Building Code Changes – Restricted Openings for Windows


As of 1 May 2013, the Building Code of Australia (BCA2013) has changed.

BCA 2013  (NCC 2013) now stipulates that openable windows in bedrooms in Class 1, 2 and 3 building, Class 4 parts of buildings and all early childhood centres, where the floor level is above 2m from the surface beneath and where openings are less than 1.7m above the floor, will:

  1. require a screen; or
  2. the opening must be restricted.

The screen or device used to restrict the size of the opening must also be able to withstand a specified loading force.

This took effect from 1 May 2013 and applies to all approvals on or after this date.

There are two options available to comply with this regulation:

Option 1 – the window sash must be restricted so that a 125mm sphere subjected to a 250 N  (equivalent to 25kg) force cannot pass through the opening

Option 2 – A barrier screen be installed which must resist 250 N of outward force.  The device or screen may be removable but must have a child resistant release mechanism.

Window openings more than 1.7m off the floor do not need to be restricted unless their construction contains a sill or a transom that is located between 150mm & 750mm from the floor, which constitutes a ‘climbable zone’ for a child.

Currently, GEM Windows does not have a barrier screen option.  However, we do have a restricting offer for all window types that will satisfy these requirements.  All windows have been tested in accordance with the force requirements as set out above. 

The date of implementation (1 May 2013) refers building permits issued on or after that date.  As we are not always aware of the date of the building permit, we will be restricting all openings of jobs that are manufactured after 1 June 2013.