What are the building code requirements for entrance mats?
Plus, why it matters and who it applies to.
If you are responsible for adhering to the Building Code of Australia, you already know that entrance matting has its own set of specifications. These are meant to guide building managers in providing a safe space, as well as helping insurance companies assess their customers.
Some people are unaware that the building code is not a legally binding requirement. It is important to follow, nonetheless, as failure to do so can lead to void insurance. Ignoring the building code may prevent you from obtaining a certificate of occupancy.
So, here is an easy-to-understand summary of the building code requirements for carpet and entrance mats.
The Building Code of Australia
The most important section of the building code of Australia regarding carpets is fire safety. It specifies that floor coverings in fire-isolated exits require a Critical Radiant Flux (CRF in kW/m2) of up to 4.5 if not fitted with sprinklers. Buildings fitted with a sprinkler system require a CRF of up to 2.2.
There are 2 classifications in the building code: Deemed-to-Satisfy and Alternative Solution. Products that adhere to the code and pass testing are deemed to satisfy. Alternative solutions are defined as follows:
“a Building Solution which complies with the Performance Requirements other than by means of satisfying the Deemed-to-Satisfy provisions.”
It is also noted that alternative solutions should be created under expert supervision.
What length is optimal?
Most experts recommend entrance matting be long enough to accommodate 2 steps per foot (4 in total). That dimension is 1.8 metres, but an ideal length isn’t specified in the building code.
Studies show that 6 metres of entrance matting can remove up to 94% of dirt from shoes. So, we generally recommend customers make them as long as possible.
Who does the building code apply to?
The building code applies to all carpet that is a fixture. That means entrance matting that has not been installed – but instead is temporarily rolled out – is exempt.
Despite not being a legal requirement, we recommend entrance matting to be a certain length to properly remove dirt from shoes. Without the right amount of mat, some dirt will be tracked into your building.
Just like dirt, water needs to be removed from the mat regularly. We, therefore, advise our customers to dry their mats between use. If your mat is regularly becoming sodden, you should consider pairing it with an outside entrance mat.
Entrance Mats and the Building Code of Australia
The building code of Australia for carpet flooring specifies fire resistance, but it doesn’t mention length. Despite that, we recommend you make your entrance matting large enough to accommodate 8 steps (4 per foot).
If you need more detailed guidance on ensuring your entrance mats adhere to the building code, feel free to reach out to the team. Our matting specialists are on hand to help you make the right decisions for your building.
Reach us at [email protected], call 1300 628 746 or get in touch using the chat function below. We can’t wait to hear from you!