Smoke Walls

The Building Code of Australia requires the installation of smoke walls in buildings to inhibit the transfer of smoke from one compartment to another, from a compartment to a required exit and protection of paths of travel to an exit. A building surveyor/building certifier would nominate smoke walls in the essential safety measures determination/ schedule.

Building Code of Australia

Part C2 Compartmentation and Separation, stipulates the use of smoke walls in different situations and nominates Specification C2.5 Smoke Proof Walls in Health Care and Aged Care buildings for compliance.

The following illustration depicts smoke doors in smoke walls of a health and aged care building.

The following is a part extract of clause I1.1 for an Essential Safety Measure (as appeared in BCA 2013) known as Smoke Walls (Smoke Proof Wall):

Table I1.1 SAFETY MEASURES – BUILDING FIRE INTEGRITY

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Elements required to be non-combustible, provide fire protection, compartmentation or separation C2.5 to C2.14, C3.3, C3.11, D1.7, D1.8, E1.3, G1.4

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Smoke Walls

The auditor must inspect the smoke walls to ensure they have not been breached. Finding smoke walls or ascertaining which walls in a large building are smoke walls can be difficult for an essential safety measures auditor. A marked up plan with the essential safety measures determination/ schedule showing the smoke walls location should be provided, but rarely found. Any defects to smoke walls must be recorded in the building’s essential safety measures logbook to allow the signing of the Annual Statement, Annual Certificate Compliance, Annual Fire Safety Statement, Annual Maintenance Statement and Annual Occupiers Statement.