Update on Australian Standards
Standards Australia is the nation’s peak non-government standards organisation. Alison Scotland, national sector manager for building and construction, provides us with an update on what’s happening in the standards world.
The weather is getting colder and we are all starting to think about how to keep our homes warm and dry. What most of us don’t realise is that the work of Standards Australia’s technical committees plays an important part in this cold-season preparation.
Insulation keeping us warm this winter
By the time you read this article, our committee responsible for thermal insulation would have published the newest edition of AS 3999 Bulk thermal insulation – Installation. This standard is an informative secondary reference in the National Construction Code (NCC), as it is referred to within AS/NZS 4859 Materials for the thermal insulation of buildings, Part 1 General criteria and technical provisions.
If you are either a contractor or a do-it-yourself insulation installer, AS 3999 Bulk thermal insulation – Installation can cater to both new installations and retrofits. Primarily for domestic dwellings, AS 3999 specifies general requirements and common procedures for installing bulk insulation safely.
The main changes to this edition include a new normative requirement for the provision of an installer’s statement that details the insulation type and materials used in the completed installation. The committee has also recognised the risk of potential overheating by electric cables and equipment.
The importance of waterproofing
Improperly installed waterproofing in wet areas can be a common and very expensive problem for new buildings and renovations (to read more, turn to page 26). Small mistakes or defects are easy to miss, given that most waterproofing membranes are hidden behind tiles, facades and other building materials.
Standards Australia has two technical committees responsible for waterproofing, both inside and outside the home. BD-038 Wet Areas in Buildings is responsible for AS 3740 Waterproofing of domestic wet areas – a standard that forms part of the deemed-to-satisfy requirement in the NCC. Moving outside, BD-013 External Waterproofing Membranes is the committee that maintains AS 4654 Waterproofing membranes for external above-ground use. This two-part standard is also referenced in the NCC.
Published in 2010, AS 3740 Waterproofing of domestic wet areas sets out the criteria for waterproofing wet areas within domestic buildings. It gives minimum requirements for materials, designs and installations. Consistent with current waterproofing practices, the standard provides:
– Risk levels of different wet areas.
– Clarification of usage definitions.
– Design and installation techniques.
– Typical detail diagrams for different applications.
– Guidance on the extent of waterproofing for wet areas.
Industry research and experience has shown that the design of roofs, decks, balconies and planter boxes contributes towards many waterproofing failures.
Part 1 of AS 4654 Waterproofing membranes for external above-ground use outlines the requirements for materials in a waterproofing system and ensures the user is aware of the basic properties needed to prepare effective external waterproofing installations. The second section relates to the design and installation of external waterproofing.
Keeping standards up-to-date
Australian Standards are living documents that reflect progress in science, technology and systems. To maintain their currency, all standards are periodically reviewed and new editions are published.
Between editions, amendments may be issued and we welcome proposals to amend, revise or develop new Australian Standards. The first round of submissions has closed for this year and the next round opens on 11 August 2014. For details in relation to the proposal process, please visit our website.
Calling all Young Leaders
Standards Australia is pleased to announce the call for applications for the 2014-2015 Young Leaders Program, which is designed to bring together Australia’s next generation of standards experts. The program provides an opportunity to become involved in the national and international standardisation and conformity assessment frameworks supporting Australian industry.
If you have ever wondered about how Australian Standards are developed or are looking for a mentor to help develop your leadership skills, then this program might be for you. The Young Leaders Program provides formal training in drafting standards, writing for a non-technical audience and facilitation, negotiation and leadership skills. Participants are paired with an experienced mentor who has extensive committee experience. They also have the opportunity to attend relevant technical committee meetings for active standards development projects
Visit our website, or contact Standards Australia at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.