Ceramic Facades

Ceramic Non-Combustible Facade Cladding Systems | AS1530.1

Non-combustible building facade.

Ceramic non-combustible façade cladding has gained popularity throughout recent years following the in appropriate use of combustible products which have created notable fire events. Non-combustible ceramic cladding is manufactured from materials that will not burn or flame, making it one of the best options available on the market for new builds and refurbishments of commercial and residential buildings. 

Ceramic facade application on a Sydney hospital.
When non-combustible facades are used in construction, the spread of fire is hampered giving occupants of the building enough time to exit the building. This is notably important in medium and high-rise buildings.

AS1530.1 is a combustibility test that gauges whether a product is non-combustible or not. Hence, if a product is not AS1530.1 compliant, it is labelled a combustible product. 

There are certain products on the market that have been through further testing to comply with specific Building Types and Performance Requirements of the BCA. The BCA has an approved method under the BCA Provision AO.5 (b)(ii) Verification Methods, in which there is an applicable authority approval for determining compliance with the Performance Requirement. 

Testing criteria include fire resistance, fire spread, and fire propagation amongst others. It is important to note that such tests are very stringent and focus on the performance and application for which a particular product is being tested. 

For instance, a product may fail the AS1530.1 combustibility test but may pass the BAL40 Bushfire Attack Level, allowing the product to be used in bushfire-prone areas. 

BS8414 on the other hand is a large-scale system test method used to assess the fire safety of facade cladding for buildings. This two-part test defines the testing method to determine the cladding in two different setups and has become the standard in countries such as Australia and the UAE. 

Non-Combustible Facades

Macksville hospital facade with KeraTwin non-combustible facade panels.
KLAY was the proud supplier of Agrob Buchtal Keratwin non-combustible façade panels for the Macksville Hospital in the Nambucca Valley NSW.

All habitable buildings must have a non-combustible facade as they may be exposed to fire hazards from within or outside the building. If a facade system is combustible and a fire breaks out, it can rapidly spread across the outside of the building, where there is plenty of oxygen increasing the likelihood of fire spread to adjoining premises, and loss of life and property.

When non-combustible façade materials are used in construction, the spread of fire is prevented or hampered giving building occupants enough time to exit the building. This is notably important in medium and high-rise buildings.

KLAY ceramic facade systems by German manufacturer Agrob Buchtal are made of completely non-combustible materials produced at temperatures of about 1260C. Materials have been tested by the CSIRO and are classified non-combustible under AS1530.1 

Non-Combustible Cladding

Agrob Bucthal ceramic non-combustible facade systems offer an ideal cladding solution for any new or refurbishment project, offering not only a non-combustible envelope for the building but also providing thermal protection, noise isolation and importantly the benefits of Hytect. Hytect’s proven benefits include self cleaning properties, a reduction in the growth of bacteria and microorganisms and the active breakdown of air borne pollutants as verified by independent testing institutes. The cladding material itself has low water absorption ensuring the weight load of the building is reduced, which translates into a more economical structure.

The external shell of a building plays an important role in not only elevating the aesthetic value of a building but in providing added protection to the structure and its occupants. One of the best means of improving safety against fire in medium and high-rise buildings is to use non-combustible cladding. These materials do not contribute to the spread or formation of fire, and guarantee that the facade is constructed to the highest fire safety standards possible. 

It is important to plan for and mitigate the possible dangers involved with current and future medium and high rise buildings by ensuring that they are built with non-combustible cladding. 

Non-Combustible Brick Slip Facades

KeraTwin ceramic facade system.
Keratwin, Agrob Buchtal ceramic facade perfectly combined with KLAY brick slips for an environmentally sustainable, non-combustible and architecturally modern solution.

Where a more residential or human scale design is required, an alternative to the Agrob Bucthal ceramic non-combustible facade systems is the use of brickslips. These products, also fired at temperatures greater than 1300 degrees, are completely non-combustible.

KLAY offers an extensive range of brick slip across a range of colours and surface textures all of which are non-combustible and do not contribute to fire risk or smoke emission. KLAY is one of the most trusted suppliers of non-combustible brick slip products in Australia. Fire safety prevention is one of our primary concerns and we can provide detailed documentation regarding the fire safety specifications on our products. 

Alternatives to Combustible Facades

Combustible facades may increase the risk of severe damage in case of fire.  Of primary concern are incidences such as:

  • Re-entry of fire: If fire spreads across external cladding, it may find entry points into the building such as open windows. Fire may bypass interior fire doors and other safety measures, resulting in secondary fires within the building. 
  • Toxic smoke: The smoke from combustible panels can pose a serious danger to the people in and around the building. Smoke from flammable materials can enter the ventilation system of high rise buildings and can easily spread within the vicinity. 
  • Ascension of external fire: As the heat from a fire builds below, the fire is transmitted to the panels above, which results in the fire spreading upwards. This can cause major and immediate damage to the exteriors of the building as well as pose high risks to the people inside. 

The good news is that there are alternatives to combustible facades. KLAY offers a wide range of non-combustible brick and ceramic facade systems in various colours, formats and finishes. No matter what type of facade design you wish to achieve, KLAY can help you turn it into reality. 

What is the Difference Between AS1530.1 and AS5113 Compliance?

To put it simply, AS1530.1 compliance means products undergo a small-scale combustibility test that measures combustion and melting while AS5113 (accepts BS8414 test) is a large-scale facade test. 

AS5113/BS8414 Fire Test For a Composite Cladding Product

Participants in the facade cladding industry must understand the provisions of the BCA assessment of and compliance with cladding products. 

For instance, cladding products that may not comply with the AS1530.1 combustibility test but passed the AS5113/BS8414 fire test can be used on external walls of up to 100 metres high. 

Flammable Cladding

It is important to highlight the dangers of flammable cladding materials since the effectiveness and efficiency of the materials used in the construction of buildings are crucial factors in the amenable, safe, and healthy building results. 

For more information on non-combustible facade systems, contact KLAY and one of our sales consultants will assist you.