Regulation Impact Statement Updates

Official website for publishing regulatory impact analysis information for regulatory decisions announced by the Australian Government, COAG and COAG Councils.

Fire Safety Provisions for New Mid-rise Residential Buildings

COAG
1st March 2019

Decision Regulation Impact Statement – Australian Building Codes Board

On 22 November 2018, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) agreed to amend the deemed-to-satisfy (DtS) provisions of the National Construction Code to require fire sprinkler systems in new Class 2 and 3 residential buildings of four or more storeys and less than 25 metres in effective height (generally those buildings four to eight storeys in height).

Existing DtS provisions specify the use of fire sprinkler systems in residential buildings that exceed 25 metres in height, but as sprinkler systems were historically not cost-effective for smaller building sizes a range of other passive and active systems were deemed adequate below this height. Prompted by concerns that the existing provisions were no longer meeting the performance standard of protecting building occupants from fire, the DtS provisions were reviewed for Class 2 and Class 3 buildings. These classifications cover residential multi-unit dwellings such as apartment buildings and residential type buildings such as motels. The review found that new, more cost-effective fire sprinkler solutions were now available for mid-rise residential buildings. Options considered by the ABCB included requiring the installation of fire sprinklers as the only DtS option, or adding the option to sprinkler protect these buildings to existing DtS solutions.

A Decision Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared by the ABCB Office and assessed as compliant with Council of Australian Government RIS requirements by the Office of Best Practice Regulation. The ABCB previously released a Regulation Impact Statement for Consultation.

 

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