CMI Advisory Note: Building Code of Australia Fire Group Number Classifications explained

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Building Code of Australia Fire Group Number Classifications explained

The purpose of this technical notification is to provide assistance to those wishing to understand the requirement of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) in relation to establishing group numbers for products used in building construction.

1       DEEMED TO SATISFY PROVISIONS FOR SPECIFICATION C1.10 FIRE HAZARD PROPERTIES FOR WALL AND CEILING LININGS

1.1 The National Construction Code (NCC) 2016 Building Code of Australia (BCA) Specification C1.10 Fire Hazard Properties sets out the Deemed to Satisfy requirements in relation to the fire hazard properties of linings, materials and assemblies in Class 2 to 9 buildings.

1.2Class 2 to 9 building encompasses most buildings types for example

  • multi-unit residentials,
  • hotels,
  • healthcare facilities,
  • schools,
  • shopping centres,
  • office buildings,
  • warehouses and factories etc.

1.3 In order to comply with the requirements of C1.10, any wall and ceiling lining must meet the requirements of a group number, which is determined by fire tests as follows;

  • Physical testing conducted in an accredited test facility, in accordance with AS ISO 9705 (full-scale room test for surface products), or
  • Prediction in accordance with AS/NZS 3837 (method of test for heat and smoke release rates for materials and products using an oxygen consumption calorimeter, commonly referred to as a cone test).

1.4 The National Construction Code (NCC) 2016 incorporates Amendment No. 1 to AS/NZS 3837, which states that certain types of materials and assemblies cannot use this method to determine a material group number.

1.5 These materials and assemblies include:

a) All assemblies, including those with profiled facings;

b) Materials or assemblies that contain materials that melt or shrink away from a flame;

c) Assemblies with joints and openings; and

d) Products with a reflective surface.

1.6 Most insulation products used for wall and ceiling linings (i.e. polyisocyanurate (PIR) boards, phenolic boards, polyester and glasswool etc.), are typically classified as an assembly, and most commonly have a reflective facing. As a consequence of this, these products must undergo the ISO 9705 full-scale room test to determine a group number.

2 GROUP NUMBER

2.1 The results of the ISO 9705 full-scale room test provide the group number of a material.

2.2 This group number is an indication of the materials’ fire hazard properties with Group 1 being the highest (best) classification and Group 4 being the poorest performing classification.

3 WHAT GROUP NUMBER IS REQUIRED

3.1 For a limited number of applications, the NCC 2016 requires a Group 1 classification to be achieved.

3.2 For most applications, materials classified as Group 2 and Group 3 are permitted for use as a finish, surface, lining or attachment to a wall or ceiling, in accordance with the table below:

Wall and Ceiling Linings Fire Group Numbers

BUILDING CLASS (According to the BCA 2016) FIRE ISOLATED EXITS AND FIRE CONTROL ROOMS PUBLIC CORRIDORS SPECIFIC AREAS OTHER AREAS
Wall/Ceiling Wall Ceiling Wall Ceiling Wall/Ceiling

Class 2 or 3

(Excluding accommodation for the aged, people with disabilities and children)

Unsprinklered 1 1.2 1.2 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3
Sprinklered 1 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3

Class 3 or 9a

(Accommodation for the aged, people with disabilities, children and health-care buildings)

Unsprinklered 1 1 1 1,2 1,2 1,2,3
Sprinklered 1 1,2 1,2 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3
Class 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9b schools
Unsprinklered 1 1,2 1,2 1,2,3 1,2 1,2,3
Sprinklered 1 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3
Class 9b other than schools
Unsprinklered 1 1 1 1,2, 1,2 1,2,3
Sprinklered 1 1,2 1,2 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3
Class 9c
Sprinklered 1 1,2 1,2 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3

 

Important Note:

In addition, where a building is not fitted with a complying sprinkler system, the wall and ceiling lining must have:

(i)  A smoke growth rate index (SMOGRA) not more than 100 (AS ISO 9705); or
(ii) An average specific extinction area less than 250 m2/kg (AS/NZS 3837).

All building linings in walls in Class 2 to 9 buildings, must have the appropriate group number classification that has been derived from testing to ISO 9705 full-scale room test, and if the building is not fitted with a complying sprinkler system, then the product must meet the above indexes.

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CMI Advisory Note: CertMark International (CMI) appoints Damon Sayer as National Sales Manager for New Zealand

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CertMark International (CMI) appoints Damon Sayer as National Sales Manager for New Zealanddamon_and_john

CMI is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Damon Sayer to the position of National Sales Manager (New Zealand).

Damon has a solid building industry background both on the tools and in New Zealand Building Code Compliance.

Damon is a keen sportsman who enjoys Rugby, Mountain Biking and Snowboarding.

Damon resides in Christchurch spending considerable time traveling to both North and South Islands working with Architects, Designers and Building Consent Authorities.

Damon will work closely with CMI’s NZ Technical Adviser, William (Bill) Irvine as well as liaising with our clients in New Zealand and assisting manufacturers and importers in achieving their certification goals.

Damon can be contacted on;

PH: + 64 0800 642 642
PH: + 64 (09) 591 8246
E: damon@certmark.org

CMI is confident Damon will work well with all our clients and will prove to be a valuable asset to the Company and contribute to our growth in New Zealand.
If you require any further clarification, please contact your Client Liaison Officer.

John Thorpe
Chief Executive

 

 

CMI Advisory Note: Amendment to Limitation relating to Combustible Facades

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Amendment to Limitation relating to Combustible Facades

Recently CMI release an Advisory Notice 07/2017 in relation to Combustible Facades and the requirement to have a mandatory Condition and Limitation to read as follows:

Reaction to Fire: This Certification relates only to the subject wall elements reaction to fire, and no evaluation has been made of any other wall system elements used in conjunction with the subject of this Certification. As there may be a potential for multiple combustible elements to be incorporated in constructing the wall system, a review of the proposed wall system, in its entirety, to verify its compliance to relevant fire safety clauses of the Building Code, should be undertaken by an appropriately qualified Fire Safety Engineer as well as the projects authority having jurisdiction.

Due to Industry feedback, this Condition and Limitation has been amended to read as follows:

This Certification relates only to the [subject of certification e.g. Product] and the [NZBC or BCA] Clauses, as detailed above. No evaluation has been made by CMI of any other element that may be incorporated in a system utlising this product.

CMI feel that this amendment will help clarify the purpose of this Condition and Limitation for Industry. As well as have the effect of highlighting the need for due diligence in the engineering and construction of fire rated walls as well as ensuring the safety of the occupants of the building.

If you require any further clarification, please contact your Client Liaison Officer.

John Thorpe Roni Bezic BEng(civ)
Chief Executive Principal Engineer

 

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Fairview’s new packaging initiative for use on ACM panel types

Finding safe solutions to the non-compliant use of ACM cladding is currently a primary focus of industry regulators and businesses. Fairview keenly supports this drive, and has several updates below, which may help find effective answers to critical problems. We hope you find this informative and useful.

CertMark initiative

Fairview – in partnership with CertMart – is launching a new packaging initiative to further assist people to correctly identify and use ACM panel types. While our current panels do feature inkjet identification stencils on each panel, all Fairview ACM panels will soon feature striking new red, amber or green labels clearly reinforcing panel types and suggested usage.

CertMark CEO John Thorpe said: “This is a timely and effective initiative by CertMark and Fairview to ensure each panel has a definition of the core material and the applicable class of building the panel can be installed on”.

Fairview informs Senate Committee

Having previously (2015) briefed and met with politicians interested in the safety of ACM panels in Australia, Fairview was again able to address a Senate Inquiry on 19 July. Our CEO Andrew Gillies – supported by key technical staff – presented Senators with expert insights and information about initiatives we are pursuing to facilitate better understanding of panel technologies and safety procedures. At the hearing, Fairview supported a suggested ban on the import of ACM panels with a PE core.

State task forces

Fairview Architectural also welcomes the Victorian Government’s task force to fast-track the investigation into non-compliant cladding. Architect and former Liberal Premier Ted Baillieu and former Labor deputy premier John Thwaites will lead an audit of buildings to ensure they adhere to safety standards. We trust our new labelling initiative will support ongoing audit works.

Fairview also welcomes the formation of similar agencies in other states and territories.

Kind Regards,

ANDREW GILLIES
MANAGING DIRECTOR | M +61 4 29 034 395

FAIRVIEW ARCHITECTURAL
P +61 2 6352 2355 | F +61 2 6352 3115
E andrew.gillies@fv.com.au

CMI Advisory Note: Combustible Facades

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Combustible Facades

CMI, in consultation with the Society of Fire Safety and leading Fire Safety Engineers have discussed the recent issues of combustible facades.

From these discussions, a number of issues have been raised in relation to the nature of wall systems which may contain multiple combustible elements such as insulation, weatherproofing or decorative cladding.

Concerns have been raised that Certificates of Conformance typically only focus on the subject of the certificate and its reaction to fire. There is a concern that, current certifications do not take into account the multiple combustible elements, which make up the rest of the wall system.

CMI feels that there is a valid reason to address the unknown impact of having multiple combustible wall elements (however low their fire hazard properties might be) and for the potential for these elements to contribute to an uncontrolled progressive external wall fire event with tragic consequences, as we have witnessed recently in London.

CMI in consultation with its Risk and Technical Committee has decided that the most responsible course of action, is to highlight the need for a full evaluation of all elements which make up a wall system, by adding the following Condition and Limitation to all wall system certifications.

Reaction to Fire: This Certification relates only to the subject wall elements reaction to fire, and no evaluation has been made of any other wall system elements used in conjunction with the subject of this Certification. As there may be a potential for multiple combustible elements to be incorporated in constructing the wall system, a review of the proposed wall system, in its entirety, to verify its compliance to relevant fire safety clauses of the Building Code, should be undertaken by an appropriately qualified Fire Safety Engineer as well as the projects authority having jurisdiction.

CMI feel that the inclusion of this Condition and Limitation will have the effect of highlighting the need for due diligence in the engineering and construction of fire rated walls as well as ensuring the safety of the occupants of the building.

John Thorpe Roni Bezic BEng(civ)
Chief Executive Principal Engineer