AlphaPanel® has been extensively tested to meet all requirements of the NCC, this testing has proven AlphaPanel® to be one of the most superior building materials available in the Australian Construction Industry.
AlphaPanel® wall systems are CodeMark Certified - Certificate Number CM30131. The CodeMark Scheme is a building product certification scheme. The rules of the Scheme are available at the ABCB website www.abcb.gov.au.
AlphaPanel® wall systems specified and installed in accordance with XCEM's technical literature, satisfy the following NCC performance requirements:
Volume One – BP1.1 and BP1.2: The system has been designed to resist wind actions in accordance with AS1170.2 to the magnitudes specified for the nominated fixing method and spacings.
Volume Two – P2.1.1: The cladding systems have been designed to resist wind actions in accordance with AS 4055 for non-cyclonic wind classes N1, N2, N3, N4 and N5, and cyclonic wind classes C1, C2 and C3 when fixed in accordance with the design tables in the relevant sections of this Design Guide.
The structural capacity of AlphaPanel® has been determined in accordance with standard test procedures for concrete, fibre-reinforced concrete, masonry, and autoclaved aerated concrete as advised by Enertren, and by testing conducted at a Registered Testing Laboratory (BEMAC Laboratories – NATA Accreditation No. 1393, Site No. 1386).
The test reports are evidence of suitability as per NCC Volume One A2.2(2)(a) and Volume Two A2.2(2)(a) satisfying the Assessment Method of NCC Volume One A5.2(1)(d) and Volume Two A5.2(1)(d). The interpretation of the results of those tests to the applications specified in Enertren Report XCM-001 V.6 constitutes evidence of suitability as per NCC Volume One A5.2(1)(e) and Volume Two A5.2(1)(e).
Panel Strength and Serviceability Testing
Full-scale panel load/deflection tests on 35 mm and 50 mm thick AlphaPanel® were based on the test method specified in AS 5146.2 Appendix P. The panels exhibited ductile behaviour under this four-point bend testing.
The stiffness of the panels from testing was used to determine the elastic modulus of the material, which was calculated to be:
Ec = 10,500 MPa
The characteristic bending capacity of the panels was determined to be:
φM35 = 0.37 kNm/m
φM50 = 0.41 kNm/m
The capacity of screw connections in AlphaPanel® was determined by testing with characteristic values determined in accordance with AS/NZS 1170.0 Appendix B. A capacity reduction factor of φ = 0.5 has been adopted for connection strength design. The connection strength for various fixing configurations in AlphaPanel® is as follows:
No.12-11-30 Type 17 Hex Head Tek screw in pullout from AlphaPanel® – φNt,po = 0.80 kN
No.8-12x45 Countersunk Head screw in head pull-through AlphaPanel® – φNt,pt = 1.70 kN
No.12-11-30 Type 17 Hex Head Tek screw in shear in AlphaPanel® – φVb = 1.55 kN
The fire performance of AlphaPanel® wall systems is based on testing carried out by CSIRO (NATA Accreditation No. 165, Site No. 3625) & Warringtonfire (NATA Accreditation No. 3277, Site No. 3270). For walls complying with NCC Volume One Specification C1.1 and Part G5, and NCC Volume Two 184.108.40.206 and Part 3.10.5:
For compliance with NCC Volume One C1.9 and Schedule 3 and NCC Volume Two Schedule 3 for non-combustible building materials: Warringtonfire Test Certificate SFCRFT190393, AS 1530.1:1994 (R2016)– AlphaPanel® is not deemed combustible. For compliance with NCC Volume One Specification C3.15 & C3.4: Warringtonfire report FAS210171. The above test reports are evidence of suitability as per NCC Volume One A2.3(2)(a) & Volume Two A2.3(2)(a) satisfying the Assessment Method of NCC Volume One A5.2(1)(d) & Volume Two A5.2(1)(d).
Compliance with NCC Volume One Part FP1 and NCC Volume Two BP2.2.2 is satisfied when the AlphaPanel® external wall system is detailed and installed in accordance with this Design Guide, and the referenced façade engineering report by Rickard Engineering.
AlphaPanel® has been tested at Ian Bennie & Associates Registered Testing Laboratory (NATA Accreditation No. 2371, Site No. 2364) in accordance with AS/NZS 4284 and meets the weatherproofing requirements for FP1.4 (test reports 2021-010-S1 & 2021-010-S2). The key performance achievements of the tests were AlphaPanel® cavity systems achieved 4kPa serviceability when AlphaPanel® was used in conjunction with a 13mm rigid air barrier, and 1.2kPa serviceability when AlphaPanel was used with a pliable membrane.
The basis of compliance is NCC Volume One A2.2(2)(a) and Two A2.2(2)(a) with evidence of compliance satisfying the Assessment Method of NCC Volume One A5.2(1)(e) and Volume Two A5.2(1)(e). In acordance with the NCC requirements, there are no Deemed to Satisfy Provisions to address weatherproofing external walls. A Performance Solution is to be developed to show that the proposed design meets the requirements of FP1.4.
SOUND TRANSMISSION & INSULATION
The acoustic performance of AlphaPanel® walls has been determined by PKA Consulting based on testing carried out at Resolute Testing Laboratories Pty Ltd (NATA Accreditation No.: 20089, Site No.: 23656). Refer to Report Ref.: PKA100XCM R01v2, Acoustic Performance Assessment – XCEM AlphaPanel® High-Rise Wall Systems for full details and conditions. The Sound Transmission and Insulation sections within the following wall system sections of this Design Guide provide a summary of the performance of AlphaPanel® relevant walls.
The basis of compliance with NCC Volume One F5.5 and NCC Volume Two Part 3.8.6 is NCC Volume One A2.3(2)(a) and Volume Two A2.3(2)(a) satisfying the Assessment Methods of NCC Volume One A5.2(1)(d) and (e) and Volume Two A5.2(1)(d) and (e).
AlphaPanel® wall systems specified and installed in accordance with Enertren report XCM- 001 V.6 and this Design Guide, contribute to compliance with the following NCC performance requirements:
Volume One – JP1 Volume Two – P2.6.1
The thermal conductivity of AlphaPanel® was determined by testing carried out by AWTA Product Testing (Test Number: 21-00184, ASTM C518-2017 Steady-State Thermal Transmission Properties by Means of the Heat Flow Apparatus). The average value of thermal conductivity of the specimens tested was as follows:
λ = 0.788 W/mK
This test report is evidence of suitability as per NCC Volume Two A2.3(2)(a) satisfying the Assessment Method of NCC Volume Two A5.2(1)(d). AWTA Product Testing is a registered testing authority for heat and temperature testing – NATA Accreditation No. 1356. The element thermal resistance of AlphaPanel® is specified in Table 3.1.
The above values shall be used as input to the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions for wall R-Value calculations. The element R-Value is used in wall system total R-Value calculations that include air-films, cavities, added insulation and other wall elements, such that the minimum total R-Value for an external wall system exceeds the minimum specified Deemed-to-Satisfy Total R-Value for a specified Climate Zone. These values are provided in: NCC Volume One – Clause J1.5 & NCC Volume Two – Clause 220.127.116.11.
BASIX must be used for Energy Efficiency compliance, therefore this data and the relevant wall total R-value must be referred to the project BASIX practitioner for incorporation into their assessment model for the buildings. If the wall framing is cold-formed steel, a thermal break providing R0.2 may need to be applied between the top hats and the steel stud frame as per NCC Volume One J0.5 or NCC Volume Two 18.104.22.168(d). Refer to BASIX practitioner for confirmation.
In the context of the NCC, durability is the capability of a building or its components to remain serviceable over a specified time period. While there is not a specific major section in the NCC concerning durability, it is implied that the materials and components used and the construction and finishing of a building is completed such that the design life can be reliably achieved.
Design for durability involves selection of an appropriate strategy for reliability. The specified minimum performance at the target design life can be achieved by adopting one of a number of strategies as follows:
No maintenance or repair
With maintenance and repair
The location of elements within a building structure influences the strategy decision. For example, it is impractical to inspect, let alone maintain or repair components that are embedded within wall and floor cavities, so the design for durability should be focused on Strategy 1 from above – i.e. design life met through the properties of the component initially.
AlphaPanel® is considered adequate for all external applications above the DPC as per masonry unit 'general purpose' requirements in AS 4773.1 Table 4.1 or AS 3700 Table 5.1. Where standing water may occur against AlphaPanel®, a waterproof tanking membrane must be applied to the surface, as is normal for most forms of construction. Waterproofing solutions that meet the requirements of AS 4654.1 shall be specified. Ensure the specified tanking membrane is compatible with and carries a specification for application on the AlphaPanel® material.
General durability tests were carried out in accordance with AS/NZS 2908.2: Clause 6.1 Bending strength; Clause 6.3 Frost resistance; Clause 6.4 Warm water; Clause 6.6 Soak-dry. A full-scale system test on 35mm AlphaPanel® with bonded tongue and groove joints was carried out in accordance with AS 2908.2 Annex B. After 50 cycles of heat and rain no water drops had formed on the unexposed side of the panels and no significant deterioration of the panels was observed.
Testing was also carried out in accordance with AS/NZS 4456.10 Method B to determine equivalent durability grade if considered as a masonry unit. After 40 cycles in sodium chloride solution, the mean total mass loss was 0.4124 g which is just outside the Exposure Grade classification requiring no greater than 0.4 g. After 40 cycles in sodium sulphate solution, the mean total mass loss was 0.1 g. This performance of AlphaPanel® is considered adequate for all external applications above the DPC and protected by a paint finish. For areas in buildings where 'general purpose' masonry units are specified in AS 4773.1 Table 4.1 or AS 3700 Table 5.1, durability is achieved without a paint finish.
Cold-formed steel members
Cold-formed steel top hats shall have a minimum coating class of Z275 in accordance with AS 1397. This is considered acceptable for applications within the building envelope in areas greater than 300 m from breaking surf. The cavity is not considered to be within the building envelope, so top hat battens and baffles in this area may only be the minimum specification in areas more than 10 km from breaking surf and more than 1 km from large non-surf salt- water areas. For coastal locations and for components used in the cavity, refer to the cold- formed steel manufacturer’s specifications for suitability of the specified product for the application at the project site. AS/NZS 2312 provides guidance on protection of steel against atmospheric corrosion. Connections, such as screws for fixing AlphaPanel® to top hats and fixing top hats to studs must have the appropriate durability class for the site and application. Not less than Class 3 in accordance with AS 3566.2 shall be used.
The possibility of condensation occurring within building elements must be considered in the detailing and specification of the building fabric. The mechanism of condensation is through the behaviour of water vapour in air and is a function of the local climate and occupant behaviour. Water vapour condenses out of air on material surfaces that are below the dew point temperature. The presence of condensation within the building envelope can lead to a degradation of materials, therefore careful design through use of insulation and vapour barriers to prevent condensation, or the active control of the effects, must be undertaken specific to the site conditions. Refer to ABCB Guideline Document – Condensation in Buildings and NCC Volume One Part F6 and NCC Volume Two Part 3.8.7 for guidance.