S and Australian

regulations, the issues identified, and

the community expectations and

regulatory objectives of the solutions

proposed. Among the key issues

identified were fire ember attack, public

warning systems, and the advent and

increasing prevalence of catastrophic

fire- storms.

Buildings: getting ready for

digital TV

Andy Townend, Deputy Secretary,

Broadcasting & Digital Switchover,

Department of Broadband,

Communications and the Digital

Economy, spoke on the government

initiatives underway in ensuring a

smooth transition from analogue

to digital television and associated


Shaping physical, social and

green environments in aged care

Catherine Thompson, Manager Service

Development Aged Care, Victorian

Department of Human Services, spoke

on the design and care management

issues that are unique to aged and

dementia care, and the interplay of

design, colour and management

practices in providing solutions for aged

and dementia care on a daily basis.


Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 27


Construction hazards prevention

through design: a comparison

of different mechanisms for


Tracey Cooke, Research Fellow, School

of Property Construction & Project

Management, RMIT, explained that

while the incidence of compensated

construction accidents was falling,

compared to Australia generally, they

were still significantly higher than

the average. Evidence suggests that

decisions made at the design stage

of a building can have a significant

impact on OHS during the construction,

maintenance, occupation and

demolition stages of a building’s life


A question of continuing control:

balancing building quality of

housing and building codes

Mohammed Azian Zaidi from Deakin

University reminded delegates that

the average cost of defects per house

built between 1983 and 1997 in

Victoria amounted to $4,225, which

represents 4% of the contract value of

new housing construction, with the

most common causes of defects being

inadequate design information and

poor site practice, poor specification

and construction practice, and noncompliance

with building regulations.

Prime reasons: lack of quality control,

lack of interaction and communication

between stakeholders, lack of technical

guidance and conflicting requirements.

Solution: whole of building

commissioning, effective handover of

operations, and effective briefing.

Facilitating innovation without

compromising performance:

challenges faced, lessons

learned, and a look into the


Among the many highlights of the day’s

presentations was Dr Brian Meacham’s

– Associate Professor, Department of

Fire Protection Engineering, Worcester

Polytechnic Institute, Maryland, USA.

Brian argued (with a host of examples)

that Performance Based (PB) regulatory

systems are innovative, and that they

facilitate innovation, and that while they

deliver new opportunities, they also

come with risk.

Brian then provided an overview of the

challenges to do with PB regulatory

systems, and also an outline of the

strategies employed in balancing

innovation with risk.

The role of Standards in

supporting strategic priorities

John Tucker, CEO of Standards

Australia, took delegates through a

brief history of Standards Australia,

and went on to explain the steps in the

process including engagement with

the sector, performing a net benefit

analysis, development pathways in

the formulation of Standards, and

innovation in Standards development.

Triple stack car parking systems:

an innovative solution to meet

future fire safety challenges

Wayne Bretherton, Director of Fire

Engineering for UK & Western Europe,

WSP Group PLC, explained the project


the challenges,

the regulatory

framework and the

Fire Engineering

Assessment in

arriving at a triple

stack car parking

system for a

building where

space was limited.

Day Three - Energy Efficiency:

Future Directions

Ably chaired by Jon Traw, the third day

of the conference focused on Energy

Efficiency: Future Directions.

Making a greenhouse difference

with Australia’s buildings

Dr Alan Pears, Associate Director, RMIT

Centre for Design provided an excellent

overview of the built environment’s

sustainability key performance

indicators, and where buildings stood

in the Climate Change Agenda. Alan’s

opening address was again followed

by more detailed perspectives by the

contributing departments, industry

associations and groups, including:

Developing a nationally

consistent framework for setting

building energy efficiency


David Brunoro, Buildings & Government

Energy Efficiency Branch DEWHA, who

spoke on the Holy Grail of national

building codes development, the

development of a nationally consistent

framework for setting building energy

efficiency standards.

Energy Efficiency:

an industry perspective

Kristin Tomkins, Executive Director

Building Policy, Housing Industry

Association got everyone on their

feet (for her industry head-count) and

argued for greater clarity, uniformity

and education in the provision of energy

efficiency regulations for industry to

understand, assimilate and act on.

Thermal resistance of Australian

roofing systems

Dr Martin Belusko, Research Fellow,

Institute for Sustainable Systems and

Technologies, University of South

Australia, explained some of the

advances intended for inclusion in the

development of the next generation

of thermal assessment software, and

most specifically to answer the vexing

anomalies caused by thermal bridging.

28 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

A practical application of the UK

sustainability requirements

Wayne Bretherton, Director of Fire

Engineering for UK & Western Europe,

WSP Group PLC, gave an excellent

presentation on the 43 storey strata

tower complex in the Elephant and

Castle district of London, the design

features that contributed to the higher

levels of energy performance in the

building, its design intent in terms of

providing a percentage of affordable

housing, and its integration into

the MUSCo combined heating and

power system, a local district biomass

powered co-generation system

pioneered by engineer Alan Jones in

England, (and embraced by the City of

London, and subsequently reviewed by

the City of Sydney).

Improving the energy

performance of buildings

Dennis D’Arcy, CEO Insulation Council of

Australia & New Zealand spoke on the

benefits of insulation, and improving

the energy performance of buildings,

as well as highlighting key findings that

suggest a combination of regulation and

incentives are the most effective drivers

for change.

The influence of R-values on

the thermal characteristics of

Australian housing

Adrian Page, Emeritus Professor , Faculty

of Engineering & the Built Environment,

University of Newcastle presented

an experimental study of the various

walling systems in housing, with some

interesting preliminary findings. Firstly,

that there is no correlation between wall

R-values and thermal performance for

either floating or controlled interiors.

Secondly therefore, that reliance on

R-value alone in deemed to satisfy

provisions would be questionable.

Thirdly, the presentation asked the

question: could the best performance

be obtained from a combination of high

thermal resistance and thermal mass?

The morning’s sessions then culminated

in a presentation by John Kennedy,

Energy Efficiency Manager, Australian

Building Codes Board, who spoke on

The Building Code: keeping step, and

in particular the progress on the energy

efficiency reporting requirements

mandated by the Council of Australian

Governments (COAG) and the ABCB’s

consultation with associations, state

governments, industry groups and


The Association of Building

Sustainability Assessors (ABSA) provided

an excellent workshop on the Energy

Efficiency Simulation Tools in the

afternoon, giving practical case study

examples of the software in situ, and an

outline of the issues involved.

The conference provided a great

opportunity to meet with industry

practitioners, to better understand the

component contributors that make

up the rich and varied tapestry of the

regulatory environment nationally and

around the globe, and to understand

some of our efforts, responsibilities

and obligations in delivering a more

sustainable built environment.


Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 29




Written by Ray Loveridge, Project Manager, Australian Building Codes Board

In February 2009 the Victorian

Bushfires Royal Commission (VBRC) was

established to investigate the causes

and responses to a series of devastating

bushfires that resulted in the tragic loss

of one hundred and seventy-three lives.

The VBRC delivered Interim Reports in

August and November 2009 and a Final

Report is expected in July 2010.

The ABCB has monitored evidence

tendered during the VBRC hearings,

particularly evidence relating to

buildings and building matters and

the performance of various structures

used to shelter from the bushfires. The

capacity of some of these structures,

commonly called ‘bunkers’, varied

considerably and it was reported that

seven people died while sheltering

in bunkers during the Black Saturday


At its September 2009 meeting the

Board determined that work would

begin immediately on development of

a national Technical Standard for private

bushfire shelters.

In response to the Board’s decision an

ABCB Reference Group was established

comprising individuals with expertise

in a variety of relevant fields including

building in bushfire prone areas,

building materials science, fire safety

engineering and building control

administration. The Reference Group

held its initial meeting in October and

discussed an array of topics related to

the development of a draft ‘bunker


The new standard will be presented

as a performance-based document

that will contain a fundamental

Performance Requirement supported

by a combination of qualitative and

quantitative design criteria that will

enable designers to make informed

decisions regarding the development of

designs for private bushfire shelters.

To-date, a draft framework for the

document has been developed,

including the proposed Performance

Requirement, as well as a model process

for application of the document.

Development of supporting quantitative

and qualitative design data for specific

components of the design process will

be an ongoing task.

The ABCB expects the standard to be

available for use before the end of

April 2010.

An essential step for application of

the standard will be the classification

of a structure in accordance with

relevant provisions of the BCA. State

and Territory administrations recently

agreed that a ‘private bushfire shelter’

would be a Class 10c building for the

purposes of their respective building

control systems.

While the new standard will establish

design requirements for bushfire

shelters, it is critical for the preservation

of life safety that property owners

comprehend that a shelter should only

be considered to be a last resort means

of defence against the life threatening

risk of bushfire attack. Bushfire shelters

may not prevent loss of life or serious

injury; however they may provide a

limited level of protection when no

viable alternative measures are available.

The occupation of a private bushfire

shelter is at best the least preferable

measure of a broad suite of measures

to mitigate risk to life safety, including

sound urban planning and fuel

management strategies, education of

home owners, effective coordination of

efforts by authorities and communities,

prediction of bushfire spread and clarity

in community notification procedures.

As the VBRC heard in evidence, even the

best prepared still lost their lives in

some instances.

Nevertheless, a bushfire can be an

extremely unpredictable event and

assistance from a bushfire defence effort

may not be available at a time of need.

30 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin




Building Commission

Dept of Commerce

31 Troode St, West Perth, WA 6005

PO Box 6039, East Perth, WA 6892

Telephone: 1300 489 099

E-mail: buildingcontrol@bmw.wa.gov.au

Hours: 8.30am-5.00pm

Web site: www.bmw.wa.gov.au


Department of Lands and Planning

Building Advisory Services Branch

Cavenagh House, 38 Cavenagh Street,

Darwin NT 0800

GPO Box 1680, Darwin, NT 0801

Telephone: 08 8999 8960

E-mail: bas.lpe@nt.gov.au

Hours: 8.00am-4.00pm

Web site: www.nt.gov.au


Department of Infrastructure and Planning

Building Codes Queensland Division

Level 3, 63 George Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000

PO Box 15009, City East, QLD 4002

Telephone: 07 3239 6369

E-mail: buildingcodes@dip.qld.gov.au

Hours: 8.30am-5.00pm

Web site: www.dip.qld.gov.au



Department of Planning and Local Government, Building Policy

Roma Mitchell House

136 North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000

GPO Box 1815, Adelaide, SA 5001

Telephone: 08 8303 0602

E-mail: plnsa.building@saugov.sa.gov.au

Hours: 9.00am-5.00pm

Web site: www.planning.sa.gov.au


Building Commission Victoria

733 Bourke Street, Docklands, VIC 3008

PO Box 536, Melbourne, VIC 3001

Telephone: 1300 815 127

E-mail: technicalenquiry@buildingcommission.com.au

Hours: 8.30am-5.00pm

Web site: www.buildingcommission.com.au


Department of Justice,

Workplace Standards Tasmania

Building Control Branch

30 Gordons Hill Road, Rosny Park, TAS 7018

PO Box 56, Rosny Park, TAS 7018

Telephone: 03 6233 7657

E-mail: wstinfo@justice.tas.gov.au

Hours: 9.00am-5.00pm

Web site: www.wst.tas.gov.au


Dept of Planning,

Lands Department Building

23-33 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000

GPO Box 39 Sydney NSW 2001

Telephone: 02 9228 6111

E-mail: information@planning.nsw.gov.au

Hours: 9.00am-5.00pm Mon – Fri,

however BCA technical questions will be

answered 9.30 – 11.30 Tue-Thu

on 02 9228 6529

Web site: www.planning.nsw.gov.au


ACT Planning and Land Authority

Ground Floor South,

Dame Pattie Menzies House

16 Challis Street, Dickson ACT 2602

GPO Box 1908, Canberra City, ACT 2601

Telephone: 02 6207 1923

E-mail: actpla.customer.services@act.gov.au

Hours: 8.30am-4.30pm

Web site: www.actpla.act.gov.au

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 31

INTERNATIONAL Regulatory Development

LPG powered cars –

new regulations for

garages in Austria

Written by Dr. Rainer Mikulits, Austrian Institute of Construction Engineering

In an attempt to harmonize the very

different building regulations of

the Austrian provinces, the Austrian

Institute of Construction Engineering

(OIB) issued in 2007 a set of “OIB-

Guidelines” which serve as common

building codes, and which have

already been taken over by a number

of provinces. These OIB-Guidelines are

structured according to the “Essential

Requirements” on construction works

which have been established in the EU

Construction Products Directive 1 , and

which have been taken over into the

building regulations of the Member

States. Consequently there are six

OIB-Guidelines, with two additional

sub-guidelines in the field of fire safety,

dealing with particular buildings (e.g.

industrial buildings, garages) 2 .

Specific provisions for garages had been

so far established in OIB-Guidelines 2.2

“Fire protection in the case of garages,

covered parking spaces and multistorey

car parks”, in OIB-Guideline 3

“Hygiene, health and the environment”

and in OIB-Guideline 4 “Safety in use

and accessibility”. While the latter deals

with parking space sizes, aisle width,

maximum incline of ramps etc., and OIB-

Guideline 2.2 with safety in case of fire,

OIB-Guideline 3 covers the ventilation

of garages with regard to hygiene and


Due to the geographical location of

Austria, neighbouring new EU Member

States, not far from other eastern

European countries, the occurrence of

LPG powered cars has increased over

the last years. So far gas powered cars

have only been taken into account with

regard to ventilation in OIB-Guideline

3, however there were no detailed

provisions but only very general

functional requirements applying for

garages in which gas powered cars may

enter. This was not considered to be

sufficient and therefore an expert group

has been given the task to review these

provisions and to propose appropriate

amendments. These specific provisions

concerning gas powered cars were

also considered to be more related to

safety in case of fire than to hygiene and

health, which is why they have been

moved to OIB-Guideline 2.2.

Distinction must be made between

compressed natural gas (CNG) and

liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or

autogas). For CNG it was not considered

necessary to establish additional

requirements, since CNG is mainly

composed of methane (CH4), and its

molar mass is much lower than the

one of LPG, which consists mainly of

propane and butane. Also the lower

flammable limit of CNG is significantly

higher (about 5 % by volume). Due

to the density of LPG which is higher

than the one of air, leaking LPG will

accumulate on the floor and seep down

into lower ducts and shafts. For these

reasons it was considered necessary

to established different and additional

requirements for LPG powered cars

compared with petrol, diesel or CNG

powered cars.

Further more, many of the LPG cars

appearing especially in the eastern parts

of Austria are older cars which have

been converted to LPG. Safety valves,

gas tightness of system components,

position of the tank and of the filler

might in such cases not always be the

state of the art. In such cases even

boiling liquid expanding vapour

explosions (BLEVE) may occur 3 .

32 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

The expert group finally proposed the

following additional requirements for

garages which need to be fulfilled if LPG

powered cars are to enter the garage

and be parked there:

1. The lowest parking level needs

to adjoin an external wall with

ventilation openings at floor level

and above the surface level of the

adjacent terrain.

2. Drains in the floor must have gas

tight openings.

3. No connections from parking levels

to rooms with heating, ventilation or

air conditioning appliances, or to any

room which is fully below the level of

the adjacent terrain.

4. Natural and mechanical ventilation

must be effective continuously.

5. In case of natural ventilation, there

must be openings at floor level as

well as at a level of at least 2 m above

floor level. The sum of the effective

cross sectional area of the upper and

the lower openings respectively must

each be at least 1 % of the floor area.

6. The natural or mechanical ventilation

systems shall effectively prevent the

occurrence of an ignitable liquid gas

air mixture in a defined distance from

the exit point.

7. Mechanical ventilation systems

need to be protected from potential


8. Garages and park decks with other

uses above the park levels (e.g. shops,

apartments) must be equipped with

fire sprinkler systems.

At the entrances of garages and park

decks which do not fulfil the above

requirements, there must be a traffic

sign indicating that no LPG-vehicles may


The requirements are prescriptive,

with the exception of requirement 6

which is performance based 4 . Attempts

were made to be more specific on this

point, but the actual air flow, especially

in the case of mechanical ventilation,

is too dependent on geometry and

possible temperature gradients,

and the committee finally refrained

from establishing more concrete


The amended versions of the OIB-

Guidelines will be adopted mid 2010,

and it is expected that the Austrian

provinces will put them into force in



Council Directive of 21 December 1998 on

the approximation of laws, regulations and

administrative provisions of the Member

States relating to construction products



OIB-Guideline 1 Mechanical resistance and


OIB-Guideline 2 Safety in case of fire

OIB-Guideline 2.1 Fire protection with regard

to industrial buildings

OIB-Guideline 2.2 Fire protection in the case

of garages, covered parking spaces and multistorey

car parks

OIB-Guideline 3 Hygiene, health and the


OIB-Guideline 4 Safety in use and accessibility

OIB Guideline 5 Protection against noise

OIB Guideline 6 Energy economy and heat



A BLEVE of an LPG tank can for example occur

if, due to an external fire, the temperature

of the liquefied gas in the tank increases to

an extent that the gas starts to boil and to

vaporize. If the safety valve does not work

well, that causes an increase of pressure in the

tank, and the temperature will also weaken

the metal of the tank. If the tank eventually

fails, the leaking (vaporized) gas ignites in a

violent explosion.


The requirements can be seen as deemed-tosatisfy

solutions within the two-tier approach

applied: the first level consists of functional

requirements, established in Regulations of

the provinces, whereas the OIB-Guidelines

contain performance requirements and

prescriptive requirements. It is possible to

deviate from the OIB-Guidelines when an

equal level of safety can be demonstrated.


Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 33

INTERNATIONAL Regulatory Development




Written by Tong Xiaochao, China Academy of Building Research Certification Center

One of the outcomes of the rapid rise

of China as a world economic power

has been the exponential increase

of urbanisation and development of

multi-storey buildings, especially within

the larger cities such as Beijing and


While these buildings are a necessary

component of the rapid expansion of

these cities, their development has

highlighted key essential safety issues

such as fire protection.

On the night of February 9th, 2009 at

around 20:30 hours, during the holding

of the Chinese traditional lantern

festival, the Television Cultural Center

(TVCC) tower was ignited by fireworks.

The TVCC tower is an important part

of China Central Television (CCTV) and

is adjacent to the iconic headquarters

of CCTV. The TVCC tower is 159 metres

high and the building area is 103,000

square metres. The TVCC tower is

actually a composite of three structures;

a luxury hotel, a television studio, and an

electronic data processing centre.

Although the fire-brigade came in

time, it took around 6 hours to put

out the fire. The problem was that the

high pressure water could not reach

100 metre flame. After investigation

it was announced that the damaged

area of the building was 100,000

square metres, and the electronic data

processing centre was totally destroyed.

The weather at that time was dry and

the wind speed was 0.9 metre/second

on average. Theoretically the wind

influence was not of great significance,

although it was not easy to estimate the

actual wind speed at the top of TVCC

tower. Factors impacting on the event

included the fact that the building

was not yet completed at the time and

that the sprinkler system had yet to be


This case proves again that fire

protection is a very important issue for

skyscrapers, and some of the aspects to

consider include:

1. Thermal insulation


In the last few years building energy

conservation has been a key issue in

China. In North China the application

of building exterior wall insulation

technology was introduced mostly

because of the climate character. In

summer it is very hot, and in winter it is

very cold and windy.

The advantages of building exterior wall

insulation technology include:

• Large volume of heat storage

capacity of the solid wall

• Increased occupant comfort levels

• Protection for the main building


• Increase in interior room space

In China the curtain wall is the main

medium and high grade decoration for

buildings. It can be divided into three


• Glass curtain wall

• Aluminium plank curtain wall

• Stone curtain wall

Unfortunately these curtains cannot

be used separately without additional

thermal insulation material because

the individual heat transfer coefficient

of the curtain wall is quite high. In

order to meet the energy conservation

requirements thermal insulation

materials are adopted behind the

curtain wall.

34 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

There are 3 main material types used for

exterior wall insulation:

• Inorganic thermal insulation material

such as mineral wool, glass fibre, and

expanded and vitrified small Ball.

These materials are non flammable,

but they are not generally used

because of other characteristics,

which cannot meet some of the

technical requirements.

• Mixed organic and inorganic thermal

insulation material such as gum

powder polyphony granule, which is

difficult to flame.

• Organic thermal insulation materials

such as polystyrene foam, which is

quite flammable. The most adopted

thermal insulation materials in North

China are materials such as EPS,

which are quite flammable.

Recent fire disasters have highlighted

two problems with these thermal

insulation materials, namely the

flammability of these materials, and

secondly, that these materials are

constructed and connected together in

one big piece, resulting in a high speed

of flame spread.

For example, the TVCC tower had

adopted an aluminium curtain wall with

highly flammable thermal insulation

material, which burned from top to

bottom within 10 minutes.

Other problems highlighted by these

fire disasters include:

• The rapid rate of flame spread due to

the chimney effect;

• Choice of materials such as the

surface mortar, which covered the

thermal insulation material: surface

mortar chaps and breaks off due

to the high temperature, leaving

the flammable thermal insulation

material to be burned;

• The indoor fire protection system

cannot provide protection for the

exterior wall. In this case the system

is not designed to control or contain

the flame outside.

2. Construction management

In recent years there have been several

cases of fire disasters in multi-storey

buildings in North China, with similar


• They all used highly flammable

thermal insulation materials

• The fire disasters occurred during the

construction phase.

These events have demonstrated that

not only building material, but also

construction management is a key issue.

For example, some flammable materials

ignite due to sparks from welding

works on site. Some fire protection

requirements should be enforced in

order to reduce the possibility of fire.

For example, the flammable thermal

insulation material and waterproof

material should be covered with a fire

protective coating before it is brought

on site.

If flammable thermal insulation material

is to be used, it is absolute necessary to

instigate some control measures at the

time of storage and installation of the

material in order to avoid the potential

risk from welding spark or other

practices during the construction phase.

3. Fire protection and energy

conservation building


In reviewing these cases, we have to

recognise that building regulations play

a role. Our building regulations for fire

protection and energy conservation

need further development and

improvement in order to meet these


First of all, it is necessary to develop

a reasonable coordination level and

benchmark for energy conservation and

fire protection requirements. Secondly,

buildings which are under construction

require new inspection and testing

methods for exterior wall thermal


be adopted for existing buildings where

highly flammable materials for the

exterior wall have been installed. For

example, fire protection isolation should

be put into effect.

On the whole, the issue of fire

protection of multi storey buildings is

of critical importance to our lives and

welfare. While we focus on the energy

conservation issues within buildings,

we cannot do this in isolation of other

essential safety requirements. We must

also remember forever another issue -

our fire protection systems.

All images are in the public domain and

courtesy of the internet.

Email: xiaochao.tong@googlemail.com



Finding suitable non-flammable thermal

insulation material that meets with

the requirements of the exterior wall

therefore, is a priority.

It is not enough to review and control

the flammability of materials or

products. We need to review these

requirements from the perspective of

the whole engineering system. Thirdly,

some fire protection measures should

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 35

INTERNATIONAL Regulatory Development

Fire Engineering,

the Building Codes

and Sustainability

Interview with Wayne Bretherton, - Director of Fire Engineering for U.K and Western Europe, WSP Group.

Originally from Australia, Wayne

worked at the Australian Building

Codes Board and the New

Zealand Department of Building

and Housing before moving to

the U.K where he worked for WSP,

a multi-disciplinary engineering

company with locations and

business world-wide, which

includes Australia’s WSP

Lincolne Scott.

Wayne presented at the Building

Australia’s Future Conference in

September 2009, and took time out of

his busy schedule at the time to speak

to ABR Bulletin’s Max Winter about

innovation in performance based fire

engineering, the building codes as they

relate to fire, and sustainability.

For a full transcript of the interview, go

to www.abcb.gov.au.

ABR Bulletin: Your title suggests that you

work in a broad geographical region,

where have you been to date?

WB: I tend to work everywhere from

Northern Europe and Northern Africa

to the Middle East, America, Asia

– unfortunately I travel quite a bit.

The most recent scheme I have been

working on is in Cairo, an amazing city of

some 14 million people, and it has been

a bit of fun.

The interesting thing in having worked

in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K

and elsewhere is that fire codes and

standards, and the principles of fire

safety, getting people out of buildings

and so forth, are all the same. Everyone

is trying to do the same thing, but

they just do it differently. It is about

understanding what some of those

cultural differences are, and working

with them, rather than imposing your

regime onto theirs.

ABR Bulletin: You no doubt have a pretty

good understanding of the BCA here and

the building codes in the U.K. What are

some of the differences that you see?

WB: The big differences are really

around where building regulation or

building codes focus, and the means

of achieving the aim. For example, if I

took the BCA and compared them to

the American codes, and the British

codes, our codes are somewhere in the

middle. The American codes are very

active-systems based codes whilst the

UK codes are more reliant on passive

protection. The Australian codes, or

the prescriptive components of the

code at least, are a mixture of the two

approaches combining active systems

with some passive options as well.

The U.K codes are more heavily

weighted toward passive options to

ensure there is separation between

occupants and a fire. A good example

is the way you design an apartment. In

the U.K the typical apartment design

is based on not having to escape from

a bedroom through a living space.

Occupants must travel via a protective

entrance hall inside the apartment,

which is a 30 minute fire-rated hallway.

This means the design always has a

hallway connecting the front door

to bedrooms, and the living space is

beyond. And you are also not allowed to

pass your kitchen on your way out.

It is only recently that sprinkler

protection was introduced into the

prescriptive guidance for residential

buildings over 30 m high whereas

elsewhere, we have tended to sprinklerprotect

these types of buildings for

some time.

This is not to say that lots of people

die in these apartment scenarios.

Percentage wise the number of deaths

in the U.K is not that dissimilar to

elsewhere; it is simply a different way of

achieving the same objective. It is also

a cultural thing; people seem to prefer

rooms in their apartment rather than

an open layout, and I think that this

preference comes from the way houses

were constructed in the past, where

they had smaller rooms that were easier

to keep warm.

The other difference in the U.K fire

regulations is that escape from

residential buildings is based on what is

called a ‘protect in place’ approach. In

Australia we would evacuate a building

if there is a fire, but in the U.K they

would just evacuate the apartment

concerned, and if you lived next door

to an apartment that was on fire, you

would not know unless there was smoke

in the corridor and you decided to

evacuate. It is a different philosophy of

how you design and construct buildings.

ABR Bulletin: Given that last scenario

in particular, how does that impact on

building design in the U.K?

WB: You tend to end up with single

stair high rise buildings as normal

construction practice. You have a

limited travel distance in the common

corridor, but you can build a single

stair residential building as high as you

36 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

like. Compare that to Australian and US

codes; after the 25 metres you need two

stairs in all cases, regardless of the travel

distance in the corridor.

In the Australian context, there have

been fire engineered options developed

that look at single stair solutions, but

in the U.K the single stair scenario is

the accepted way of doing it under the

prescriptive code, and it is because of

the evacuation methodology that it

is used, compared to here where the

approach is accepted.

ABR Bulletin: As a fire engineer, what

are some of the better options you have

seen throughout the world in terms of


WB: That is an interesting question,

because I think one of the good things

about the Australian system and the

Australian codes is the fact that you

have a framework to actually assess

performance fire engineered solutions


The BCA performance requirements set

down what you need to achieve and

what you need to look at. In contrast,

the U.K regulations have a functional

requirement, which is a single statement

on what you need to achieve. This tends

to lead to an inconsistency in how fire

engineering is applied.

The US codes are more prescriptive

when it comes to fire engineering. For

example, NFPA 101, Chapter5, sets out

a process for how fire engineering is

done and what type of fire scenarios you

should be looking at.

But I think what is interesting is

the differences between how fire

engineering is used or perceived

between the world and Australia, and

this is where Australia is different to

other countries. Elsewhere in the world

the fire code consultant and the fire

engineer are usually the one person that

produces a holistic fire strategy covering

all fire safety requirements including

any prescriptive code requirement as

well as addressing any fire engineered

solutions. In Australia you typically have

a Building Surveyor, and a Fire Engineer.

The Building Surveyor does the code

consulting, and the Fire Engineer

supports the Building Surveyor and does

the technical analysis of solutions.

In all parts of the world they all deal with

the typical issues such as getting the

people out and getting the fire brigade

in, but as a consultant your agreement

changes depending on the country you

work in.

A fire engineering consultant’s role in

Australia, the U.K and the US, has a remit

of making sure the building achieves fire

safety in a cost-efficient manner so fire

engineering is more readily used.

In places like the Middle East it is about

de-risking the scheme. The schemes can

get built so quickly, you cannot afford to

spend a lot of time in negotiation with

authorities, so it is about making sure

that the scheme is robust enough to

ensure it is easily approved.

For example, we recently designed

a very large and complex mixed use

building in the Middle East where the

architects were based in London and

Chicago and a structural and mechanical

engineering designer based in Paris.

We did the entire design from scratch

facing geographical and programme

challenges in 16 weeks. Elsewhere, the

design of a building of this size and

complexity design could be anything up

to 12 to 18 months long.

When you have a longer design program

you are actually able to enter into a

meaningful dialogue with authorities

around how the design should be

progressed. When the design program is

compressed as much as in my example

the role of the fire engineer is to de-risk;

to ensure that what is being designed in

a hurry is safe and will be approved.

ABR Bulletin: In your presentation on the

Strata Tower within the London Borough

of Southwark, you mentioned some

novel and innovative approaches in fire

engineering, such as tying the sprinkler

systems into the domestic water supply.

How radical an approach is this?

WB: It was new in a U.K context,

although domestic sprinkler systems are

not new. If you look at low rise sprinkler

systems, you would see that they do

actually come off domestic supplies.

What we did was to take that approach

and apply it to a 43 storey building.

Our rationale in applying this approach

was that water for domestic use needs

to be pumped up and stored in the

building to cope with peak demands

such as when people get ready in the

morning and that this level of storage

far exceeds anything needed for the

operation of the sprinkler system.

The system we designed also connected

the sprinklers to the toilet cistern

creating a flow-through system. This

means there was no problem with

mixing the sprinkler water with the

potable supply as there was not an

opportunity for the water to stagnate

in the sprinkler pipes. It also means

that system reliability is maintained,

because every time someone flushes

the toilet, you know you have water in

the sprinkler system. It was a simple but

effective approach.

It was novel in the U.K context, firstly

because at that time buildings of this

height did not need sprinkler systems.

In 2007 they introduced a requirement

to install sprinkler systems in buildings

over 30 metres high, but at the time of

its design, the building did not need

it. Secondly, it was novel because it

was not as “belts and braces” as a fullyfledged

sprinkler system with separate

infrastructure, pumps and tanks.

ABR Bulletin: It sounds very much

like the whole-of-system approach

engendered in AS1851.

WB: Exactly. It is all about reliability and

making sure the water is there to do

what it is meant to do, when it needs to,

and designing the system in this way

achieves that in a simple design.

Wayne has recently returned to

Australia and is now a Director of

Philip Chun Fire & Risk based in




Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 37

Client Feature

PRODUCT Innovation


Leading Products for

the Built Environment

Philips Innovation: the MASTER TL5 Eco

Philips most recent energy saving

innovation is the MASTER TL5 Eco.

This unique range reduces energy

consumption by 10% without reducing

lighting quality. These savings are

made possible by the unique mix

of filling gases and new phosphor

technology which improves lighting

output while reducing energy

consumption. The MASTER TL5 Eco 25W

lamps are a direct replacement for a

regular TL5 28W and in the application

provides the same light output - 2900


The benefit of a true retrofit solution

is the ease of use. MASTER TL5 Eco

lamps are designed to work in all the

applications that currently use the

conventional TL5 lamps and therefore

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existing TL5 luminaires as well as new

buildings and renovations.

But energy saving isn’t the only benefit

of MASTER TL5 Eco. All of the existing

specifications that have made Philips

TL5 a popular choice have been

included in this new technology : low

mercury, (1.4mg), long lifetime, high CRI

and ability to be dimmed, mean that this

unique range can be included in almost

all applications where TL5 is specified.

Philips now offers a range of TL5

Eco lamps that will offer energy

saving options for most current TL5

applications. We see this as a major step

towards making energy saving easy to

experience for all customers, while not

compromising on lighting quality.

For information contact Philips on

1300 304 404 or


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energy technology, it’s a good idea to

do your homework and make sure your

partner will be there for you when you

need them with the quality guarantees

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As a business building the homes and

facilities of the future, a strong reliable

partner with the product range to

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completion. Conergy Australia supplies

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designed solar hot water systems, as

well as solar power and small wind

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38 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

Client Feature

BRANZ: Installed performance of ceiling insulation

BRANZ recently compared the in situ

performance of ceiling insulation

installed in the more traditional layout of

friction-fitting between ceiling framing,

with the same insulation installed

over the top of framing (without any

insulation between the framing).

Led by Ian Cox-Smith, BRANZ Building

Physicist, the recent BRANZ research

project looked at what gives the best


Figure 1: Polyester insulation fitted against

framing in the way the R-value has traditionally

been calculated.

Figure 2: Thermal resistance improves when

insulation is cut to the width of the space

between framing plus twice the width of the

frame (2 × 45 mm).

BRANZ Building Physicist Ian Cox-Smith

Different options assessed

The project used heat flux transducers

to take in situ measurements of thermal

resistance. This was measured for the

three ceilings in the study after the same

insulation material had been installed in

each of several different ways:

• The testing of ceilings and existing

insulation before a sufficient area

(approximately 4 m2) of the insulation

was removed.

• Insulation installed both between

and over the framing. (Figure 1)

• Insulation cut and friction-fitted

between the framing. (Figure 2)

• Insulation installed over the framing.

(Figure 3)

Further laboratory-based measurements

were made using the BRANZ heat flow

meter, in conjunction with thermal

modelling, to confirm the thermal effect

of insulation friction-fitted around


Better fit, better performance

between framing

Where insulation was cut to a suitable

width and fitted between the framing,

it was possible to achieve a visibly

continuous insulation layer with no

framing showing. When this happened,

the thermal performance measured

was significantly better than is normally

calculated for the common situation

with visible framing. It was close to what

is expected with the same insulation

over the top of the framing, with no

convective losses assumed.

Thermal modelling has demonstated

that it would be possible to adjust

Thermal Resistance calculations

to account for the better thermal

performance achieved when insulation

is fitted to cover the framing. In contrast,

it would be difficult to model the

situation of convective bridging through

insulation fitted over the top of framing.

Between framing has many


Fitting insulation for good performance

is easier between framing than over the

top of framing. Convective losses from

gaps are more likely in the latter case. It

is relatively easy to see that insulation

fitted between framing is insulating the

framing – the framing will not be visible

when this has been done correctly.

Visually assessing that insulation

installed over framing has been fitted

well enough to minimise convective

bridging is much more difficult.


Table 1: Summary of results from the three ceilings.

Figure 3: Installing insulation between and over

the top of framing gives the best R-values.

Thermal resistance (m²K/W)

Estimated measurement (uncertainty 10%)

Ceiling A Ceiling B Ceiling C

Original insulation R1.5 R1.7 R2.2

Single layer of insulation over the

top of framing

Calculated from modelling R3.6

Single layer of insulation frictionfitted

between framing

Calculated from modelling R3.6

Layer of insulation between

framing and second layer framing

R1.5 (initial)

R3.5 (refitted to close gaps)


R3.5 R3.7

>R5 R4.8

Calculated from modelling R6.5 R5.2

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 39

Client Feature

PRODUCT Innovation


Between and over provides the

ultimate performance

As would be expected, installing a layer

of insulation between the framing,

and another on top and over the rafter,

achieved the best results (see Figure

3 and Table 1). The downside is that it

takes longer to install.

To view the BRANZ Study Report SR211

go to www.branz.co.nz.

BRANZ thermal testing

BRANZ has a registered testing facility

for measuring the properties of

thermal insulation materials. It has

staff experienced in the thermal and

insulation performance of buildings, and

in the measurement of building energy


Areas of thermal expertise include:

• Accredited testing to ASTM C518 and

AS/NZS 4859.1

• ASTM C1363 Guarded Hot Box

thermal resistance measurement of

constructed panels

• In-situ measurement of thermal

conductivity using large area heat

flux sensors

• Precision measurement of thickness

and loft recovery of fibrous thermal

insulation, including ASTM C167

• Suppliers of equipment for thermal

insulation thickness measurement

• Standing heat loss of hot water


• Double glazing tests to BS 5713 and


• Specific thermal design

• Computer modelling of heat flows in


• ALF (Annual Loss Factor) method

for optimising the thermal design of


• Combined heat and moisture

performance simulation of buildings

and structures

• Measurement of building energy


• Advice on ways to meet R-value


• R-value calculations

• Australasian WERS calculations.

For more information, contact


AWA members lead the way in developing products for bushfire areas

With the development and introduction

of AS3959:2009 there has been some

significant issues with many building

materials, windows and doors certainly

have been one of the products with

some issues. The new standard has

prescriptive requirements to meet the

different Bushfire Attack Levels for

windows and doors, although some

of the requirements such as external

screens covering the whole window are

not always practical. This can obviously

limit the types of windows that can be

used and may not necessarily be the

best solution. The alternative path to

compliance is to test products to AS

1530.8.1. If passed by a product it means

that the product can be used up to

and including BAL 40, or if testing to

AS 1530.8.2 and passed by a product, it

means that the product can be used in

all levels including BAL FZ.

The Australian Window Association led

a testing program in September 2008

to advance industry knowledge. The

indicative tests were performed as initial

screening tests to aid AWA members

in selecting specimens for future

evaluation for meeting both prescriptive

requirements and for testing fully to

AS1530.8.1 and 2.

To date there are two window

manufacturers and one glass

manufacturer that have tested product,

and they are Miglas Windows, Trend

Windows and Viridian Glass.

Successfully tested to the new Australian

test standard AS 1530.8.1, Miglas

FireGuard 40 window and door product

series achieves compliance with AS

3959:2009, Construction of Buildings in

Bushfire Prone Areas, without the need

for external screens or bushfire shutters.

Developed, designed and manufactured

in Australia, Miglas Fireguard 40 has

undergone rigorous testing by the Exova

Warrington Fire testing laboratory in

Dandenong, Victoria, to be approved for

use on sites with a Bushfire Attack Level

(BAL) of up to and including BAL-40.

Miglas Fireguard 40 timber-aluminum

composite windows and doors feature

aluminum externally to protect from

ignition, while internally, timber

provides thermal insulation and stability.

PyroGuard 40 from Australian glass

manufacturer, Viridian, completes the

product’s bushfire resistant status by

providing a solid barrier against radiant

heat transfer and embers.

Trend Windows & Doors Pty Ltd and

Smoke Control Pty Ltd announces

that the Xtreme® range of Bushfire

Window and Door products combined

with WindowShield Fire Curtains have

recently been assessed to full Flame

Zone BAL FZ to comply to the highest

level in the new Bushfire Construction

standards (AS3959-2009 and

AS1530.8.2 -2007).

In a major breakthrough, the new

system which will be called Xtreme®

Flame Zone windows and doors System

has been assessed by CSIRO to pass the

standard test at the absolute extreme

BAL FZ level.

The System combines Trend®

technologically advanced CSIRO tested

BAL 40 (1530.8.1-2007) Xtreme® Window

and Door system with Pyro-Protec®

seals and glazing systems and standard

5mm or 6mm toughened glass and the

Smoke Control CSIRO tested (1530.4)

WindowShield Fire Curtain to produce

the Xtreme® Flame Zone Bushfire

System. This latest development is

a result of Trend Windows & Doors®

ongoing intensive research and

development and extensive testing with

the CSIRO, aimed at developing cost

affordable window and door systems

which will withstand the absolute

extremes of bushfire attack.

The special ultra-thin transparent

coating with Viridian PyroGuard 40

minimises the transfer of radiant heat

from the bushfire front through the

glass and into the home. Even when

subjected to radiation levels of 40kW/

m2, less than 3% of the radiant heat is

transferred through a window glazed

with PyroGuard 40. This not only

protects combustible materials such as

curtains and furnishing within the home,

but also helps to provide significantly

increased protection for occupants.

For further information visit


40 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

Client Feature

Think carefully about termite protection

When considering termite management

options for your next residential

construction project, it is important

to have an understanding of the key

features and benefits of the product

you are going to use – after all you are

protecting a significant asset. According

to Ian Pegg, General Manager at FMC

Australasia, the choice is obvious, “Insist

on using the HomeGuard Precision

Termite Management System. It’s

An example of one of the many HomeGuard Barrier Systems

currently used by most leading building

companies across Australia because it

works. HomeGuard is a new generation,

proactive termite barrier that repels and

kills termites on contact.”

The HomeGuard range has the

credibility of being the first ever APVMA

registered physical barrier in Australia.

It incorporates the leading preconstruction

termiticide, Biflex, which

is backed by over 20 years of Australian

research data.

National Sales

Manager Chris

Hill explains,

“HomeGuard will

not corrode, split or

delaminate like other

physical barriers

and is built from

materials designed

to last the life of

the building. The

HomeGuard System

is both user and


friendly, is nonsensitizing

and requires no special safety

equipment when it is installed”.

FMC Australasia’s innovative, tried and

proven system blocks, repels and kills

termites. Available in full under slab or

perimeter cavity sheets, corners, collars,

granules, and adhesive, HomeGuard is

quick, easy and safe to use on a wide

range of construction types – and won’t

hold up trades on site.

“For a flexible, cost-effective termite

control solution, you won’t find better.

We have such confidence in our product

range that we offer home owners a 10

year warranty* that their homes will be

continually protected from termites”,

says Ian.

Australian-made HomeGuard has

CodeMark, BCA approval and HIA

Greensmart status.

For more information free call

1800 066 355 or visit


* HomeGuard Warranty is limited and special terms &

conditions must be met for it to apply. Contact FMC

on 1800 066 355 for full details.


New hySPAN PROJECT and hySPAN+ Structural LVL.

Introducing the new,

complete hySPAN® range

- it’s all you’ll need from

subfloor to rafters and is

designed to improve your

bottom line. And that

means more money for

those fancy fixtures and

fittings. We all understand

the need for a structurally

reliable floor, but why

spend too much on a

subfloor you can’t see?

The hySPAN range is

engineered to perform

without the expensive

price tag.

hySPAN PROJECT is available in

standard sizes and also new 35mm

thicknesses. hySPAN+ provides the

extra performance of an F17 graded LVL.

Because both are hySPAN, you can rely

on consistent, predictable performance

and long continuous lengths. As an

extra plus, the edges of hySPAN+ have

been arrised for safer handling on-site.

The hySPAN range is manufactured

from plantation timber and is available

as FSC Chain of Custody certified (CoC)

upon request. The range is also available

termite protected (H2-S) and backed by

a 25-year chemical supplier guarantee*.

Naturally, the extended range is

supported in the field by the CHH

Woodproducts technical team and

designIT® software that simplifies design

and specification. The

new hySPAN range is the

natural solution for you.

About Carter

Holt Harvey


Carter Holt Harvey

Woodproducts Australia

is the nation’s leading

wood products business,

producing and distributing

a comprehensive range

of wood-based building

products. Leading brands

include STRUCTAflor,

hySPAN, LASERframe, ECOply and

ULTRAprime mouldings.

For further information please contact

Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts

Australia on (03) 8787 4013 or visit


* Terms and conditions apply, see


Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 41

Client Feature

PRODUCT Innovation


AFS LOGICWALL Structural Walling System – Giving builders the edge

AFS Supplies permanent formwork

structural walling systems ideally

suited to the construction of all kinds

of commercial and residential buildings


• Multi-storey apartments

• Hotels/motels

• Office buildings

• Shopping centres,

hospitals and


Recent projects in the

ACT have seen the

AFS Walling system

employed with

outstanding success

on a variety of projects

including: Low-rise

aged care accommodation to high-rise

residential construction.

Featured projects include Oracle Stage

1- Benjamin Way, Belconnen; Greenway

- Athllon Drive, Greenway; Aqua

Apartments - Giles Street, Kingston;

Goodwin Aged Care -

Sherbrooke, Ainsley; and

the Allure Apartments -

Maclean Street, Turner.

What the industry is


Architect – Goodwin

Aged Care project

“AFS LogicWall system

proved to be useful

on our project as it was used as a load

bearing wall system to replace a typical

concrete beam/column structural

arrangement. This meant we saved on

costs by reducing the height between

floors. The product seemed to be

easily transported and moved within

the construction site, which can be of

benefit when lack of space is an issue.

The product was quick and easy to erect

and provided us with a smooth finish for

paint application. I have no hesitation

in recommending AFS Logicwall or

specifying the system in future projects.”

Builder - Oracle Stage

1- Benjamin Way,


“Gentlemen I would

like to take this

opportunity to express

my thanks for not

only introducing

Milin Bros to your

Logic wall system

but to also thank you for the way you

have carried out the total process in

such a professional manner on our

three staged residential development

in Belconnen in the ACT. Not only is

your product cost saving, efficient and

integral to the structure,

the process from

sales, shop drawings,

delivery and after sales

service along with any

advice required was

outstanding. Another

point I would like to raise

is that your manufacture

and install teams are

always only too happy

to work at all times to

our program and willing to put in the

extra effort to help the builder reach his

milestones. Once again thank you for a

first class product and look forward to

stage 2 and 3 of 500 apartments.”

Engineer - Oracle Stage 1- Benjamin

Way, Belconnen

“Our company provided structural

design services for the Oracle Residential

Project at Belconnen, ACT. During the

structural design, it was clear that the

project leant itself primarily to a load

bearing wall system. Several options

were canvassed in consultation with the

client, the architect and the builder to

determine the optimum overall solution.

AFS was chosen as the load bearing

wall system by all parties for its off-site

fabrication, ease of installation, and the

fact that the wall remains as an in situ

concrete wall as opposed to jointed

precast walls. We have suggested AFS

walls to other clients, who are now using

them on other projects with similar


For more information on your building

requirements contact AFS Products

Group on 1300 727 237 or email



The year 2010, sees the publication

of edition 28 of the 950-page

reference book, Rawlinsons Australian

Construction Handbook, which was

formulated to provide a comprehensive

and detailed building cost reference

directed mainly at medium/larger sized

projects and embracing all sections

of the building industry. Containing

essential construction cost information

for all Australian capital cities, it includes

Price and Regional Indices; Building Costs

Per Square Metre; Elemental Costs of

Buildings; Comparative Costs; Detailed

Prices - with unit prices for all trades and

services; Refurbishing and Recycling of

Buildings. Other sections include Labour

and Plant Constants; Building Planning,

Administration and Management; Rental

Review; International Construction Costs.

Rawlinsons is committed to providing

optimum outcomes for your projects

by supplying current and reliable

cost information that is necessary to

effectively implement cost control, cost

management and cost benefit studies at

all stages of planning and construction.

Such has been the impact of Rawlinsons

on the construction industry that it is

often referred to as the bible because of

the wealth of information it contains.

A later addition to our stable and now in

its 18th edition, Rawlinsons Construction

Cost Guide, has been specifically

compiled for small commercial and

domestic projects and is presented in an

easy-to-use and comprehensive format,

This book of 275 pages is well suited

for the smaller builder, developer, subcontractor,


For all your construction projects,

whether large or small, Rawlinsons has

the book which will best suit your needs.

42 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

Smartbreeze - the green solution for heating and cooling a building

Heating and cooling a building can

be a costly exercise particularly with

increasing running cost and the ongoing

impact on the environment using

traditional methods.

The latest innovation in heating and

cooling using total solar energy has

been introduced by Smart Roof Australia

Pty Ltd and has been influential in

providing a clean environmental

solution with minimal cost to various

buildings throughout Victoria.

The award winning product

smartbreeze, Australian designed and

manufactured uses the roof, whether

metal or tile, as a collector of air and

moves the air to assist either heating or

cooling a building.

On a hot day there is a significant build

up of radiant heat directly under the

metal roof sheets or tiles. This hot air

is dormant and creates a significant

heat bank which filters into and heats

a building. The smartbreeze unit

minimizes this build up of heat by

continually purging the hot

air from the roof on a hot day.

After a hot day, smartbreeze

is able to provide nocturnal

cooling throughout the

night. When the cooler

night air is needed to cool

a building after a hot day,

smartbreeze will continually

blow this fresh cool air into

the building to significantly

reduce the heat build up

that is absorbed in the walls

and furniture and provide a

cooler environment for the

start of the next day.

On a cool day there can be a significant

heat build up due to the radiant heart

on the roof. Smartbreeze will filter this

warm air and re-direct into the building

to provide fresh warm air on a cool day

for heating.

The movement of air and monitoring

of temperatures is all thermostatically

controlled day and night. Power is

provided by a 30w solar panel.

Smartbreeze can be adapted for

larger volume areas whereby a greater

capacity for heating and cooling in

addition to cross ventilation is required.

For more information on smartbreeze,

please view the website www.smartroof.

com.au or call Smart Roof Australia Pty

Ltd on 03 95103484.


Standards Australia moves to tighten steel specifications in response to Industry concerns

Standards Australia have just released

a new revision of AS/NZS 1163 on

Structural Steel Hollow Sections. These

revisions were triggered by industry and

asset owner concerns on compliance

of specified tubular products. The

Australian Steel Institute (ASI) is also

aware of situations of inferior or nonspecified

product substitution for

critical applications resulting in product

qualities not being commensurate with

AS/NZS 1163 expectations.

These issues are not isolated to Pipe and

Tube and are also relevant to other steel

and construction materials.

Revised welded steel hollow

sections specification released

by Standards Australia

This Standard specifies the requirements

for cold-formed, electric resistancewelded,

carbon steel hollow sections

suitable for welding and used for

structural purposes.

Products compliant with AS/NZS 1163,

which is referenced via the steel design,

fabrication and erection Standards listed

in the BCA, are used in many and various

building construction applications.

These include structural columns/posts,

beams, ties, trusses, flooring systems,

awnings, lintels, etc.

The major changes to the Standard


• In Australia, the mandatory individual

length identification required on all

ex-mill tube lengths

• Mandatory minimum information

required on test certificates

• Mandatory requirement for testing

to be performed by third-party

accredited laboratories (e.g. NATA)

• Mandatory ‘Product Conformity’

provisions to demonstrate

compliance with the Standard by the


• Additional provisions on steelmaking,

coil feed, chemistry, mechanical

properties and tolerances.

The revisions to the Standard

provide further confidence in

product conformance of tubular

products to AS/NZS 1163.

The tubular product range and coatings

offered by suppliers to the Standard

have not changed.

The new edition of AS/NZS 1163 was

published and became effective on 9

December 2009 with the previous 1991

version remaining available superseded

till its withdrawal one year later.

The ASI strongly urges building

construction project delivery

participants to specify and order AS/

NZS 1163-2009 product to get the

confidence that new standard provides

in mandating that the construction is in

line with intended design.

For further information contact the ASI

on (02) 9931 6612.

Copies of AS/NZS 1163 can be purchased

from SAI Global (www.infostore.


Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 43

CONFErENCE + Events Calendar



MARCH 2010

18 – 19 March ACEA Conference, Sydney. www.acea.com.au

25 March BCA Information Seminars, Canberra. www.abcb.gov.au

25 March AIRAH Section J Workshop, Canberra. www.airah.org.au

31 March – 1 April BCA Information Seminars, Sydney. www.abcb.gov.au

31 March AIRAH Section J Workshop, Sydney. www.airah.org.au

APRIL 2010

12 – 14 April 9th IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on natural refrigerants – real alternatives, Sydney.


13 – 14 April BCA Information Seminars, Brisbane. www.abcb.gov.au

13 April AIRAH Section J Workshop, Brisbane. www.airah.org.au

16 April BCA Information Seminars, Darwin. www.abcb.gov.au

20 April BCA Information Seminars, Adelaide. www.abcb.gov.au

20 April AIRAH Section J Workshop, Adelaide. www.airah.org.au

20 – 23 April International Planning Conference, Christchurch, NZ. www.planning.org.au

22 – 23 April BCA Information Seminars, Perth. www.abcb.gov.au

22 – 24 April Form and Function, Sydney. www.formandfunction.com.au

22 April AIRAH Section J Workshop, Perth. www.airah.org.au

27 April BCA Information Seminars, Hobart. www.abcb.gov.au

27 April AIRAH Section J Workshop, Hobart. www.airah.org.au

28 – 30 April ACCA 2010 CDP Conference, Tweed Heads. www.access.asn.au/conferences_and_events

29 – 30 April BCA Information Seminars, Melbourne. www.abcb.gov.au

29 April AIRAH Section J Workshop, Melbourne. www.airah.org.au

44 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

3311_ABRB_Spring09_v8.indd 1



18/8/09 11:43:24 AM

Bulletin (ABR) now provides you with the

opportunity to advertise your business,

and Builders who are at the cutting edge of the

ABRB readership and distribution is continuing

also provided free of charge via the Australian Building

Codes Board’s (ABCB) web site, as well as being distributed

available through the distribution and readership

and booking details can all be provided

Present YOUR business

to 45,000+ people within

the construction


Building for the Energy Efficient Future

Latest Developments in South Australia’s Planning System

Compliance: Buyer Beware - Reduce the Risk and be Confident

that Building Products meet their Performance Claims

The Green Building Fund - the second year....

Digital TV switch over in buildings

A sustainable built environment–a Singapore perspective

Industry perspective–HIA: Measuring the cost of Regulation

Improving NSW Planning



helping the ABCB help you

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Code of Australia (BCA). Please take a few minutes to provide us with your feedback on this

edition to assist the ABCB in ensuring that your Bulletin remains relevant.

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Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 45

Save money for the

things you can see.

Introducing the new, complete hySPAN ® range. It’s all you’ll need from

subfloor to rafters. Specifying hySPAN PROJECT or hySPAN+ can improve your

bottom line. (And that means more money for those fancy fixtures and fittings.)






iezzi E721/4 ABRB

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