Bushfire Compliance in Detail

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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 3.3.5.9)

 

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.

Bushfire Compliance
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 3.3.5.0)  

 
Weepa relies on AS3959:2018 and its associated testing standard AS1580.8.1 as a means of compliance for our bushfire range.

Bushfire Compliance
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 spells out 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 which can comply by performance based criteria AS3959:2018 refers you to the Testing Standard AS1530.8.1:2018.

The Stainless Steel Weepa, the 50mm Stainless Steel Weepa and the Protector Weep Hole Screen are deemed to comply by design to all BAL levels in AS3959:2018.

Bushfire Compliance 
AS1530.8.1:2018 - Australian Standard for Methods for fire tests on building materials, components and structures

This standard sits along side AS3959:2018 and sets out testing methods which simulate different levels of bushfire attack (BAL).  Innovative products which pass testing to AS1530.8.1 at a certified fire testing laboratory are compliant by performance based testing.

The High Performance Bushfire Weepa has been tested by BRANZ, an accredited AS1530.8.1:2018 laboratory, to meet BAL-LOW, BAL-A12.5 and BAL-A19.

The New Generation Bushfire Weepa (available June 2019) has been tested by BRANZ, an accredited AS1530.8.1:2018 laboratory, to meet AS3959:2018 BAL-LOW, BAL-A12.5, BAL-A19, BAL-A29 and BAL-40.

If you need to meet BAL-A29 and BAL-A40 before the New Generation Bushfire Weepa is available, please contact our friendly Customer Service Team who will help with a solution.

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.

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The Weepa range is subject to Intellectual Property Rights. Aust Pat Nos 713335, 762230, 2007237177, 2007215369, 2008271915, 2013211506. Aust Pat Aps 2018902177, 2019900971. International PCT AU2007/000004, PCT AU2014/000123. NZ Pat No 567674. NZ Pat Ap 716834. Sth African Pat No 2008/03841. US Pat Nos 8171677, 14/908620. Canadian Pat Nos 2629033,2916320.UK Pat No1984580.Des Reg137021,150609,156915.Aust TM 775282,NZ TM 961710,US TM 1145302