Passive Fire Protection
What You Need
What is Passive Fire Protection
Passive fire protection refers to the use of construction elements within a building that are designed to prevent or delay the spread of fire and/or smoke to different parts of the building. Passive fire protection is one of the methods used to protect buildings and people from fire. Other methods that may also be used include active fire protection such as fire sprinklers and alarms. This is supported by good fire safety management to ensure that fire protection is available at all times, facilitating escape in the event of fire and preventing damage to adjacent buildings.
NZ Building Code and Performance Requirements
The minimum requirements for fire protection in buildings are given by the NZBC. The NZBC is performance based, with a set of mandatory performance requirements. Whether the building is a new build, existing building or a refurbishment, the requirements of the NZBC, via the Building Act, must be met. Meeting NZBC requirements may be achieved by:
◼ compliance with the Acceptable Solutions
◼ following a Verification Method
◼ an Alternative Solution
◼ an ‘as near as reasonably practicable’ (ANARP) solution for change of use or alterations in existing buildings.
Passive fire protection systems generally contribute to meeting clauses C1–C6 of the NZBC. For compliance with Acceptable Solutions C/AS1–7, Appendix C of the Acceptable Solutions gives the test methods and related standards by which the fire resistance rating (FRR) of passive fire protection is determined. These methods may also be used with C/VM2 and Alternative Solutions. Passive fire protection systems are also required to satisfy NZBC clause B2 Durability to ensure that a building will continue to satisfy the performance requirements of the NZBC throughout its specified intended life. Passive systems must continue to perform for 5, 15 or 50 years depending on their function, difficulty of access and the ease of detecting their failure to comply. Further guidance on meeting NZBC clause B2 is outside the scope of this guide
Passive Fire Protection in buildings is for the construction industry, especially those involved in designing, specifying and installing passive fire protection.
AS 1530.4-2014 Methods for fire tests on building materials, components and structures.
AS 4072.1-2005 Components for the protection of openings in fire-resistant separating elements