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Question

I am designing an External Handrail/balustrade to be fixed to a concrete base. I am looking at LOSP for construction. The Bushfire Attack Level in the area is high risk "29". Can I use LOSP in any way? Can the posts use a steel stirrup to overcome any BAL requirements?

Woodsolutions Answer +

Australian Standard 3959:2018, Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas, states that in BAL-29 areas "those parts of handrails and balustrades that are 125 mm or more from the building have no requirements" (clause 7.7.4). Therefore LOSP-treated pine would be OK. The guidelines on the use of LOSP in Timber Queensland's Technical Data Sheet no. 24 may be helpful. It can be downloaded here: http://www.tpaa.com.au/TPAA/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/4_5_5_0-Recommendations-for-use-of-H3-LOSP-pine.pdf. If any part of the handrail or balustrade is less than 125 mm from any glazing or any combustible wall, that part must be non-combustible or made from one of the seven timbers classed as 'bushfire-resisting'. LOSP-treated pine would not comply for that part of the handrail or balustrade.

BAL-29

Answered on 13-01-2021
Please note that our answer is based on the best advice available at the time. If the National Construction Code, Australian Standards or local requirements have been subsequently amended, our answer may no longer be correct in all details. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

Question

Skillion shed end wall 4m high other end 2.4m high rafters at 600crs N3 wind rating metal roof. What size studs?

Woodsolutions Answer +

As well as the details provided, a designer would need to know the span of the rafters. That's what determines the load on the stud walls that support the rafters. It's called the Roof Load Width. In the case of a skillion roof the Roof Load Width is half the span of the rafters + eaves overhang, since each wall carries half the weight of the roof. We have software that will help you to work out the size of the studs. It can be downloaded from our website here: https://www.woodsolutions.com.au/articles/span-tables-and-software. Alternatively, your timber supplier may be able to advise on the required stud size.

Skillion roof

Answered on 17-12-2020
Please note that our answer is based on the best advice available at the time. If the National Construction Code, Australian Standards or local requirements have been subsequently amended, our answer may no longer be correct in all details. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

Question

I am a builder for new homes. We did hand over a brand new brick veneer home 12 months ago to one of our clients with solid timber floor cover for the first level upstairs. After one year, my client found some insects coming out from the timber flooring upstairs. It looks like powder post beetles but we are not sure. The house has five rooms upstairs and there are couple of spots in each room are damaged by these beetles. We would seek your professional advice to identify this issue for us and how can we solve it.

Looking forward to hear from you soon and thank you for your cooperation.

Woodsolutions Answer +

It certainly sounds like a case of lyctid borer, aka 'powder post beetle'. This insect produces very fine dust, similar to talc powder or flour, and leaves exit holes of 1.5 to 4.5 mm. It only attacks the sapwood of certain hardwoods. State legislation in Queensland and NSW controlling the sale of timber containing susceptible sapwood has been repealed, but the relevant Australian Standard deals with sapwood in milled hardwood products such as flooring as follows:

AS 2796.1 Clause 2.4 SAPWOOD SUSCEPTIBLE TO LYCTID BORERS

Sapwood susceptible to Lyctid borers shall be immunised against such attack in accordance with AS 1604.

If lyctid borer attack is confirmed, then clearly the flooring in question was not immunised as required by Australian Standard 2796.1, Timber - Hardwood - Sawn and milled products, Part 1: Product specification. If you are unsure whether it's a case of lyctid borer, or your situation does not fit the criteria for lyctid attack, you may need an inspection by a qualified person. 

Lyctid borer

Answered on 09-12-2020
Please note that our answer is based on the best advice available at the time. If the National Construction Code, Australian Standards or local requirements have been subsequently amended, our answer may no longer be correct in all details. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

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