National Construction Code 2016: Standards Australia Update

Hello and welcome to this presentation.

My name is Tim Wheeler and I'm the National Sector Manager at Standards Australia for Building and Construction.

I'm here today to present on the updates to standards which are referenced in Volumes one and two of the NCC.

Over the last five years, Standards Australia has done some key updates to HVAC standards, slip resistance, bushfire construction, pool fencing and termite management.

Those are some of the goals that we kicked in the last five years.

This year some of the main changes we made to our standards are in the standards for wind loading, in housing, masonry in small buildings, structural design for earthquakes and many more which I'll be taking you through right away.

The first standard is AS 5637 Part 1 2015.

It's on the determination of fire hazard properties for walls and ceiling linings.

This standard resolves interpretation issues with group number results, provides clarity on which tests should be used in which circumstance and contains easy access to key information through flowcharts.

AS/NZS 2269 Part 0 2012, Amendment 1, 2015.

This one is on plywood on structural specifications.

It was first published back in 1994 and it was revised in 2012.

It has not been amended and called up in the NCC 2016.

The objective of this standard is to provide minimum performance requirements and specifications for the manufacture of structural plywood in Australia and New Zealand.

The standard is Part 0 of the 2269 series which comprises the following parts: Part 0 which is the one that I'm currently talking about.

Part 1 on test methods.

Part 2 on evaluation methods.

Why was this standard amended? It was amended to clarify labelling requirements for products produced with other stress grades.

That is, any plywood that does not fit the predefined grades and has been tested in accordance with the standard.

What this means for you is that if you are using products that have undergone non-typical methods for assessing their structural performance, you should be aware that they now have different labelling requirements.

The label must contain a unique descriptor that identifies the structural performance of the plywood.

AS 1720 Part 1 2010, Amendment 3, 2015 on timber structures as well.

This standard was updated in the last amendment to bring more current strength characteristics for plywood and realign with AS 2269 2012 which I just referred to before.

As part of the same series AS 1720 Part 4, 2006, this standard now covers plywood and laminated veneer lumber (LVL).

A new version of the standard is also currently under development.

As part of still the same series, AS 1720 Part 5, 2015 timber structures, nail plated timber roof trusses.

This is a new standard on the design of timber roof trusses.

It applies to small and residential buildings and it sets up the design elements for use of trusses up to 16 metres in length and with a maximum roof pitch of 45 degrees.

AS 1905 Part 1, 2015, fire resistant door sets.

This standard is a revision of the 1905 Part 1 2005 version and it provides information on the construction and installation of fire resistant door sets.

It has a sister standard, 1905 Part 2, which provides similar information for fire resistant roller shutters.

The protocols for testing have been revised as have the requirements for testing and installation.

AS 2293 Part 3 2005, Amendment 2, 2012.

This is an important safety standard that sets up the requirements for luminaires and exit signs.

The standard is being referenced in the NCC for the first time.

It's a small amendment and it covers the inclusion of more accurate figures for emergency escape luminaires as well as changes that were made to the requirements surrounding the background colour and luminance requirements of luminaires.

AS 1670 Part 1 2015 on fire detection warning control and intercom systems.

This was a major revision to 1670 Part 1 to keep it up-to-date with international standard development.

The 2015 version introduces the incorporation of 20 new AS ISO based equipment standards covering detection devices, visual and audible warning devices.

It also introduces a clause mandating the establishment of baseline data for ongoing system maintenance and servicing.

It contains a provision for ADF alarm delay facilities as a measure to reduce nuisance alarms in residential applications.

A new section on smoke control systems to eliminate duplication and possible conflict requirement for fire detection and control of smoke control systems.

It also introduces provisions for better integration of fire detection and alarm systems with emergency warning systems, smoke control systems and special hazard systems.

1670 Part 4 2015 is now aligned with 1670 Part 1 2015 and introduces new emergency warning requirements as aligned with 4428 Part 16.

New AS ISO based equipment standards, Sounders, visual warning devices and speakers.

Alignment of transmission powers requirement with AS 1670 Part 1 as well as a clause mandating the establishment of baseline data for ongoing system maintenance and servicing.

Next up is AS 1530 Part 4 2014 on fire resistance tests for elements of construction.

This standard was prepared by the FP 18 Technical Committee to supersede the 2005 version.

The standard sets out the testing requirements to determine the fire resistance of an element in a building construction when subjected to standard fire exposure.

There are other parts in the series that address different aspects of the flammability of materials.

This standard was revised for a number of reasons.

A performance requirement for ceiling penetration by fire was added with the inclusion of a clause on ceiling penetration by fire in Section 4.



A ceiling is deemed to have failed when the thermocouples placed on it exceed 250 degrees centigrade.

The standard specified the use of specimen products that are no longer in the market thus making a fully compliant test impossible.

All required testing materials are now available as this has been addressed by the Technical Committee.

And finally some minor technical changes were made, some minor editorial changes were also made.

AS/NZS 1668 Part 1 2015.

Fire and smoke control in buildings.

1668 is a series of four standards that work together to provide comprehensive design and construction provisions for ventilation and air conditioning in buildings.

The changes to the standard include: technical requirements for smoke detection and detectors have been moved to 1670 Part 1.

Similarly, fire smoke damper requirements have been relocated from 1668 Part 1 to 1682 Parts 1 and 2 on fire dampers.

Content on hot layer smoke control was transferred from 1668 Part 3 into 1668 Part 1.

Further changes to this standard include the clarification of the requirements for car park ventilation systems.

This section clarifies that car parks are not to be used as smoke control systems.

There was some ambiguity about this role in the past.

It also includes requirements for flame and spark arrestants in certain kitchen exhaust systems.

For example, this could be used in a system where exposed flames are part of the cooking process with use with a wok or potentially a wood fire oven.

AS 3786 2014, Amendment 1, 2015.

This is an amendment to the 2014 version and it is referenced in multiple clauses in the BCA, in both Volumes 1 and 2.

This standard covers smoke alarms that work wholly or partially as part of a smoke detection system in residential buildings.

The amendment to the standard was small and concerned one editorial change and two modified references.

AS/NZS 4505 2012, Amendment 1, 2015 on garage doors and other large access doors.

4505 2012 was developed as a result of the combination of the test methods that previously comprised the 4504 series into a single document.

It is referenced in multiple sections of Volumes 1 and 2 of the NCC.

The amendments to the standard clarify that it is not necessary to provide a windblown debris impact rating for all doors to comply with this standard.

Appendix B outlines where a rating is required and the provisions to be followed in such cases.

The amendment also adjusts a formula to ensure that it is consistent with SI units.

AS/NZS 1428 Part 4, Part 1 2009 Amendment 1, 2014.

The 1428 series covers the design elements for access and mobility.

Part 4.

1 helps people with vision impairment to move around using ground surface indicators.

This was a small correction and it concerned 1 figure only.

AS 4055 2012, Amendment 1, 2015.

This standard was amended in the following ways: In the terrains category, the role of forested areas has been clarified and made consistent with AS/NZS 1170 Part 2.

In the shielding requirements, it has been clarified that vegetation can only be included as shielding for heavily wooded areas larger than normal house allotments.

Finally, a diagram illustrating topography has been replaced with one that makes hill measurements easier to interpret.

This standard is all round easier to use and the diagrams have been simplified.

AS 5146 Part 1 2015, on reinforced, autoclaved aerated concrete.

This is a brand new standard that is being referenced for the first time in the National Construction Code.

This standard is the first part of a series and it refers to the two other parts, thus making them secondary reference documents.

Part 2 covers design using this equipment and Part 3 covers construction.

AS 4773 Parts 1 and 2 2015.

These standards are part of a two standard series.

The purpose of Part one is to provide minimum requirements for design of masonry in small buildings Part 2 provides minimum requirements for construction of masonry in the same classes of buildings.

The objective of this revision is to provide clarifications and minor corrections around referencing.

AS/NZS 1170 Part 4 2007, Amendment 1, 2015, earthquake actions in Australia.

This is an amendment to the 2007 version which was already a reference document in Volumes 1 and 2 of the NCC.

The standard was updated to reflect contemporary practices and the following notable changes have been made.

The drafting of the document has been revised to align with the NCC drafting protocols.

The Christchurch Royal Commission recommended that the standard be amended so that stairs and access ramps be designed to be able to sustain 1.

5 times the peak Inter-Storey drift.

This has now been incorporated into the amendment.

The standard also contains a list of building parts and components that must be designed for earthquake action.

These include components like lift machinery, lighting fixtures, electrical panel boards etc.

In this amendment, cables were also added to this list and must now be designed to sustain earthquake action.

This simply means that they must be able to withstand accelerations that are set out in the standard without becoming dislodged.

Where for the highest important levels, the earthquake category selection is based on revised effective heights to be less severe for buildings between 12 and 25 metres in effect of height.

AS 3500 Part 3, 2015, storm water drainage.

This is a revision of the 2003 version and the standard is part of the 3500 series which contains the requirements for plumbing and drainage in Australia and New Zealand.

The standard sets up the requirement for material design installation and testing of roof drainage systems, surface drainage systems and subsoil drainage systems to a point of connection.

It has been aligned with the PCA throughout the revision.

SA TS 101 2015.

This to the design of post-installed and cast-in fastenings for their use in concrete.

The overlying goal in developing this standard was to improve the safety in the Australian Anchor industry.

Prior to this document being developed, there was no testing standard to determine the strength of anchors.

Based on international experience, similarly developed economies such as the USA and Europe have regulated their markets by introducing design standards following serious accidents.

This specification gives information on design of fasteners, materials to use and how best to use them.

There are a number of standards currently in development which I think would be worth mentioning.

in this presentation.

There is AS 2118 Part 1 on automatic fire sprinkler systems.

That standard is in the finalization stage of its development.

As well as that, AS 1428 Part 4 Part 2, AS 1428 Part 4.

2 on Wayfinding.

That standard has just gone through public comment which closed on the 15th of February and those comments are now being addressed by the Technical Committee.

Standards on fire hydrant installation and timber structures are also currently in development.

At this point I would like to say a few words about engaging with Standards Australia in view of the change to the three-year NCC reference cycle.

Most standards which are developed for referencing in the NCC go through a development which is classified as either medium or complex.

That means that they have a duration between 24 to 36 months for their completion.

As such, I would encourage you to get in touch with Standards Australia as soon as possible if you would like to see any new standards developed for referencing in NCC 2019 or some of the current ones revised.

Please contact us by sending a proposal to [email protected]



In your proposal, standards Australia only looks for three main elements.

The clear project scope, which is, what is it you would like to see done in the standard? A net benefit case.

Why is it you would like to see this done and what are the benefits to the Australian community? And finally, who is in favour of the particular standard that you like to see revised or developed.

I would invite you to join us on the Building and Construction LinkedIn group for Standards Australia.

It's a great way of staying up to date with standards and development as well as standards that are currently out to public comment as well as any other information that could be relevant to the building and construction sector.

Thank you very much.

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