Until the recent development of AS5113 in 2016 and its inclusion in the NCC in 2018, there have not been prescribed facade test standards in existence in Australia. Where facade testing was done on systems in other countries this has provided, and still does provide, a valuable source of information for fire engineers needing to assess the performance of façade systems. More often than not other small scale data has been used, which does not typically give an accurate representation of fire performance on the external walls of buildings.
The NCC has been gravitating away from the prescriptive solution approach for some time. In 2018 it introduced a verification method (CV3) for meeting fire safety performance requirements for fire spread - AS5113 ‘Fire Propagation Testing and Classification of External Walls of Buildings’ – an external façade testing standard, as another way in which product manufacturers can comply with the performance provisions of the NCC using a performance solutions approach. This provides more flexible building opportunities for building designers to meet multiple performance requirements, and better suit the needs of the building usage - all in a more cost effective manner.