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ASGA pushes for NCC changes on combustibility of materials 

ASGA has called for changes to regulations covering combustibility of materials on buildings – which have “greatly affected our industry” - under the new National Construction Code (NCC) that is currently being prepared by The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB).

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    (image: ASGA)
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    "Very important to us as
               an industry":

     Michael Punch GM ASGA

“The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is currently holding discussions with stakeholders to determine the content of the next release of the National Construction Code (NCC),” Australian Sign & Graphics Association (ASGA) GM Michael Punch told members. 

“The NCC covers many topics relevant to our members, but the most contentious of recent times is the rulings around the combustibility of materials on buildings. These rules have led to tight restrictions on materials like ACM and acrylic in some situations and have greatly affected our industry.

“The ASGA has had its representative, Glen Hain, attending these talks and is seeking to influence the code in the future. One of the targeted areas is around the use of Self Adhesive Vinyl in flammable situations. Currently Building Surveyors must take into account any SAV applied to materials no matter how small or thin the material is. 

“We have proposed that the following words are accepted into the NCC.

(e) C1.9 Non-combustible building elements

 (iv)   Pre-finished non-combustible sheeting having a combustible surface finish not exceeding 1 mm thickness and where the spread-of-Flame Index of the product is not greater than 0.

“To meet this proposed standard you would need 2 things to be true," Punch said. “The building element must be non-combustible. Non-combustible items are things like steel, aluminium, glass, concrete, i.e. you may apply a SAV to a sheet of aluminium and install that to a building. It's the aluminium sheet that is being referred to here.

“The building material may have a surface finish that is combustible. So long as the surface finish is not more than 1mm thick. i.e. paint, SAV etc, and the "Spread of Flame index" of the finish is less than 0.  (Manufacturers would need to provide this test data and in many cases they will already have this).

“The consultation period is still open and there is no guarantee that the ABCB would accept this proposal,” Punch said. “It's a small change, but one that is very important to us as an industry, so we hope that the ABCB will adopt it.”

Glenn Hain is ASGA's Risk & Compliance Consultant and provides members with free advice on workplace safety, product/signage substrates, compliance and building certification Contact Michael Punch at Michael_punch@signs.org.au