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DISCUSSION DRAFT

SPECIFICATION E1.5 FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEMS


1. Scope
This Specification sets out requirements for the design and installation of fire sprinkler
systems.
Where other documents referenced in the BCA refer to AS 2118.1, the Reference Document
ABCB - Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems shall apply unless otherwise specified.

2. Adoption of reference documents


Subject to this Specification, a sprinkler system must comply with
(a) ABCB - Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems; or
Vic Spec E1.5 2(b)

(b) for a combined sprinkler and fire hydrant system: AS 2118.6; or


(c) for a Class 9c aged care building: AS 2118.4.

3. Separation of sprinklered and non-sprinklered areas


Unless permitted in ABCB - Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems, where a part of a building is
not protected with sprinklers, the sprinklered and non-sprinklered parts must be fire-separated
which must
(a) comply with any specific requirement of the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of the BCA; or
(b) where there is no specific requirement, a minimum fire rating of 60 minutes applies.

4. Protection of openings
Any openings, including those for service penetrations, in construction separating sprinklered
and non-sprinklered parts of a building, including the construction separating the areas
nominated as permitted exceptions in ABCB - Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems, must be
protected in accordance with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of Part C3.

5. Fast response sprinklers


Fast response sprinklers may be installed only if they are suitable for the type of application
proposed and it is demonstrated that the sprinkler system is designed to accommodate their
use.

6. Sprinkler valve enclosures


(a) Sprinkler alarm valves must be located in a secure room or enclosure which has direct
egress to a road or open space.
(b) All sprinkler valve rooms and enclosures must be secured with a system suitable for use
by the fire brigade.
(C) Every sprinkler valve room and enclosure shall be fitted with an externally mounted water
motor alarm. Where alarm valves are grouped within the same enclosure one water motor
alarm may serve all installations in any one location. The water motor alarm shall comply with
Section 8 of ABCB - Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems.

7. Water supply
A required sprinkler system must comprise at least 1 reliable water supply in accordance with
Section 4 of ABCB - Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems except that for buildings greater than
25 m in effective height, dual water supplies in accordance with Clause 4.2 of ABCB Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems are required. Where 1 of the dual water supplies comprises
a static tank located at the topmost storey of the building, and the sprinkler design density

Australian Building Codes Board


Proposed changes to BCA requirements for Automatic Sprinkler Systems January 2009

within the building does not exceed Ordinary Hazard 2 (OH2), the static water storage
capacity of the roof top tank may be reduced to 25,000 litres.

8. Required duration of water supply


Where static water storage is used as a dedicated supply for an automatic fire sprinkler
system, the effective capacity of the storage shall be sufficient to maintain the sprinkler
system design area with the greatest flow demand for a period (in minutes) of not less than:
(a) in buildings where the general floor area and volume limitations comply with Clause C2.2,
50% of the period of structural adequacy of the highest required fire-resistance level for an
external wall of the building, or 60 minutes, whichever is the greater; and
(b) in buildings where the general floor area and volume limitations exceed those prescribed
in Clause C2.2, 100% of the period of structural adequacy of the highest required fireresistance level for an external wall of the building, or 60 minutes, whichever is the greater;
and
(c) where the sprinkler system is required for prescribed occupancies of excessive hazard
listed in Table E1.5, the required duration of supply shall be in accordance with ABCB Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems Clause 11.2.2.2.
The effective capacity of the storage determined in (a), (b) and (c) above may be reduced by
the available inflow in accordance with ABCB - Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems Clause
9.3.2, Clause 10.3.2 or Clause 11.2.2 as appropriate to the occupancy classification.

9. Building occupant warning system


A required sprinkler system must be permanently connected to and activate a building
occupant warning system complying with Clause 6 of Specification E2.2a or a warning
system complying with Clause E4.9.

10. Transmission of the alarm signal to the fire brigade


A required sprinkler system must be permanently connected with a direct data link or other
approved monitoring system to a fire station or fire station dispatch centre in accordance with
AS 1670.3 and Clause 8.13 of ABCB - Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems.

11. Connection to other systems


Where a smoke hazard management system is installed and is actuated by smoke detectors,
the sprinkler system must, wherever practicable, be arranged to also activate the smoke
hazard management system.

12. Anti-tamper devices


Where a sprinkler system is installed in a theatre, public hall or the like, any valves provided
to control sprinklers over any stage area must be fitted with anti-tamper devices connected to
a monitoring panel at the location normally used by the stage manager.

13. Sprinkler systems in carparks


The sprinkler system protecting a carpark complying with Table 3.9 of Specification C1.1 in
a multi-classified building must
(a) be independent of the sprinkler system protecting any part of the building not used as a
carpark; or
(b) if forming part of a sprinkler system protecting a part of the building not used as a carpark,
be designed such that the section protecting the non-carpark part can be isolated without
interrupting the water supply or otherwise affecting the effective operation of the section
protecting the carpark.

Australian Building Codes Board


Proposed changes to BCA requirements for Automatic Sprinkler Systems January 2009

14. Class 9c aged care buildings


In addition to the provisions of AS 2118.4, a sprinkler system in a Class 9c aged care building
must
(a) be provided with a monitored main stop valve in accordance with ABCB - Automatic Fire
Sprinkler Systems; and
(b) be permanently connected with a direct data link or other approved monitoring system to a
fire station or fire station dispatch centre in accordance with AS 1670.3 and Clause 8.13 of
ABCB - Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems..

Australian Building Codes Board


Proposed changes to BCA requirements for Automatic Sprinkler Systems January 2009