Technical Specifications

 

FPA Australia's Technical Specifications for Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems Design and Installation for both FPAA101D (Drinking Water Supply) and FPAA101H (Hydrant Water Supply) were published in December 2018.

 

These Technical Specifications are referenced in the National Construction Code 2019 (NCC 2019).

 

 

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Click here to purchase your copy of FPAA101H.

 

 

FPA Australia released in May 2020 Guide to Technical Specifications: FPAA101D and FPAA10H - Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems Design and Installation - Drinking Water Supply and Hydrant Water Supply (the Technical Specifications' Guide).

 

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Background and context

 

Recent tests have shown that fires in modern buildings burn at a rate eight times faster than 50 years ago. A coronial inquest into a 2012 apartment fire in Bankstown NSW prompted the NSW Coroner to recommend investigation of a fit-for-purpose, cost effective sprinkler system for Class 2 and 3 buildings.

 

In response to this recommendation, Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) funded research and testing conducted by CSIRO in conjunction with FRNSW and FPA Australia staff and members to investigate and test such systems.

 

FPA Australia Technical Specifications FPAA101D and FPAA101H were developed as a result of this research; reference existing requirements of current Australian Standards; and, require the use of listed sprinkler heads within the scope of their listing.

 

One of the key ways a more cost effective system was achieved was by adapting the system design to use existing water supplies in the building - either the domestic water supply or the hydrant system water supply.

 

These Technical Specifications formed part of a successful Proposal for Change (PFC) to the National Construction Code (NCC) Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Provisions to require sprinkler systems in Class 2 and 3 buildings with 4 storeys or more and an effective height of not more than 25 m. This proposal was submitted and supported by FPA Australia, FRNSW and the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC).

 

The resulting changes to the NCC 2019 provide new DTS Provisions that mandate sprinkler protection providing appropriate fire suppression in Class 2 and 3 buildings where no fire suppression has been previously required.

 

The main objective and purpose of these new sprinkler systems is to significantly increase the level of life safety for occupants by providing automatic fire suppression, therefore increasing the available safe egress time.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What documents do I need to be able to apply FPAA101D or FPAA101H?

 

As mentioned in Background and Context above, FPAA101D and FPAA101H are now referenced by the NCC 2019. As such, to understand where they are able to be applied to satisfy the Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Provisions of the NCC, please refer directly to the NCC. Specifically, Clause E1.5, Specification E1.5 and Specification E1.5a of Volume One of the NCC (Volume One of the Building Code of Australia) as well as the relevant fire safety section of the Plumbing Code of Australia, PCA, (Volume Three of the NCC).

 

You can access the NCC for free by going to the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) website here and registering for a free login.

 

Also as mentioned, FPAA101D and FPAA101H refer to Australian Standards. In particular, FPAA101D adopts and varies AS 2118.5-2008 and references AS 2118.1:2017 and AS/NZS 3500.1:2018*. FPAA101H references AS 2118.1:2017, AS 2419.1-2005 and AS 2941-2013.

 

These Australian Standards can be purchased in hard copy from FPA Australia using the Australian Standards and NFPA Codes & Handbooks order form found here.

 

*Note: FPAA101D actually references AS/NZS 3500.1:2015 due to its development prior to the publication of AS/NZS 3500.1:2018. Any secondary reference document must use the NCC referenced version if that secondary reference document is also a primary reference document of the NCC. Accordingly, AS/NZS 3500.1:2018 is referenced by the NCC and it is that version that must be applied in applying FPAA101D under the DTS Provisions of the NCC. See IB-09 Application of Primary and Secondary Reference Documents under the Building Code of Australia for more information regarding these requirements.

 

 

Are these Technical Specifications intended to replace AS 2118.1 or AS 2118.4?

 

The FPAA101D and FPAA101H sprinkler system specifications are not intended to be a substitute for existing Australian Standards AS 2118.1, AS 2118.4 or AS 2118.6.

 

The new FPAA101 automatic fire sprinkler system designs were developed for buildings that previously did not require sprinkler protection.

 

NCC 2019 DTS Provisions that require sprinkler systems in Class 2 and 3 buildings of 4 storeys or more and an effective height of not more than 25 m provide the option to use any of the following documents for the sprinkler system design:

 

  • AS 2118.1
  • AS 2118.4
  • FPAA101D
  • FPAA101H

 

It is up to the designer or building owner to determine which system is most appropriate for their building.

 

 

So what is the difference between AS 2118.1 & AS 2118.4 and FPAA101D and FPAA101H?

 

The main difference between FPAA101D & FPAA101H and AS 2118.1 & AS 2118.4 is that FPAA101D and FPAA101H extend from an existing water supply system already required within the building (either drinking water or hydrant water supply) rather than a dedicated standalone sprinkler water supply.

 

 

Does FPA Australia have any guidance on how to use FPAA101D and FPAA101H?

 

Yes. FPA Australia published a comprehensive guide to these Technical Specification in May 2020.

This guide was produced to:

 

  • Provide detailed information on the background and context of the development of the Technical Specifications and their adoption in the NCC;
  • Explain how they can be used under the NCC DTS Provisions;
  • Provide a clause by clause guide to each of the Technical Specifications to explain the intent behind, and/or how to implement, each clause; and
  • Answer frequently asked questions about the Technical Specifications.


Visit here to purchase this guide.

 

I have a question about the Technical Specifications.

 

FPA Australia understands there may be many questions on how to apply these new systems. The Technical Specifications' Guide (here) aims to provide comprehensive guidance on the application of these new systems and answer frequently asked questions.

 

If you have a specific question that is not addressed by this guide then we would encourage you to submit this using the Technical Query form found here. Please note, as per this Technical Queries page, we cannot provide consultative advice on site specific issues.

 

 

I would like to recommend improvements to the Technical Specifications and Guide

 

FPA Australia is committed to ongoing improvement in all of its documents, both our Technical Documents and these Technical Specifications and Guide, to ensure these remain up to date and easy to apply.

If you have a suggestion for how to improve the Technical Specifications and Guide, please submit this to technical@fpaa.com.au.

When you make your suggestion, please make sure to:

 

  • Identify what document your suggestions relates to (e.g. FPAA101D, FPAA101H or Guide);
  • Identify the relevant section, clause, figure etc. in the document that the suggestion relates to and the page that this is found on;
  • Provide information on the matter of concern with the section, clause, figure etc.; and
  • Provide your suggestion for how to address this matter.


Only suggestions with this information will be considered.

Also, please note that - given these are published and/or NCC referenced documents - immediate changes cannot be readily made or adopted. However, all suggestions will be retained and considered during the next revision of these documents.