Timber veneered board meets BCA fire requirements
THE BUILDING Code of Australia divides materials into four groups with respect to their fire resistance, Material Group 1 having the highest fire resistance while Material Group 4 has the lowest. The BCA’s Specification C1.10 sets out the locations where each Material Group is required, which varies according to whether or not a sprinkler system is installed.
Generally, materials in Groups 1 and 2 are required in areas such as public corridors, while only Group 1 materials are permitted in more critical areas such as fire-isolated exits and lifts.
When designing commercial buildings specifiers are urged to make sure the products they call up are properly tested and certified. Commonly available veneers applied to a particleboard or MDF substrate fall into Material Group 3.
However, members of the Timber Veneer Association of Australia can supply fire retardant treated MDF with a variety of veneer species that meet the BCA’s Group 2 requirements. Tests have been carried out to Australian Standard requirements on behalf of the TVAA, and also by individual TVAA members.
Some veneer species have even been tested to Group 1 level, and more species are expected to be included in this group as further tests are conducted.
“Specifiers and/or certifiers wishing to obtain assurance that timber veneered board products comply with the BCA’s fire resistance requirements can obtain copies of test reports from the TVAA, or from TVAA members who handle the relevant products”, said Association President Rod Sharp.
Mr Sharp also emphasised the importance of ensuring that products supplied to site match what has been specified and display the relevant grade markings.