Fire Protection Construction Joints

The Building Code of Australia requires the gaps between building elements to have the same fire rating as the required building element. These gaps are known as fire protection construction joints and are nominated as Essential Safety Measures by the building surveyors/ building certifiers in a building permit/ building approval.

Building Code of Australia

Part G3 Protection of Openings, clause C3.16 Construction joints, requires fire protection construction joints between building elements required to have a fire resistance level must be protected in a manner that complies with an identical prototype tested under AS1530.4-2000 Methods for fire tests on building materials, components and structures – Fire resistant tests of elements of construction.

The following illustration depicts maintaining the integrity of a fire-resisting wall through fire protection construction joints.

The following is a part extract of clause I1.1 for an Essential Safety Measure (as appeared in BCA 2013) known as fire protection construction joints:

Table I1.1 SAFETY MEASURES – BUILDING FIRE INTEGRITY

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Fire protection associated with construction joints, spaces and the like in and between building elements required to be fire-resisting with respect to integrity and insulation C3.16

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Fire Protection Construction Joints

An essential safety measures determination/ schedule will nominate fire protection construction joints as an essential safety measures. The auditor must check all fire protection construction joints and report results in the building’s essential safety measures logbook to ensure fire safety compliance. On multi-storey buildings the essential safety measures known as construction joints is usually deleted from the scope of works for external walls, as a cage (or other) is required to perform the inspection; at a significant cost. The owner must decide to what extent fire protection construction joints are to be inspected when installed in the external walls to allow signing of the Annual Statement, Annual Certificate of Compliance, Annual Fire Safety Statement, Annual Maintenance Statement and Annual Occupiers Statement.