Codes & Standards

Our aim is to increase the use of wood-based products through the development and/or maintenance of key standards, codes and handbooks that are developed through a consensus-based process.

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Building codes and standards are documents that directly influence the way we specify, design and use products in the built environment.

The aim of FWPA’s Codes and Standards activities is to increase the use of wood-based products through the development and/or maintenance of key standards, codes and handbooks that are developed through a consensus-based process. These documents may have the authority of an Australian or International standard (if required) or any other format to deliver the appropriate industry outcome.

FWPA works closely with all parts of the value chain to enhance the competitive advantage of timber products and seeks to understand the market requirements to expand the opportunity for both locally grown and manufactured and imported timber products. For any questions please contact Boris Iskra. You can also subscribe to updates from this program via this link

Current Activities

FWPA actively participates in the development of Australian standards that directly impact on the use of timber products. Specifically, FWPA is represented on the following Timber Committees: TM-010 Timber Structure and Framing; TM-011 Engineered Timber Products; and TM-012 Timber Grading & Preservation.

We also have representation on the following Built Environment CommitteesBD-006 General Design Requirements and Loading on Structures;BD-011 Interior Board Linings; BD-043 Formwork; BD-074 Termites; BD-099 Wind Loads for Housing; BD-111 Prefabricated Building; FP-018 Fire Safety; FP-020 Construction In Bushfire Prone Areas; and SB-000 Sustainable Buildings.

FWPA has recently established a Standards Reference Panel (SRP) that has been formed to assist with prioritisation, coordination, and development of industry product standards. The SRP consists of members intimately involved with and from various sectors of the timber industry including academia, state industry associations, engineered wood products manufacturers, softwood and hardwood structural producers, softwood treaters, frame & truss manufacturers, LVL & I-joists manufacturers, and timber importers.

codes & standards timber low and mid rise

Low- & Mid-rise Timber Buildings

FWPA submitted a number of Proposal-for-Change (PFC) requests to the Australian Building Codes Board’s (ABCB) which were accepted and resulted in changes to the National Construction Code Volume One (NCC) to permit:

  • 3-storey Class 3 timber-framed buildings (e.g., hotel/motel) in the NCC 2014
  • Mid-rise timber buildings (up to 8 storeys typically) to be constructed for Class 2, 3 and 5 buildings (NCC 2016) and subsequently for all classes of buildings (NCC 2019) under the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions. The success of this program was due to the extensive National stakeholder consultation, full-scale fire testing, and supportive WoodSolutions Technical Design Guides developed during this period to assist designers, specifiers, regulators, and other building and design professionals.
codes & standards fire test

Full-scale Fire Tests

R&D in support of the NCC mid-rise timber building code changes. Two full-scale fire tests of lightweight engineered wood products were undertaken to support their use as floor joist members in mid-rise timber buildings. This work was undertaken in response to questions in relation to the fire performance of these types of products. The results of the fire test demonstrated that these engineered floor joist products will support the floor design load for the required 90-minute and 120-minute fire performance.

Typical construction details (e.g. fire-rated wall penetrations, lift door detailing) that are commonly used in “traditional” forms of construction were also developed and assessed for use in mid-rise timber buildings. 

codes & standards roof

Building In Bushfire-prone Areas

FWPA actively participates in various Standards Australia’s committee with one of these being FP-020 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas. In response to concerns about the use of timber products in extreme bushfire areas, the FWPA jointly funded an AS 1530.8.2 fire test of a sheet metal roofing, timber roof system for use in Flame Zone (BAL–FZ) conditions. The test was successful, being the first roof system tested and passed, and has now been incorporated into AS 3959 (bushfire standard) as a compliant solution.

Bushfire Attack Level Software

FWPA funded the development of a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) software package to provide designers and building authorities with a more accurate approach to the assigning of BALs and to remove some of the unnecessary penalties, and associated costs, with building in bushfire-prone areas. The software package has been developed as an on-line tool that will enable the user to input the appropriate site data and obtain a printout of both the input and output results. 

codes & standards background

Background & Guidance: AS/NZS 1748 Series 2011

This document (incl AS/NZS 4490:2011) provides background and guidance to support the use of the following suite of Australian/New Zealand Standards:

  • AS/NZS 1748.1:2011 Timber – Solid – Stress-graded for structural purposes, Part 1: General requirements
  • AS/NZS 1748.2:2011 Timber – Solid – Stress-graded for structural purposes, Part 2: Qualification of grading method
  • AS/NZS 4490:2011 Timber – Solid – Stress-graded for structural purposes – Verification of properties

These standards enable the stress-grading of structural timber using any grading method (e.g. visual, mechanical) and relies on a number of principles for proving the performance of the stress-graded structural product. 

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