ABCB Amendment One Explained

Compliant Facade Cladding

The anticipated Building Code of Australia (BCA) 2016 Amendment One was introduced by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) last month and comes into effect in March 2018. As this had already been out for public comment there were no big surprises, despite a lot of hot air and wildly misinformed claims.

However, if you are unclear as to what this means for Australia’s leading “deemed-to-satisfy” non-combustible aluminium composite cladding product, Vitracore G2, here is an overview from our Technical Director, Ashley How.

Please also note that there is a link at the end of this article to request a copy of Red Fire Engineers’ independent review (the pre-eminent Dr Jonathan Barnett (FIEAust CPEng FSFPE) of Vitracore G2‘s full-scale testing at Exova Warringtonfire, Dandenong in November 2017.

Amendment One Explained

Amendment One has moved the bonded laminates clause C1.12 (f) to C.9 (e) (vi) clarifying that the lamina is required to be non-combustible. The clarification of this clause in the words of the ABCB was made to “prevent the incorrect interpretation that the concession could be applied to aluminium composite panels (ACPs) with a combustible core”. This means Vitracore G2 is/remains fully compliant under the deemed-to-satisfy provisions of the amendment, tested both as components and also as a complete panel as required by the clause.

Among the other changes, the amendment also includes a new verification method VM3, incorporating large scale testing to AS5113. Vitracore G2 has performed very well when tested to this standard, passing all critical flame spread and temperature criteria. As expected, the panel did not achieve the debris criteria, due to the temperature of the fire being much hotter than the melting point of aluminium. To our knowledge, no current ACP panel has/would satisfy all criteria of AS5113.

FACTS: Vitracore G2 is the only ACP in Australia to meet the following testing standards, and hence is the safest ACP available for use:

  • AS 1530.1
  • AS 1503.3
  • Plus, full scale façade testing;
  • BS8414 and BRE 135. (Exova Warringtonfire, Dandenong)
  • AS5113 (excluding the debris requirements) (Exova Warringtonfire, Dandenong)

Additionally, the demonstrated performance of Vitracore G2 provides further confidence and security for architects, builders, certifiers, installers and any other parties involved in the Chain of Supply. Fairview welcomes any code or regulatory upgrades that help protect infrastructure and peoples’ lives.

For more information on the full-scale testing, download a copy of the RED Fire Engineering Report. Alternatively to discuss this further with one of our façade consultants, please contact us or call 1800 007 175.