The focus of this video is on the specific fire safety provisions in the NCC Volume One.


Slide 1: 

Welcome to using the fire safety provision of NCC Volume One.

Slide 2:

The focus of this presentation is on the specific fire safety provisions in the NCC Volume One

Slide 3: 

What you will learn. Where fire safety is covered in NCC Volume One. Fire safety provisions in Section A, Section C Fire resistance, Section D Access and egress, Section E Services and equipment, Section G Ancillary provisions, Section I Special use buildings, Fire Safety Verification Method, Other useful resources.

Slide 4

Where is fire safety covered in NCC Volume One?

NCC Volume One contains a number of sections with relevant requirements for fire safety. It is easier to look at the Table of Contents and see that Section C is relevant, but they need to look beyond this to identify the other provisions in other Sections that also relate to fire safety. There are a number of fire safety related Performance Requirements across the different Sections of NCC Volume One. They focus on safety of building occupants, and minimising damage to other properties. 

The Performance Requirements represent minimum requirements. Building designers/owners/builders can choose to introduce additional or alternative measures to afford greater fire protection to the building and its occupants.

Comprehensive property protection is not a goal of the NCC – the required fire safety measures are not intended to protect the building , or its contents, from burning down or being damaged by fire. Building designers/owners/builders can choose to introduce additional standards to protect the building, e.g. they could install additional fire suppression measures to reduce potential property losses caused by fire.

Section A Governing Requirements is common across the NCC and covers how to use and apply the NCC. Various Parts of Section A can apply to fire safety, for example, Part A1 Interpreting the NCC describes how to interpret provisions within the NCC, including things like Application statements, Limitation statements, Exceptions statements. 

Part A5 Documentation of design and construction describes the requirements for evidence and documentation to prove compliance with relevant fire safety Performance Requirements.

Part A6 Building classifications describes the building classes, which in part determine which fire safety provisions apply to a building or part of a building.

Part A7 describes the treatment of united buildings, which can have implications for fire safety requirements.

Specification 1 Fire-resistance of building elements – sets out procedures for determining the FRL of building elements.

Specification 2 Description of elements referred to in Specification 1 – Does what the specification is called – provides descriptions of elements referred to in Tables S1C2a to S1C2n in Specification 1. 

Specification 3 Fire hazard properties - sets out the procedures for determining the fire hazard properties of assemblies tested to AS/NZS 1530.3. 

The 3 main sections of NCC Volume One containing Performance Requirements related to fire safety are Section C Fire resistance, which has 9 Performance Requirements, 4 Verification Methods, 3 Parts containing DTS Provisions and 9 Specifications. Section C is all about fire safety, with a focus on ensuring the stability of the building and reducing the spread of fire through compartmentation and separation, and by protecting openings. Section D Access and egress, which has 4 Performance Requirements relevant to fire safety, as well as 3 Parts containing DTS Provisions, and one relevant Specification. Section D Access and egress focuses on how people enter, leave and move around a building. This obviously has implications for the ease with which people can evacuate from a building in an emergency, hence some of the Performance Requirements and DTS Provisions in Section D relate to fire safety. Section E Services and equipment, which has 4 relevant parts with multiple Performance Requirements, Verification Methods, DTS Provisions and Specifications. Section E contains provisions related to common fire safety equipment and services, such as fire fighting equipment, alarms and smoke detectors.

Additional requirements for specific applications and building uses are also contained in Section G  Ancillary provisions.

The provisions in Section G only related to some buildings in particular locations, with particular features or with certain systems or elements, as explained on the slide. They are additional Performance Requirements and DTS Provisions that only apply in these circumstances. Some of these provisions relate to fire safety (others don’t). Section I Special use buildings. Contains additional DTS Provisions, and concessions from DTS Provisions, that apply only to special use buildings, as listed on the slide. Section I does not contain any Performance Requirements, only DTS Provisions. A Verification Method for fire safety, the Fire Safety Verification Method (FSVM) covers multiple Performance Requirements across Volume One. It is referenced in Sections C, D and E and is not compulsory. 

Slide 5

Section C Fire resistance. In broad terms, Section C requires buildings to perform satisfactorily when exposed to fire.

Primarily addresses the Structural stability of building elements when exposed to fire, limiting fire spread within a building and to adjacent buildings, and Performance of materials and assemblies when exposed to fire.

Performance Requirements. All the Performance Requirements for Section C are at the front of the Section.

There are 9 in total. Their names pretty well define what they are about.

Verification Methods. Section C also describes 4 Verification Methods, which may be used as Performance Solutions to assess compliance with part or all of the Performance Requirements of Section C. 

Verification Method C1V1 provides a way to verify that fire will not spread between buildings on adjoining allotments – to verify compliance with C1P2(1)(c). 

Verification Method C1V2 provides a way to verify that fire will not spread between buildings on the same allotment – to verify compliance with C1P2(1)(c).

Verification Method C1V3 provides a way to verify compliance with C1P2 to avoid the spread of fire via the external wall of a building.

The Fire Safety Verification Method C1V4, provides a way to verify compliance with all of the Performance Requirements in Section C – i.e. C1P1 to C1P9 , when a building in designed in accordance with the Fire Safety Verification Method. 

Remember, a Verification Method is just one way to verify compliance via a Performance Solution. 

DTS Provisions. The Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions in Section C are contained in 3 Parts, which are Part C2 Fire resistance and stability, Part C3 Compartmentation and separation, Part C4 Protection of openings.

If a DTS Solution meets the relevant DTS Provisions in Parts C2, C3 and C4, then it is deemed to meet all the fire resistance Performance Requirements in Section C, i.e. to comply with C1P1to C1P9.

Certain building types or features may have additional DTS Provisions in Sections G and I (e.g. atriums, farm buildings)

If a builder/designer chooses to comply with just some of these DTS Provisions, it would mean that they would be deemed to comply with some of the relevant Performance Requirements from Section C, and the builder/designer would then need to develop a Performance Solution and include relevant stakeholders (likely to include a fire safety engineer).

Specifications. There are also 9 specifications supporting the Section C DTS Provisions. 

Specifications contain detailed information to apply the relevant DTS Provisions.

Slide 6

Example: C1P1 Structural stability during a fire. 

Most of the fire safety related Performance Requirements are qualitative, rather than quantitative. They specify an attribute that must be achieved, not an absolute value. So, for example, the Performance Requirement is that “tenable conditions” are maintained for long enough for the expected occupants of a building to evacuate, given the various critical factors that can impact on fire intensity and evacuation time. The requirement does not state a specific length of time that applies, as this will depend on the situation in the individual building.

Many fire related Performance Requirements will specify critical factors that need to be considered when determining the applicability of a Performance Requirement and the suitability of a compliance solution. 

You need to look at the critical factors and decide which ones need to be addressed in the fire safety solution for each particular building.

They will see the same factors listed against other Performance Requirements, although this list is not identical for all requirements.

Slide 7 

Example: C1P4 Safe conditions for evacuation

Tenable conditions. Materials and assemblies must resist the spread of flame and limit smoke, heat and toxic gases for long enough that people can evacuate without becoming ill or being injured. Exactly how long depends on critical factors 

To the degree necessary. Qualitative requirement that recognises that it may be possible to treat different materials and assemblies in different ways, depending on the situation, building etc. 

Appropriate to. The fire safety elements provided in the building must be appropriate to the risk posed by fire in the building, based on consideration of the critical factors listed below. 

There are four critical factors, including one related to significant characteristics of the occupants of the building.

For example, if occupants have limited mobility, then more time would be needed for evacuation so materials/assemblies must be chosen to allow this additional time. 

Applications. As per Part A1, specifies where and when a requirement or provision applies. 

Slide 8: 

Section C Verification Methods

Which of the 4 Verification Methods in Section C could you use in each of the following circumstances? 

Question 1: To verify compliance with all 9 fire safety Performance Requirements in Section C, i.e. C1P1 to C1P9? Answer 1: C1V4 Fire Safety Verification Method. This is the only one of the 4 that covers all 9 Performance Requirements.

Question 2: To verify compliance with Performance Requirement C1P2(1)(c) (avoiding the spread of fire) in a variety of circumstances? Answer 2: C1V1 or C1V2 as appropriate; or C1V4.

NOTE that C1V3 could be used, however clause C1V3(1) states that compliance with C1P2(1)(c), where applicable, is verified in accordance with C1V1 or C1V2 as appropriate.

Question 3: To verify compliance with Performance Requirement CP2 (avoiding the spread of fire) via external walls? Answer 3: C1V3 or C1V4

Note that clause C1V3(a) says that compliance with C1P2 is verified when Compliance with C1P2(1)(c) to avoid the spread of fire between buildings, where applicable, is verified in accordance with C1V1 or C1V2 as appropriate.

This means although CV3 can be used to demonstrate compliance with C1P2, C1V1 and C1V2 also need to be applied, where appropriate to complete the verification of compliance with C1P2. 

Slide 9: 

DTS Provisions: C2 Fire resistance and stability

Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution. General statement of what is required for a compliant DTS Solution. Identical statement of DTS Provision requirements at the beginning of Parts C2, C3 and C4. C2D2 to C2D14, C3D2 to C3D15 and C4D2 to C4D17. If a DTS Solution meets all of the DTS Provisions in Parts C2, C3 and C4 as appropriate, then it is deemed to be compliant with ALL the fire safety Performance Requirements in Section C i.e. C1P1 to C1P9. However, additional DTS Provisions apply to some buildings/features.

Performance Solution. You do not have to use the DTS Provisions. You can develop a Performance Solution to satisfy one or more, or all, the applicable Performance Requirements. 

Remember that the NCC Provisions must be applied holistically, so implementing a Performance Solution to meet one requirement may impact on other Performance Requirements DTS Solutions or Performance Solutions. 

Slide 10:

Interpreting the DTS Provisions in Section C

Question 1: According to Part C2, a concession allows the use of certain materials wherever the NCC requires use of a non-combustible material. What are these concessional materials?

Answer 1: Part C2D10 Non-combustible building elements, clause (6). Plasterboard. Perforated gypsum lath with a normal paper finish. Fibrous-plaster sheet. Fibre-reinforced cement sheeting. Pre-finished metal sheeting that meets specified requirements. Sarking-type material that meets specified requirements. Bonded laminate materials that meet specified requirements.

Question 2: According to Part C3, what is the maximum size for a fire compartment in the patient care areas of a Class 9a health-care building?

Answer 2: C3D6 Class 9 buildings, clause (1)(a). Fire compartments in a patient care areas of a Class 9a health--care building cannot be larger than 2000 m2

Question 3: According to Part C3, what fire safety provisions apply to electricity substations located within a building?

Answer 3: Part C3D14 Electricity supply system, clause (1)(a) and (b). An electricity substation within a building must be separated from the rest of the building by construction with an FRL of at least 120/120/120. Have a doorway protected with a self-closing door with an FRL of at least --/120/30.

Question 4: According to Part C4, what methods of protection are acceptable for windows (that require protection)?

Answer 4: Part C4D5 Acceptable methods of protection, clause (1)(b). A window opening that requires protection must have internal or external wall-wetting sprinklers used with automatic closing or permanently closed windows, or Fire windows that are automatic closing or permanently closed with a minimum FRL of at least --/60/--, or Automatic closing fire shutters with an FRL of at least --/60/--

Question 5: According to Part C4, what are the DTS requirements for openings, such as doors and lift indicator panels, that have been made into a fire-isolated lift shaft?

Answer 5: Part C4D11 Openings in fire-isolated lift shafts. Doorways must be protected by fire doors that Have a minimum FRL of --/60/-- that Comply with AS 1735.11 Lifts, escalators and moving walks – Fire rating landing doors. Are set to remain closed except when people, goods or vehicles are entering or leaving the lift.

Lift indicator panels must be backed by construction with a minimum FRL of --/60/60 if the panel is > 35 000 mm2 in area

Slide 11: 

In which Specification will you find the DTS requirements for the construction of fire shutters?

Specification 12 Fire doors, smoke doors, fire windows and shutters

Buildings requiring Type A, B and C construction?

Specification 5 Fire-resisting construction

The fire hazard properties of wall and ceiling linings?

Specification 7 Fire hazard properties

Smoke-proof walls in Class 9a and Class 9c buildings?

Specification 11 Smoke-proof walls in health-care and residential care buildings

Slide 12

What are the fire safety provisions in Section D Access and egress?

There are a total of 9 Performance Requirements in Section D, but only 4 of them are directly relevant to fire safety. (Others may contribute, e.g. slip resistant walking surfaces with manageable gradients make it easier for people to evacuate quickly, especially when visibility is limited, because they are less likely to trip or stumble. However, the key purpose of these provisions is not related to fire safety, but to movement for any purpose.)

There are 3 other Verification Methods in the Section but only D1V4 is relevant to fire safety. This references the Fire Safety Verification Method, just as we saw in C1V4 in Section C.

The 3 Parts that contain DTS Provisions have varying relevance Part D2 Provision for escape is all about ensuring safe evacuation. All the provisions are relevant to evacuation during emergencies. Part D3 Construction of exits contains a number of relevant provisions which relate to things like the design of fire stairways, fire ramps, and smoke lobbies. Part D4 Access for people with a disability doesn’t actually contain any fire safety related DTS Provisions, but does allow for the use of lifts for evacuation of people with a disability.

There are 3 Specifications in Section D but only one is relevant to fire safety.

Specification 14 - Non-required stairways, ramps and escalators contains the requirements to allow non-required stairways, ramps or escalators to connect any number of storeys in a Class 5 or 6 building. The requirements do not apply in an atrium or outside a building. 

It sets out the Minimum FRLs required of the construction of escalators, moving walkways, stairways or ramps. Requirements for fire separation, fire doors and warning signage. 

Slide 13

Critical factors for fire safety access and egress

D1P4 Exits: Distance to the nearest exit impacts on ease and speed of evacuation, so the further the distance, the longer the evacuation time. The building’s fire safety system has to be designed with this likely evacuation time in mind.

The number of people expected to use the building is also key. The more people will be in the building, the longer evacuation will take through a single exit. It may be necessary to make fire exits wider, build additional exits or reduce the travel distance to exits to reduce the total evacuation time. Mobility issues and similar characteristics are also of concern, e.g. can occupants reasonably be expected to evacuate without assistance?

The function or use of the building can affect the fire load and intensity, which can affect the speed with which building users might need to evacuate, and therefore the number, location and design of fire exits.

The height of the building can also impact on evacuation time. If occupants have to evacuate down through many floors, then the fire safety stairs and exits in the building needs to maintain their stability and a safe evacuation environment for a longer time.

If an exit is below ground, then building occupants are more likely to be evacuating in the path of smoke from the fire. Smoke from a fire will naturally disperse upwards, and venting smoke from below ground areas is likely to be harder and slower (because there are no windows). The fire safety system needs to bear this in mind, if a building has levels below ground. If an exit is above ground, smoke travel is not an issue.

D1P5 Fire-isolated exits. Number of storeys connected by the exits and passed through by the exits both affect the total evacuation time. No. of storeys connected to the exits determines how many people are likely to use the exit to evacuate, and the more people are using an exit the longer the evacuation time is likely to be.

No. of storeys that the exit passes through affects the total travel distance and time. The better a building’s fire safety system is, the longer expected evacuation times can be, and still satisfy safety criteria. E.g. if a building has a sprinkler system which can be expected to extinguish the fire or reduce its spread, then building occupants will have a longer time to safely evacuate from the building. Similarly, fire safety systems designed to vent smoke can increase the time during which it is safe for building occupants to evacuate.

A building in an urban area, with several fire stations nearby is likely to get a prompt response to a fire call, and therefore you could expect fire brigade officers to be on site to assist occupants to evacuate reasonably quickly. By contrast, if a building is in a country town with the nearest fire brigade an hour away, then the building needs to be designed so that occupants can easily and quickly evacuate on their own.

D1P6 Paths of travel to exits. The number of people expected to use the building is key. The more people will be in the building, the longer evacuation will take through a single exit. It may be necessary to make fire exits wider, build additional exits or reduce the travel distance to exits to reduce the evacuation time. Mobility issues and similar characteristics are also of concern, e.g. can occupants reasonably be expected to evacuate without assistance?

The function or use of the building can affect the fire load, thus changing the speed with which building users need to evacuate, and therefore the number, location and design of fire exits.

This Performance Requirement has a Limitation: it does not apply to the internal parts of SOUs in Class 2 or 3 buildings or in the Class 4 part of a building. This is because these areas are likely to be used by a small number of users who will be more familiar with the layout of the building and the paths to exits will generally be relatively short.

D1P7 Evacuation lifts. Many of the critical factors when lifts are used for evacuation are the same as for other fire exit systems, but there are some additional considerations such as:

How long will it take for occupants to evacuate using the lift? There would be a considerable difference in evacuation times for a lift that took 4 passengers and 2 minutes to get to the ground floor, compared with a lift that could take 8 passengers and took 1 minute to reach the ground floor.  If the size of a proposed lift system would not allow safe evacuation of all the people who are likely to need that lift, then a larger lift may be required, OR other aspects of the building’s fire safety system might need to be adjusted. For example, installation of sprinkler systems to reduce the spread of fire, or use of more fire resistant materials, smaller fire compartments etc. These various measures could allow the necessary additional time to evacuate using the smaller lift.

How reliable and available is the lift likely to be? Is the lift likely to fail in the event of a fire? Is it likely to be directly exposed to fire? E.g. if the designated fire evacuation lift is generally used as a goods lift, then it might be in use, or blocked by goods at the time it is needed. Sometimes goods lifts are blocked off and a key is required to access them. This would increase the evacuation time using the lift.

Evacuation procedures for the building can make a difference to the effectiveness of lifts used for fire safety. For example, are designated fire safety officers or others assigned to assist people with a disability? Some buildings/businesses will establish what is almost a “buddy” system so that one or more staff are assigned to ensure that someone with a disability is able to evacuate easily. This could mean simply carrying items the other person needs, it could mean assisting them with walking, moving around, or using a lift, or it could even mean carrying that person down fire stairs, if necessary.

Slide 14

DTS Provisions: D2 Provision for escape

Deemed to Satisfy Solution. General statement of what is required for a compliant DTS Solution. Identical statement of DTS Provision  requirements at the beginning of each Part – D2, D3 and D4. Section G Ancillary provisions. Section I Special use buildings. Additional Provisions that apply in the circumstances described. All other relevant provisions in Parts D2, D2 and D4 must also be complied with.

Performance Solution. You can use a Performance Solution to satisfy one or more or all of the Performance Requirements. Implementing a Performance Solution to meet one requirement may impact to other Performance Requirements, DTS Solutions or Performance Solutions .

Performance Requirement D1P7. Limited application of Performance Requirement D1P7. No DTS Provisions provided to meet this requirement. Therefore, a Performance Solution must be developed.

Slide 15

Interpreting the DTS Provisions in Section D

Question 1: According to Part D2, if a Class 3 building has an effective height of 40 m, how many exits must it have and where must they be located, in order to comply with the Performance Requirements of Section D?

Answer 1: D2D3 Number of exits required, clause (2). The building must have at least 2 exits from each storey.

Question 2: According to Part D2, what is the maximum number of persons who can be accommodated in each of the following buildings: 1. A café that is 23 m2? 2. A hotel that is 6000 m2?3. A bus station that is 300 m2?

(In all cases, spaces set aside for other purposes are excluded)

Answer 2: D2D18 Number of persons accommodated. Table D2D18 Area per person according to use. 1. Café = 23 persons (1 m2/person). 2. Hotel = 400 persons (15 m2 per person). 3. Bus station = 150 persons (2 m2/per person)

Question 3: According to Part D3, what requirements must be met for a stairway that is located within a fire-isolated shaft within a building?

Answer 3: Part D3D3 Fire-isolated stairways and ramps. The stairway must be constructed of non-combustible materials. So that if there is a local failure, it will not cause structural damage to the shaft, or impair the fire resistance of the shaft

Question 4: According to Part D3, what is the minimum: Allowable size for a required smoke lobby? FRL for the walls of a required smoke lobby? 

Answer 4: Part D3D7 Smoke lobbies, clauses (a) and (b)(i). Minimum allowable size is 6 m2. Minimum FRL for walls is 60/60/--

Question 5: According to Part D3, what signage is required on an automatic door held open by an automatic hold-open device? A self-closing door?

Answer 5: Part D3D28 Signs on doors, clauses (4)(a) and (b). Automatic fire door:


Slide 16

What are the fire safety provisions in Section E Services and equipment?

All Performance Requirements relate to fire safety. Facilities to fight a fire or prevent the spread of fire. Features to safeguard building occupants from smoke and toxic gases, including automatic warnings. Safe travel in lifts for evacuation and fire fighting. Visibility and signage for evacuation and emergency warnings

4 Parts. Part E1 Fire fighting equipment. Part E2 Smoke hazard management. Part E3 Lift installations. Part E4 Visibility in an emergency, exit signs and warning systems. Each Part contains Performance Requirements, Verification Methods, and DTS Provisions. Specifications included at end of Section E.

Slide 17 

Interpreting fire safety Performance Requirements

E1 Fire fighting equipment. The larger the fire compartment/floor area, the larger the size of any potential fire, therefore the greater the fire safety measures required

Fire safety systems work together rather than in isolation, so the installation of one system may reduce the need for another fire safety element or allow for some adjustment of another fire safety element

Fire hydrants can only be used with the correct equipment, so they are not required if there is no fire brigade available to attend a fire, e.g. in a remote area

E2 Smoke hazard management. Automatic warning systems are needed in buildings with sleeping accommodation

Conditions in evacuation routes must protect occupants from heat and toxic gases, and allow them to see for as long as needed to evacuate the expected number of people before a fire is likely to develop to an unmanageable level 

The longer the travel distance, the longer the evacuation time, and the longer the fire safety systems must maintain a safe environment

Smoke management is not required in structures that are not enclosed (because the smoke can escape)

E3 Lift installations. There are a number of Performance Requirements for lift installations. Two of these are related to fire safety. 

E3P2 Emergency lifts applies to buildings that are over 25 m in height and Class 9a buildings with patient care areas that do not have direct access to a road or open space. E3P2 basically requires that at least one of the passenger lifts is fitted as an emergency lift, for use by the fire brigade and other emergency services personnel. All floors must have access to an emergency lift. 

E3P3 Emergency alerts requires signage or other means to alert occupants about the use of a lift during an emergency.

E4 Visibility in an emergency, exit signs and warning systems

Emergency lighting must be provided to ensure safe evacuation when the main artificial lighting system fails.

Signs must identify where exits are and how to get to them, and must be clearly visible even when the mains power is out.

Doesn’t apply to the internal parts of SOUs in Class 2 or 3 buildings or in Class 4 parts of a building (as occupants will generally be familiar with evacuation routes, door positions etc, and distances tend to be short)

Slide 18 

Interpreting the DTS Provisions in Section E

Question 1: According to Part E1, when must a building be provided with a fire hydrant?

Answer 1: E1D2 Fire hydrants clauses (1)(a) and (b). A fire hydrant must be provided when a building has a total floor area greater than 500 m2, and the nearest fire brigade station is no more than 50 km away by road, and has equipment that allows it to use a fire hydrant

Question 2: According to Part E1, when and where must a sprinkler system be installed into a Class 2 or 3 building (excluding a building used as a residential care building)?

Answer 2: E1D6 Where sprinklers are required: Class 2 and 3 buildings other than residential care buildings

If the building has a rise in storeys of 4 or more and an effective height of not more than 25 m, then a sprinkler system is required throughout the whole building, including any part with a different class

Question 3: Where in Part E2 will you find the smoke management provisions for buildings of different Classes, uses and heights? Answer 3: Clauses E2D3 to E2D20

Question 4: According to Part E3, what kind of clear space is required in a lift that is designated as a stretcher facility? Answer 4: Part E3D3 Stretcher facility in lifts, clause (2)

There must be a clear space of at least 600 mm wide x 2000 mm long x 1400 mm high above floor level

Slide 19

In which Specification will you find the DTS requirements for …

Lift car emergency lighting? Specification 24 Lift installations

Smoke exhaust fans? Specification 21 Smoke exhaust systems

Fire sprinkler systems? Specification 17 Fire sprinkler systems

Emergency exit signs? Specification 25 Photoluminescent exit signs

Construction of a fire control room? Specification 19 Fire control centres

Fire safety systems for residential care buildings? Specification 23 Residential fire safety systems

Slide 20

Consider the impact of each critical factor…

Building 1: Fulfillment centre. Fulfillment centre for online retailer. 40,000 m2, one space 8 m high.

Steel framed, metal walls, metal roof with some polycarbonate sheeting, concrete floor 

3 storey office area over 13% of total space

Expected to store goods ranging from clothing, plastics, electronics, paper products

Expected 40 office staff, 300-400 fulfillment workers up to 600 at peak times

Industrial park, no buildings within 10 m

Building 2: Residential care building. Residential care home, 80 residents, 2 floors of private rooms off 2 x 50 m corridors

Administration, nursing station, kitchen and dining room taking up half of ground floor

Timber framed, double brick with a tiled roof and wooden flooring covered by carpet

Expected to have one central lift for resident use

Expected 5 office staff, 10-15 care staff

Residential area, with residential properties within 1.5 m on one side, within 8 m on 2 other sides

Building 3: Office to apartment conversion. Conversion of multi-storey office building to retail and apartments

5 floors of underground parking, ground floor retail/hospitality and 20 storeys of apartments

Reinforced concrete construction

150 apartments of different sizes, some with balconies, 2 centrally located banks of 2 lifts

Ground floor being fitted out for a restaurant, a café and convenience store

Inner city, buildings within 5 m on 3 sides

Slide 21

Fire safety Assessment Methods

Whether you choose to use a DTS Solution or a Performance Solution or a combination of both, you may need to provide some evidence that the proposed solution complies with the Performance Requirements.

The NCC recognises 4 valid ways of assessing possible compliance solutions, which are shown on the slide.

All 4 methods can be used to demonstrate compliance with all or part of the Performance Requirements when you are using a Performance Solution. 

Evidence of suitability and Expert Judgement can be used when you are using a DTS Solution.

The various fire safety related Sections and Parts of NCC Volume One include a number of relevant Verification Methods, each of which can be used in certain circumstances.

The ABCB Fire Safety Verification Method (FSVM) Standard, which is a holistic method for demonstrating compliance against many of the fire safety Performance Requirements. It is referenced within C1V4, and further sub-references in Sections D and E of Volume One.

Slide 22

What is the Fire Safety Verification Method?

Used to verify that a building’s proposed fire safety measures will meet the relevant fire safety Performance Requirements of NCC Volume One

Can be used for any Class 2-9 building

Level of fire safety achieved using the FSVM must be at least equivalent to the relevant NCC Volume One fire safety Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Provisions 

Detailed in the ABCB Standard. Fire Safety Verification Method. How to use the method. 12 design scenarios that must be considered.

Not mandatory – just one way of developing a fire safety solution to meet the relevant Performance Requirements

Can only be used by qualified and experienced fire safety engineers

May not cover all applicable Performance Requirements

Slide 23

True or False?

A building’s intended purpose and use are the key determinants of the fire safety measures required in the building.

If you answered False - Yes, that’s right. 

The building’s intended purpose and use is just one critical factor that must be considered when designing a fire safety system for a Class 2-9 building. 

Other critical factors include things like the number and mobility of occupants of the building, the likely fire load, hazard and intensity, the travel distance to exits and the likely evacuation times.

Slide 24

Other useful resources

The Guide to NCC Volume One. ABCB handbooks at Fire Safety Verification Method Handbook. Fire Safety Verification Methods Data Sheets. Bushfire Verification Method Handbook. Lifts Used During Evacuation. Non-mandatory, explanatory information and background. Australian Fire Engineering Guidelines (AFEG)

Developed in conjunction team of specialist fire engineers. International Fire Engineering Guideline content contextualised to current Australian practice. Published by the ABCB

Also, advisory notes, videos and case studies available from

Slide 25

Summary. Section C Fire resistance .Reducing spread of fire. Ensuring building elements remain stable and environment remains safe for long enough to allow evacuation. Structural stability. Fire compartmentation and separation. Protection of openings

Section D. Access and egress. Warnings, evacuation distances and paths, time to evacuate, exit signs

Section E. Services and equipment . Fire fighting equipment, alarms, smoke detectors, lifts used for evacuation

Section G. Ancillary provisions. Some additional provisions relevant in particular circumstances

Section I. Special use buildings. Some additional DTS Provisions for particular buildings

Slide 26 

Key points. Overall aim is to provide time and safe conditions for evacuation. Prevent the spread of fire to other buildings. Protection of primary property is not an aim (but may be a fortunate result of good fire safety design)

Critical factors must be considered to determine the extent of fire risk and requirements for effective and compliant fire safety design for each building. Fire safety requirements can be met using DTS Provisions or a compliant Performance Solution. Many Verification Methods including the FSVM

Slide 27:

Thank you for your time. That brings our presentation on using the fire safety provisions of NCC Volume One to a close. If you’d like more information please visit