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Practice notes and resources

Keep your technical knowledge up to date with our fact sheets, practice notes, forms, letter templates and answers to frequently asked questions.

Rendered expanded polystyrene (EPS) wall systems

In response to mixed opinions on the fire behaviour and risks associated with rendered expanded polystyrene (EPS) wall systems, the Victorian Building Authority engaged the CSIRO to undertake a literature review on the fire safety for exterior insulation finish systems and insulated sandwich panel as external wall systems.

The literature review identified, among other things, the lack of testing or other evidence for the façade fire spread performance of EPS as is typically installed in Australia for buildings of Type A and B construction. The VBA subsequently engaged a full-scale façade test of a rendered EPS wall system to better inform industry.

The Industry Update (PDF, 552.42 KB) summarises the test findings and confirms the understanding that fire can rapidly spread, and that EPS poses a similar risk to 100% PE core Aluminium Composite Panel.

Timber framing concessions for Class 2 and 3 buildings

Following industry feedback on the need for clarity on the VBA disciplinary approach to the use of the timber framing concessions for Class 2 and 3 buildings, the VBA has also developed Practice Note – 15 Class 2 and 3 Timber Framing Concession. The Practice Note addresses:

  • the interpretation of the concession contained in BCA Spec C1.1 clauses 3.10 and 4.3
  • the importance of the preconditions associated with the concession
  • considerations when assessing the danger to life or property of existing buildings that may have used the concession, and
  • the VBA’s approach to discipline involving misinterpretation of the concession.

It is important to note that combustible cladding cannot be considered “deemed to satisfy” when applying the concession, and that building fire safety should be assessed on individual building characteristics.

The views and opinions expressed in the CSIRO literature review and report, and the Warringtonfire reports, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Victorian Building Authority.

On-demand Essential Safety Measures Webinar

The Essential Safety Measures Webinar is now available on-demand, whenever and wherever you need it, so you can watch when it works for you.

This one hour webinar will provide a base-level understanding of what an ESM is, why it’s important to maintain ESMs and will provide an overview of the Responsibilities Framework.