Items of news of general interest to those in the industry.

May include aspects of Architecture, Innovative design, new products or issues of interest.

The Second Annual Summit Conference being held in Melbourne from 25-26 June 2018 will be concentrating on the Fire Issues pertaining to dangerous cladding in particular.

Details of the event can be found at the following webpage, from which the text below is extracted with acknowledgement.

Event Details - Agenda and Booking

"2017 was a tragic turning point for the construction and safety industry with the Grenfell Tower fire in London. For Australia, it was a particularly sobering reminder of the narrowly avoided disaster at Melbourne’s Lacrosse Tower fire in 2014.

As governments, taskforces, regulators, and industry bodies continue to work together to ensure that no such tragedy happens again, the much broader discussion around non-compliant products and accountability has come into focus. In addition to the risks associated with some cladding products, the sector is coming under further scrutiny on topics such as glass, wiring and waterproofing."

A new (future) draft version of the NCC (National Construction Code) is now available for public comment. Comments are due by COB April 13 2018.

To view this document (in PDF format) you may need to login or register at the ABCB (Australian Building Codes Board) website https://www.abcb.gov.au/

Of interest to many involved in lightweight structures, and in particular tension membrane structures, are the new requirements related to fire. These new requirements have been the result of a number of fatal fires in Australia and overseas. See this article for an interim report related to fires and cladding.

There are a number of product orientated "white papers" that may be of some interest to designers located HERE

To download, you have to give your contact details which may not appeal to all.

Prepared by the Tensile Membrane Structures Standards Committee of the Codes and Standards Activities Division of the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE

Standard ASCE/SEI 55-16 provides minimum criteria for the analysis, design, and performance of membrane-covered cable and rigid member structures, collectively known as tensile membrane structures. It is applicable to both permanent and temporary structures.

Within CEN/TC 250/WG 5, CEN/TC 248/WG 4, the TensiNet Association and COST Action TU1303, an international team of researchers, engineers, architects, material producers and manufacturers has been working on this report, which provides background information in support of the implementation and development of a future Eurocode for the Structural Design of Tensile Membrane Structures.

Tensioned Membrane Structures have unique properties compared to the more conventional built environment. Besides their low self-weight and high flexibility these structures are known to be 'optimally' constructed, as they are only loaded in tension. It results in shapes adapted to the flow of forces and a minimum of material needed to realise the span.

Important revisions have taken place for fire detection and control in buildings across a number of Standards.

These set out the minimum requirements that should be in place during design and construction to ensure compliance.

Recent revisions include:

AS/NZS 1668.1:2015
The use of ventilation and air conditioning in buildings - Fire and smoke control in buildings

AS 1670.1:2015
Fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems - System design, installation and commissioning

AS 1670.4:2015
Fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems - System design, installation and commissioning - Emergency warning and intercom systems

Article added February 2016. For more information, see SAI Global website

 

The Australian Building Codes Board have recently published a new standard for Temporary Structures.

The LSAA contributed to its development. 

This Standard is intended for use in the design, construction and use of temporary structures. It provides criteria for structural safety (particularly determining appropriate wind actions), fire safety (including fire resistance of materials, fire safety services and equipment, and egress), access, sanitary facilities and certain ancillary provisions.

It is still open for adoption by particular State or Territory Authorities.

A copy may be found HERE

The famous German Engineer - Architect Frei Otto has been awarded the 2015 Pritzker Architecture Prize one day after his death.

Frei Otto was regarded as the most influential person to drive the modern move to adopt large span lightweight structures using fabrics, timber gridshells and cablenets.

He was very passionate about sharing his knowledge and ideas through the establishment of the Institute of Lightweight Structures at Stuggart University and hence its broad range of publications as well as a large number of students that spent time there.

Australian Standard for Swimming Pools

A new Australian Standard AS 1926.1-2012 "Swimming pool safety - Safety barriers for swimming pools" has just been released.

The objective of this Standard is to assist pool owners/users in avoiding pool-related drowning by providing design, construction and performance of various barrier options, which are designed to restrict entry to the swimming pool area by young children.

As LSAA members are often involved in the provision of shade structures to pools and playgrounds, this new standard may have some relevance.