Automatic Air Pressurisation

The Building Code of Australia in Part E2 Smoke Hazard Management in clause E2.2 General requirements stipulates compliance with Table E2.2a General Provisions which requires any fire-isolated stairway to be provided with an automatic air pressurisation system. The BCA requires an automatic air pressurisation system to ensure the occupants of a building in a fire emergency have sufficient time to evacuate the building before the stairwell becomes untenable. An automatic air pressurisation system will be nominated by the building surveyor/ building certifier in the essential safety measures determination/ schedule.

Building Code of Australia

An automatic air pressurisation system must be installed in accordance with AS/NZS 1668.1:1998 The use of ventilation and air-conditioning in buildings – Fire and smoke control in multi-compartment buildings under a building permit. When installed, the automatic air pressurisation system will be in Normal Mode and Fire Mode (if needed). In the event of a fire detection system detecting a fire in the buildings, the automatic air pressurisation system will automatically change to fire mode and start the system.

The following illustration depicts automatic air pressurisation relief in Class 2 or 3 buildings.

The following part extract of clause I1.1 Safety Measures (as appeared in BCA 2013) covers automatic air pressurisation:

Table I1.6 Safety Measures – Air Handling Systems

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Smoke hazard management systems – Automatic air pressurisation systems for fire-isolated exits. E2.2

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Automatic Air Pressurisation

An essential safety measures auditor must be aware that automatic air pressurisation systems maintenance is to comply with AS 1851-2005 Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment, Section 3. The essential safety measures auditor should check the automatic air pressurisation contractors logbook required under AS 1851-2005 for any deficiencies in inspection, testing or maintenance in the building’s essential safety measures logbook to ensure fire safety compliance when signing the Annual Statement, Annual Certificate of Compliance, Annual Fire Safety Statement, Annual Maintenance Statement and Annual Occupiers Statement.