NCC 2022 Volume One - Building Code of Australia Class 2 to 9 buildings

C4

Part C4 Protection of openings

Part C4 Protection of openings

Introduction to this Part

This Part contains Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions for Part C1. It covers the protection of openings such as windows, doors, services and construction joints to reduce the risk of fire spread within or between buildings.

Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

(1) Where a Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution is proposed, Performance Requirements C1P1 to C1P9 are satisfied by complying with—

  1. C2D2 to C2D15, C3D2 to C3D15 and C4D2 to C4D17; and
  2. in a building containing an atrium, Part G3; and
  3. for a building containing an occupiable outdoor area, Part G6; and
  4. for additional requirements for Class 9b buildings, Part I1; and
  5. for farm sheds, Part I3.

(2) Where a Performance Solution is proposed, the relevant Performance Requirements must be determined in accordance with A2G2(3) and A2G4(3) as applicable.

(1) The Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of this Part do not apply to the following:

  1. Control joints, weep holes and the like in external walls of masonry construction and joints between panels in external walls of pre-cast concrete panel construction if, in all cases they are not larger than necessary for the purpose.
  2. Non-combustible ventilators for subfloor or cavity ventilation, if each does not exceed 45 000 mm2 in face area and is spaced not less than 2 m from any other ventilator in the same wall.
  3. Openings in the vertical plane formed between building elements at the construction edge or perimeter of a balcony or verandah, colonnade, terrace, or the like.
  4. In a carpark floor other than a floor that separates a part not used as a carpark, and subject to (e), the following openings in a carpark floor:
    1. Service penetrations.
    2. Openings formed by a vehicle ramp.
  5. The requirements of (d) only apply where the connected carpark levels comply as a single fire compartment for the purposes of all other requirements of the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of Sections C, D and E.

(2) For the purposes of the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of this Part, openings in building elements required to be fire-resisting include doorways, windows (including any associated fanlight), infill panels and fixed or openable glazed areas that do not have the required FRL.

(3) For the purposes of the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of this Part, openings, other than those covered under (1)(c), between building elements such as columns, beams and the like, in the plane formed at the construction edge or perimeter of the building, are deemed to be openings in an external wall.

(1) Subject to (2), openings in an external wall that is required to have an FRL must be protected in accordance with C4D5, and if wall-wetting sprinklers are used, they must be located externally.

(2) The requirements of (1) only apply if the distance between the opening and the fire-source feature to which it is exposed is less than—

  1. 3 m from a side or rear boundary of the allotment; or
  2. 6 m from the far boundary of a road, river, lake or the like adjoining the allotment, if not located in a storey at or near ground level; or
  3. 6 m from another building on the allotment that is not Class 10.

(3) Openings required to be protected under (1), must not occupy more than 1/3 of the area of the external wall of the storey in which they are located unless they are in a Class 9b building used as an open spectator stand.

The distance between parts of external walls and any openings within them in different fire compartments separated by a fire wall must not be less than that set out in Table C4D4, unless—

  1. those parts of each wall have an FRL not less than 60/60/60; and
  2. any openings are protected in accordance with C4D5.
Table C4D4 Distance between external walls and associated openings in different fire compartments
Angle between walls Minimum distance (m)
0° (walls opposite) 6
more than 0° to 45° 5
more than 45° to 90° 4
more than 90° to 135° 3
more than 135° to less than 180° 2
180° or more Nil

(1) Where protection is required, doorways, windows and other openings must be protected as follows:

  1. Doorways—
    1. internal or external wall-wetting sprinklers as appropriate used with doors that are self-closing or automatic closing; or
    2. –/60/30 fire doors that are self-closing or automatic closing.
  2. Windows
    1. internal or external wall-wetting sprinklers as appropriate used with windows that are automatic closing or permanently fixed in the closed position; or
    2. –/60/– fire windows that are automatic closing or permanently fixed in the closed position; or
    3. –/60/– automatic closing fire shutters.
  3. Other openings—
    1. excluding voids — internal or external wall-wetting sprinklers, as appropriate; or
    2. construction having an FRL not less than –/60/–.

(2) Fire doors, fire windows and fire shutters must comply with Specification 12.

(1) The aggregate width of openings for doorways in a fire wall, which are not part of a horizontal exit, must not exceed ½ of the length of the fire wall, and each doorway must be protected by—

  1. 2 fire doors or fire shutters, one on each side of the doorway, each of which has an FRL of not less than ½ that required by Specification 5 for the fire wall except that each door or shutter must have an insulation level of at least 30; or
  2. a fire door on one side and a fire shutter on the other side of the doorway, each of which complies with (a); or
  3. a single fire door or fire shutter which has an FRL of not less than that required by Specification 5 for the fire wall except that each door or shutter must have an insulation level of at least 30.

(2) A fire door or fire shutter required by (1)(a), (b) or (c) must be self-closing, or automatic closing in accordance with (3) and (4).

(3) The automatic closing operation required by (2) must be initiated by the activation of a smoke detector, or any other detector deemed suitable in accordance with AS 1670.1 if smoke detectors are unsuitable in the atmosphere, installed in accordance with the relevant provisions of AS 1670.1 and located on each side of the fire wall not more than 1.5 m horizontal distance from the opening.

(4) Where any other required suitable fire alarm system, including a sprinkler system (other than a FPAA101D system) complying with Specification 17, is installed in the building, activation of the system in either fire compartment separated by the fire wall must also initiate the automatic closing operation.

(1) If a doorway in a fire wall is fitted with a sliding fire door which is open when the building is in use—

  1. it must be held open with an electromagnetic device, which when de-activated in accordance with (2) and (3), allows the door to be fully closed in not less than 20 seconds and not more than 30 seconds after release; and
  2. in the event of power failure to the door — the door must fail safe in the closed position in accordance with (a); and
  3. an audible warning device must be located near the doorway and a red flashing warning light of adequate intensity on each side of the doorway must be activated in accordance with (2) and (3); and
  4. signs must be installed on each side of the doorway located directly over the opening stating, in capital letters not less than 50 mm high in a colour contrasting with the background:
    WARNING — SLIDING FIRE DOOR

(2) The electromagnetic device required by (1)(a) must be de-activated and the warning system activated by heat or smoke detectors, as appropriate, installed in accordance with AS 1905.1 and the relevant provisions of AS 1670.1.

(3) Where any other required suitable fire alarm system, including a sprinkler system (other than a FPAA101D system) complying with Specification 17, is installed in the building, activation in either fire compartment separated by the fire wall must also de-activate the electromagnetic device and activate the warning system.

(1) A doorway that is part of a horizontal exit must be protected by either—

  1. a single fire door that has an FRL of not less than that required by Specification 5 for the fire wall except that the door must have an insulation level of at least 30; or
  2. in a Class 7 or 8 building — 2 fire doors, one on each side of the doorway, each with an FRL of not less than ½ that required by Specification 5 for the fire wall except that each door must have an insulation level of at least 30.

(2) Each door required by (1) must be self-closing, or automatic-closing in accordance with the following:

  1. The automatic-closing operation must be initiated by the activation of a smoke detector, or any other detector deemed suitable in accordance with AS 1670.1 if smoke detectors are unsuitable in the atmosphere, installed in accordance with the relevant provisions of AS 1670.1 and located on each side of the fire wall not more than 1.5 m horizontal distance from the opening.
  2. Where any other required suitable fire alarm system, including a sprinkler system (other than a FPAA101D system) complying with Specification 17, is installed in the building, activation of the system in either fire compartment separated by the fire wall must also initiate the automatic-closing operation.

(1) Doorways that open to fire-isolated stairways, fire-isolated passageways or fire-isolated ramps, and are not doorways opening to a road or open space, must be protected by –/60/30 fire doors that are self-closing, or automatic closing in accordance with (2) and (3).

(2) The automatic-closing operation required by (1) must be initiated by the activation of a smoke detector, or any other detector deemed suitable in accordance with AS 1670.1 if smoke detectors are unsuitable in the atmosphere, installed in accordance with the relevant provisions of AS 1670.1 and located not more than 1.5 m horizontal distance from the approach side of the doorway.

(3) Where any other required suitable fire alarm system, including a sprinkler system (other than a FPAA101D system) complying with Specification 17, is installed in the building, activation of the system must also initiate the automatic-closing operation.

(4) A window in an external wall of a fire-isolated stairway, fire-isolated passageway or fire-isolated ramp must be protected in accordance with C4D5 if it is within 6 m of, and exposed to, a window or other opening in a wall of the same building, other than in the same fire-isolated enclosure.

Fire-isolated exits must not be penetrated by any services other than—

  1. electrical wiring permitted by D3D8(6) to be installed within the exit; or
  2. ducting associated with a pressurisation system if it—
    1. is constructed of material having an FRL of not less than –/120/60 where it passes through any other part of the building; and
    2. does not open into any other part of the building; or
  3. for fire services, water supply and test drain pipes.

(1) Doorways — If a lift shaft is required to be fire-isolated, an entrance doorway to that shaft must be protected by –/60/– fire doors that—

  1. comply with AS 1735.11; and
  2. are set to remain closed except when discharging or receiving passengers, goods or vehicles.

(2) Lift indicator panels — A lift call panel, indicator panel or other panel in the wall of a fire-isolated lift shaft must be backed by construction having an FRL of not less than –/60/60 if it exceeds 35 000 mm2 in area.

(1) A doorway in a Class 2 or 3 building must be protected if it provides access from a sole-occupancy unit to—

  1. a public corridor, public lobby, or the like; or
  2. a room not within a sole-occupancy unit; or
  3. the landing of an internal non fire-isolated stairway that serves as a required exit; or
  4. another sole-occupancy unit.

(2) A doorway in a Class 2 or 3 building must be protected if it provides access from a room not within a sole-occupancy unit to—

  1. a public corridor, public lobby, or the like; or
  2. the landing of an internal non fire-isolated stairway that serves as a required exit.

(3) A doorway in a Class 4 part of a building must be protected if it provides access to any other internal part of the building.

(4) Except as provided in (5), protection for a doorway must be at least—

  1. in a building of Type A construction — a self-closing –/60/30 fire door; and
  2. in a building of Type B or C construction — a self-closing, tight fitting, solid core door, not less than 35 mm thick.

NSW C4D12 Bounding construction: Class 2 and 3 buildings and Class 4 parts2019: C3.11

Delete subclause C4D12(4) and insert C4D12(4) as follows:

(4) Except as provided for in NSW C4D12(5), protection for a doorway required under (1), (2) or (3) must be at least—

  1. in a building of Type A construction — a self-closing –/60/30 fire door; and
  2. in a building of Type B or C construction — a self-closing, tight fitting, solid core door not less than 35 mm thick.

(5) In a Class 3 building used as a residential care building protected with a sprinkler system complying with Specification 17, protection for a doorway must be at least—

  1. a tight fitting, solid core door not less than 35 mm thick if the building is divided into floor areas not exceeding 500 m2 with smoke proof walls complying with S11C2; or
  2. a tight fitting, solid core door not less than 35 mm thick fitted with a self-closing device, a delayed closing device or an automatic closing device.

NSW C4D12 Bounding construction: Class 2 and 3 buildings and Class 4 parts2019: C3.11

Delete subclause C4D12(5) and insert C4D12(5) as follows:

(5) In a Class 3 building used as a residential care building protected with a sprinkler system complying with Specification 17, protection for a doorway must be at least a tight fitting solid core door not less than 35 mm thick that is—

  1. self-closing; or
  2. fitted with a free-arm action closing device which closes the door or causes the door to remain closed (without preventing manual re-opening), upon the detection of smoke caused by a smoke detector located within the room.

(6) Other openings in internal walls which are required to have an FRL with respect to integrity and insulation must not reduce the fire-resisting performance of the wall.

(7) A door required by (4) or (5) may be automatic-closing in accordance with the following:

  1. The automatic-closing operation must be initiated by the activation of a smoke detector, or any other detector deemed suitable in accordance with AS 1670.1 if smoke detectors are unsuitable in the atmosphere, installed in accordance with the relevant provisions of AS 1670.1 and located not more than 1.5 m horizontal distance from the approach side of the doorway.
  2. Where any other required suitable fire alarm system, including a sprinkler system (other than a FPAA101D system) complying with Specification 17, is installed in the building, activation of the system must also initiate the automatic-closing operation.

(8) The requirements of (9) apply in a Class 2 or 3 building where a path of travel to an exit

  1. does not provide a person seeking egress with a choice of travel in different directions to alternative exits; and
  2. is along an open balcony, landing or the like; and
  3. passes an external wall of—
    1. another sole-occupancy unit; or
    2. a room not within a sole-occupancy unit.

(9) The external wall mentioned in (8)(c) must—

  1. be constructed of concrete or masonry, or be lined internally with a fire-protective covering; and
  2. have any doorway fitted with a self-closing, tight-fitting solid core door not less than 35 mm thick; and
  3. have any windows or other openings—
    1. protected internally in accordance with C4D5; or
    2. located at least 1.5 m above the floor of the balcony, landing or the like.

NSW C4D12 Bounding construction: Class 2 and 3 buildings and Class 4 parts2019: C3.11

Insert NSW subclause C4D12(10) in clause C4D12 as follows:

(10) In a Class 9b building used as an entertainment venue, openings in construction required to separate one space from another must be protected in accordance with C4D5.

(1) Where a service passes through—

  1. a floor that is required to have an FRL with respect to integrity and insulation; or
  2. a ceiling required to have a resistance to the incipient spread of fire,

the service must be installed in accordance with (2).

(2) A service must be protected—

  1. in a building of Type A construction, by a shaft complying with Specification 5; or
  2. in a building of Type B or C construction, by a shaft that will not reduce the fire performance of the building elements it penetrates; or
  3. in accordance with C4D15.

(3) Where a service passes through a floor which is required to be protected by a fire-protective covering, the penetration must not reduce the fire performance of the covering.

In a building of Type A construction, an opening in a wall providing access to a ventilating, pipe, garbage or other service shaft must be protected by—

  1. if it is in a sanitary compartment — a door or panel which, together with its frame, is non-combustible or has an FRL of not less than –/30/30; or
  2. a self-closing –/60/30 fire door or hopper; or
  3. an access panel having an FRL of not less than –/60/30; or
  4. if the shaft is a garbage shaft — a door or hopper of non-combustible construction.

(1) The requirements of (2) apply where an electrical, electronic, plumbing, mechanical ventilation, air-conditioning or other service penetrates a building element (other than an external wall or roof) that is required to have an FRL with respect to integrity or insulation or a resistance to the incipient spread of fire.

(2) An installation mentioned in (1) must comply with any one of the following:

  1. Tested systems — the following applies:
    1. The service, building element and any protection method at the penetration—
      1. are identical with a prototype assembly of the service, building element and protection method which has been tested in accordance with AS 4072.1 and AS 1530.4 and has achieved the required FRL or resistance to the incipient spread of fire; or
      2. differ from a prototype assembly of the service, building element and protection method in accordance with Section 4 of AS 4072.1.
    2. It complies with (i) except for the insulation criteria relating to the service if—
      1. the service is a pipe system comprised entirely of metal (excluding pipe seals or the like); and
      2. any combustible building element is not located within 100 mm of the service for a distance of 2 m from the penetration; and
      3. combustible material is not able to be located within 100 mm of the service for a distance of 2 m from the penetration; and
      4. it is not located in a required exit.
    3. The determination of the required FRL must be confirmed in a report from an Accredited Testing Laboratory in accordance with Specifications 1 and 2.
  2. Ventilation and air-conditioning — in the case of ventilating or air-conditioning ducts or equipment, the installation is in accordance with AS 1668.1.
  3. Compliance with Specification 13 — the following applies:
    1. The service is a pipe system comprised entirely of metal (excluding pipe seals or the like) and is installed in accordance with Specification 13 and it—
      1. penetrates a wall, floor or ceiling, but not a ceiling required to have a resistance to the incipient spread of fire; and
      2. connects not more than 2 fire compartments in addition to any fire-resisting service shafts; and
      3. does not contain a flammable or combustible liquid or gas.
    2. The service is sanitary plumbing installed in accordance with Specification 13 and it—
      1. is of metal or UPVC pipe; and
      2. penetrates the floors of a Class 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9b building; and
      3. is in a sanitary compartment separated from other parts of the building by walls with the FRL required by Specification 5 for a stair shaft in the building and a self-closing –/60/30 fire door.
    3. The service is a wire or cable, or a cluster of wires or cables installed in accordance with Specification 13 and it—
      1. penetrates a wall, floor or ceiling, but not a ceiling required to have a resistance to the incipient spread of fire; and
      2. connects not more than 2 fire compartments in addition to any fire-resisting service shafts.
    4. The service is an electrical switch, outlet, or the like, and it is installed in accordance with Specification 13.

(1) Construction joints, spaces and the like in and between building elements required to be fire-resisting with respect to integrity and insulation must be protected in a manner—

  1. identical with a prototype tested in accordance with AS 4072.1 and AS 1530.4 to achieve the required FRL; or
  2. that differs from a prototype in accordance with Section 4 of AS 4072.1 and achieves the required FRL.

(2) The determination of the required FRL must be confirmed in a report from an Accredited Testing Laboratory in accordance with Specifications 1 and 2.

(3) The requirements of (1) do not apply where joints, spaces and the like between fire-protected timber elements are provided with cavity barriers in accordance with Specification 9.

A column protected by lightweight construction to achieve an FRL which passes through a building element that is required to have an FRL or a resistance to the incipient spread of fire, must be installed using a method and materials identical with a prototype assembly of the construction which has achieved the required FRL or resistance to the incipient spread of fire.

NCC Blurbs

Where external stairs, ramps or ladders are used as an exit in a bulk grain storage facility, any window or door opening within 6 m of the stairway or ladder—

  1. must be protected in accordance with C4D5; or
  2. the stairway, ramp or ladder must be enclosed for its full height above the lowest level of the window or door opening with non-combustible construction having an FRL of not less than 60/60/60.
NCC Title

Protection of openings – bulk grain storage facilities

NCC State
SA
NCC Variation Type
Insertion
NCC SPTC Current
Protection of openings – bulk grain storage facilities