Termite Risk Management

Technical Notice
Termite Risk Management

Over the coming weeks CMI will be reviewing all the products and systems certified by us that have a termite risk management application. This will be undertaken to ensure conformity of certifications to the requirements of the Nation Construction Code (NCC) 2016.

There are changes in the NCC that will have an impact on termite management systems. Of particular impact is Volume 2 Part 3.1.3 Termite Risk Management, and Volume 2 Part 2.1.1 as well as Queensland state variation Part 2.1.3.

We note the following changes that may have a potential impact on current certifications.

  • The NCC 2016 deleting any specific reference to the following clauses:
  • 1.3.1 Application
  • 1.3.2 Installation of termite management systems
  • 1.3.3 Concrete slab-on-ground edge exposure
  • 1.3.4 Sheet materials
  • 1.3.5 Granular material
  • 1.3.6 Chemical
  • 1.3.7 Attachments to buildings

All of the above are now included in the NCC referencing AS3660. 1; 2014 Part 1 – New building work.

(2)  the deletion of the requirement Queensland requirement for two durable notices to be placed on the building, one in the meter box and the other in the kitchen cupboard.

(3) the Queensland variation for primary building elements to include door jams, window frames, reveals, architraves and skirting’s is now included in Part 1.1 Interpretation.

As the performance requirements referenced in the NCC under P2.1.1 Structural stability and resistance to actions are limited to P2.1.1 (b) (XV) termite actions and as CodeMark certification is based on the performance requirements of the NCC

 

STATE AND TERRITORY VARIATIONS

P2.1.2 does not apply in Queensland.

Note: Building work in designated flood hazard areas is regulated by the Building Act 1975 and Development Code 3.5 -Construction of buildings in flood hazard areas.

In Queensland after P2.1.2 insert QLD P2.1.3 as follows:

QLD P2.1.3

(a)    The risk of primary building elements in a Class 1 or 10 building being damaged by subterranean termites must be adequately minimised by the use of a suitable termite management measure that—

(i)      if it serves a non-temporary Class 1 building, has a design life of at least 50 years; or

(ii)     if it serves a building not specified in (i), has a design life of at least 50 years or the specified design life of the building, whichever is the lesser; or

(iii)    is easily and readily accessible for replenishment or replacement and is capable of being replenished or replaced.

(b)    A termite management measure required by (a), to the degree necessary, must—

(i)      be accessible to enable the installation, maintenance and inspection of the termite management measure to be carried out; and

(ii)     incorporate suitable measures to adequately minimise the risk of the termite management measure inadvertently being damaged, bridged or breached.

Explanatory information:

QLD P2.1.3(a) requires a termite management measure in Queensland to have a design life of at least 50 years unless it is easily and readily accessible for replenishment or replacement and is capable of being replenished or replaced. In recognition that some buildings other than non-temporary Class 1 buildings may be designed to last less than 50 years, the option of the termite management measure having a design life at least equal to that specified for the building is given. If this option is used, the design life of the building should be agreed upon by all relevant stakeholders at the design stage and should form part of the documentation kept by the appropriate authority. It should not be assumed that the design life of 50 years in QLD P2.1.3(a)(i) and (ii) applies to any other provisions of the BCA, unless stated.

An example of a termite management measure that may satisfy QLD P2.1.3(a)(iii) is a chemical reticulation system beneath a concrete floor slab laid directly on the ground, provided that the system is easily and readily accessible for replenishment and is capable of being replenished.

An example of a termite management measure that may not satisfy QLD P2.1.3(a) for a non-temporary Class 1 building is a hand-sprayed chemical beneath a concrete floor slab laid directly on the ground if the chemical does not have a design life of at least 50 years. The concrete floor slab being laid directly on the ground would prevent the area beneath the slab from being easily and readily accessible for replenishment or replacement of the termite management measure.

An example of a termite management measure being inadvertently bridged or breached is when a person places a garden or mulch over the top of or above the level of a termite management measure enabling termites to bypass the measure.

P2.1.2 does not apply in South Australia.

 

PART 3.1.3 TERMITE RISK MANAGEMENT

Appropriate Performance Requirements:

Where an alternative termite management system is proposed as a Performance Solution to that described in Part 3.1.3, that proposal must comply with—

(a) Performance Requirement P2.1.1; and

(b) the relevant Performance Requirements determined in accordance with 1.0.7.

Acceptable construction practice

3.1.3.1 Application

Compliance with this acceptable construction practice satisfies Performance Requirement P2.1.1 for termite risk management.

Explanatory information:

The intent of these requirements is to provide for a termite management system that deters termites from gaining entry to a building via a concealed route. The installation of a termite management system will not stop termite activity from occurring on the site.

 

STATE AND TERRITORY VARIATIONS

In Queensland delete 3.1.3.1 and replace with the following: 3.1.3.1 Application Compliance with this acceptable construction practice satisfies Performance Requirements P2.1.1 and QLD P2.1.3.

3.1.3.2 Requirements for termite management systems

(a) The requirements of this Part apply where:

(i) a Class 1 or 10 building is constructed in an area where subterranean termites are known to present a potential risk of attack; and

(ii) a primary building element of a Class 1 or 10 building is considered susceptible to termite attack.

(b) For the purposes of (a), a primary building element consisting entirely of, or a combination of, any of the following materials is considered not subject to termite attack:

  • Steel, aluminium or other metals.

(ii) Concrete.

(iii) Masonry.

(iv) Fibre-reinforced cement.

(v) Timber — naturally termite resistant in accordance with Appendix C of AS 3660.1.

(vi) Timber — preservative treated in accordance with Appendix D of AS 3660.1.

Explanatory information:

  1. 3.1.3.2(a): Termites are not considered to be a risk in Tasmania and a lesser risk in parts of Victoria. The appropriate authority may have records of termite activity for each area and may be able to advise on whether termite risk management is needed.
  2. 3.1.3.2(b): Where individual primary building elements are susceptible to termite attack and the remainder of the primary building elements are constructed of termite resistant materials, only the susceptible elements need to be provided with a termite management system.
  3. 3.1.3.2(b)(iii): states that masonry is not subject to termite attack, however termites may gain entry through mortar and other joints.

 

SITE PREPARATION

STATE AND TERRITORY VARIATIONS
In Northern Territory delete 3.1.3.2(b)(v) and replace with the following: (v) Timber — naturally termite resistant timber in accordance with Appendix C of AS 3660.1 in areas where Mastotermes darwiniensis are not prevalent

STATE AND TERRITORY VARIATIONS
In Queensland delete 3.1.3.2 and replace with the following

3.1.3.2 Requirements for termite management systems
(a) The requirements of this Part apply where:
(i) a Class 1 or 10 building is constructed in an area where subterranean termites are known to present a potential risk of attack; and
(ii) a primary building element of a Class 1 or 10 building is considered susceptible to termite attack.
(b) For the purposes of (a), a primary building element consisting entirely of, or a combination of, any of the following materials is considered not subject to termite attack:
(i) Steel, aluminium or other metals.
(ii) Concrete
(iii) Masonry.
(iv) Fibre-reinforced cement.
(v) Timber — naturally termite resistant in accordance with Appendix C of AS 3660.1.
(vi) Timber — preservative treated in accordance with Appendix D of AS 3660.1.
(c) A termite management system installed in a Class 1 or 10 building to minimise the risk of termite attack to primary building elements shall be in accordance with clause 3.1.3.3.
d) The termite management system required by (c) must have—
(i) for a non-temporary Class 1 building, a design life of at least 50 years; or
(ii) for other than a non-temporary Class 1 building, a design life of at least 50 years or the specified design life of the building, whichever is the lesser.
(e) A termite management system need not comply with (d) if it is easily and readily accessible for replenishment or replacement and is capable of being replenished or replaced
(f) Where a chemical is used as an external perimeter termite management system, it must be—
(i) installed by excavating trenches, treating the exposed trench and backfilling the trench with treated material; and
(ii) covered by a concrete cover strip not less than 50 mm thick and 300 mm wide measured from the external wall of the building.

 

3.1.3.3 Termite management systems

Where a termite management system is required it must—

 (a) be selected appropriate to Table 3.1.3.1; and

(b) comply with—

(i) AS 3660.1; or

(ii) have been tested and passed the tests required by Section 5 of AS 3660.3; and

(c) have a durable notice installed in accordance with 3.1.3.4; and

(d) where a chemical termite management system is used, the chemical must be included on the appropriate authority’s pesticides register

Explanatory information:

3.1.3.3(b)(ii) provides the option of having a chemical termite management system tested to AS 3660.3. In order for the test results to remain valid, the system would then have to be installed as tested.

 

STATE AND TERRITORY VARIATIONS

In the Northern Territory delete 3.1.3.3(d) and insert 3.1.3.3(d) and (e) as follows:

(d) include additional termite risk management measures in areas where Mastotermes darwiniensis are prevalent; and

(e) where a chemical termite management system is used—

(i) the chemical must be included on the appropriate authority’s pesticides register; and

(ii) when used as an external perimeter termite management system for Mastotermes darwiniensis, it is—

(A) installed by excavating trenches, treating the exposed trench and backfilling the trench with treated material; and

(B) covered by a concrete cover strip not less than 50 mm thick and 300 mm wide measured from the external wall of the building.

STATE AND TERRITORY VARIATIONS

In Queensland delete 3.1.3.3 and replace with the following:

3.1.3.3 Termite management systems Where a termite management system is required it must—

(a) be selected appropriate to QLD Table 3.1.3.1; and

(b) comply with—

(i) AS 3660.1 subject to clause 3.1.3.2(d), (e) and (f); or

(ii) have been tested and passed the test results required by Section 5 of AS 3660.3; and

(c) have a durable notice installed in accordance with 3.1.3.4; and (d) where a chemical termite management system is used, the chemical must be included on the appropriate authority’s pesticides register

3.1.3.4 Durable notice

A durable notice must be permanently fixed to the building in a prominent location, such as in a meter box or the like, indicating—

(a) the termite management system used; and

(b) the date of installation of the system; and

(c) where a chemical is used, its life expectancy as listed on the appropriate authority’s register label; and

(d) the installer’s or manufacturer’s recommendations for the scope and frequency of future inspections of termite activity.

Explanatory information:

  1. Appropriate authority

For the purpose of the pesticides register, the appropriate authority is the government body responsible for the registration of pesticides. Currently, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APMVA) coordinates the registration scheme.

  1. Durable notice

Where a durable notice is required by 3.1.3.3 a durable notice must be fixed to the building in a prominent location advising the building occupants that the system should be inspected and maintained.

The notice should be clearly written, on a material that will not deteriorate or fade over time and be located in or near the electrical meter box or similar location so that it can be easily seen and read by future owners of the building. Additional information may be included if desired by the person placing the notice.

Source NCC 2016 Building Code of Australia – Volume Two
Table 3.1.3.1
ACCEPTABLE TERMITE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS

Building Element Termite management system or component
Concrete slab-on-ground

 

Slab perimeter or external wall

perimeter

Slab edge exposure
Slab perimeter or external wall
Sheet material
perimeter
Penetrations/control joints/area beneath the slab

(see Note)

Sheet material
Granular Material
Chemical
Suspended floors Sheet material
Granular Material
Chemical
Attachments to buildings Termite management system to the attachment or inspection zone
                                         Building Element Termite management system or component
Note: The entire area beneath the slab must be treated when the slab-on-ground is not designed and constructed in accordance with AS 2870 or AS 3600.

 

Explanatory information:

  1. Component

A component of a system as referred to in Table 3.1.3.1 is one that when used in combination with other components, will form a “full system”.

For example, if a concrete slab is used as a component of a system, it in itself will not provide a complete termite management system. Depending on the construction methods and the site conditions, additional requirements will be necessary for service penetrations through the concrete slab. Each of these are “components”, when integrated, will form a “full system”.

  1. Integrity of the termite management system

There are more than 350 species of termites in Australia, about 30 of which achieve economic importance by causing costly damage to building structures. Due to the nature of termites, it is extremely difficult to prevent them gaining access to a building.

In addition to correct installation of a termite management system, its effectiveness will rely on regular maintenance and competent inspection.

  1. Attachments to buildings

Attachments referred to in Table 3.1.3.1 include downpipes, service pipes, steps, verandahs, porches, access ramps, carports, trellises, decks, heated water systems, air conditioners and the like.

 

STATE AND TERRITORY VARIATIONS

In Queensland delete Table 3.1.3.1 and replace with the following: Table 3.1.3.1
ACCEPTABLE TERMITE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS

Termite Management system or component (AS per AS 3660.1  FOOTING SYSTEM
Concrete Slab-on ground complying with AS 2870 Concrete Slab-on ground Not complying with AS 2870 Suspended floors
Penetration and joint controls Slab perimeter Beneath slab (includes Penetrations and Joint controls) Slab perimeter
Slab edge exposure Not suitable Suitable subject to 3.3.3.2(d) Not suitable Suitable subject to 3.3.3.2(d) Not applicable
Termite shielding Not suitable Not suitable Not suitable Not suitable Suitable subject to 3.3.3.2(d)
Stainless steel mesh Component: or full system subject to 3.3.3.2(d) Component: or full system subject to 3.3.3.2(d) full system subject to 3.3.3.2(d) full system subject to 3.3.3.2(d) Suitable subject to 3.3.3.2(d)
Graded Stone Component: or full system subject to 3.3.3.2(d) Component: or full system subject to 3.3.3.2(d) full system subject to 3.3.3.2(d) full system subject to 3.3.3.2(d) Component: or full system subject to 3.3.3.2(d)
Chemicals Full system beneath slab subject to 3.3.3.2(d) and (e) Perimeter system subject to 3.1.3.2(d)and (f) Full system beneath slab subject to 3.3.3.2(d) and (e) Perimeter system subject to 3.1.3.2(d)and (f) Full system beneath slab subject to 3.3.3.2(d) and (e)

 

CodeMark Scheme Rules

In accordance with Clause 5.6.2 of the CodeMark Scheme Rules whenever the BCA is amended, the CodeMark certificates are to be updated within 3 months of the amendments coming into effect. NCC 2016 will come into effect on 1 May 2016. Any updated information and completion of the updated certificate will be required by 1 August 2016.

 

Please contact us should you require further information on the above detail.