ESM-05

Solid Core Doors under BCA Part C3: Clause C3.11

AUST  Hendry advises that solid core doors have been installed in buildings across Australia under previous regulation regimes in most states even before the Building Code of Australia (BCA) has nominated them as an essential safety measure. Each state has had various conditions for their use and in what type of building they can be installed. Solid core doors previous to the BCA, have been relied upon by building surveyors as part of the life safety elements installed in a building, and at times relied upon too much.

/ BUILDING CODE OF AUSTRALIA
The Building Code of Australia nominates solid core doors in two areas, Table I1.1 and Clause C3.11, although you may see solid core doors installed elsewhere in buildings other than those nominated in Clause C3.11, these installations would be under ‘alternative solutions’ allowed under the BCA. The following illustration from BCA Illustrated depicts the requirements for solid core doors in a Class 3 aged-care building. (Please note ‘Issues and Explanation’ of solid core doors not included).

The following extracts show situations where solid core doors are nominated in the Building Code of Australia.

Part extract of Clause C3.11:

C3.11 Bounding construction: Class 2, 3 and 4 buildings

d) Protection for a doorway must be at least –

(i) in a building of Type A construction – a self-closing -/60/30 fire door; and
(ii) in a building of Type B or C construction – a self-closing, tight fitting, solid core door, not less than 35 mm thick.

Part extract of Clause C3.11:

Part extract of Clause CI1.1, TableI1.1L:

Safety Measures BCA provisions for determining standard of performance
Solid core doors and associated self-closing automatic closing and latching mechanisms C3.11

/ ESSENTIAL SAFETY MEASURES AUDIT
Given that a lot of solid core doors exist in buildings prior to a number of state building regulations offering ‘specifications’ for their use, an essential safety measures auditor must endeavour to assess the ‘regulations’ applicable at the time of installation of solid core doors for ongoing inspection and recording in essential safety measures logbooks. For solid core doors installed under recent regulatory control, these doors are deemed an essential safety measure and must comply with clause C3.11 (BCA) and inspected by an essential safety measures auditor to verify whether these conditions are being satisfied and recorded in the essential safety measures logbook. Solid core doors inspections and maintenance records will form part of the Annual Fire Safety Statements.

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