Fire engineering analysis behind mid-rise code change explained in new WoodSolutions Design Guide

Behind the recent changes to the National Construction Code affecting Mid-rise Timber Buildings – Classes 2, 3, and 5, was a substantial amount of fire engineering analysis. This is explained in detail in the new WoodSolutions Technical Design Guide “Fire Safety Design of Mid-rise Timber Buildings - Basis for the 2016 changes to the National Construction Code”.

On May 1st 2016 The National Construction Code (NCC) was changed to allow the use of timber construction systems under the Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Provisions for Class 2, 3 and 5 buildings up to 25 metres in effective height, known as ‘mid-rise construction’.

The new provisions cover both traditional lightweight timber framing and new massive timber systems such as cross laminated timber (CLT) and the major changes relate to the use of fire-protective plasterboard, automatic sprinkler systems and other detailing relating to preventing the spread of fire.

The new WoodSolutions Guide has been written to provide details of the fire engineering analysis that was done to compare the changes relating to mid-rise timber buildings included in the 2016 edition of the National Construction Code (NCC) with Deemed-to-Satisfy building solutions for similar non-combustible building configurations in the 2015 edition.

The Guide also contains extra information relevant to the fire safety design of mid-rise timber buildings to assist building designers and building approval authorities, in assessing and determining compliance with the NCC.

“This is a technical addition to the other information we are providing the design and construction industries to assist those who are designing or determining compliance of performance solutions for timber buildings in the mid-rise multi-residential sector,” said Eileen Newbury, National Marketing and Communications Manager of Forest and Wood Products Australia, the company behind WoodSolutions.

The Fire Safety Design Guide is intended to support design and building professionals who may be less familiar with concepts such as fire-protected timber and the use of cavity barriers to the NCC. "The Guide is one of several guides which will be published with the objective to make the transition to using the new timber systems as simple as possible, detailing the many design and building options available.”

The Fire Safety Design of Mid-rise Timber Buildings- Basis for the 2016 changes to the National Construction Code is the latest title in the comprehensive range of free design and construction guides available from the WoodSolutions website –