The Building Code of Australia now permits the use of Fire-protected Timber in all classes of buildings up to an effective height of 25 metres (typically 8-storeys). Fire-protected Timber elements of construction consist of lightweight structural timber-frame or massive timber elements protected by fire-protective grade linings to reduce the risk of ignition of timber members and achieve the required fire-resistance level in addition to other criteria such as the acoustic and thermal performance appropriate to the class of building.
In support of this Code change, research was undertaken to investigate the post-fire decay and cooling phase behaviour of lightweight structural timber-frame or massive Fire-protected Timber elements for which there is currently limited research and publicly available data. As with all structural building materials, this post-fire behaviour can lead to failure of structural building elements if not adequately addressed. The research demonstrated that on-going combustion of Fireprotected Timber elements could be prevented using encapsulation provided by an appropriate layer of fire-protective grade coverings.