Building (Building Code: Fire Safety and Signs) Amendment Regulations 2012

2012/33

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Building (Building Code: Fire Safety and Signs) Amendment Regulations 2012

Jerry Mateparae, Governor-General

Order in Council

At Wellington this 5th day of March 2012

Present:
His Excellency the Governor-General in Council

Pursuant to section 400 of the Building Act 2004, His Excellency the Governor-General, acting on the advice and with the consent of the Executive Council and on the recommendation of the Minister for Building and Construction, makes the following regulations.

Regulations

1  Title
  • These regulations are the Building (Building Code: Fire Safety and Signs) Amendment Regulations 2012.

2  Commencement
  • These regulations come into force on 10 April 2012.

3  Principal regulations
4  Schedule 1, clause A2 amended
  • (1) In Schedule 1, clause A2, revoke the definitions of:

    • (a) building height:

    • (b) combustion appliance:

    • (c) concealed space:

    • (d) evacuation time:

    • (e) fire hazard:

    • (f) fire intensity:

    • (g) fire resisting closure:

    • (h) fire safety system:

    • (i) open path:

    • (j) protected path:

    • (k) purpose group:

    • (l) safe path:

    • (m) smoke separation:

    • (n) unprotected area.

    (2) In Schedule 1, clause A2, insert in their appropriate alphabetical order:

    boundary means any boundary that is shown on a survey plan that is approved by the Surveyor-General and deposited with the Registrar-General of Land, whether or not a new title has been issued

    building height means the vertical distance between the floor level of the lowest occupied space above the ground and the top of the highest occupied floor, but not including spaces located within or on the roof that enclose stairways, lift shafts, or machinery rooms

    burnout means exposure to fire for a time that includes fire growth, full development, and decay in the absence of intervention or automatic suppression, beyond which the fire is no longer a threat to building elements intended to perform loadbearing or fire separation functions, or both

    clearly visible, for the purposes of clause F8.3.1, means visible, under the worst likely conditions and at the maximum distance from which the sign in question needs to be viewed, by a person who either does not have a visual impairment or uses corrective lenses

    combustible building materials means building materials that are deemed combustible according to AS 1530.1

    evacuation time means the time between the ignition of a fire affecting a building and the time when all the occupants of the building have reached a place of safety

    fire safety system means the combination of all active and passive protection methods used in a building to—

    • (a) warn people of an emergency; and

    • (b) provide for safe evacuation; and

    • (c) provide for access by, and the safety of, firefighters; and

    • (d) restrict the spread of fire; and

    • (e) limit the impact of fire on structural stability

    fire source means the combination of the ignition source and the item first ignited within a room, space, or firecell, which combination is considered to be the origin of the fire for the purposes of design

    fractional effective dose means the fraction of the dose that would render a person of average susceptibility incapable of escape

    hard-standing means a hard-surfaced area that is sufficiently stable to carry a fire truck, and includes a road

    open space means land on which there are, and will be, no buildings and which has no roof over any part of it other than overhanging eaves

    place of safety means either—

    • (a) a safe place; or

    • (b) a place that is inside a building and meets the following requirements:

      • (i) the place is constructed with fire separations that have fire resistance sufficient to withstand burnout at the point of the fire source; and

      • (ii) the place is in a building that is protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system that complies with NZS 4541 or NZS 4515 as appropriate to the building's use; and

      • (iii) the place is designed to accommodate the intended number of persons; and

      • (iv) the place is provided with sufficient means of escape to enable the intended number of persons to escape to a safe place that is outside a building

    relevant boundary means the boundary of an allotment that is other property in relation to the building in question and from which is measured the separation between the building and that other property; and for the external wall of any building, the relevant boundary is the nearest of—

    • (a) a boundary of a freehold allotment, except that if the other property is a road, railway line, or public open space, the relevant boundary is the boundary on the far side of that other property; or

    • (b) a boundary of a cross-lease or a company lease or a licence, except that if the other property is open space to which the lessee or licensee of the building in question has an exclusive right of access and occupation or to which 2 or more occupiers of the building in question have rights of access and occupation, the relevant boundary is the boundary on the far side of that other property; or

    • (c) a boundary shown on a unit plan (but excluding a boundary between a principal unit and its accessory unit), except that if the other property is open space and is common property, the relevant boundary is the boundary on the far side of that other property.

    (3) In Schedule 1, clause A2, definition of fire load, replace MJ with MJ or TJ.

5  New Schedule 1, clause A3 inserted
6  Schedule 1, clauses C1 to C4 replaced
7  Schedule 1, clause F8 replaced
8  Transitional provision
  • (1) For the period of 12 months following the commencement of these regulations, compliance with clauses C1 to C4 of Schedule 1 in force immediately before amendment by these regulations is deemed to be compliance with clauses C1 to C6 of Schedule 1 as amended by these regulations.

    (2) For the period of 3 months following the commencement of these regulations, compliance with clause F8 of Schedule 1 in force immediately before amendment by these regulations is deemed to be compliance with clause F8 of Schedule 1 as amended by these regulations.

    (3) For the purposes only of deemed compliance under subclause (1) or (2), any definition that is revoked by regulation 4(1) continues to apply.


Schedule 1
New clause A3 of Schedule 1

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Clause A3—Building importance levels

For the purposes of clause C, a building has one of the importance levels set out below:

Importance level Description of building type Specific structure
Importance level 1 

Buildings posing low risk to human life or the environment, or a low economic cost, should the building fail. These are typically small non-habitable buildings, such as sheds, barns, and the like, that are not normally occupied, though they may have occupants from time to time.

 

Ancillary buildings not for human habitation

   

Minor storage facilities

   

Backcountry huts

Importance level 2 

Buildings posing normal risk to human life or the environment, or a normal economic cost, should the building fail. These are typical residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.

 

All buildings and facilities except those listed in importance levels 1, 3, 4, and 5

Importance level 3 

Buildings of a higher level of societal benefit or importance, or with higher levels of risk-significant factors to building occupants. These buildings have increased performance requirements because they may house large numbers of people, vulnerable populations, or occupants with other risk factors, or fulfil a role of increased importance to the local community or to society in general.

 

Buildings where more than 300 people congregate in 1 area

  

Buildings with primary school, secondary school, or daycare facilities with a capacity greater than 250

   

Buildings with tertiary or adult education facilities with a capacity greater than 500

   

Health care facilities with a capacity of 50 or more residents but not having surgery or emergency treatment facilities

   

Jails and detention facilities

    

Any other building with a capacity of 5 000 or more people

    

Buildings for power generating facilities, water treatment for potable water, wastewater treatment facilities, and other public utilities facilities not included in importance level 4

    

Buildings not included in importance level 4 or 5 containing sufficient quantities of highly toxic gas or explosive materials capable of causing acutely hazardous conditions that do not extend beyond property boundaries

Importance level 4 

Buildings that are essential to post-disaster recovery or associated with hazardous facilities.

 

Hospitals and other health care facilities having surgery or emergency treatment facilities

  

Fire, rescue, and police stations and emergency vehicle garages

   

Buildings intended to be used as emergency shelters

    

Buildings intended by the owner to contribute to emergency preparedness, or to be used for communication, and operation centres in an emergency, and other facilities required for emergency response

    

Power generating stations and other utilities required as emergency backup facilities for importance level 3 structures

    

Buildings housing highly toxic gas or explosive materials capable of causing acutely hazardous conditions that extend beyond property boundaries

    

Aviation control towers, air traffic control centres, and emergency aircraft hangars

    

Buildings having critical national defence functions

    

Water treatment facilities required to maintain water pressure for fire suppression

    

Ancillary buildings (including, but not limited to, communication towers, fuel storage tanks or other structures housing or supporting water or other fire suppression material or equipment) required for operation of importance level 4 structures during an emergency

Importance level 5 

Buildings whose failure poses catastrophic risk to a large area (eg, 100 km2) or a large number of people (eg, 100 000).

 

Major dams

  

Extremely hazardous facilities

Schedule 2
New clauses C1 to C6 of Schedule 1

r 6

C1—Objectives of clauses C2 to C6 (protection from fire)
Provision Limit on application
The objectives of clauses C2 to C6 are to:  
(a)

safeguard people from an unacceptable risk of injury or illness caused by fire,

  
(b)

protect other property from damage caused by fire, and

  
(c)

facilitate firefighting and rescue operations.

  
C2—Prevention of fire occurring
Provision Limit on application
Functional requirement  
C2.1

Fixed appliances using controlled combustion and other fixed equipment must be designed, constructed, and installed in buildings in a way that reduces the likelihood of illness or injury due to fire occurring.

  
Performance  
C2.2

The maximum surface temperature of combustible building materials close to fixed appliances using controlled combustion and other fixed equipment when operating at their design level must not exceed 90°C.

  
C2.3

Fixed appliances using controlled combustion and other fixed equipment must be designed, constructed and installed so that there is a low probability of explosive or hazardous conditions occurring within any spaces in or around the building that contains the appliances.

  
C3—Fire affecting areas beyond the fire source
Provision Limit on application
Functional requirement  
C3.1

Buildings must be designed and constructed so that there is a low probability of injury or illness to persons not in close proximity to a fire source.

  
C3.2

Buildings with a building height greater than 10 m where upper floors contain sleeping uses or other property must be designed and constructed so that there is a low probability of external vertical fire spread to upper floors in the building.

 

Clause C3.2 does not apply to importance level 1 buildings.

C3.3

Buildings must be designed and constructed so that there is a low probability of fire spread to other property vertically or horizontally across a relevant boundary.

  
Performance  
C3.4
  • (a) materials used as internal surface linings in the following areas of buildings must meet the performance criteria specified below:

 

Clause C3.4 does not apply to detached dwellings, within household units in multi-unit dwellings, or outbuildings and ancillary buildings.

 
Area of building Performance determined under conditions described in ISO 9705: 1993
  Buildings not protected with an automatic fire sprinkler system Buildings protected with an automatic fire sprinkler system

Wall/ceiling materials in sleeping areas where care or detention is provided

 

Material Group Number 1-S

 

Material Group Number 1 or 2

Wall/ceiling materials in exitways

 

Material Group Number 1-S

 

Material Group Number 1 or 2

Wall/ceiling materials in all occupied spaces in importance level 4 buildings

 

Material Group Number 1-S

 

Material Group Number 1 or 2

Internal surfaces of ducts for HVAC systems

 

Material Group Number 1-S

 

Material Group Number 1 or 2

Ceiling materials in crowd and sleeping uses except household units and where care or detention is provided

 

Material Group Number 1-S or 2-S

 

Material Group Number 1 or 2

Wall materials in crowd and sleeping uses except household units and where care or detention is provided

 

Material Group Number 1-S or 2-S

 

Material Group Number 1, 2, or 3

Wall/ceiling materials in occupied spaces in all other locations in buildings, including household units

 

Material Group Number 1, 2, or 3

 

Material Group Number 1, 2, or 3

External surfaces of ducts for HVAC systems

 

Material Group Number 1, 2, or 3

 

Material Group Number 1, 2, or 3

Acoustic treatment and pipe insulation within airhandling plenums in sleeping uses

 

Material Group Number 1, 2, or 3

 

Material Group Number 1, 2, or 3

 
  • (b) floor surface materials in the following areas of buildings must meet the performance criteria specified below:

   
Area of building Minimum critical radiant flux when tested to ISO 9239-1: 2010
  Buildings not protected with an automatic fire sprinkler system Buildings protected with an automatic fire sprinkler system

Sleeping areas and exitways in buildings where care or detention is provided

 4.5 kW/m2 2.2 kW/m2

Exitways in all other buildings

 2.2 kW/m2 2.2 kW/m2

Firecells accommodating more than 50 persons

 2.2 kW/m2 1.2 kW/m2

All other occupied spaces except household units

 1.2 kW/m2 1.2 kW/m2
 
  • (c) suspended flexible fabrics and membrane structures used in the construction of buildings must have properties resulting in a low probability of injury or illness to persons not in close proximity to a fire source.

  C3.5

Buildings must be designed and constructed so that fire does not spread more than 3.5 m vertically from the fire source over the external cladding of multi- level buildings.

  C3.6

Buildings must be designed and constructed so that in the event of fire in the building the received radiation at the relevant boundary of the property does not exceed 30 kW/m2 and at a distance of 1 m beyond the relevant boundary of the property does not exceed 16 kW/m2.

  C3.7

External walls of buildings that are located closer than 1 m to the relevant boundary of the property on which the building stands must either:

  • (a) be constructed from materials which are not combustible building materials, or

  • (b) for buildings in importance levels 3 and 4, be constructed from materials that, when subjected to a radiant flux of 30 kW/m2, do not ignite for 30 minutes, or

  • (c) for buildings in Importance Levels 1 and 2, be constructed from materials that, when subjected to a radiant flux of 30 kW/m2, do not ignite for 15 minutes.

  C3.8

Firecells located within 15 m of a relevant boundary that are not protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system, and that contain a fire load greater than 20 TJ or that have a floor area greater than 5,000 m2 must be designed and constructed so that at the time that firefighters first apply water to the fire, the maximum radiation flux at 1.5 m above the floor is no greater than 4.5 kW/m2 and the smoke layer is not less than 2 m above the floor.

  C3.9

Buildings must be designed and constructed with regard to the likelihood and consequence of failure of any fire safety system intended to control fire spread.

  
C4—Movement to place of safety
Provision Limit on application
Functional requirement  
C4.1

Buildings must be provided with:

  • (a) effective means of giving warning of fire, and

  • (b) visibility in escape routes complying with clause F6.

  
C4.2

Buildings must be provided with means of escape to ensure that there is a low probability of occupants of those buildings being unreasonably delayed or impeded from moving to a place of safety and that those occupants will not suffer injury or illness as a result.

  
Performance  
C4.3

The evacuation time must allow occupants of a building to move to a place of safety in the event of a fire so that occupants are not exposed to any of the following:

  • (a) a fractional effective dose of carbon monoxide greater than 0.3:

  • (b) a fractional effective dose of thermal effects greater than 0.3:

  • (c) conditions where, due to smoke obscuration, visibility is less than 10 m except in rooms of less than 100 m2 where visibility may fall to 5 m.

  
C4.4

Clause C4.3(b) and (c) do not apply where it is not possible to expose more than 1 000 occupants in a firecell protected with an automatic fire sprinkler system.

  
C4.5

Means of escape to a place of safety in buildings must be designed and constructed with regard to the likelihood and consequence of failure of any fire safety systems.

  
C5—Access and safety for firefighting operations
Provision Limit on application
Functional requirement  
C5.1

Buildings must be designed and constructed so that there is a low probability of firefighters or other emergency services personnel being delayed in or impeded from assisting in rescue operations and performing firefighting operations.

  
C5.2

Buildings must be designed and constructed so that there is a low probability of illness or injury to firefighters or other emergency services personnel during rescue and firefighting operations.

 
Performance  
C5.3

Buildings must be provided with access for fire service vehicles to a hard-standing from which there is an unobstructed path to the building within 20 m of:

  • (a) the firefighter access into the building, and

  • (b) the inlets to automatic fire sprinkler systems or fire hydrant systems, where these are installed.

 

Performance requirements in clauses C5.3 to C5.8 do not apply to backcountry huts, detached dwellings, within household units in multi-unit dwellings, or to outbuildings, and ancillary buildings.

C5.4

Access for fire service vehicles in accordance with clause C5.3 must be provided to more than 1 side of firecells greater than 5,000 m2 in floor area that are not protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system.

  
C5.5

Buildings must be provided with the means to deliver water for firefighting to all parts of the building.

  
C5.6

Buildings must be designed and constructed in a manner that will allow firefighters, taking into account the firefighters' personal protective equipment and standard training, to:

  • (a) reach the floor of fire origin,

  • (b) search the general area of fire origin, and

  • (c) protect their means of egress.

  
C5.7

Buildings must be provided with means of giving clear information to enable firefighters to:

  • (a) establish the general location of the fire,

  • (b) identify the fire safety systems available in the building, and

  • (c) establish the presence of hazardous substances or process in the building.

  
C5.8

Means to provide access for and safety of firefighters in buildings must be designed and constructed with regard to the likelihood and consequence of failure of any fire safety systems.

  
C6—Structural stability
Provision Limit on application
Functional requirement  
C6.1

Structural systems in buildings must be constructed to maintain structural stability during fire so that there is:

  • (a) a low probability of injury or illness to occupants,

  • (b) a low probability of injury or illness to fire service personnel during rescue and firefighting operations, and

  • (c) a low probability of direct or consequential damage to adjacent household units or other property.

  
Performance  
C6.2

Structural systems in buildings that are necessary for structural stability in fire must be designed and constructed so that they remain stable during fire and after fire when required to protect other property taking into account:

  • (a) the fire severity,

  • (b) any automatic fire sprinkler systems within the buildings,

  • (c) any other active fire safety systems that affect the fire severity and its impact on structural stability, and

  • (d) the likelihood and consequence of failure of any fire safety systems that affect the fire severity and its impact on structural stability.

  
C6.3

Structural systems in buildings that are necessary to provide firefighters with safe access to floors for the purpose of conducting firefighting and rescue operations must be designed and constructed so that they remain stable during and after fire.

  
C6.4

Collapse of building elements that have lesser fire resistance must not cause the consequential collapse of elements that are required to have a higher fire resistance.

  

Schedule 3
New clause F8 of Schedule 1

r 7

Clause F8—Signs
Provision Limit on application
Objective  
F8.1

The objective of this provision is to:

  • (a) safeguard people from injury or illness resulting from inadequate identification of escape routes, or of hazards within or about the building,

  • (b) safeguard people from loss of amenity due to inadequate direction, and

  • (c) ensure that people with disabilities are able to carry out normal activities and processes within buildings.

 

Objective F8.1(c) applies only to those buildings to which section 118 of the Building Act 2004 applies.

Functional requirement  
F8.2

Signs must be provided in and about buildings to identify:

  • (a) escape routes,

  • (b) emergency-related safety features,

  • (c) potential hazards, and

  • (d) accessible routes and facilities for people with disabilities.

 

Requirement F8.2 does not apply to detached dwellings, or within household units in multi-unit dwellings.

Performance  
F8.3.1

Signs must be clearly visible and readily understandable under all conditions of foreseeable use, including emergency conditions.

  
F8.3.2

Signs identifying potential hazards must be provided and located so that people encounter the signs before encountering the potential hazard.

  
F8.3.3

Signs to facilitate escape to a place of safety must be provided and

  • (a) be located to identify the escape routes, and

  • (b) continue to meet the performance requirements in clause F8.3.1 during failure of the main lighting for the period required by performance F6.3.4 and performance F6.3.5.

  
F8.3.4

Signs must be provided and located to identify accessible routes and facilities provided for people with disabilities.

  
F8.3.5

Accessible routes must be identified with the International Symbol of Access.

  

Rebecca Kitteridge,
Clerk of the Executive Council.


Explanatory note

This note is not part of the regulations, but is intended to indicate their general effect.

These regulations, which come into force on 10 April 2012, have the effect of amending the Building Code (which is contained in Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations 1992; although those regulations have been repealed for other purposes, Schedule 1 continues in force). The amendments relate to those clauses of the Building Code dealing with protection from fire (new clauses A3 and C1 to C6 of Schedule 1) and signs (new clause F8 of Schedule 1).


Issued under the authority of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989.

Date of notification in Gazette: 8 March 2012.

These regulations are administered by the Department of Building and Housing.