The Australian Building Code NCC:2019 and Australian Standards AS3959:2018 and AS1530.8.1:2018 are concerned with improving the quality of Australian buildings and the health and safety of their occupants. In the weep hole niche, the important issues are adequate ventilation of the wall cavity and the ability to withstand attack from bushfire.
Basic Weep Hole Compliance
NCC:2019 Australian Building Code
The NCC:2019 spells out basic requirements such as size, spacing and location of weep holes for drainage and ventilation in the construction of masonry buildings."Weepholes
(a) Except where excluded by (b), open perpendicular joints (weepholes) must be created in the course immediately above any flashing (including above any damp-proof course acting as a flashing) and be—
(i) a minimum of 50 mm in height, by the width of the vertical mortar joint; and
(ii) at not more than 1.2 m centres; and
(b) Weepholes are not required in the following locations:
(i)Where head openings are less than 1.2 m wide.
(ii) Beneath window and door sills."
(Volume Two 22.214.171.124)
All products in the Weepa range, when correctly installed, according to specifiers' plans, and approved by a Building Certifier, can be used to meet these requirements.
NCC:2019 Australian Building Code
The NCC:2019 spells out performance requirements for acceptable construction materials in bushfire prone areas, referencing compliance with Australian Standard AS3959:2018 as one means of meeting this requirement."Acceptable Construction Manuals
Performance Requirement P2.7.5 is satisfied for—
(a) a Class 1 building; or
(b) a Class 10a building or deck associated with a Class 1 building,
located in a designated bushfire prone area if it is constructed in accordance with—
(c) AS 3959; or
(d) NASH Standard – Steel Framed Construction in Bushfire Areas."
(Volume Two 126.96.36.199)
Weepa relies on AS3959:2018 and its associated testing standard AS1580.8.1 as a means of compliance for our bushfire range.
AS3959:2018 - Australian Standard for construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas
This standard is important because it shows you how to work out which BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) applies to your project.
Once this is established, it defines the particular requirements you will need to meet for your weepholes for that BAL level, for example, what metal material the weep hole needs to be screened with and the aperture size of the screen.
For innovative products like ours AS3959:2018 refers you to the Testing Standard AS1530.8.1:2018 for compliance based on performance based criteria (see below).
S1530.8.1:2018 - Australian Standard for Methods for fire tests on building materials, components and structures
This standard sits alongside AS3959:2018 and sets out testing methods which simulate different levels of bushfire attack (BAL). Innovative products such as ours need to pass testing to AS1530.8.1 at a certified fire testing laboratory and are compliant by performance based testing.
For installation during construction:
The New Generation Bushfire Weepa (23-NGBW) has been tested by BRANZ, an accredited AS1530.8.1:2018 laboratory, to meet all BAL levels up to BAL-40. Certificate Number FP11420-001-C1
(If you have installed another Weepa since 1st May, 2019 and need to meet BAL-A29 and BALA40, please contact our friendly Customer Service Team on 07 3844 3744 for help with a solution.)
The 70mm Bushfire Weepa (15-NABW) is an identical but shortened version of the High Performance Bushfire Weepa which has been tested by BRANZ, and accredited AS1530.8.1:2018 laboratory, to meet all BAL levels up to BAL-A19 when used in masonry construction. (Please consult your certifier.) Certificate Number FP11420-001-C1
For retrofit to existing homes:
The Protector Weep Hole Screen (21-SSWS) has been tested by BRANZ, an accredited AS1530.8.1:2018 laboratory, to meet all BAL levels up to BAL-FZ. Certificate Number FP13836-03-C1
The Protector Weep Hole Screen (21-SSWS) when installed together with the Termite Protector Weep Hole Screen (22-TPWS) has been tested by BRANZ, an accredited AS1530.8.1:2018 laboratory, to meet BAL levels up to BAL-40. Certificate Number FP11420003—C1
This information is a guide for the different construction requirements for weep holes in each level. It is not a replacement for NCC:2019, AS3959:2018 or AS1530.8.1:2018 which should be referred to directly and in their entirety. For specific project advice always consult your Building Certifier.