AS 5113:2016 Classification of external walls of buildings based on reaction to fire performance (AS 5113) is a standard that sets out procedures and criteria for classifying external walls of buildings.

It uses a large-scale test to determine a wall system’s tendency to spread fire.

This standard was first referenced in the NCC by BCA 2016 Volume One Amendment 1 in a Verification Method, CV3 Fire spread via external walls (CV3).

A number of wall systems have achieved an EW classification, which indicates they have passed the test requirements of AS 5113. This classification alone does not indicate that a wall system complies with the NCC; in all cases a Performance Solution must be developed, and often additional measures will be required.

Additional requirements

Where a Performance Solution uses Verification Method CV3 as the Assessment Method, in addition to the wall system achieving an AS 5113 EW classification, the following apply:

  • In all cases, where they are applicable, BCA Verification Methods CV1 Fire spread between buildings on adjoining allotments and/or CV2 Fire spread between buildings on the same allotment must be used to verify avoidance of spread-of-fire between buildings.
  • For buildings of Type A construction, a Specification E1.5 compliant sprinkler system (other than a FPAA101D or FPAA101H system) must be installed, with all balconies, patios and terraces provided with protection. In addition, buildings with an effective height greater than 25 m require sprinkler system enhancements to increase capacity and reliability.
  • For Class 2, 3 or 9 buildings of Type B construction, floor-to-floor fire spread must be inhibited by either a Specification E1.5 compliant sprinkler system (other than a FPAA101D or FPAA 101H system) or horizontal fire-rated construction as outlined in BCA C2.6(a)(iv).

A Performance Solution that uses an Assessment Method other than CV3 may include achievement of an AS 5113 EW classification. Some of these Performance Solutions may consider the EW classification sufficient in a particular case, or require additional measures other than those found in CV3 in order to comply with Performance Requirement CP2.

In every circumstance, achieving an AS 5113 EW classification alone does not automatically demonstrate compliance with the NCC.