Designed features can make cities safer, but getting it wrong can be plain frightening

 

06 September 2020

 

Through the effective implementation of security and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles, designers and planners make a variety of spaces safer and more accessible to their communities.

However, in some instances, implementation of security measures can go too far. 'Unfriendly architecture', designed to dissuade activities such as 'rough sleeping' or youth congregation can often be overused and create cold, uninviting spaces that alienate groups such as the homeless or young.

This article examines the phenomenon of security in public spaces and cases of its overuse.

 

Learn More ...

 

 


 

Fire Performance of Rendered External Walls and Cladding: Advisory note 2020.2.2

 

04 September 2020

 

For a building of Type A or B construction, C1.9(a)(i) specifies that elements of external walls, including their components, must be non-combustible. Components of external walls include:

  • Facade covering (e.g. render and external cladding)
  • Framing
  • Insulation

The impact of the above clause on render and textured paint is discussed further by the ABCB Advisory Note. when used as part of a DTS Solution for an external wall of a Type A or Type B building must be non-combustible.

 

Learn More ...

 

View Advisory Note ...

 

 


 

Cyber-crime during the Covid-19 Pandemic

 

04 September 2020

 

Due to the high demand for medical supplies and information globally as a result of COVID-19, many negative practices such as fraud and counterfeiting are drastically increasing.

Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this state of affairs to conduct activities including masquerading as legitimate donation sites to receive donations, sending fake medicine or medical supplies, and undermining sources of legitimate information.

INUCRI's Regional Coordinator Adil Radoini provides an ideal introductory video on the state of cybercrime during the pandemic, and what individuals and businesses should be aware of during this period.

 

Learn More ...

 

 


 

NSW Security Industry Act 1997 & Security Industry Regulation 2016 Reminder

 

01 September 2020

 

With reference to the NSW Security Industry Act 1997 and the Security Industry Regulation 2016, a reminder that accepting security 'consultation' from an unlicensed practitioner not only makes the advice offered unreliable but can also have major legal ramifications.

CPTED and Security Risk Assessment Reports (or the like) must be prepared by a Licensed Practitioner. A Licensed Security Consultant is required to hold a Class 2A Security License, and their organisation requires a Master Security License.

Use of an unlicensed 'consultant' in lieu of an accredited one carries a maximum penalty of AUD 11,000 for a Corporation (Security Industry Regulation 2016), and also voids any Professional Indemnity cover.

 

Learn More ...

 

 


 

NCC 2019 Amendment 1 is now in effect!

 

20 August 2020

 

Adopted on July 1, 2020, the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 Amendment 1 now has legal effect in each state and territory.

Major amendments include Performance Solutions, Fire Safety Verification Methods, aluminium composite panels, childhood centres, timber framing, anti-ponding boards. The next version of the NCC is scheduled to be adopted in 2022.

 

Learn More ...

 

 


 

Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) DBP Act

 

17 August 2020

 

The recently enacted Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) (DBP Act) and the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 (NSW) (RAB Act) impose significant reforms for the construction industry.

The two Acts form part of the NSW Government's response to the Shergold-Weir the Building Confidence Report and the recent building defects identified at Opal Towers, Mascot Towers and the Sugar-cube Apartments.

Among the main conclusions of the Building Confidence Report was that the accountability of different parties involved in the construction process was unclear and there were insufficient controls on the accuracy of documentation, which made it difficult to ascertain whether the building complied with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

 

Learn More ...

 

Out of interest please see this related information on Greenway Chambers website

Click Here ...

 

 


 

National Registration Framework for Building Practitioners

 

16 August 2020

 

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) released a discussion paper on a draft National Registration Framework (NRF) intended for Building Practitioners. The discussion paper is open for public comment until August the 23rd.

Following an assessment of compliance and enforcement systems in the Australian construction industry authorized by the Building Minister's Forum (BMF), the resultant Building Confidence Report (BCR) made 24 recommendations to address the identified shortcomings in implementing the standards of the National Construction Code (NCC).

 

Learn More ...

 

 


 

The Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) is Now Mandatory in NSW

 

15 August 2020

 

As of July 1, 2020, FPA Australia has been approved by the Secretary of the Department of Customer Service as an accreditation authority for those under section 59 of the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018.

FPAS practitioners who perform 'regulated work' under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (EPAR) are now recognised.

With the exception of C8 (electrical engineers) or C14 (hydraulic certifier - buildings) holders, practitioners will require an accreditation number to perform these roles

 

Learn More ...

 

 


 

Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) is now mandatory in NSW

 

02 July 2020

 

The Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) has now been formally approved under section 59 of the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018. To learn more, see the following article by FPA Australia.

 

Read More ...

 

 


 

NCC 2019 Amendment 1 is now in effect

 

01 July 2020

 

From today, 1 July 2020, the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 Amendment 1 has been adopted. To read about the key changes and learn more, see the following article by ABCB.

 

Read More ...

 

 


 

Fire Safety and Security imperatives in light of the new Aged Care Quality Standards

 

01 July 2020: Article by Zachariah Reisch

 

The past few months have seen an already teetering Australian aged care industry go from bad to worse as many RACFs were the site of deadly outbreaks - and given the negligence turned up in light of these outbreaks, it appears regulatory bodies have a long way to go before the industry is at an acceptable standard. This article explores the current state of Australian aged care in July 2020 and outlines a path forward that allows construction industry specialists to benefit from the work in this sector while also healing its broken core in the process.

 

Read More ...

 

 


 

Fire Brigade Intervention Model Manual

 

30 June 2020

 

With the Fire Safety Verification Method coming into effect 1 May 2020, the Fire Brigade Intervention Model (FBIM) is now referenced in the National Construction Code. The model ensures the safety of building occupants, including firefighters who enter the building in response to a fire.

AFAC has updated its Fire Brigade Intervention Model Manual to reflect these changes. The manual supports the consideration of firefighter intervention into building design.

 

AFAC FIBM Manual V3 ... ... AFAC_FBIM Dataset_2020.05 ...

 

 


 

Fire Safety in Data Centres

 

27 June 2020: Article by Christopher Koch

 

The reliance on cloud-based data storage and increasing demand for supplying energy from alternative sources has seen a dramatic increase in the use of Lithium-Ion battery based Energy Storage Systems (ESS). One common application for ESS are data centres to help cater for the increased demand for cloud-based data storage. One of the fundamental requirements of a cloud-based data centre is business continuity via zero downtime requirements. ESS are mandatory, to provide continuous data centre operation during a power outage. Lithium-Ion based ESS are prone to thermal runaway leading to the production of flammable gases and subsequent uncontrollable combustion. The additional ESS fire risks are not readily covered by the Deemed-to-Satisfy (DtS) provisions of the Building Code of Australia (BCA), Furthermore, ESS trigger the application of BCA Clause E1.10 - Provision for Special Hazards which prescribes that additional provision must be made if special problems of fighting fire could arise because of the nature or quantity of materials stored, displayed or used in a building or on the allotment; or the location of the building in relation to a water supply for fire-fighting purposes.

 

Read More ...

 

 


 

Securing a Data Centre: Why a Specialist Security Approach is a Project Imperative

 

26 June 2020: Article by Dr.Maher Magrabi

 

Data centre security can be defined as the operational practices and technologies that are employed to safeguard the data centre from external threats and vulnerabilities. The growth of Cloud Computing, Software as a Service, and Platforms as a Service has driven the growth of physical data centres. Being a physical asset, on-shore data centres are also a critical component in national infrastructure. Data centres are the physical facility that houses Information Technology (IT) infrastructure comprising computing, storage, networking, and power resources. As these data centres store sensitive and/or proprietary information that may include customer data and valuable intellectual property, cyber and physical security is paramount to its operation. This article will focus on the physical elements of data centre security.

 

Read More ...

 

 


 

New Duty of Care could Affect your Liability

 

23 June 2020

 

If you carry out construction work in NSW you need to be aware of new laws that could affect your liability for defective building work.

 

Read More ...

 

 


 

Adoption of AS 4859.1:2018 ahead of Transition Deadline

 

20 June 2020

 

Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone areas: AS3959:2018 Amdt 2, Draft for Comment.

 

Read More ...

 

 


 

Adoption of AS 4859.1:2018 ahead of Transition Deadline

 

15 June 2020

 

The NCC 2019 adopted Technical Specification FPA101D ? the design for a residential sprinkler system as a deemed to satisfy solution to provide sprinkler protection to Class 2 or 3 buildings with an effective height of not more than 25m and a rise in storeys of four or more. Sydney Water has announcement its acceptance of FPAA101D.

 

Read More ...

 

 


 

Adoption of AS 4859.1:2018 ahead of Transition Deadline

 

13 June 2020

 

The old insulation standard AS 4859.1:2002 has been replaced with the updated standard AS 4859.1:2018 since the 1st May 2020 transition deadline. The updated standard includes amendments to the way in which rigid foam insulation is aged tested and statistically averaged, the outcome of which is typically a derating of most insulations' R-Value, depending on the thickness, type and chemical composition of the insulation in question.

 

Read More ...

 

 


 

NSW Government delivers Historic Building Reforms to restore Industry Confidence

 

10 June 2020

 

The NSW Government has delivered on its promise to restore public confidence in the building industry by successfully passing the Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019.

 

Read More ...

 

 


 

AAC Member alert: Passage of Design and Building Practitioners Bill

 

08 June 2020

 

The NSW Parliament passed the Design and Building Practitioners Bill.

The Bill requires any design, principal design or building practitioner who intends on making a compliance declaration to be registered under a new registration scheme.

This is a win for consumers, a win for every building practitioner who wants their industry cleaned up and a win for our advocacy efforts.

 

Read More ...

 

 


 

Registration of Engineers: NSW Parliament passed the Design and Building Practitioners Bill

 

03 June 2020

 

The NSW Parliament passed the Design and Building Practitioners Bill, introducing registration for engineers to commence on 1 July 2021.

The new Bill (which will become an Act upon assent by the Governor) introduces a requirement for professional engineers to be registered to practise without supervision. It will initially apply to five areas of practise: civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and fire safety engineering (more areas of practise can be added through regulation). Although the registration requirements are contained within a law for 'building practitioners', they will apply to engineers working in any sector.

The next step is for the Regulations that support the Act to be developed. Engineers Australia expects that process to begin in the coming months. Members will be encouraged to support Engineers Australia in this process so please look out for communications from Engineers Australia over the rest of 2020.

 

Press Release by EA-CEO

 

 


 

NCC 2019 Amendment 1 Proposed Changes Update

 

01 June 2020

 

The ABCB will include the definition of building complexity and the process for documenting Performance Solutions in NCC 2019 Amendment 1.

 

Read more...

 

 


 

CPTED Strategies to Maximize the Security of Critical Infrastructure

 

29 May 2020

 

In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, there has been a long-standing crime problem. However, the neighborhood of Asa Branca is succeeding in maintaining a peaceful community, free of police interventions. The community has come together to create a community using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Thus far, the program, championed by community members themselves, has been a success in an otherwise risky environment.

 

Read more of this article...

 

 


 

Permanent Formwork: Expired Sunset provisions from NCC 2016 and implications for your project

 

27 May 2020

 

When a permanent formwork system is filled with concrete, the formwork material remains and acts as a permanent lining to the wall. The lining material varies between different types of systems but typically consists of either a polymer (such as Dincel) or fibre-cement. When used in a building these linings must comply with the 'Wall and ceiling linings' section of the National Construction Code (NCC), which can be found under specification C1.10. In editions of the NCC prior to 2016, compliance of a wall/ceiling lining material could be determined by either testing in accordance with AS ISO 9705 or AS/NZS 3837 (i.e. two alternative and equal procedures were allowed). However, since 2016 a new standard, AS 5637.1, is required to be complied with by the NCC instead.

 

Read more of this article by Dincel. ...

 

 


 

Wayfinding Monitored Addressable Emergency Lighting System

 

15 May 2020

 

Efficient evacuation in an emergency can be constrained by the complex nature of the buildings and the occupants within.


Although emergency signage systems are widely used as a well-established means of facilitating evacuation, research demonstrates that only 38% of people 'see' conventional static emergency signage in simulated emergency situations. Besides, conventional signage only conveys single and passive information; therefore, they cannot be adapted to respond to developing evacuation situations and events.

 

Read more of this article by Hochiki Australia...

 

 


 

Threat Update: COVID-19 Malicious Cyber Activity

 

20 Apr 2020

 

This update by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is designed to raise awareness of increasing COVID-19 themed malicious cyber activity and provide practical cyber security advice that organisations and individuals can follow to reduce the risk of being impacted.

 

Read More..

 

 


 

Fire Safety & Security services in the NSW Building Industry: Legal context and application

 

20 Apr 2020

 

The planning system in New South Wales (NSW) includes building regulation and certification. A key part of this is sustainable development and ensuring that buildings are safe and meet all the performance expectations, both at the time of construction and throughout their effective life cycle.

 

Read More..

 


 

Building and Construction Industry: Minimising the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19

 

18 Apr 2020

 

The number of workers on a construction project can vary significantly between projects and from day to day. Where workers work closely together it increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19. You must therefore do everything that is reasonably practicable to keep workers a safe physical distance apart of at least 1.5 metres while they are onsite. Check out this publication from Safe Work Australia (SWA) for a more comprehensive list of measures.

 

Read More..

 


 

Preparing for a Pandemic: Review Business Continuity Plans Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

 

18 Apr 2020

 

Organizations worldwide have been reacting to the recent coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, in a variety of ways, from restricting nonessential employee travel to cancelling large events. The possibility of a pandemic has the potential to disrupt workforces, supply chains and economic activity in the months ahead. So, it is with a sense of urgency that prudent organizations review and update their business continuity plans to insure their operational resiliency. To learn more, see this article by the Risk Management Monitor.

 

Read More..

 


 

Working from Home Checklist

 

18 Apr 2020

 

Has your business transitioned into a 'working from home' model? Be sure to check out the following checklist of considerations for short-term working from home arrangements by Comcare. Please note, the following considerations should be seen as minimum requirements only. Employers may have more detailed working from home guidance in their organisations that should be used in conjunction with this checklist.

 

Read More..

 


 

GLACIAL PROGRESS: Minister Under Fire Over Flammable Cladding Crisis

 

24 Mar 2020

 

NSW Cabinet is still considering how the state should handle the flammable cladding crisis more than six months after receiving advice from the building commissioner, leading to accusations the government is making "glacial progress" to fix serious risks.

 

Read More..

 


 

FPAA101D and FPAA101H Systems Demystified

 

24 Mar 2020

 

One of the most substantive changes in the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 Volume One was the introduction of mandatory sprinklers requirements for Class 2 & 3 buildings that has a rise in storey of 4 storey or more with an effective height of not more than 25m.This Housing Industry Association (HIA) information sheet provides an overview of the changes including the offsets and the new sprinkler standards.

 

Read More..

 


 

New Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) Regulations in NSW

 

24 Mar 2020

 

The NSW Government has introduced reforms to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation which introduced enhanced requirements relating to fire safety in existing buildings. Part of this was the introduction of Competent Fire Safety Practitioner (CFSP) accreditation. Over the past few years there has been a transition to accreditation of CFSP and this will now come into effect 6th April 2020.

Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPAA):

Click here..

 

Association of Accredited Certifiers (AAC)-Competant Fire Safety Practioner Information:

Click here..

 


 

Building Code of Australia Out of Cycle Amendment

 

24 Mar 2020

 

The Building Code of Australia is being amended out of cycle, with BCA 2019 Amendment 1 expected to be implemented in mid-2020. The preview of the amended NCC is expected to be available this month. Key amendments to the BCA are proposed as follows:

  • Additional provisions relating the early childhood centres in high-rise building
  • Introduction of a defined term for 'building complexity'. The implication of the building complexity term is still to be released, however it is anticipated that additional requirements will be put in place for buildings of a higher complexity level.
  • Clarification of concessions for low rise Class 2 and 3 buildings
  • Adoption of a Technical Specification relating to the permanent labelling to ACP's

In addition, the ABCB is looking to mandate the method of development of performance solutions, which is currently documented in their document 'Development of Performance Solutions'. This is currently open for public comment, and the provisions surrounding this will not be finalised in the preview issued this month

 

To review the ABCB's Development of Performance Solutions

Click here..

 


 

Building and Development Certifiers Act and Regulation

 

24 Mar 2020

 

The Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018 and Regulation 2020 have been finalised and will come into effect on the 1st of July 2020. This legislation will replace the Building Professionals Act and Regulation currently in force. Items covered by the legislation include accreditation of certifiers, requirements for insurance and conflict of interest provisions.

For people considered as 'competent fire safety practitioners' under previous legislation, they will continue to be considered as a competent fire safety practitioner for as long as they previously would have been recognised under previous legislation up to 5 years.

This legislation also contains accreditation provisions for professionals undertaking regulated work.

The new Act and Regulations can be viewed here:

 

For the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018

Click here to view the Act..

 

Building and Development Certifiers Legislation 2020

Click here to view the Act ..

 


 

FRNSW Position Statement Security/screen doors on sole-occupancy units (SOUs)

 

10 Mar 2020

 

Security/screen doors fitted to sole-occupancy units (SOUs): The fitting of security or screen doors to the main fire door of a unit is a matter to be determined by the appropriate regulatory authority (e.g. Council) or certifier.

However, FRNSW recommends against the fitting of security or screen doors to SOUs due to the increased likelihood of the main fire door of the unit being propped open, corridor egress being impeded by an open security/screen door, and the fire rating of the door frame being compromised from any modification when fitting any additional security or screen door.

 

Click on Link below to read more:

 

Read More ..

 


 

FRNSW Position Statement Fixed Suction for below ground Water Supply

 

10 Mar 2020

 

FRNSW have published a new Position Statement for fixed suction for below ground water supply.

The design of any fixed suction provided for a fire brigade pumping appliance to draught from a below ground water supply is to satisfy Clause 4.4 of Australian Standard AS 2419.1-2017. The maximum length of dry pipe between lowest section water level and large bore suction connection is not to exceed 2.8 m due to the limitations of the primer on the fire brigade pumping appliance.

Note: The primer is used during draughting operations to remove air from the fixed suction pipework and semi rigid suction hose that is connected to the large bore suction connection.

 

Click on Link below to read more:

 

Read More ..

 


 

FRNSW Position Statement External Combustible Cladding

 

09 Mar 2020

 

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) will consider cladding risk assessment principles when being asked to provide advice in respect of buildings that have external combustible cladding ("Cladding").

 

Refer to FRNSW Position Statement on External Combustible Cladding (in the URL below) for further information.

 

Check the New Guidelines

 


 

FRNSW Guideline Fire Hydrant Concessions for Existing Buildings

 

09 Mar 2020

 

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has recently published the Guidelines for Fire hydrant concessions for existing buildings for consent authorities (i.e. Councils) issuing Development Control Orders on existing buildings.

 

Click the link below to learn more:

 

Check the New Guidelines

 


 

Aged Care Quality Standards (ACQS) - What does this mean for Fire Safety and Security?

 

08 Mar 2020

 

The 2019 Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has sadly told an unflattering tale; an excerpt from the media release on 31st October 2019 labels the state of the service as "a shocking tale of neglect", and states that the sector "does not deliver uniformly safe and quality care, is unkind and uncaring towards older people and, in too many instances, it neglects them".

 

Click the link below to learn more:

 

Check Full Article

 


 

SFS Submission for the BCA 2022 Fire Safety Performance Requirements

 

08 Mar 2020

 

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) has been an evolving document since first introduced as a performance-based code in 1996. Over a number of years, the BCA Deemed-to-Satisfy (DtS) Provisions have continually changed, and changes to the BCA Performance Requirements have also occurred. As part of the latter changes, the Engineers Australia Society Fire Safety (SFS) has been tasked with the goal to quantify or set a clear, measurable level of performance for the BCA. To achieve this goal, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has given direction for National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 that the BCA Performance Requirements are to be quantified.

 

Read the report to see their findings on the quantification of the performance requirements:

 

Check Full Article

 


 

IEAust SFS Fire Safety Verification Methods Report

 

07 Mar 2020

 

Engineers Australia has published a report evaluating the Fire Safety Verification Method (FSVM) which will become a formal part of the NCC in May 2020. The FSVM is starting to be required by government agencies at an increasing rate, and thus is likely to have significant impact on the way fire engineering is practiced.

 

Check out this report which thoroughly investigates the FSVM and associated handbook to identify the benefits and disbenefits of employing this approach:

 

Check Full Article

 


 

FRNSW Guideline Fire Safety in Waste Facilities

 

05 Mar 2020

 

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has recently published a revision to the Fire Safety in Waste Facilities: Version 02.02 to incorporate minor changes from the updated Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 references.

 

 

Check Full Article

 


 

False fire alarms cost taxpayers $100 million a year

 

01 Mar 2020

 

False alarms cost more than $100 million last year because 97 per cent of calls made to firefighters by NSW automatic alarm systems are mistakes triggered by non-emergencies such as burnt toast and steam.

 

Two links provided below will give you more information:

 

Check Full Article Check URL

 


 

New Guidelines - Occupation Certificates and Written Direction Notices - NSW

 

04 Jan 2020

 

As 1 December 2019, new provisions in Part 6 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A) have commenced including new provisions for Occupation Certificates (OC) and Written Directions Notices (Directions). This includes the removal of the term "interim OC" from the EP&A Act.

 

Two links provided below will give you more information:

 

New Guidelines Part-6 Provisions

 


 

Challenges to Law Enforcement when dealing with Cybercrime - Dr Maher Magrabi

 

02 Jan 2020

 

Governments across the world are struggling to keep up with the growing threat of cybercrime and the evolving techniques used by its practitioners. The Australian law enforcement in particular, is struggling to respond to the transnational nature of cybercrime, the evolution of technologies in encryption and the widespread distribution of computing and cloud computing.

 

Check out this article which details these issues and proposes a way forward by clicking link below:

 

Click here

 


 

Approved bushfire bunkers?

 

02 Jan 2020

 

Every year Australians are surprised by the ferocity of bushfires and shattered when their properties are destroyed. We need to plan appropriately for living in bushfire-prone areas because, as the current crisis demonstrates, they are only becoming more devastating.

Property protection measures should include mandatory installation of rooftop sprinkler systems, use of fire-resistant housing materials, appropriate housing design and more rigorous management of the local combustible environment.

 

Could approved bushfire bunkers be a solution?

 

Read More >

 


 

ABCB survey on Performance Solutions

 

15 Sep 2019

 

If you are involved in the development or assessment of Performance Solutions, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), invites you to complete a short survey to provide your views on this topic. The survey closes 11:59pm Thursday, 26 September 2019

 

To Complete the Survey here:

 

Click here

 


 

NSW Government Cladding Support Taskforce

 

14 Sep 2019

 

To ensure that fire safety and cladding issues are prioritized and adequately addressed, The NSW Government has established a Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Taskforce.

 

This taskforce is led by the Department of Finance, Service and Innovation and includes representatives from NSW Fair Trading, the Data Analytics Centre, the Department of Planning and Environment, Fire and Rescue NSW, the Office of Local Government, Treasury and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

 

The Taskforce will provide expertise on fire safety and building codes and streamline information between Councils and State Governments. The Taskforce will ensure assessments are performed to a superior level and work the council to ensure this is achieved.

 

The NSW Government Publication, Guide for the Assessment of Buildings with Combustible Cladding assists authorities and Councils to determine factors required to consider in an assessment and the level of complexity of each building. assessment tools and methodologies links are also detailed.

 

For Guide for the Assessment of Buildings with Combustible Cladding

 

Click here

 

Available Resources include:

Taskforce fact sheet

Taskforce Terms of Reference

 


 

QBCC Fire Engineering Statement for Combustible Cladding

 

10 Sep 2019

 

QBCC Safer Buildings Publish New Form Fire Engineering Statement for Combustible Cladding.

 

To Learn More

 

Click here

 


 

AS 1530.4:2014 NCC Update

 

01 Sep 2019

 

Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) has recently published a new Information Bulletin (IB-17) regarding the change to the reference of Australian Standard AS 1530.4:2014 in Volume One of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019.

 

This Information Bulletin provides information and guidance on the relevant evidence of suitability required by NCC 2019 and the indicated change in required evidence of suitability from 1 May 2022 as a result of the change to this note

 

To Learn More

 

Click here

 


 

The Society of Fire Safety (SFS) is Celebrating Its 25th anniversary

 

19 Aug 2019

 

To commemorate this milestone, SFS is hosting a full day Seminar at Engineers Australia's Melbourne office followed by a Celebration Dinner.

 

The Seminar will showcase presentations themed as "SFS 25 Years On - Where is Fire Safety Engineering in Australia Heading ?"

 

For Further Details

 

Click here

 


 

 

BUSTING COMMON CERTIFIER MYTHS

 

15 Aug 2019

 

Recent press coverage has shown the limited understanding of the statutory role and responsibilities of NSW Accredited Certifiers. Read more about the common myths surrounding building certification in NSW

 

Click here for complete article

 

 


 

ABCB Advisory Note on Timber Framing and Non-Combustible Materials

 

22 July 2019

 

A new Advisory Note for Class 2 and 3 buildings: Concessions for use of timber framing and/or non-combustible materials has been released.

 

It explains the intent of the concession in Specification C1.1, Clauses 3.10 (a) and 4.3 (a) of NCC Volume One. The concessions apply to residential apartment buildings (Class 2) and residential parts of hotels, motels, boarding houses and the like (Class 3), typically with a height between 2 and 4 storeys. Single dwellings (Class 1) regardless of their height, and a number of Class 2 or Class 3 buildings of 2 storeys in height, are not subject to the non-combustibility requirements and therefore the concessions are not relevant to these buildings.

 

Click here for complete ABCB Advisory Note

 

 


 

World-First Program to Tackle High-Risk Cladding

 

16 July 2019

 

The Victorian Government will establish a world-first program to tackle high-risk cladding involving a $600 million package to fix buildings with combustible façade cladding.

 

The grants will fund rectification works on hundreds of buildings, found to have high-risk cladding, ensure safety and compliance with relevant building regulations.

 

Click here for more details

 

 


 

New Fire Safety Engineering Research Calls for Major Overhaul

 

01 July 2019

 

New research from the Warren Centre recommends fire safety design and verification methods should be clearly defined, with neither process interfering with the other.

 

The research, Fire Safety Engineering: The Methods Report, makes several recommendations, including:

  • Revising the Fire Safety Verification Methods so they respect the independence of the design process and adequately verify that Performance Requirements are met.
  • Updating the International Fire Safety Engineering Guidelines and phasing out previous editions; and
  • Clarifying the purpose of Practice Guides to ensure they are compatible with existing articles of reference.

 

Click here to Learn More

 

 


 

FIRE SAFETY CHANGES in NCC 2019

 

17 March 2019

 

FIRE SPRINKLERS

 

New DTS Provisions for fire sprinkler systems, for apartment buildings and other residential buildings (i.e. Class 2 and 3 buildings) 4 storeys and above and up to 25 metres in effective height (generally those buildings 4 to 8 storeys).

 

OCCUPIABLE OUTDOOR AREAS

 

New DTS Provisions clarifying requirements for occupiable outdoor areas, such as roof-top bars and cinemas.

 

FIRE SAFETY VM

 

A new, non-mandatory VM for fire safety introduced (NCC Schedule 7). This VM can be used for developing a Performance Solution for up to 24 Performance Requirements. Its adoption will be delayed until 1 May 2020 to allow time for training and support.

 

Please contact Lote Consulting for further information on how these changes will impact on your project.

 

Contact Lote for more info

 


 

NSW CLADDING REGULATIONS

 

17 March 2019

 

New laws require building owners to register certain buildings with combustible cladding with the NSW Government. The FAQs provides more guidance to Building Owners.

 

Learn More

 

On the background to the NSW Cladding Regulation here

 

Read More

 


 


Damage from a fire at the Neo200 apartment building on Spencer St in Melbourne (Ref: MFB)

A more Cost Effective Way to address Existing ACP Cladding

 

12 March 2019

 

Dr Nguyen from the Fire and Façade Group at RMIT says there's a cheaper way that's just as safe: introduce vertical firebreaks.

 

Read More

 


 

SPRINKLER TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS AWARENESS SEMINARS

 

10 March 2019

 

FPA Australia in collaboration with the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition will be hosting a national seminar series in April on the new requirements for residential sprinklers in the National Construction Code 2019. The seminar will cover new automatic fire sprinkler Technical Specifications referenced in NCC 2019, FPAA101D and FPAA101H, the relevant Deemed to Satisfy Provisions, and the background to the new residential sprinkler requirements.

 

Learn More

 


 

Association of Accredited Certifiers launches 8-point plan for NSW Building Reform

 

01 March 2019

 

The 8-point plan to reform building in NSW from the Association of Accredited Certifiers (AAC) calls on the next NSW Government to implement these vital reforms in its first 100 days in office.

 

Learn More

 


 

NSW Government recognises FPAS Accreditation Scheme

 

27 February 2019

 

The Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) will be formally recognised in NSW after a phase-in period of approximately 12 months. After this time the NSW Government will recognise as 'Competent Fire Safety Practitioners (CFSP) individuals who hold the appropriate class of FPAS accreditation.

 

Read More

 


 

New Education Campaign on the Role of the Certifier
Private and Council Accredited Certifiers - Ensuring your Safety

 

05 December 2018

 

The AAC has embarked on education campaign "Private and Council Accredited Certifiers - Ensuring your Safety" to inform the community about the important work Accredited Certifiers do in the community.

 

Accredited Certifiers support the development of housing and other building projects in NSW.

 

To commence building work or to subdivide land you are generally required by law to obtain approvals. Accredited Certifiers are responsible for issuing these approvals and ensuring safety.

An Accredited Certifier:

  • can only be appointed by the owner of the property
  • is not responsible for the quality of the building work
  • must be paid upfront so they can't be pressured to issue approvals or certificates prematurely
  • assesses the plans and specifications and if correct, issues the Construction Certificate where necessary
  • ensures the work is proceeding according to the approval documentation through government mandated inspections

An Accredited Certifier does not:

  • have input in the Development Consent issued by the Council
  • attend the site at all times
  • supervise the building work for or on behalf of the owner or builder
  • act as a clerk of works on the project or administer the building contract

Private and Council Accredited Certifiers are a vital part of the NSW economy.

 

Click Here to to find out more about Accredited Certifiers .

Click Here to to find out about the NSW certification system .

 


 

Combustible Cladding Reform Update

 

05 December 2018

 

Following the tragic fire at the Grenfell Tower in London in 2017 and the fire at the Lacrosse Building in Melbourne in 2014, new laws have been made for buildings with combustible cladding. These laws are part of a whole-of-government response to the potential fire safety risks posed by combustible cladding.

 

The new regulation with came into effect from 22-October-2018 are:

Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2018: Click here to View/Download

State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Exempt Development - Cladding and Decorative Work) 2018:
Click here to View/Download

 

Under the regulation, owners of certain buildings with external combustible cladding are required to register their building with the NSW Government through a simple, user-friendly online portal.

 

There are also new provisions in the regulation that require the referral of certain Alternative Solutions or Performance Solutions under the Building Code of Australiainvolving external combustible cladding to be referred to Fire and Rescue NSW.

 

The NSW Government has also amended eight State Environmental Planning Policies concerning the approval process for new cladding, re-cladding and decorative work on buildings.

 


 

What to expect from NCC 2019

 

04 December 2018

 

The ABCB recently gave consideration to the content of the 2019 edition of the NCC. Some of the key changes from the 2016 edition can be viewed at:

 

Click Here.

 


 

Industry news

R U OK Day - Thursday 13 September 2018

 

02 September 2018

 

Next Thursday is R U OK Day. This inspirational initiative seeks to inspire and empower us to meaningfully connect with others and support anyone struggling with life.

 

With eight Australians dying every day from suicide, it is a topic we must confront. Research shows the risk of suicide increases when someone feels isolated and believes they are a burden on others. We can be part of a culture that values meaningful connections with others. An R U OK Day toolkit focused on the workplace is available here.

 


 

New website for QLD cladding legislation

 

02 September 2018

 

The Queensland Government has launched a new 'Safer Buildings' website for building owners on the state's new mandatory combustible cladding checklist at https://www.saferbuildings.qld.gov.au

 

The new Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018, which comes into effect on 1 October 2018, applies to buildings that are:

 

  • Are class 2-9;
  • Are of a type A or B construction; and
  • Are built, or have had the cladding altered, after 1 January 1994 but before 1 October 2018.

 

The site allows owners to register and begin the three-stage process to identify buildings in the state with potentially combustible cladding. The process requires a preliminary risk checklist, followed by an 'industry professional statement' for at-risk buildings, and finally requiring a building fire safety risk assessment by a fire engineer

 


 

NCC taskforce proposed at BMF-industry meeting

 

02 September 2018

 

The COAG Building Ministers' Forum (BMF) meeting earlier in August included an Industry Forum of peak industry bodies and professional association representatives from the building and construction sector, of which Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) was one.

 

During the Industry Forum, the representatives shared their views on the recommendations of the Shergold-Weir report, Building Confidence - Improving the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building & construction industry across Australia. There was a consistent theme to responses, demonstrating a united resolve by industry to assist governments in implementing the Shergold-Weir recommendations.

 

The industry presented a combined proposal to the BMF on how to address the next steps following the report's recommendations, including regular meetings between industry and the BMF, and critically the establishment of a new taskforce between government and industry to oversee nationally-consistent regulatory reforms.

 

The proposed taskforce is intended to draw together government and industry to manage the development of a model administrative code for the National Construction Code (NCC) to harmonise requirements and compliance with the NCC across all states and territories wherever possible. Nationally-consistent implementation is critical to the success of the Shergold-Weir report's recommendations.

 

 


 

NSW Ban on Aluminium Composite Panels (ACPs)

 

23 August 2018

 

From 15 August 2018 ACPs with a core comprised of more than 30 per cent polyethylene (PE) by mass are banned in NSW for use as external cladding in Type A construction (as defined in the Building Code of Australia) and Type B construction (as defined in the Building Code of Australia). There are two exceptions to the ban, which involved testing in accordance the relevant Australian Standards and that the proponent of the use of the product makes a Statutory Declaration in relation to their installation. (CLICK HERE )

 

 


 

Fire hydrant system in existing premises

 

14 August 2018

 

FRNSW recommends any fire hydrant system installed in accordance with the provisions of Ordinance 70 and Ministerial Specification 10 (or earlier) should be upgraded to meet the requirements of the current Australian Standard AS 2419.1 for an equivalent new building, as these older fire hydrant systems no longer meet the operational needs of FRNSW. (CLICK HERE )

 

 


 

Building Product Compliance and Cladding Update

 

14 August 2018

 

Consult Australia has prepared a briefing document on the new laws across the jurisdictions on non-conforming building products (including cladding). The most recent change is in Queensland where from 1 October 2018 owners of private buildings will have to complete an online checklist. Where a building is considered to be affected by combustible cladding, the private building owner will then be required to obtain a Building Fire Safety Risk Assessment and a Fire Engineer Statement by 3 May 2021, in addition to displaying a notice on the building. (CLICK HERE to view. )

 

 


 

An update from the Victorian Cladding Audit team

 

22 July 2018

 

The VBA has recently contacted more than 700 builders, developers, surveyors and owners to request information on newly-commenced and upcoming projects, as well as the possible use of combustible cladding in these developments.

Several buildings already under construction have been inspected. These pre-occupancy inspections ensure Minister's Guideline MG-14 is followed. (CLICK HERE ) for MG-14 Guideline.

 

 


 

PI Insurance situation worsens as exclusions for cladding and non-compliant products become standard

 

14 July 2018

 

An increasing number of Professional Indemnity insurers have been excluding services involving building cladding and non-conforming products (definition unclear). For More information: (CLICK HERE).

 

 


 

Australian Insurance Market Update - Aluminum Cladding

 

14 July 2018

 

Recent multi-level building fires in Australia and overseas have resulted in Federal and State governments inquiring into the potential exposure for buildings in relation to non-conforming and non-compliant building products. Governments are particularly focused on the potential exposure caused by inappropriate use of some types of aluminium composite panels (ACPs) and other combustible façade materials. For More information: (CLICK HERE).

 

 


 

WARREN CENTRE: Inquiry
Fire Safety Engineering: An Inquiry into the Issue

 

04 July 2018

 

The delivery of major infrastructure and buildings requires detailed planning, design and construction. Robust but efficient approval procedures are vital to ensure safety. The process necessitates that all parties involved in the development understand and are appropriately qualified to deliver. This is particularly true for fire safety engineering.

The Warren Centre recognises that there is a much bigger issue to be considered that speaks to the core of fire safety engineering and is undertaking an independent review into fire safety engineering. Click here to read more and get involvedFor More information: (CLICK HERE).

 

 


 

A landmark report that is likely to have a big impact on building safety and compliance was made public by the Building Ministers' Forum in April 2018.

 

02 July 2018

 

Titled Building Confidence - Improving the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building and construction industry across Australia, the report by Professor Peter Shergold and Ms Bronwyn Weir was commissioned last year by the BMF. The BMF directed Shergold and Weir to examine a range of issues outlined in comprehensive terms of reference for their work.

 

The Building Ministers Forum (BMF) has met to discuss an independent report that has recommendations to improve building safety and compliance.

 

Each of the state and territory Building Ministers gathered in Melbourne to review 24 recommendations on how to improve our building regulations nationally.

 

The report was written by Professor Peter Shergold and Ms Bronwyn Weir, who examined the building regulatory systems across the jurisdictions.

 

The 24 recommendations cover a range of issues - from registration and training of practitioners, to the role of fire authorities in building design and the approvals process.

 

Minister for Small and Family business, the Workplace and Deregulation, Craig Laundy said: "The Shergold and Weir report provides the BMF with a comprehensive package of recommendations to establish a national best practice model for compliance and enforcement.

 

The building industry has been calling for greater coordination between all levels of government on reform. Safety is our top priority when it comes to building regulation, and our compliance and enforcement systems need to be very robust.

 

"It is important that we do not lose momentum in progressing this work. I look forward to hearing how jurisdictions will incorporate these recommendations into their efforts to improve compliance."

 

For a summary of the recommendations: CLICK HERE and for complete report: CLICK HERE

 

 


 

GRENFELL TOWER: Inquiry
Expert lists litany of serious safety breaches at Grenfell Tower

 

04 June 2018

 

Five expert reports into the fire, its spread and the regulatory environment, were published alongside Millett's opening remarks. Jose Torero, academic and fire safety expert, came to a damning conclusion about the building regulation system, stating that "systems that introduce obvious dangers can be incorporated by designers in a routine manner." For More information: (CLICK HERE).

 

 


 

Victoria's Building Regulations have changed

 

02 June 2018

 

The Victorian Building Regulations 2018 commenced on 2 June 2018 marking a change from the previous Building Regulations 2006 and the Building Interim Regulations 2017. More information about the Building Regulations 2018, including practice notes and fact sheets, can be foundon their website (CLICK HERE).

 

 


 

New NSW EP&A Act commences

 

14 April 2018

 

Updates to the New South Wales Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 came into effect on 1 March 2018. The NSW Government has prepared several resources for certifiers relating to the changes:

  • Guide to the updated Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979: CLICK HERE
  • Quick reference guide: old vs new sections of the EP&A Act: CLICK HERE
  • Summary of the biggest changes for certifiers: CLICK HERE

 

 


 

NCC 2019 regulation impact statement consultation

 

14 April 2018

 

To determine the likely costs and benefits of changes included in the National Construction Code 2019, which was released as a draft for public comment recently, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has undertaken regulation impact analysis. The ABCB is now looking for feedback on Consultation Regulation Impact Statements:

  • Accessible adult change facilities in public buildings;
  • Fire safety in Class 2 and Class 3 residential buildings;
  • Heating and cooling load limits for residential buildings; and
  • Energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

You can read the statements and give feedback at the ABCB website here

CLICK HERE FOR ABCB WEBSITE

 

 


 

Government rejects call to ban PE cladding import & use

 

14 April 2018

 

The Australian Government has rejected a recommendation to ban the importation, sale and use of combustible cladding made by the Senate inquiry into non-conforming building products, determining such a ban would be neither effective nor practical.

The recommendation was one of eight made by an interim report on aluminium composite cladding released in September 2017 by the Senate Economics References Committee's inquiry. The report's recommendations aimed to address the fire risk posed by the non-compliant use of polyethylene core aluminium composite panels (PE-ACPs).

Difficulty in identification of PE-ACPs, legitimate uses of the material, domestic manufacturing, international trade obligations and costs to industry would make a total ban on PE-ACPs ineffective and impractical, the Government response determined.

READ MORE

 

 


 

New Annual Fire Safety Statement form

 

10 April 2018

 

NSW Government has provided FAQs relating to the Annual Fire Statements - please refer to the below and follow links for further information.

Annual Fire Safety Statements Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Following the introduction of the Amending Regulation, we have received numerous enquiries about the new Annual Fire Safety Statement form.

To assist building owners and practitioners, the Department has released a set of FAQs

DOWNLOAD

 

 


 

Explosions heard as fire breaks out at Circular Quay construction site

 

13 March 2018

 

A major fire has broken out at a construction site in Circular Quay, billowing smoke into the CBD.

READ MORE >>

 

The attached FSM journal article on Fire Safety during Construction by Lote Principal Dr Amer Magrabi provides a framework for an interim fire strategy for partially occupied buildings

READ ARTICLE >>

 

 


 

Victorian Cladding Audit - Building product safety alert

 

13 March 2018

 

The Victorian Building Authority is warning building practitioners on the risks associated with the non-compliant use of aluminium composite panels and expanded polystyrene. This alert coincides with the release of new ministerial guidelines that ban the use of both aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core of 30% or more, and expanded polystyrene, on multi-storey buildings.

READ MORE >>

 

 


 

NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1 adopted

 

13 March 2018

 

From 12 March 2018, the NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1 has been adopted by States and Territories.

READ MORE >>

 


 

NCC 2016 Vol One Amendment 1 Preview Available

 

18 January 2018

 

In preparation for the adoption of NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1 from 12 March 2018, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has released a preview of the Amendment.

 

Accompanying the preview is a summary of changes, a new Evidence of Suitability Handbook and the Consolidated Performance Requirements preview. The ABCB is also progressively updating and releasing other materials affected by the Amendment. These include the:

 

  • Fire Performance of External Walls and Cladding Advisory Note (2016-3)
  • Guide to NCC Volume One
  • Other ABCB resources.

 

The Amendment is a result of a Building Ministers' directive to expedite completing and adopting actions from a comprehensive package of measures for fire safety in high rise buildings, developed by the ABCB following the Lacrosse Apartments fire. Feedback on a draft of the proposed Amendment was sought in August/September 2017.

 

READ MORE >>

 


 

New Fire Brigade Intervention Model

 

29 August 2017

 

The Fire Brigade Intervention Model (FBIM) is an event-based methodology that encapsulates fire service activities from time of notification, to control and extinguishment. FBIM has been developed primarily for use in a performance-based environment to quantify the functional role of a fire service. The latest iteration of FBIM being developed by AFAC is being migrated to the online version and will be released to AFAC member agencies in the coming months. It will be released for general industry use in advance of the National Construction Code 2019 release of which FBIM will be referred to.

 

READ MORE >>

 


 

AS 2118.1 and AS 5113 in relation to NCC

 

25 August 2017

 

The out of cycle amendment to NCC 2016 also features referencing of AS 5113 Fire propagation testing and classification of external walls of buildings as a new Verification Method and referencing of the revised sprinkler standard AS 2118.1:2017 Automatic fire sprinkler systems

 

READ MORE >>

 


Fire safety amendments from 1 Oct 2017

 

01 August 2017

 

The Environmental Planning Assessment Amendment (Fire Safety and Building Certification) Regulation 2017 has been published and will come into effect on 1 October 2017.

From 1 October 2017 there will be stricter requirements for the design, approval, inspection and maintenance of fire safety systems in complex buildings.

These reforms are designed to improve fire safety in new and existing buildings. Part of these changes is the introduction of a framework for recognising industry schemes that will enable accreditation of competent fire safety practitioners.

 

READ MORE >>

 


 

NCC 2016 will be amended out-of-cycle: Fire safety in high-rise buildings

 

31 July 2017

 

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is seeking feedback on the proposed National Construction Code (NCC) 2016 Volume One Amendment 1 public comment draft with adoption anticipated in March 2018.

The NCC changes are the result of a Building Ministers' directive to expedite completing and adopting actions from a comprehensive package of measures for fire safety in high rise buildings, developed following the Lacrosse Apartments fire.

 

READ MORE >>

 


 

Inter-agency Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Taskforce

 

16 June 2017

 

Since January 2015, the NSW Government has been working on specific measures to address the fire safety risks associated with external wall cladding. In addition, on 16 June 2017, the NSW Government developed and began implementing a co-ordinated, whole of government policy response to the Grenfell fire in London.

 

READ MORE >>

 


 

Have your say on Improving Fire Safety in NSW

 

19 Dec 2016

 

The NSW Government is seeking to improve fire safety in new and existing buildings and is asking for your feedback on changes to relevant legislation and certification.

 

Improving fire safety has been given special priority by the Government in its response to the final report on the statutory review of the Building Professionals Act 2005, released in September 2016.

Proposed reforms include:

 

  • Additional critical stage inspections in Class 2-9 buildings
  • New requirements for checking fire safety systems in Class 2-9 buildings
  • Reports required for all Alternative fire safety Solutions in Class 1b-9 buildings
  • Authority for Certifiers to give exemption from BCA compliance for existing fire safety systems

 

READ MORE >>

 


 

 

FRNSW Compatible Hose Connections

 

17 Nov 2016

 

New Technical information sheet published by Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) detailing compatible hose connections for fire hydrant and fire sprinkler systems in NSW.

 

READ MORE >>

 


 

Fire & Rescue NSW New Web Portal Subject

 

11 Nov 2016

 

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Fire Safety Branch has published a new 'building and fire safety industry portal'. This web-portal has been developed specifically to assist stakeholders in the building and fire safety industries, and it can be accessed directly via the following link:

 

READ MORE >>

 


 

Fire Safety of Composite Facade Panels- The Australian Experience

 

21-22 Sep 2016

 

Drawing upon the Lacrosse Fire, this paper elaborates on the fire safety of combustible ACPs in high rise buildings from an Australian Perspective. The current Building Code requirements in Australia, their interpretation and its application are outlined. The paper also sheds light on the background and development of the new Australian Standard, AS 5113:2016 and key differences with other international standards for ACP fire safety such as NFPA 285:2012 and BS 8414.1:2015. Finally, the paper outlines a methodology for assessing external ACP applications in high rise construction in an Australian context.

 

Contact Lote for your Copy >>

 


 

BCA 2016 commences from 1 May 2016

 

01 May 2016

 

The 2016 edition of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2016 which includes the Building Code of Australia (BCA) Volumes 1 & 2 and the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA) took effect from 1 May 2016 in all States and Territories.

 

Key changes include

 

  • Amendments to the NCC mandatory general provisions to engender a performance mindset by improving clarity and highlighting choice;
  • New verification methods for ventilation and structural robustness;
  • New timber construction requirements for buildings up to 25m in effective height;
  • New provisions for farm buildings; and
  • Amendments to the Housing Provisions for stairs, ventilation and new requirements for dwellings above garages.

 

READ MORE >>

 


 

Actions to be taken on Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings

 

25 February 2016

 

At the Building Ministers' Forum (BMF) of 19 February 2016, Ministers agreed to work cooperatively to implement a range of measures to address safety issues associated with high risk building products, including a number to be undertaken by the ABCB.

 

Ministers agreed that the ABCB support measures to address the risks specifically associated with cladding used in high rise buildings and report back on proposed additional actions to address the wider issue of non-compliant use of building products.

 

READ MORE >>
DOWNLOAD PDF >>

 


 

VBA Releases External Wall Cladding Audit Report

 

24 February 2016

 

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) releases the findings of its audit on external wall cladding following a fire at the Lacrosse Apartments in Melbourne's Docklands in November 2014.

 

READ MORE >>
DOWNLOAD PDF >>

 


 

 

New Position Paper on the role of Fire Safety Engineering practitioners in Australia

 

21 December 2015

 

The Society of Fire Safety (SFS) has published its new position paper on the role of Fire Safety Engineering practitioners in Australia. The SFS is a learned society of Engineers Australia, established to foster excellence in fire safety for the benefit of the community and the engineering profession in Australia. The paper outlines the SFS position on the design, certification and approval process for fire engineered Alternative Solutions to address variations from the Deemed-to-Satisfy (DtS) Provisions of the Building Code of Australia. To ensure the highest professional standards and community safety, practicing Fire Safety Engineers should be listed on the National Engineering Register (NER) in the specific area of practice of Fire Safety Engineering. State or Territory based accreditation schemes are in addition to this basic criterion. Furthermore, the papers sheds light on the independent roles of the Fire Safety Engineer, Private Certifier and Approval Authority. The design Fire Safety Engineer cannot be the Independent Certifier or Approval Authority for the same project.

 

READ MORE >>

 


 

Chartered NER Fire Engineer

 

23 November 2015

 

Engineers Australia has established the National Engineering Register (NER) which recognises Fire Safety Engineering as a special area of practice. To maintain the highest standards of professionalism for the NER, professional engineers in Fire Safety must be Chartered.

 

The NER was developed as an initiative by Engineers Australia to provide transparency of an engineer's experience and qualifications to all consumers of engineering services.

 

Search for registered Lote Fire Engineer on the NER Database

READ MORE >>

 


 

Fire safety reports now discretionary

 

02 October 2015

 

Under clauses 144 and 152, Fire and Rescue NSW now has discretion whether or not to provide initial and final fire safety reports. This enables Fire and Rescue to focus on buildings that present the highest risk.

 

Other changes:

 

  • Clause 144 – clarifying the referral process to increase certainty for certifying authorities and others
  • Clause 152 – relating to the scope of commentary in a final fire safety report.

 

READ MORE >>

 


 

BP Act Review

 

24 August 2015

 

Building Professionals Act Review Draft report recommends significant reforms to certification and building regulations.

 

draft report is exhibited on the Building Professionals Board website for 28 days.

 

All are encouraged to provide feedback

 


 

Aluminium cladding and external wall construction

 

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has issued a circular to raise awareness about the construction of external wall systems, including where aluminium composite panels are used.

 

The 'Lacrosse' building fire in Melbourne's Docklands in November 2014 highlighted issues with construction methods and the use of certain building products.

 

It also raised questions about the responsibilities of builders, certifiers and others involved in construction to ensure building materials are used in a way that complies with the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

 

All building professionals are encouraged to read the circular carefully, and can contact the Department of Planning and Environment if they have any enquiries.

 

More information: Planning Circular: External walls and cladding