Category: Standards Coordination – Active
Standards Australia – Timber Committees
Following Standards Australia’s review of Timber Committees, a restructuring of the previous eight Standards Australia timber (TM) committees resulted in the establishment of three Timber Committees:
- TM-010 Timber Structure and Framing
- TM-011 Engineered Timber Products
- TM-012 Timber Grading & Preservation
This restructuring will also create an alignment with international committees (e.g. ISO). The new Timber Committees will be convening meetings over the coming months.
Timber Opportunities in Mid-Rise Construction Symposium – 11th August 2015
Following the symposium held on 11th August 2015 at Library at the Dock in Melbourne a copy of the presentation slides are below.
- Tim Woods – Market trends in multi-residential construction
- Alastair Woodard – Previous Australian Timber Industry Collaboration
- Ric Sinclair – Current FWPA activities to support mid-rise market
- Kelly McCloskey – Wood Initiatives in Canada and the US
Bushfire Attack Level Software
AS 3959 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas provides two methods of determining the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) appropriate for a particularly building: a deemed-to-satisfy approach (Section 2) and Appendix B Detailed Method for Determining the Bushfire attack Level (BAL) – Method 2. The deemed-to-satisfy approach, by its nature, is more conservative and potentially requires houses to be built to a higher bushfire level then may be required. The detailed method approach uses building site specific inputs to determine the appropriate BAL for the site.
FWPA has funded the development of a BAL software package to provide designers and building authorities with a more accurate approach to the assigning of BALs and to remove some of the unnecessary penalties, and associated costs, with building in bushfire-prone areas. The software package is currently being developed as an on-line tool that will enable the user to input the appropriate site data and obtain a printout of both the input and output results. The software package will be made available via www.woodsolutions.com.au.
Timber Solutions Software
Timber Solutions, FWPA’s popular residential timber-framed design software, has been updated to include the revised properties for MGP10, 12 and 15 timber products. The software allows users to generate AS1684 type span tables, individual timber member designs, bracing as well as tie-down designs for non-cyclonic and cyclonic wind regions as provided for in the suite of AS 1684 Standards.
Member designs can be generated for all timber grades available in AS 1684 with input variables including; imposed loads (dead, live, wind), spacing, span (single, continuous) with printing of member reports and schedules. There is also the ability to undertake a material costing for the particular design being undertaken.
Testing of the revised version is currently underway. When completed, the software will be available from www.woodsolutions.com.au.
Tall Timber Buildings
Following the success in achieving a Building Code change to enable the construction of timber framed Class 3 (hotel, motel) buildings to 3 stories, FWPA is continuing its efforts to expand the use of timber building products and systems into the commercial building sector. Work is being undertaken to model the fire behaviour of tall timber buildings (beyond 3 stories) and to determine what measures are required in order to meet the performance requirements of the Building Code of Australia. As part of this work, FWPA is engaging with Australian fire authorities, building regulators and building professionals to demonstrate the effectiveness of innovative timber building products and systems (e.g. CLT, EXPAN) in tall timber buildings. The use of timber framing beyond 3 stories is not new; as is demonstrated by the 6 storey height allowance for apartment buildings in British Columbia (Canada).
Technical Guide 20: Guideline for Fire Precautions During Construction of Large Buildings
All buildings, and not just timber structures, are at their most vulnerable during construction prior to the installation of fire safety measures (e.g. fire protective, linings, smoke alarms and sprinker systems). In order to provide general guidance to assist those with responsibilities for fire safety on a construction site to reduce the risk from fire as far as practicable.
The Technical Guide being developed will provide information that can be used to address potential fire hazards that may arise through good design and planning. This Guide can be used across a range of projects including demolition, alterations, renovations, repair and maintenance as well as new buildings. The Technical Guide will be made available via www.woodsolutions.com.au.
Timber Durability Paper
Discussions regarding service-life performance of timber products (treated and untreated) in the marketplace have been an on-going matter for industry, specifiers and user. The Building Code of Australia’s Guideline document titled “Durability in Buildings” nominally suggests component or sub-system design lives based on the application e.g. 50 years for “Not accessible or not economical to replace or repair” (e.g. structural house frame). To try to bring together the range of views, a timber “durability” paper is being prepared to help define any specific issues and be used to provide a framework to develop Industry’s Standards and guideline (as needed) to enhance the confidence of the specifiers of timber products into the future.
Tall Timber Buildings
The development of new engineered timber products (e.g. Cross-laminated Timber “CLT”) has seen the innovative use of this structural 'jumbo ply' in tall buildings as has been demonstrated by the Lend Lease building – Forté in the Docklands, Melbourne. This innovate building system has generate great interest and excitement with designers, specifiers and builders in being able to use a light, sustainable and effective construction material for use in apartment buildings, schools, halls and libraries to name a few.
One aspect that has “restricted” this innovative timber building system is the National Construction Code’s Building Code of Australia (BCA). The BCA currently permits timber framed construction to be used in Class 2 (apartment) buildings up to 3 stories in height (4 stories over a concrete/masonry carpark) as a deemed-to-satisfy solution.
This means that for any timber building over 3 stories an alternative solution needs to be undertaken to demonstrate equivalency in performance. To assist this, 3 new Technical Design Guides (numbers 17, 18 & 19) have been developed to provide guidance to Fire Safety Engineers when considering matters in relation to structures, linings and facades – available at www.woodsolutions.com.au (refer “Technical Design Guides”).
FWPA is also continuing its engagement with Australian fire authorities, building regulators and building professional to demonstrate the effectiveness of innovative timber building products and systems (e.g. CLT, EXPAN) in tall timber buildings.
Standards Development Review
In consultation with FWPA, Standards Australia has undertaken a review of its Committee structures following feedback on a proposed restructure from various stakeholders including timber industry representatives, aligned stakeholders and Committee nominating organisations. A key driver for this review is the declining human and financial resources available to the timber industry for the development, review and updating of Australian Standards. There are currently over 230 timber standards, standard’s supplements, amendments, handbooks and handbook supplements. This is a huge catalogue of publications for the industry to service.
Following the review, an Timber Standards Development Forum (22/8/13) was organised by Standards Australia to outline a proposed Committee restructure from the existing eight (8) timber (TM) committees to three (3) to broadly aligning with the International Standards Organisation (ISO) timber standards committees. Standards Australia has a “seat” on a number of ISO committees that are filled by TM committee representatives.
Standards Australia are currently finalising a new structure for approval by their Board to enable implementation.
Revision – AS1684.1 Design Criteria
A draft revision of AS 1684 Residential timber-framed construction: Part 1 Design criteria (AS 1684.1) has been completed and recently submitted to Standards Australia for approval as a project proposal.
AS1684.1 is a key standard for the timber industry as it defines the engineering design criteria used to design residential timber framed building elements (e.g. floor joists, wall studs) used in domestic dwellings and is used as the basis for generating solid wood member span tables.
The need for the revision was to bringing the design criteria in-line with recent changes made to relevant loading standards [imposed actions (dead and live loads), wind actions] and the timber engineering standard (AS 1720.1).
New proposed truss design standard
A draft of an Australian Standard for the design of timber roof trusses has been completed and submitted to Standards Australia for approval as a project proposal. This project was undertaken with funding support from FWPA, Pryda, MiTek, Mulitnail, the Frame & Truss Manufacturers’ Association (FTMA) and Standards Australia.
This need for this Standard had resulted from a Coroner’s report following the tragic truss collapse event in South Australia. This Standard will provide confidence to design professionals, building authorities as well as State Governments in the continued use of timber roof trusses in both residential and commercial buildings.
Background and Guidance Document
AS/NZS 1748 Series 2011 (including AS/NZS 4490:2011)
This Document has been prepared to provide background and guidance information in support of the use of the following suite of Australian / New Zealand Standards:
- AS/NZS 1748.1:2011 Timber – Solid – Stress-graded for structural purposes, Part 1: General requirements
- AS/NZS 1748.2:2011 Timber – Solid – Stress-graded for structural purposes, Part 2: Qualification of grading method
- AS/NZS 4490:2011 Timber – Solid – Stress-graded for structural purposes – Verification of properties
The use of these standards enables the stress-grading of structural timber using any grading method (e.g. visual, mechanical) and relies on a number of principles for proving the performance of the stress-graded structural product – as outline if the Document.
The Document takes you through the steps required for qualification and verification as well as providing the statistical concepts to achieve this.
To download a copy of the “Background and Guidance Document” refer below.
For further information regarding current activities, please contact Boris Iskra.