Gyprock Education Solutions

Fire Solutions for Education Facilities

For education buildings of two or more storeys (Class 5, construction), the BCA Deemed to Satisfy Provisions have specifications for various internal walls and shafts, for external walls close to property boundaries, and for floors and roofs.

Smart Fire

Gyprock provides tested system recommendations that meet the functional needs and fire compliance requirements for education facilities. These are outlined in the Gyprock Education Design Guide with a much wider selection available through the online System Selector and The Gyprock Red Book.

The following plasterboards are designed to be used in fire rated systems. The formulation for a fire grade board can also increase its acoustic insulation and impact resistance properties.

These plasterboards are recommended by Gyprock in wall and ceiling systems to meet functional needs and fire compliance requirements for education facilities including:

  • Stairways and common areas
  • Internal walls
  • Service shafts and plant rooms
  • External walls, roofs and ceilings

Fire Testing

Fire rating of wall and floor/ceiling elements is assessed by laboratory testing under standard conditions of temperature, pressure and specimen size. The test specimen is heated until the failure criterion has been reached. Assessment criteria are represented by three performance measurements known as ‘Fire Resistance Levels’ (FRL).

Test criteria in order of representation:

  • Structural Adequacy - Failure occurs when the specimen collapses under load.
  • Integrity - Failure occurs when the specimen develops cracks or openings through which flames or hot gases can pass.
  • Insulation - Failure occurs when the temperature of the unexposed surface of the specimen reaches a certain level.

The test performance of the specimen is expressed as a ‘Fire Resistance Level’, which indicates the number of minutes for which the specimen fulfils the requirements of the three fire test criteria.

For example: – /120/120.

  • The first position notes structural adequacy. A dash indicates no requirement for this criteria, which applies to all non-loadbearing systems.
  • The second position, shown here as 120 indicates ‘Integrity’ for 120 minutes.
  • The third position shown here as 120 indicates ‘Insulation’ for 120 minutes.

Some systems have multiple FRLs stated. FRLs expressed as –/y/z relate to non-loadbearing walls; FRLs expressed as x/y/z relate to loadbearing walls; or FRLs expressed as x/y/z* relate to walls with additional design limits.

BCA Fire Requirements for Education Buildings

For education buildings of two or more storeys (Class 5, construction), the BCA Deemed to Satisfy Provisions have specifications for various internal walls and shafts, for external walls close to property boundaries, and for floors and roofs.

It is assumed that floor and column fire rating is provided by concrete elements. The table below outlines the requirements for walls and roofs. Roofs are not required to have a rating if the covering is non-combustible and the building is less than three storeys or has a complying sprinkler system throughout. If the building is less than 25m high a fire rated ceiling may be used.

Additional requirements apply including: elements supporting fire rated construction, columns, atriums, sprinkler systems, tops of shafts, car parks, fire control services, doors and fire isolated exits.

The BCA limits the materials used in Class 9b buildings by controlling the Fire Hazard properties of linings. These properties are assessed using AS/ISO9705 room burn test or AS/NZS3837 the cone calorimeter test. The room burn test is a large scale test to determine SMOGRARC, and the cone calorimeter is a small scale test to determine a Group Number.

All Gyprock plasterboard products achieve a Group Number 1 Fire Hazard rating as well as a Smoke Growth Rate index of 0.

BCA FRL Requirements for Education Facilities

BCA Education Fire Requirements​​​