AS1288-2006 is the Australian standard that governs the selection and installation of glass in residential and commercial buildings. This comprehensive guide provides an in-depth look at the key aspects of these standards, ensuring that builders, designers, surveyors, and architects have the knowledge they need to achieve compliance and deliver high-quality, safe installations.
When it comes to doors, AS1288-2006 specifies that small panels are permitted, but they must adhere to specific measurements. These panels should be 3-4mm thick, have a maximum width of 125mm, and use annealed glass to a maximum of 0.1m². For panels measuring 5-6mm, the maximum width allowed is 300mm, and the annealed glass must not exceed 0.26m². Unframed doors, with the exception of bathroom doors, should use toughened glass with a maximum thickness of 10mm.
Side panels must also adhere to the AS1288-2006 standards. Ordinary annealed glass should be a minimum of 5mm thick and cover an area no greater than 0.3m². Decorated glass panels should be 3-4mm thick, not exceeding 0.1m² in area, and have a maximum width of 122mm. For decorated glass panels measuring 0.2m², the width must not exceed 300mm.
AS1288-2006 mandates that fully framed windows with ordinary annealed glass must be at least 5mm thick and not exceed an area of 1.2m². Larger areas are not permitted, regardless of glass thickness.
Glass Which Can Be Mistaken for Opening or Doorway
To prevent a glass panel from being mistaken for an opening or doorway, the following conditions must be met:
In bathrooms, AS1288-2006 requires the use of Grade A or Grade B safety glass, with mirrors being the only exception. However, mirrors must be fully adhered to the wall. Safety glass should be at least 5mm thick and not exceed an area of 2.2m². Shower screen doors must use Grade A toughened glass.
Louvre Blade Specifications
Louvre blades must use Grade A toughened glass, with a blade width of 5mm to 230mm and a length of 1000mm in side panels, schools, bathrooms, and aged care facilities.
Sashless Window Standards
For sashless windows with two horizontal unframed edges, AS1288-2006 requires the use of Grade A safety glass. The following specifications apply:
Stairway Glazing Requirements
Stairway glazing, including mirrors, must use Grade A toughened glass in the following situations:
Safety glass is not required when glazing is protected by solid barriers with a height of at least 1000mm.
Balustrade Glass and Handrail Requirements
IMPORTANT: Guidelines for balustrade glass has changed due to AS1288-2021 – click here and read AS1288-2021 updated guidelines for more info
AS1288-2006 stipulates that balustrades must have an interlinking handrail whenever the floor level difference exceeds 1000mm. The glass used should be fully framed on all four edges, with the following specifications for toughened glass between supports:
The span refers to the distance between supports.
Conclusion: Ensuring Compliance with AS1288-2006
By adhering to the AS1288-2006 standards for glass selection and installation, professionals in the building industry can ensure that their projects meet the required safety and quality criteria. This comprehensive guide serves as a valuable resource for builders, designers, surveyors, and architects, helping them navigate the complex requirements and specifications outlined in the AS1288-2006 standards. By following these guidelines, industry professionals can deliver safe and aesthetically pleasing glass installations for residential and commercial properties throughout Australia.
NCC 2022 and AS1288-2021: Key Changes Impacting Glass Selection and Installation in Australia
National Construction Code 2022 and Its Implications
The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) released the National Construction Code 2022 (NCC 2022) on October 1, 2022. This code, now available for use, is subject to various transition arrangements imposed by the ABCB and individual states and territories. The NCC 2022 will become mandatory in most jurisdictions starting May 1, 2023, with some exceptions. This article examines the key changes in the NCC 2022 and the revised AS1288-2021 standards, focusing on their impact on glass selection and installation in Australia.
Adoption Timeline for NCC 2022 and AS1288-2021
NCC 2022 will be adopted by Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania on May 1, 2023, and by Western Australia on May 1, 2024. South Australia, Australian Capital Territory, and Northern Territory have yet to announce formal adoption dates. Until the respective adoption dates, NCC 2019 Amendment 1 remains in force and can be used and referenced. Transition periods for other parts of the NCC, such as energy efficiency, condensation mitigation, and livable housing provisions, will come into effect on October 1, 2023.
Changes to Glass Barriers and Balustrades in AS1288-2021
AS1288-2021 primarily aims to clarify existing requirements and reduce the likelihood of misinterpretation of barrier provisions within the standard. The key changes and new requirements introduced are:
Limiting the use of monolithic toughened glass in barriers/balustrades above 5 m from ground level: Barriers protecting a height of more than 5 m must now use laminated glass, including annealed laminated, heat-strengthened laminated, or toughened laminate. Monolithic toughened glass can no longer be used in these locations.
Resolving ambiguity and clarifying requirements for support conditions and interlinking handrails in structural glass barriers/balustrades: Section 7’s prescriptive solutions have been extensively revised, including a redefinition of ‘interlinking handrails’ for clarity. All structural balustrades protecting a height of more than 1 m, including systems utilizing spigots, stand-offs, and other point-fixed type mounting systems, must be designed following Section 3 General Design Criteria.
Introducing new test methods for glass balustrades, particularly for spigot supports and stand-offs (point-fixed glazing): Appendix H introduces a new test methodology as an alternative to an engineered solution (in accordance with Section 3). This method provides uniform, predictable, and repeatable procedures for balustrade testing applicable to all building classes.
Clarifying loading requirements for glass balustrades in various building classes and applications: Appendix J now includes specific load criteria from AS/NZS 1170.1, relevant to various use types across all building classes in the NCC. This simplifies determining specific load combinations relevant to any given application, without the need to purchase additional standards, and helps users select the relevant applied loads when using the DTS tables in Section 7 of AS 1288.
Quantifying acceptable post-breakage deflection of structural laminate glazing and including a new informative test methodology for design verification: Structural glass barriers/balustrades protecting a fall of more than 1 m must be designed following serviceability limit states and maximum deflection limits outlined in clause 3.3.3. Maximum deflection under a 200 Newton force, applied post-breakage, is limited to 250 mm. Appendix I introduces a new informative post-breakage test for structural glass balustrades.
What Does This Mean for Me?
AS1288-2021 will become mandatory from May 1, 2023 for most Australian states and territories. Notably, the use of monolithic toughened glass in locations 5 m or more above the surface below is no longer permitted. This will generally apply for all Development Applications approved on or after May 1, 2023, or in the case of complying or exempt development, work commenced after this date.
Most importantly, barrier systems using spigots, face-mounted stand-offs, or other point-fixed systems or other structural balustrades protecting a height of more than 1 m must be designed following Section 3, which generally requires engineering certification or testing in accordance with Appendix H.
To ensure barrier/balustrade installations are compliant, we recommend purchasing hardware from suppliers who have had their product tested (as a whole assembly) or engineered for a particular load application and making your glass selection based on their specifications. The required certification needs to show the compliance of the system for an occupancy type, with the related load requirements clearly outlined to the client upon purchase.