From 1 May 2016, the Queensland variation of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) Volume 2 for slip-resistance on stairs lapsed.
Australian Standard 4586 - 2013 ‘Slip-resistance classification of new pedestrian surface materials’ will now apply to class 1 and 10 buildings in the 2016 edition of the BCA.
Prior to this, the requirements have only applied to building classes 2–9 within Volume 1 of the BCA, as adopted in 2014.
Since that time, the differences in slip resistance between Volume 1 and 2 have been aligned in the draft 2016 BCA. Slip-resistance classifications are now proposed for all stair treads, ramps and landings for all building classes.
For contractors in the residential sector, application of finishes to these areas must have documentary evidence to prove the classification. This applies to all finishes and surface types, including carpet, tiles, timber, vinyl, concrete and metal.
What do contractors have to do?
Currently, the classifications are applicable as follows:
Volume 1 – Class 2 to 9
This requires a classification not less than that listed in Table D2.14 for:
Ramp steeper than 1:14
P4 or R11
P5 or R12
Ramp steeper than 1:20 but not steeper than 1:14
P3 or R10
P4 or R11
Tread or landing surface
P3 or R10
P4 or R11
Nosing or Landing edge strip
Volume 2 – Class 1 & 10
The current performance requirements are:
A slip-resistant walking surface is required for ramps, and on stairways treads or near the edge of the nosing.
The current Table 126.96.36.199 only gives a classification for treads and a nosing strip.
The 2016 BCA draft suggests classifications will be included in Volume 2 for stair treads, ramps and landings.
Table 188.8.131.52 Slip resistance classification
Ramp not steeper than 1:8
P4 or R10
P5 or R12
Tread surfaceP3 or R10P4 or R11
Nosing or landing edge strip
Is the product compliant?For products like carpet, tiles, slate, vinyl, concrete and metal, not altered during installation, the manufacturers laboratory test, as per AS 4586, may be appropriate.
You should seek evidence of a test report before purchasing any product. Tests reports are not acceptable unless provided by a NATA organisation or a JAS–ANZ certification body.
Non-compliant test reports are unacceptable to building certifiers and in-situ wet pendulum testing may be required. Depending on the location this could be impractical with no guarantee that the classification can be achieved. The only solution being to install a tested nosing strip.
For timber surfaces any pre‐coated finish supplied by the manufacturer could be pre‐tested to AS 4586. Again, check the documentation before proceeding.
Timber stairs with polished treads as constructed on‐site will be problematic to test if not impossible. Therefore options, such as the application of nosing strips, adhesive tapes assessed through laboratory tests, per AS 4586, may be the only solution.
In 2006, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) commissioned a study to identify health and safety risks in buildings. The study found that slips trips and falls accounted for the greatest risk to health and safety over the lifetime of a building. Recently, the ABCB released the findings of a more detailed study that was undertaken by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC). One recommendation of the MUARC is for flooring manufactures and retailers to provide comparative information on slip resistance for their products
While building regulations have reduced most societal risk, individual risks have been gaining prominence, particularly in developed countries where the cost of slip and fall public liability claims is high. One question that is often asked is, have you caused loss and amenity to others by negligent action or omission that otherwise would not have occurred if reasonable care was taken?
Whether or not we agree with slip resistance requirements, the community at large expects floors to be aesthetically pleasing and be adequately safe for its intended use. Although these may sometimes appear to be competing performance objectives, these can be overcome by using safe design principles.
Safe design employs a risk management approach and evaluating safety in terms of the likelihood and consequence of an incident to occur. As well as providing slip resistive flooring other design features should be considered and include awnings, airlocks and matting to reduce the extent and likelihood of contamination, visual aids (warning signage and contrasting stair nosings), administrative controls (cleaning regimes and maintenance), fall prevention aids (barricades and handrails) and consideration the environmental conditions (lighting and sloping surfaces) along with the footwear to be worn.
Occupational Health & Safety Slip Resistance Requirements
The various state based Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation regulate general duties for employers and controller of premises to identify, assess and control risks to employees and others at a place of work. This includes the provision to identify any foreseeable hazard arising from the premises that has the potential to harm the health or safety of any person accessing, using or egressing from the premises such as people slipping tripping or falling. Additionally there are duties for safety in design, which extends to those who design, specify or supply floor surfaces intended for places of work.
Building Code of Australia (BCA) Slip Resistance RequirementsThe Building Code of Australia (BCA) include safety performance requirements for safe design which requires most commercial buildings to provide slip resistive surfaces for safe movement, specifically emergency access and egress. The slip resistance requirements of Clause D2.10, D2.13 & D2.14 of the BCA state that “non-slip” and “non-skid” surfaces must be installed for pedestrian ramps, stair treads and landings. Further, parts of buildings may need to comply with disability access requirements.
Disability Access Slip Resistance RequirementsWhere disability access is required under Section D3 of the BCA, finishes must comply with Clause 12 of AS1428.1 Design for access and mobility Part 1 general requirements for access- Buildings. This states that all continuous accessible paths of travel shall have a slip-resistant surface. AS 1428.1 does not define the term slip resistance. However, the standard refers to AS 4586 and Standards Australia & CSIRO Handbook HB 197 for guidance on slip-resistant surfaces.
Standards Australia & CSIRO Handbook HB 197Standards Australia & CSIRO Handbook HB 197 An Introductory Guide to the Slip Resistance of Pedestrian Surface Materials is seen as best practice for satisfying the slip resistance requirements of new floor surfaces. The handbook provides general commentary on the slip resistance test methods, classification, basis for specification and guidance for designing ramps and sloped areas.
Many people may be aware of Tables 3, 4 & 5 of Standards Australia & CSIRO Handbook HB 197 which provides minimum slip resistance classifications for specific locations. There is much more information and detail that must be considered beyond simply extracting the classifications from the tables. Additionally, existing surfaces that do not meet the recommendations of HB 197 may not necessarily be unsafe, a risk assessment and possible control measures should be evaluated by a qualified expert.
Local Government Development Control PlansSome local councils have slip resistance requirements such as Willoughby City Council (NSW) require “Upon completion, certification that all floor finishes and floor surfaces (Excluding carpet) have been tested on site to achieve a slip resistant classification under wet and dry conditions to comply with the current version of AS/NZS4586, Table 3 of CSIRO/SA publication HB 197 (An Introductory Guide to the Slip Resistance of pedestrian Surface Materials) and Council’s DCP No 14 (Access and Mobility). (Reason: Public safety).”
Ceramic Tile Slip Resistance RequirementsAnnex A through to L of AS 4662 Ceramic tiles – Definitions, classification, characteristics and marking require ceramic tiles of the best commercial quality (first quality) that are intended for use on floors be tested to ISO 10545 Method 17: Determination of coefficient of friction. Currently, ISO 10545 is still to be officially published, however Appendix ZA, Variations for Australian Conditions states to replace ISO 10545-17 with AS/NZS 4586. Thus, floor tiles shall be tested to AS/NZS 4586 to meet the Australian Standards for first quality ceramic tiles.
Nerang Tiles is an award winning tile showroom with thousands of quality floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast showroom. Nerang Tiles has the experiene and expertise to understand and fulfill any requirements regarding non slip tiles. See the non slip range on display and ask in store for further information and assistance.
Whether you’ve just renovated your kitchen and it’s looking slick but devoid of character, or you’re living with a less-than-lovely cooking space because you’re renting or saving up to redo it, there are easy ways to add character to kitchens of all persuasions. The goal? To add your own personality to the space so it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. See which of these ideas appeal, and you might just be inspired to make some positive changes at your house.
1. Add a quirk or two
Sleek, contemporary kitchens may look up to the minute, but without a dash of something special or different, they can end up looking a little ho-hum. Adding a quirky vintage item, artwork or accessory – or several – will give your space the spark it may well be missing.
A blackboard is nothing new, and can look downright messy. Not this one though. A simple shelf painted in the same blackboard paint creates an opportunity for a quirky vignette complete with arrows pointing to the items. Imagine the same kitchen with a plain white wall instead…
Retro relics can add quirk galore, and if they spark joy when you look at them or use them, you’ve made the right choice. Turning on this radio when you’re cooking dinner is sure to make it a whole lot more fun – no matter what your singing voice is like. And the good news? This radio may look like it’s straight out of the 1950s, but it’s actually brand new.
2. Add an element you want to touch
A little texture can make a kitchen infinitely more welcoming and certainly more interesting. The touchable tiles on this splashback have become the star in this kitchen because of their unexpected texture and colour. Yes, I want to run a hand along them to see what they feel like too.
Adding texture needn’t involve making lasting changes to your kitchen. Updating the stools or pendants with texture in mind will achieve a similar result.
3. Add a bit of bling
A glimmer of gold, copper or bronze can take any kitchen upmarket. Luckily, there are more ways than one to introduce metallics to the zone – changing cupboard and drawer handles is an easy one, but accessorising is even easier. Consider placing condiments on a shimmery tray, grouping wooden spoons into a copper vase, displaying fruit in a golden bowl. More than one accessory in the same shade will tie the scheme together.
Copper-lined pendant lights can completely transform a kitchen, especially if the kitchen is otherwise all white. By day, they add a touch of colour and shine, but by night they really bring a kitchen to life. A sleek, modern kitchen risks feeling cold and sterile at night, but these pendants add a warm and welcoming glow.
4. Add the unexpected
Cookie-cutter kitchens are nice, but who wants nice when you can have a kitchen that wows? The tiles on the front of this island bench give this kitchen character galore, without deviating from the Hamptons style of this Sydney home. Imagine the same bench in black or white. Still fine, but not nearly as lovely.
A bright blue fridge in an otherwise light kitchen? It’s unexpected, but somehow it just works.
5. Add meaning
If you’re pretty happy with your kitchen (and your fridge), why not personalise the space with a gallery of family photos? Washing the dishes is much more fun in the company of loved ones, after all.
This elaborate light can be personalised in any number of ways; it comes equipped with sheets of Japanese paper to be attached with paper clips. Pen a poem or an inspirational quote, or encourage guests to leave a little something behind when they go in the form of a handwritten note.
6. Add a homemade touch
Open shelving is ideal for showing off treasures and curated displays, but when those items are made by hand, the display is all the more meaningful. Hand-crafted ceramics add an earthy touch, or why not give the little ones in your life a confidence boost by giving their creations pride of place? Wonky craft pieces made by eager little hands have an appeal all their own.
This may be going a little far with the kids’ artwork for your liking, but look how much character it adds!
7. Add colour
A brightly coloured rug or mat can work miracles in a contemporary kitchen. Have a selection on hand so you always have a clean one to grab if another is in the wash or drying on the line.
Accessories that are as useful as they are colourful do double-duty in any kitchen. Bunch them into a wide-mouthed canister on the bench for easy access.
It’s the chairs in this kitchen that make it feel so cheery, wouldn’t you agree?
8. Add artwork
The reason we display works of art on the walls of our homes is to add colour and personality, and the kitchen should be no different. This beautiful kitchen becomes unique only with the addition of art.
A show-stopping painting hung on the wall between the kitchen and living area brings colour and life to a contemporary white kitchen.
How have you added extra personality to your kitchen? Share your tips in the Comments.
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile showroom on the Gold Coast displaying thousands of quality floor tiles and wall tiles at discount prices. Visit Nerang Tiles to see the entire range of floor tiles and walls tiles.
Credit: Joanna Tovia 5 October 2016
Houzz Australia Contributor. Freelance journalist specialising in interiors, travel and social issues. See more: www.joannatovia.com
The classic Art Deco bathroom look conjures up glamorous characteristics such as striking geometric shapes, luxurious detailing, bold colours and symmetry. However, it’s not easy to add these heritage touches to your space without it feeling contrived. Instead, Houzzers are opting for Art Deco-inspired elements and bringing them up to date with a modern spin – think decadent marble details, vintage-style pendants and flamboyant chevron patterns for a new twist on the lavish bygone era. Take a look at these inspiring examples of on old-meets-new glitz and glamour.
Mix vintage accessories with contemporary pieces
Updating a contemporary space with some vintage Deco touches couldn’t be simpler. Try scouring op shops for ornate mirrors featuring decorative edging, for a unique display above your modern streamlined vanity unit. Highlight the mix of old and new further with retro patterned towels that tie the modern fittings with the period styling.
Add modern monochrome tiles
Bold black-and-white schemes were typical of the 1920s era, so if you’re not keen on adding ornate Art Deco fittings, then by simply sticking with this colour palette your bathroom will definitely be a nod to the style. However, choose contemporary tiles to bring your scheme into the 21st century – try angular chevron tiles, sleek white subways with black grouting and a black-framed mirror to pull the scheme together.
Consider graphic Crittall windows
A popular architectural feature of ’20s and ’30s buildings, Crittall steel-framed windows are a huge trend right now and would be the perfect addition to evoke an Art Deco feel that’s befitting of this century. The graphic lines of the windows add an equal dose of period and contemporary styling to the space, with a timeless appeal you’ll never tire of.
Create a balanced symmetry
There’s nothing more soothing and relaxing than a neatly designed bathroom, and as Art Deco style favoured symmetry, it’s a great source of inspiration for a well-planned layout. If you can squeeze in a double vanity with dual basins, mirrors and lighting, the pleasing aesthetic created from the symmetry will encourage you to unwind.
Look to marble for a classic addition
It’s no surprise that luxurious marble was big news in Art Deco interiors that favoured elegance and grace. Now, with marble’s resurgence in popularity, it’s a winning ingredient in an old-meets-new bathroom. You can go the whole hog and add a slab of marble behind the vanity, on the bench or in the shower. Alternatively, pop in a few glamorous marble accessories, such as soap dispensers, tumblers and jewellery trays. Either way, it will definitely give your bathroom a decadent touch.
Bonus tip: Thought white marble was opulent? Black marble will double the drama thanks to it’s flamboyant nature. Think Gatsby glam and you’ll create a Deco decadent bathing space that’s very much from this era.
Fit standout taps
There’s something inherently traditional about these high-end contemporary chrome taps that have been mounted on rounds of black marble. They combine two deluxe materials with refined styling that will ensure a smart, classic look.
Hunt out period fittings
If you have a heritage property and you’re keen to step back in time with a decked out Deco space, find fixtures with a 1920s feel that will connect your modern bathroom with your period home. Introduce elements like an ornate Art Deco mirror or a traditional pedestal basin, and set them against a contemporary backdrop of sleek lighting and modern gloss finishes for a harmonious blend of old and new.
Pop in surprise touches
Whether you decide to plumb it in for toasty towels, or prefer to simply use it as practical storage, a traditional heated towel rail will evoke the grace and charm of the Art Deco era in an instant.
Likewise, a traditional bath bridge offers a heritage touch to any style of bath and will enhance the bathing experience by keeping soaps and sponges within arms-reach.
Choose a memorable wallpaper
A bold, dark wallpaper with a distinctive Deco theme creates an elegant flourish and hints at sumptuous grandeur. Don’t be afraid to go dark in a small space, it will add to the drama and make the tiny space more captivating.
The Deco period also saw bright, rich colours decorate the walls, and one example is this stunning yellow wallpaper, originally designed by Flora Scalamandre in the 1930s. The deep intensity of the shade is upbeat and enriching to guarantee a happy vibe on every visit.
Heighten the glam factor
For a more modern vibe, introduce metallic elements that will bounce light around the room and will capture the lavishness of Art Deco style. Go for glamorous gold features, like an iconic shimmering wallpaper or gleaming taps. This gives a nod towards the exotic side of the Deco look, while also embracing the trend for warmer metals.
Discover vintage lighting
If you want to track down some period wall lights but still want to retain a modern touch, look out for smart cylindrical sconces with an Art Deco-inspired design. Fit them either side of a mirror or cabinet and you’ll have a soft glow rather than a harsh overhead light.
Do you have an Art Deco bathroom? How have you brought it back to the future? Share your tips in the Comments
Nerang Tiles is an award winning tile showroom, winning best showroom 14 years in a row. With thousands of quality floor tiles and wall tiles on display at discount prices, you are sure to find what you need at Nerang Tiles.
Credit: Louise O'Bryan 8 December 2016
Houzz Australia Contributor. As an Interiors Stylist and Writer, with over 15 years
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