Can you fire proof a building?

While no building material is one hundred percent fireproof, selecting fire-resistant materials can help reduce the impact of fire and any potential tragedies. At Baines Masonry, we understand the importance of designing and constructing safe buildings, developing an innovative range of masonry products that exhibit fire-resistant characteristics.  ... Read more

Noise and Good Design

Noise can interfere with sleep, rest and conversation, causing fatigue, irritability, headaches and stress. Thoughtful design and the selection of materials with high acoustic performance is critical, especially in multi-residential contexts, as it can reduce the impact of noise and improve the quality of life for occupants.  ... Read more

Fire Rated Masonry & Bushfire Attacks

Fire is a real and immediate danger for buildings across Australia, with fires forming quickly and destroying structures without discrimination. Ensuring a building is fire resistant through the choice of the right materials has become paramount for designers, builders and specifiers in order to provide the highest safety standard for occupants.  ... Read more

Product Focus - Fire & Acoustic Masonry Blocks

Baines Masonry currently offers two types of concrete blocks that are recommended where specific fire and acoustic performance is required; the Betta Block and Dense Weight units. The material composition and specific unit dimensions have been optimised, tested and assessed by leading organisations around Australia in order to provide exceptional fire and acoustic performances.

Baines Masonry products are suitable for use in load bearing and non-load bearing walls for all types of buildings. Both types are available in various sizes, including 100mm, 150mm, 200mm and 300mm series blocks, and are suitable for core filled and non-core filled applications.

Their light grey cement-like colour makes them a great block for an industrial look, when kept bear, or can be rendered to suit your design.

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Choosing the right finish and colour for your project

Choosing the right finish and colours for a project is important as the choices determine the tone for the area and can determine the success of the project. To take the risk out of the designing process, the team at Baines Masonry have put together some tips, and have also developed online tools to aid in the designing and specification of your project.

Matching a colour can be difficult, especially if there has been time between stages of the project, as there is often a variance in colour between batches of manufacture and different brands. Instead of matching colours opt for a different shade, lighter or darker, which will complement the existing design and create a cohesive look.

A neutral shade can be a safe choice as they blend well with a wide colour palette and also provide flexibility for future changes.Another alternative is to pull out accent colours. For example, use one of the less dominant colours from stone or block. This will emphasize particular colours within the stone which may have otherwise not been noticeable.

Try using different textures in your design which can create a point of differentiation. Blocks can have a stone finish, rough split face, smooth, polished and honed surface. For example, to create an interesting point in the design of a smooth wall, a row of split face blocks can be run along the second course of blocks. This can make an otherwise plan wall look striking.

 

The online designer tools, developed by Baines Masonry, are available to help you design your next project. The Masonry Designer Software allows you to select your colour, block and layout, and then produces an electronic visual of your projects. The possibilities are endless, as you can mix colours and block types while creating numerous examples. The team at Baines Masonry understand that making a decision is hard when you’re not sure of the outcome. This program takes the risk out of your design choices. 

Baines Masonry have also developed a new Fire & Acoustic Calculator which is a simple tool that takes the guesswork out of specification and gives builders, designers and contractors the peace of mind that they are able to comply with industry requirements and significantly reducing their exposure to liability.

For more information on the types of blocks available from Baines Masonry, the online tools or to talk to an expert, click here.

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Fire and Acoustic performance with Baines Masonry

The Australian residential landscape has evolved over the last few years with many Australians choosing to live in multi-residential housing and adopting inner-city lifestyles in the suburbs. This trend has created a complex task for designers, contractors and workers involved in the design and construction of such projects where the risks and regulations have increased. The need to provide the best-performing products can determine ones success, especially when meeting the fire and acoustic requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Baines Masonry are experts with fire and acoustic with their range of blocks and newly designed Fire and Acoustic Calculator.

About Fire resistance performance

The fire resistance performance of a masonry wall is considered with regards to three characteristics; structural adequacy, integrity & insulation. Each characteristic is expressed in terms of the number of minutes that the wall can resist a particular fire intensity defined by AS 1530.4-2005. For example a fire resistance level (FRL) of 180/120/120 implies 180 minutes of resistance for structural adequacy, 120 minutes of resistance for integrity and 120 minutes of resistance for insulation. Each characteristic is defined by AS 1530.4-2005 as follows:

1.Structural adequacy:The ability of a load-bearing element of construction to support a load when tested in accordance with AS 1530.4-2005.

2.Integrity:The ability of an element of construction to resist the passage of flames and hot gases from one space to another, when tested in accordance with AS 1530.4-2005.

3.Insulation:The ability of an element of construction to maintain a temperature on the surface that is not exposed to the furnace, below the limits specified, when tested in accordance with AS 1530.4-2005.

When a wall is in a non-load bearing situation, the FRL for structural adequacy is stated as a dash, e.g. -/120/120

About Acoustic Performance

Where necessary, the acoustic performance of a wall must be considered in order to safeguard the occupants of a part of a building from illness or loss of comfort.

The two main aspects of consideration in regards to acoustic performance are airborne sound and impact generated sound.

Airborne sound is commonly measured by playing a series of differing frequency sounds on one side of a wall and measuring the sound loss on the other side. It is stated in terms of a weighted sound index (Rw), the higher the index value, the higher the element prevents the transmission of the sound. An adjustment factor is typically associated with the weighted sound index which is called the spectrum adaption term (Ctr) which accounts for low frequency noise. This adjustment factor is always a negative number and is added to the weighted sound index to give a combined value lower than Rw. For example, an Rw of 53 with a Ctr of -6 gives an Rw + Ctr of 47. These values are typically obtained from testing in accordance with AS/NZS 1276.1 or ISO 717.

Baines Fire and Acoustic performing blocks

Baines Masonry currently offer two types of concrete blocks that are recommended where specific fire and acoustic performance is required. These are Betta Block units and Dense Weight units. Both types are available in various unit sizes and are suitable for core filled and non-core filled applications.Baines Masonry products are suitable for use in load bearing and non-load bearing walls for all types of buildings. The material composition and specific unit dimensions have been optimised, tested and assessed by leading organisations around Australia in order to provide exceptional fire and acoustic performances.

Baines Masonry have undertaken extensive non-load bearing fire testing of the Betta Block product range with CSIRO in North Sydney, NSW. The acoustic performance of internal Baines Masonry walls have been assessed by a leading Australian acoustic firm. The results of each are outlined in the ‘Fire & Acoustic Technical Manual for Load Bearing & Non-load Bearing Walls’.

Baines Masonry Fire and Acoustic Calculator

Through their extensive knowledge and expertise in masonry, the team at Baines Masonry have devised a new Fire and Acoustic calculator to take the headache out of specification. This simple web-based tools has been specifically designed to address concerns surrounding compliance, fire protection, and insulation, the Fire & Acoustic Calculator makes selection of the correct product and compliance with the BCA easier than ever. The simple tool takes the guesswork out of specification and gives designers and specifiers the peace of mind that they are fully complying with industry requirements and significantly reducing their exposure to liability.

To use the tool, designers and specifiers simply enter a few simple design parameters that include the required wall type, installation environment, acoustic and fire insulation requirements, and the relevant BCA requirement. The Calculator then instantly provides a tailored shortlist of Baines Masonry products that meet the specified parameters. The shortlist is also provided in printable PDF format, allowing the designer or specifier to retain a hard copy for reference or insertion into tender documents.

To try it click here!

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Online Designer Tools by Baines Masonry

At Baines Masonry Blocks we not only aim to create the best quality products, we also look for ways in which we can help our customers use our products. In doing so, we have created two online tools useful for any project; the Baines Masonry Blocks Fire & Acoustic Calculator and the Baines Masonry Blocks Wall Designer Software.  ... Read more

Baines Masonry Fire & Acoustic Calculator

A key focus area of Australian compliance culture is fire protection, in which failure to comply with requirements may literally become a question of life and death. In the wake of numerous high profile fires both nationally and overseas, the construction industry is now more concerned than ever with meeting the stringent fire safety requirements set out in the NCC and Australian Standards. Baines Masonry has developed a new Fire & Acoustic Calculator to better equip builders, designers and contractors with their fire and acoustic compliance requirements.  ... Read more


 
Address 900 Wilton Road Appin NSW 2560
 
Phone Number (02) 4631 1383
 
Fax (02) 4631 1402

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