Be alert on air-conditioners on balconies
When installing air-conditioner condenser units and planter boxes on upper-storey balconies in residential buildings it is essential to consider their placement in relation to the balcony barrier (balustrade).
If installed close to a balustrade, they can provide a climbing point for children who could fall over the barrier with tragic consequences.
The National Construction Code (NCC) provides performance provisions and Deemed to Satisfy (DtS) solutions for barriers. However, it is not clear on how to address the issue of fixed items like air-conditioner condenser units.
To assist practitioners and the broader public better understand the requirements of the performance provisions and the DtS solutions for balustrades, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has published on its website an Industry Alert on air-conditioners on balconies that includes a range of possible solutions to reducing risk.