The NCC outlines the fire safety regulations in Australia, although there can be slight variations at the State level. Each state provides some level of localised guidance on how the regulations should be implemented. The requirements for insulated panel and façade systems across all states however are broadly similar.
There is separate guidance for non-domestic and domestic buildings which are referenced in Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the NCC respectively, and in Volume 1 there is consideration for different types of (residential) occupancy. Within the NCC structure there is fire safety guidance based on the building use or purpose, referred to as the ‘building class’.
Those building classes that are considered to have greater potential levels of risk because of the type of occupancy, such as schools, hospitals and multi-residential buildings, should meet more stringent fire safety requirements for many reasons, including people density, mobility of occupants, and times to exit the building. The NCC thus provides guidelines that are intended to represent a ‘building holistic’ view of safety.
High rise buildings have more stringent requirements due to the need to be able to evacuate occupants in a safe and timely manner.
Within the NCC in terms of fire performance, there are three key areas that are addressed, which are fire resistance and stability, compartmentation and separation, and protection of openings. Although these three areas are not mutually exclusive, the performance of insulated panels and façade systems falls mainly in the realm of NCC C1. Fire Resistance and Stability, which deals mainly with fire spread via the outside walls of buildings.