The NCC 2019 Public Comment Draft includes proposed changes related to bonded laminated materials.
What's it all about?
For many years the NCC has included a concession to allow certain materials, although combustible or containing combustible fibres, to be used wherever a non-combustible material may be stipulated in the NCC.
The intention of this concession is that the specified materials, although combustible, are relatively low risk and unlikely to present a fire safety hazard. One of the materials permitted by this concession is a bonded laminated material that has non-combustible lamina joined by adhesive layers of limited thickness that may be combustible, and the material as a whole meets specified fire hazard properties.
NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1, adopted by all States and Territories from 12 March 2018, retains the concession but includes clarification that the lamina required to be non-combustible includes any core. This clarification was made to prevent the incorrect interpretation that the concession could be applied to aluminium composite panels (ACPs) with a combustible core.
Despite having included this clarification, comments received for the public comment draft of Amendment 1 suggested the concession for bonded laminated materials has the potential to be misused to allow products that present a hazard if used as external cladding on high rise buildings. There were differing views on whether the concession should be retained but in the absence of explicit evidence and public consultation on its possible removal, the concession was retained with the clarification mentioned above.
Are there any implications for NCC 2019?
The ABCB is of the view that the concerns raised justify further consideration to the ongoing appropriateness of the concession for bonded laminated materials. Therefore, the concession has been proposed to be removed.
How can I provide comments?
The consultation period closed Friday, 13 April 2018. Thank you for your feedback.