Properly designed louvre windows can be of enormous benefit to the comfort and energy efficiency of buildings. But it is important that the product is suitably designed and fit for purpose.
Besides compliance with AS2047 and AS1288, louvre windows in an elevated application will have a number of additional requirements to ensure they comply with the National Construction Code.
- NCC Volume 1 and Volume 2 have structural provisions that a building element must safeguard people from injury caused by structural failure or impact with glazing. AS1288 cites that glazing within 2m of floor area can be subject to human impact. As a traditional louvre blade is not mechanically held in place it is important to determine whether those louvre windows subject to risk of human impact could suffer a structural failure. AS1170.1 Table 3.3 is an important tool here. The table outlines “Minimum Imposed Actions for Barriers” in various applications. These loads are considerably more than a louvre window without mechanical blade fixing could withstand.
- Fall prevention through openable windows is another consideration in the NCC. The Industry Code of Practice ICP.005 “Protection of Openable Windows” outlines the testing requirements for windows requiring fall prevention. Work is underway to convert this ICP to an Australian Standard. One aspect of this testing is the application of a 250N load on the edge of the louvre blade at its most vulnerable point for a 10 second duration. This test is failed if the louvre blade is dislodged at all from one louvre clip, or both louvre clips. A louvre that is unable to pass this test may not comply with the requirements of the NCC.
To install a product that does not meet these and any other relevant requirements is, at a minimum, irresponsible or, at worst, could cause considerable suffering for anyone hurt, which would also have disastrous consequences for the supplier of the windows in the building.
Breezway developed the Stronghold® System for the Altair® Louvre so that the designer of a building and the window fabricator can have a product that has sound design principles and testing available to understand its suitability to an “elevated glazing position”.