Understanding of a SARS / COVID Virus

We reflect that Engineers, Governments and Industry had learnt nor put very little planning in place from the 2003~2004 SAR’s Pandemic and Clive Broadbent F.IEAust, did extensive work and research in this field – especially in the focussed areas of infection control, ventilation and the need for negative pressure isolation for those infected. Similarly Associations such as ASHRE have identified control measures for virus and microbial controls in the built environments for decades.

We have recently seen calls to unseal buildings to induce increased outside air (this really should be condemned as it depressurises the immediate space and destroys the air balance of the HVAC system with consequences for other occupants.We have heard about classrooms wanting to put high efficiency filters in a corner of the room and again this is only effective as a placebo.Doing it right requires ventilation design and control of each space and unless compelled to do so by legislation, there is no incentive there for developers, builders, or even institutional property owners.

We need to understand what we are dealing with:
> Virus’ are structurally small and simple (you need an electron microscope to even see them).
> Virus’ are not micro-organisms as they are without cells, they have no metabolism – they are simply a piece of necloic acid wrapped in a protein and a surrounding membrane.
> They are powerful pathogens.
> They cannot reproduce on their own but must invade a hosting cell, take over that cell’s metabolism and instruct it to manufacture enzymes and new viral proteins. They then have cells continue to manufacture millions of replicants and at the same time block the synthesis of the host cells own DNA, RNA or proteins.
> The newly formed virus particles burst from the host cell and with respiratory virus’ – this means in the lung and from there it is transported by breath into the air where it can survive floating around in the right atmospheric conditions for days or contaminating a surface until a new host is found for it to infect by inhalation or physical contact. Similarly infection through the digestive tract with final output in urine and fecal matter.

We have learnt that these virus’ don’t survive in temperatures above 56degC (for 15min) but it is unlikely that building occupants would be too comfortable with blast furnace treatment for a quarter hour or that we could have systems which deliver this.

Can we mitigate virus transfer in our buildings?
but to fully do so we’d need to take the same precautions that are conducted for any virulent bio-lab.
Disrobe, Shower, re-robe in clean apparel, stick pads at portals with air-locks and continual negative pressure with all extracted and induced air filtered and scrubbed.

Vaccination produces the antigens needed to inhibit replication and is the most proficient method of reducing the risk of cross infection.
Masks do provide effective containment and face shielding does provide some protection to the wearer from entry into the eyes, etc.
These with good hygiene practices and social distancing, are the best method of management for normal day to day business operations.

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COVID Transmission

We are seeing a lot of hyperbola about how opening windows, using air filter sterilisers, etc. will eliminate or significantly mitigate the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and variants.
THIS IS FALSE and whilst these measures in some appropriate instances can reduce that transmission, careful thought regarding the design of these ventilation systems is essential.

We need to remember that this virus is a approx. 2 to 2.5 micron in size (so to see it would require you to use an electron microscope) and in still air can float about for about 20 hours. It has a smaller size than smoke particulates and will pass freely through medium to high efficiency filters and whilst it can be collected with HEPA filtration it may find cellular hosts also contained within that filter which may allow it to regenerate within the filter media itself, so such filters would need some form of sterilisation such as UV light in the appropriate frequency band. The other issue for HEPA filters are the significant pressure drop and this would mean that to put a HEPA filter on a domestic or light commercial grade air-handler would see fan pawer needing to be trebled to deliver the same number of air changes.

Good mechanically ventilated spaces require about 16 air changes / hour and distributed to supply and scavenge all parts of the room, so for a classroom or office 10m x 5m x 2.5m that is 125 cu.m. or allowing for furnishings and occupants – an airspace of 100,000 litres, so that’s 1,600,000 litres of air that needs to pass through the air handling unit / hour or about 450L/s. The airflow through the AHU needs to be about 3m/s to ensure that there isn’t excessive noise, allow reasonable thermal transfer over the cooling &/or heating coil as well as provide decent particulate filter capture.
Included in all of that would be the induced outside air component of up to 30 litres /second for each occupant.
If UV is used, it needs to be on the leading face of the filter and needs to be deep enough to ensure a kill rate of the virus by having sufficient timed exposure to the close proximity UV steriliser.

So will opening windows be beneficial?
> Definitely NOT in an air conditioned building. Opening a window can depressurise the space near the window and change the air distribution to the extent that other areas loose conditions. Also the Outside Air may have a lower CO2 level but otherwise is usually quite filthy (that’s why you should never call OA Fresh Air).
> Any space which has natural ventilation crossflow through windows etc. (with possibly ceiling fan assisting in air movement) needs to have a fairly low occupant density (approx 1 occupant / 20m2 or even less density).

So what about these stand alone recycling filters that the Victorian Government have just imported to go into the school classrooms?
> These units are more a placebo than an effective viral capture device. Whist they would capture some airborne particulates in the close vicinity of the unit, to be effective – they would need to be being run 24/7 and at not greater than a few metre spacing.
> BTW For me, I have a small fan assisted UV steriliser at my desk (but it only gives effective cover for about 1m2, so definitely deficient for a general office, reception area, etc.

So what should we be doing to provide the best ventilation?
> For new builds and retrofits, I’d think a form of humidity control is appropriate i.e. capacity to dry saturated air on rainy days and provide minimal drying during the dry winter months and using the humid return air to provide an unsustainable (to the virus) environmental airspace with a nominal 50% Relative Humidity (remember that the virus will stay live on a surface or floating in the air till it settles for a couple of days).
> Staged zoning from building entry to occupied space to minimise thermal differences yet provide effective thermal comfort.
> Don’t over occupy older buildings – most buildings built prior to the early 1990’s were designed for occupancy densities of 1 occupant / 15m2. Having occupancy densities of 1 occupant / 10m2 re the NCC/BCA means that many of these buildings require supplementary cooling but without sufficient diluting outside air make-up. This often results in excessive CO2 levels in the space and with recirculating airconditioning systems, all occupants in the zone irrespective of their own occupant to floorspace ratio, suffer with the same elevated CO2 levels.
> Every space needs to be reviewed by an experienced HVAC design engineer and verified or amended to suit the occupancy (inclusive of occupation, partitioning, air distribution, and any introduced hazards).

So what else should we do?
> Certainly the best thing we can do at this moment is to get vaccinated, practice hygiene (was hands, use sanitiser regularly), wear medical grade face masks, and practice social distancing.
> Continue with appropriate disinfection wipedown of all surfaces, including the supply air and return air terminal units (supply air registers develop a static charge which attracts particulates in the 2.5~10micron range).
> I shall be awaiting mandates regarding travel that staff and my fellow travellers are all fully vaccinated prior to using such means of transport and whist this may result in objections from others such as the unvaccinated – my response is that I will continue to respect the decision that these individuals have made, but by making that decision to remain unvaccinated – they are choosing to not associate with me or to occupy any shared space with me inclusive of transport facilities.

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  1. The Holy Bible is always the best reference source. Refer at least daily.
  2. Pray with your heart and never with your head.
  3. Never shake someone’s hand while you are in a seated position.
  4. Don’t enter a pool by the stairs
  5. Being the man at the BBQ is the closest thing to being king.
  6. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
  7. Request the late check-out.
  8. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
  9. Hold your heroes to a higher standard and emulate them.
  10. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of fuel, and in fact return anything you borrow in better condition than when you received it.
  11. Play with passion or not at all…
  12. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look them in the eye.
  13. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
  14. If you need music on the beach, you’ve missed the whole point.
  15. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The other one is for her.
  16. When you marry a girl, you marry her family.
  17. Be calm even if only on the surface.
  18. Experience the serenity and joy of traveling alone.
  19. Never be afraid to ask out that girl (unless already committed, and then DON’T even think about it).
  20. Thank a digger. Then try to make it up to them by living the life they fought for.
  21. Eat lunch with the new kid.
  22. After writing an angry email, read it carefully, read it again – Then delete it.
  23. Ask your mother to play. She won’t let you win. 
  24. Manners maketh the man – live it..
  25. Give credit. Take the blame and don’t publicly chastise.
  26. Stand up to Bullies. Protect those bullied.
  27. Forgive and only remember to protect, not to use as future leverage.
  28. Always protect your siblings (and teammates).
  29. Be confident and humble at the same time.
  30. Call and visit your parents and grandparents often. They miss you.
  31. The healthiest relationships are those where you’re a team; where you respect, protect, and stand up for each other
  32. Your Dad will always love you, even when you’re rotten.
  33. The name father is a reflection of God the Father – when you are- reflect Him.
  34. When / if you have children and grandchildren – remember that they are precious and placed in your care by God. Delight in them often.

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NSW D&BP Act & Regulation:

This year’s most talked about Act in NSW has now come into effect, it has been met with complacency, scepticism, criticism, reluctance and a great many questions by the construction industry with the changes it brings. But it is here to stay.

Since the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) (“Act”) and the Design & Building Practitioners Regulations 2021 (NSW) (“Regulations”) came into effect progressively from July 2020 and July 2021, design, engineering and building practitioners working on Class 2 buildings inclusive of any building with a Class 2 part, have had this raft of new legislative obligations placed upon them from a required duty of care, to who is classified as a “registered design practitioner”, and minimum standards for “regulated designs” within each category of design, to a new “design compliance declaration” regime. This is before we even start to take a look at the project consultancy agreement with the embedded contractual obligations contained within it.

Perhaps, like all change, it is more daunting in its infancy, than it actually is once we grow accustomed to and accommodate it into due process.

Whist most design and engineering practitioners have likely been already performing their designated roles for services tin accordance with these legislative requirements already in reflection of the requirements of the National Construction Code with the performance and specifying the installation detail requirements of the nominated referenced standards and secondary referenced standards. Such design should ensure that such should ensure a safe, efficient, defect free building which is fill for the purpose for which it was conceived.

Having said this, design and engineering practitioners do need to make themselves fully aware of all the obligations under the Act and Regulations in order to properly and wholly comply with them. For some, this may be unnerving, but there are a number of useful and informative resources available to help navigate through the changes and requirements brought about by the Act and Regulations.

If you are involved in Design and this has a Class 2 Part, then you must be registered. The FPAA offered existing practitioners  transitional accreditation which runs from 1st July 2021 which expires on 31st December 2021 in which time such practitioners are given time to seek the ordained qualifications commensurate with the constraints nominated for such designs.

Just because someone is a Professional Engineer (NER) in say mechanical engineering, will not provide automatic endorsement for sophisticated smoke hazard management designs and Fire Engineers will no longer to provide smoke hazard management designs unless these designs are endorsed by an accredited in that level of smoke control, Mechanical Engineer (who has been examined to verify their expertise in such smoke control systems). This shall be similar for other services.

It is a NSW Government Requirement that a register be readily available without access restriction for all such Accredited Fire Systems Designers and this shall provide details of the individual designer as well as the details of their professional indemnity and public liability insurance associated with the provision of design services as well as the discipline specialty or specialties for each accredited designer and limitation grading for practitioners. https://connect.fpaa.com.au/Shared_Content/FPAS_Register/FPAS_Register_Search.aspx?FPAS_Register_Search_CCO=2#FPAS_Register_Search_CCO

We understand that this shall progressively rolled out over time to include Class 3 to Class 9 buildings and we understand that a number of Building Principal Certifiers are now requiring this registration (or as a minimum NER when no Class 2) for all new projects.

I would suggest that anyone involved in the Concept, Advice, Design, Installation, Commissioning, and Assessment of Design Performance post construction – should ensure that they and those who go before and after them are appropriately accredited where required.

Let us also not forget:

  • That installers are obliged to inform the Principal Certifier of any observable defects (prior to issue of the Occupation Certificate).
  • that no Occupation Certificate may be issued unless the Building Manual has been completed and approved (EP&A Act-1979 6.27),
  • that the Occupation Certificate alone is the trigger for the commencement of Defect Liability Period – So until OC is registered, Defect Liability is open‑ended.
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Fire Safety Assessment & Fire Systems Design NSW Accreditation Update

From the Fire Protection Association of Australia who currently are the accreditation body for Fire Safety Assessment and Fire Safety System Design.
Fire Safety Assessment & Fire Systems Design NSW Accreditation Update

In 2017, the NSW Government amended the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (the Regulation) to require the endorsement of fire systems designs and performance to be carried out by competent practitioners.  

This change was in line with private certification views of the Independent Review of the Building Professionals Act 2005 (the Lambert Report), which considered the “approach to the regulation of the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire safety system” to be “a major deficiency” in need of urgent reform. 

It was always the NSW Government’s intent that an industry-based accreditation authority would be approved to accredit practitioners. On 1 July, 2020, Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) was recognised as an accreditation authority by the NSW Department of Customer Service. The announcement by the NSW Secretary recognised FPA Australia for Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) and Fire Systems Design (FSD).  

NSW FSA and FSD practitioners can be recognised through a Transitional pathway until 30 June 2021 after which only the Qualified pathway for accreditation will apply.  

Who is affected by this change?
Fire Safety Assessment and Fire Systems Design Practitioners operating in New South Wales only, this change applies to:
Practitioners who currently hold Transitional Accreditation
Practitioners who are currently undertaking assessment for Transitional Accreditation; and
Persons who are wishing to become accredited through the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme  

What does this mean for you? 
From 1 July, 2021, the Transitional Accreditation pathway for NSW FSA and FSD will no longer be available and all new applicants MUST meet the Qualified Accreditation requirements. The Qualified Accreditation pathway will be the ONLY pathway available to applicants from that date.   

FPA Australia is encouraging all practitioners operating in NSW to complete the Transitional Accreditation for NSW FSA and/or FSD by 11.59pm on 30 June, 2021.  If you have not applied, or are yet to finish, we recommend you complete the Transitional pathway as soon as practically possible.   

Practitioners who hold a Transitional Accreditation for NSW FSA or FSD will have a period of four years dating either from the day they were accredited or 1 July, 2020, whichever is the later to meet the Qualified criteria, as detailed in the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS)  

Please refer to the relevant links below to understand what the criteria for the Qualified Accreditation pathway will be:
Fire Systems Design
Fire Safety Assessment  

We are aware that existing practitioners operating in NSW conducting FSA and FSD work may not have a direct correlation to qualifications identified in the matrix, these circumstances will be considered on a case by case basis.  

What are the benefits?
In NSW a practitioner is unable to sign off on measures they are not accredited for and through the Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) and Fire Systems Design (FSD) Accreditation model, industry (rather than Government) is demonstrating its competence and providing certainty to clients and other stakeholders in the fire protection industry.

This is part of a national discussion about the recognition of skills and qualifications, and we see the recognition of the Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) and Fire Systems Design (FSD) Accreditation categories as a model that can be picked up effectively by other states and territories. 
All other fire protection roles are unaffected by this change.  

What’s changing and why you need to know about the changes?
FPA Australia will cease ALL assessments being undertaken through Transitional Accreditation for the NSW Fire Safety Assessment and Fire Systems Design pathway from 11.59pm on 30 June, 2021 with the Qualified Accreditation pathway taking effect from 1 July, 2021.   

It’s important to understand that FPA Australia is unable to allow a person to become accredited through the Transitional Accreditation for either the NSW FSA or FSD pathways from 1 July 2021 onwards, and assessments will automatically close at 11.59pm on 30 June, 2021.   

If you are part way through an online assessment of a Fire Safety Measure at that time, you will be unable to complete the requirements and will be required to gain Accreditation through the Qualified Pathway.  

All new applicants must apply through the Qualified Accreditation pathway from 1 July, 2021, for NSW FSA and/or FSD.   

Frequently Asked Questions and Scenarios
To ensure we are communicating the right messages to all relevant stakeholders please submit your questions to fpas@fpaa.com.au including your mobile number, so that FPA Australia can contact you for clarification, if required.  FPA Australia will be running face to face information sessions (where applicable) and webinars to ensure that everyone can understand the process and ask questions.  

We understand that you may have questions that have not been answered in the content above, we will endeavour to update our Scenarios and Frequently Asked Questions to ensure the message is communicated to all relevant stakeholders.  

Please feel free to forward this information onto your colleagues who may be impacted by the change in the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) pathway to become an Accredited Practitioner in New South Wales.  

Kind Regards  
Amanda Hogarth
National Manager Accreditation
Accreditation & Licensing
Fire Protection Association Australia

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Men Meeting the Challenge Conference 2020

Men Meeting the Challenge | Newsletter October 2020
Men Meeting the Challenge Conference
Saturday 7th November 2020

I Have Never Done This Before

Richard Bolton
Chairman & Conference Convenor, Men For Christ Ministries -writes:

Life has dramatically changed in 2020. However, our need for being fortified by God’s Word, through fellowship with our Christian Brothers, has never been greater.

While our revamped online 2020 Men Meeting the Challenge Conference has changed from being a large single gathering to being individuals or smaller groups, regardless of wherever you may be, it does not change the fact that we are all one in Christ.

Earlier this week I was thrown by an email from a brother in the Lord who is doing his bit to organise a group of 50 men to meet on the 7th November 2020 in the ACT. It is through the craziness of 2020 that I am now realising that our single gathering, that has met each year for the last 16 years, is this year going to gather men from all over the country.

It was only yesterday, on the mobile, that I was speaking about how we could connect with our brothers, who are in isolation throughout Victoria. Wouldn’t it be great if men in isolation, wherever they might be, could tune in on the 7th November to be fortified by God’s Word; truth that remains constant regardless of our current situation.

Please continue to pray for our organising committee and join with us by sharing this newsletter as we promote this year’s online Men Meeting the Challenge Conference.

And as you gather on the 7th November, remember, whether or not you are watching online solo, or as a small group of men (adhering to the COVID-safe requirements) that you are not alone, you are part of a larger group of men who are all one in Christ.
Hear a promo from our Keynote Speakers for 2020
Help us spread the word Can you take a couple of minutes to encourage each other and promote MMC2020?  What about heading to our Facebook Page and posting an encouraging message and share the page (you can see what Andrew from the Illawarra shared).

Or maybe forward this email to a Christian mate.    

Registration is easy     
Online:   $10 

Visit our website www.menforchrist.asn.au click on “Register” and follow the prompts.

Pay with Direct Deposit or Credit Card via PayPal (you don’t need a PayPal account) or  Your PayPal account     Meet our Briefing Panel and Breakout Speakers

Martyn Iles – Australian Christian Lobby
Martyn has operated a church youth ministry with disadvantaged teenagers and worked in a top-tier commercial law firm. He is currently the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL). The ACL is one of Australia’s largest lobby groups, desiring a compassionate, just and moral society through having the public contribution of the Christian faith reflected in the political life of the nation.
David Robertson – City Bible Forum
David is the Director of Third Space – an evangelistic project with City Bible Forum.  He was a Presbyterian pastor in Scotland for 33 years.  He is married and they have three children and four grandchildren.  David is an author, broadcaster and a prolific blogger at The Wee Flea.

Tony Payne – Campus Bible Study (UNSW)
Tony is one of Australia’s best-known Christian writers. He is the author of Fatherhood, The Thing Is, The Trellis and the Vine, and more than 30 other books and ministry resources. He is a Ministry Trainer and Writer in Residence with Campus Bible Study at UNSW. He is married, and along with his wife they have five adult children and six grandchildren

Grant Borg – MBM South West Sydney
Grant is the Campus Pastor of MBM in South West Sydney – an almost 3-year-old Church Plant out of MBM in Rooty Hill. Grant is at home talking to people about Jesus and a more natural evangelist than he is a Pastor. He is married, has 3 young kids and is most at rest in the Aussie outback. 
Resources online Promotional Video Talks from past conferences (including 2019) Posters, Sign-up Sheet & Bible Studies
Bible Study  Bible Study 2: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. What has God done for us? Does being a “new creation” mean that we are now perfect? What task or position has God committed us to? How can people be reconciled to God? Is there one person you can tell the good news of reconciliation to this week?

Leaders notes available online here, and at www.menforchrist.asn.au/resources.

Prayer Corner

We continue with the request for prayer. We are confident that the Lord answers prayer, so please pray for God’s guidance for this year’s conference. In particular That the Steering Committee will pray & reflect on God’s word concerning preparations for this conference. That God is preparing men to come; that their hearts will be challenged, & through obedience, they will allow
the Holy Spirit to change them to be Men of God.  
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Ian Childs writes:
If possible I would love to have the fellowship of men who were going to attend the 2020 Hunter Men’s Convention se this as an opportunity to continue to be infused by Bible teaching which can be applied to our daily lives.

If this cannot be hosted at GECN on the 7th November 2020 in the Auditorium, then I would love you to fill our home to COVID restricted capacity (so we can have up to 20 guests) and that any spill over can be sorted at other venues. If you need sponsoring to attend, please advise as I had pre-booked for attending the conference at Kings Parramatta and so with Trevor & Myles have pre-paid for 16 where there is but the 3 of us.


Ian Childs

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COVID-19 activities and risks

Let’s all be one’s who think about our community and do whatever it takes to keep them healthy.

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Formation of the Society of Building Services Engineers

This journey has been some twenty years in the making and there are a number of people and events to recall as an integral part of the journey and the author apologises for not including everyone and everything:-

  1. Adj. Professor David Hood AM, Hon FIEAust, as Director Engineering for The Institution of Engineers Australia, saw both the importance and potential of having an engineering discipline called “building services engineering” in the mid. 1980’s and commenced a national body within Engineers Australia titled the Building Services Engineering Council (BSEC) to monitor this new and emerging discipline, which operated until the mid. 1990’s. Two of the members of the BSEC were Alan Obrart (NSW) and Kevan McGill (WA).
  2. In 1998, following the closure of the BSEC, EA authorized the establishment of a National Council for the SBSE and two of the representatives and also Vice Presidents of the inaugural Council were Alan Obrart (NSW) and Terry Spiro (WA).
  3. Initially SBSE’s home within EA was with the Mechanical College, then jointly with both the Mechanical and Electrical Colleges and finally/currently with the Electrical College.
  4. For a range of reasons the SBSE National Council went into recess between 2003 and 2008 and appeared to be around in name only. Except that Alan Obrart continued operating an SBSE Chapter in NSW and Kevan and Terry kept an SBSE Panel running in WA. There were also joint kindred groups operating in VIC, SA and QLD.
  5. Following an operational declaration, by the EA Director of Engineering in 2008, former EA Associate Director of Registration, Michael Bevan was appointed to establish ‘NPER – Building Services’ through the National Engineering Registration Board (NERB) and this proved to be a significant event. It would be remiss not to mention the work and support of National Manager Sheryl Harrington with her limited staffing resources and what they have achieved for The Society.
  6. In 2009 SBSE National Committee was reformed and Alan Obrart elected as National Chair and Terry Spiro as Deputy. Reforming SBSE turned out to be much harder than starting from scratch and there were times when Alan and Terry wondered what we had taken on but remained grateful for the high level support from David Hood, Dr Marlene Kanga and Alex Baitch who were all National Presidents of EA and greatly assisted this Society’s journey.
  7. Between 2012 and 2014 we were very busy with the re launch of SBSE at the EA Convention 2014 in Melbourne. To support SBSE the Electrical College elected to call their one-day seminar, which they fully funded, a “Building Services Symposium”.  

Current National Committee

Alan Coote                          National Chair & TAS Rep.             Specialist BSE Electrical

Alan Obrart                         Deputy National Chair                  NER-Mechanical and
Building Services

Terry Spiro                          National Treasurer                        NER-Mechanical and
Building Services

Graham Agar                      National Secretary, WA Rep.       Specialist BSE Practitioner

Prof. David Hood, AM      QLD Representative                       Engineering Sustainability

Ian Childs                            NSW Representative                     Specialist BSE and
Fire Compliance

Brett Fairweather             National & Liaison Rep.                BSE Mech. Standards &

Roger Blackwell                 National Representative              NER-Mechanical and
Building Services

Peter Murton                    SA Representative                          Building Services Design

Anthony Dorinko              VIC Representative                       Buildings Services Engineering

Re Launch of SBSE

The re launch in 2014 was a significant event and achieved the following:-

  • The total and unconditional support of EA directly from the CEO and National President.
  • Australia wide advertising for SBSE.
  • An article in the EA Journal ahead of the re launch.
  • Joint recognition on the platform for the release of EA “Sustainability” and “Climate Change Policies” driven by Adj Professor David Hood AM
  • A brand SBSE brochure prepared by Alan Obrart and the NSW committee.
  • Rewrite of the “Rules for Chapters” by Terry Spiro and WA committee.
  • Re instatement of the SBSE on the EA website, and is an ongoing project
  • Electrical College Board inclusion of SBSE, to have their own awards segment, in the prestigious ECB Annual Dinner and Awards Night, which is now a permanent arrangement.

BSE Certification

Over the last few years SBSE has moved quickly to be recognized as the only organization in Australia to have BSE Certification and achieve the following:-

  • Successful National Conference, Annual Meeting and National Committee Meeting in Brisbane 2016.
  • Having representatives in QLD, NSW, VIC, TAS, SA and WA.
  • Conducting the SBSE roadshow or similar in WA, VIC, QLD and NT.
  • Successful transfer of NPER – Building Services to NER – Building Services.
  • The important work of Adj Professor David Hood AM continues in reporting the impact of climate change.
  • Setting up the framework to create supplementary registers in Building Services for EA Associate and Technologist grades.
  • In 2016 the new SBSE web address www.sbse.org.au was established, which directly feeds into the EA sbse website https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/Communities-And-Groups/Technical-Societies/Society-For-Building-Services-Engineers in the EA new societies web format and establishing the SBSE mailserver by Ian Childs, and this uses EA new Societies web format.
  • Establishing an SBSE National member’s register, by Chapter, thanks to Graham, with a total of around 700, accepting there may be duplication between SBSE and NER lists.
  • Finalizing of the SBSE Banners, Thanks to input from Alan Obrart, Graham and Sheryl.
  • EC Confirmation of ARBS as SBSE industry and members forum

SBSE Representation

 SBSE continues to grow and now has representation on a number of EA and Standards committees including:

  1. AS/NZS1668.1&2 Brett Fairweather,
  2. AS1682.1&2 ian Childs,
  3. AS1851 Ian Childs & Brett Fairweather,
  4. AS/NZS3666.1,2,3&4 Ian Childs

National Responsibilities Within EA

As a Society within Engineers Australia SBSE has responsibility to provide opportunities for its members to meet at least biennially and in that regard has elected to do that at ARBS so that our members can meet with kindred industry groups and encourage the widest possible cooperation, which is important for the growth of our industry which was founded from Air Conditioning to HVAC to Mechanical Services plus facilities management and now to Building Services Engineering whilst maintaining that focus on science and engineering being the key to the success and perhaps the survival of the industry into the future.

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Essential fire safety measures are installations in a building that assist in reducing risk to life and property in the event of an emergency. They include equipment and protective devices such as fire hose reels and fire doors. The following is a list of essential fire safety measures:

  • Access panels, doors and hoppers to fire-resisting shafts
  • Automatic fail-safe devices
  • Automatic fire detection and alarm systems
  • Automatic fire suppression systems
  • Emergency lighting
  • Emergency lifts
  • Emergency warning & intercommunication systems
  • Exit signs
  • Fire control centres and rooms
  • Fire dampers
  • Fire doors
  • Fire hydrant systems
  • Fire seals protecting openings in fire-resisting components of the building
  • Fire shutters
  • Fire windows
  • Hose reel systems
  • Lightweight construction
  • Mechanical air handling systems
  • Perimeter vehicle access for emergency vehicles
  • Portable fire extinguishers
  • Safety curtains in proscenium openings
  • Smoke and heat vents
  • Smoke dampers
  • Smoke and heat detectors
  • Smoke doors
  • Solid core doors
  • Standby power systems
  • Wall-wetting sprinkler and drencher systems
  • Warning and operational signs
  1. Who determines which essential fire safety measures are required?

Generally, essential measures are installed as required by Regulations that accredited building certifiers or Council enforce. There may be some measures, however, where other items of equipment or forms of construction not listed above can be included for the purpose of ensuring the safety of persons in a building in the event of fire.

  1. In what circumstances is the installation of essential fire safety measures required?

Essential fire safety measures are installed in the following instances:

(a) Building Work

In certain instances, a Construction Certificate or Complying Development Certificate may be issued with a Fire Safety Schedule. The Schedule must include the current and proposed fire safety measures to be implemented.

  • Change of Use of a building (e.g. from an office to a factory)

Where the use of a building is changed, the safety of persons to be accommodated in the building must be safeguarded. In considering the change of use, the essential fire safety measures to be installed must be identified.

  • Fire Safety Orders

The regulator (Council) may, at any time, assess the state of an existing building and if it is considered necessary, order the owner to carry out upgrading works. These works may include the installation of essential fire safety measures.

  1. Am I, as the owner of the building, required to do anything?
  • For existing buildings
  • If there are essential fire safety measures installed in your building, and you intend to-
  • carry out building work; or change the use of the building for which approval is required; or
  • have been issued with a Fire Safety Order,

you will be required to engage a competent fire safety practitioner [CFSP] to check the design standards to which those measures were installed. After this, a Fire Safety Certificate is to be completed, signed by you or your agent, and forwarded to Council. When an approval is issued by an accredited certifier or Council, the existing and any additional measures required will be included in the Fire Safety Schedule, together with installation design standards.

(b) For new buildings (to be constructed)

If you intend to construct a new building, approval is required. The approval must have a fire safety schedule attached where fire safety measures are required. The fire safety schedule will nominate those essential fire safety measures and the Australian and/or other Standards to which they must be designed by CFSP accredited with design and all such measures must be installed by installers that satisfy the requirements for Competent Fire Safety Practitioners (CFSP*).

(c) Certificates

Before the Principal Certifying Authority can issue an Occupation Certificate for the building, the owner or agent must issue a Fire Safety Certificate stating that the services have been inspected and performance tested by a competent fire safety practitioner and installed to and satisfy the performance required of the relevant Standards.

Once the Fire Safety Certificate is issued, a copy must be forwarded to Council. For this Fire Safety Certificate, a copy of the certificate and the current fire safety schedule must also be forwarded to the NSW Fire & Rescue, and another copy prominently displayed in the building.

Unless a critical fire safety measure has been identified, on or by the annual anniversary following the Fire Safety Certificate being issued, an Annual Fire Safety Statement must be prepared and forwarded to Council. A critical fire safety measure is a measure that is of a nature or is located in an environment or circumstances that requires certification at periods of less than 12 months. The critical measures are identified in the Fire Safety Schedule and the intervals at which Supplementary Fire Safety Statements are required (are also nominated in the Schedule). The Annual and Supplementary Fire Safety Statements must certify that a competent fire safety practitioner (CFSP assessor accreditation number) has inspected these measures and the building, finding that

  • that measure is capable of performing to the referenced Standard (this may mean a different CFSP for each measure or if they have the relevant skillset – all measures)
  • The owner of the building must forward copies of the Certificate or Statement and the current fire safety schedule to the NSW Fire & Rescue, and also prominently display them in the building.fire isolated exits and doors have appropriate signs on display, and
  • fire exit paths are not impeded or obstructed.

The fire safety certificates and annual fire safety statements can only be signed by the owner or his agent and not by any of the “CFSP” person or persons who conducted any of the assessments.

  1. As the owner of the building, what are my legal responsibilities with respect to essential services?

It is an offence to make a false statement, to fail to submit the certificates within the prescribed time, or to fail to maintain essential fire safety measures. You may be liable under common law if you-

  • do not ensure that the persons that you rely on for inspecting the services are acting within their level of competency, or
  • fail to maintain the essential fire safety measures and it can be shown that this had led to an injury, death or loss.
  1. What about my other legal responsibilities with which NDIBS can assist?

The building owner is responsible for the environment of the occupants and their guests (under WH&S) a number of Acts and regulations prescribe these for most buildings, including:

  • the Public Health Act (maintenance of air handling equipment)
  • the Clean Water Act. (pollution of storm water)
  • the Disability Discrimination Act (access and awareness), and of course
  • the Commonwealth Work Health & Safety Act & Regulations.
  1. Who qualifies the CFSP?
  • Until June 31st 2020 the building owner is deemed responsible in NSW for selection of the CFSP to assess their building but the prudent thing to do is to check the FPAA register of assessors and ensure that they are accredited for your measures. https://connect.fpaa.com.au/FireSafetyAssessor
  • From July 1st 2020, all submissions of AFSS’to regulators in NSW must have been endorsed by a CFSP accredited as an assessor (inspect & test accreditation is unacceptable) who must physically visits each facility to make the assessment.
    At present, assessors only path to accreditation for any measure, is via the FPAS training scheme administered by FPAA.

Who can I contact for assistance?

If you have any queries regarding the matters raised in this Information Sheet, contact NDIBS’ Ian Childs on (02) 9594 4477 / 1300-AS4655[1] or ndibs@ndibs.com.au[2]

Revised 20th March 2020

[1] AS4655 is the Australian Standard for the Audit of Fire Safety Systems in Buildings – Our phone number is therefore 1300-274655.

[2] NDIBS have been providing Building Services & Compliance advice to Building Owners & their Managing Agents since 1998

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CFSP Assessor for NSW AFSS’ & SFSS’

Any AFSS of SFSS in NSW submitted after 6th April (now deferred till 1st July 2020) must have the performance of each measure (listed on the FSS and reflected in Section 4 as well as paths of travel in Section 5) attested to by an accredited CFSP Assessor who will be identified and sign-off (in section 6).

There seems to be a whole lot of confusion about who and how the Section 4 and Section 5 & 6 of these forms can be filled out.

A CFSP inspect and test accredited individual is not necessarily a CFSP accredited assessor and those who have only CFSP inspect and test may not be listed in Section 4, 5 or 6 of the form. Only accredited CFSP assessors can be listed in these sections.

The FPAA are the administrators of the CFSP Accreditation and are adamant that the CFSP Assessor must not be reliant upon CFSP inspect and test individuals when doing their assessments, but must physically inspect and assess each site and be able to show what evidence they acquired  to form the view that the measure performed.

The FPAA are required to audit registered CFSP’s and ensure that they are following the correct assessment criteria (physical assessment done and performance evidence records for all measures attested to). Those who don’t follow the required criteria will be disciplined and/or deregistered.

It will simply not be good enough to have a CFSP Assessor on staff in the office signing off on these sections referencing only the inspect & test dockets from that companies inspect and test technicians.

Note that no CFSP listed in Section 6 can be the submitter referenced in Section 7.

The only form that may be used for AFSS’and SFSS’ is that from: https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/-/media/Files/DPE/Other/fire-safety-statement-form-version-3-2019-11-27.docx?la=en



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