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But a Swimming Pool is BCA Class 10b, or is it?

  • December 16, 2020
  • Bruce Bromley

Not in most cases contrary to the typical advice given

Class 3 hotel swimming pool

Class 3 hotel swimming pool

 

This issue comes up time and time again with building surveyors, and even today we had a pool builder questioning the classification following advice from another access consultant of using class 10b for pools and spas on upper levels of a class 2 development. This is categorically incorrect.

Back to basics – understanding the classifications!

Class 10b external resort swimming pool

Class 10b external resort swimming pool

A6.10  Class 10 buildings and structures

A Class 10 building includes one or more of the following sub-classifications:

  1. Class 10a is a non-habitable building including a private garage, carport, shed or the like.
  2. Class 10b is a structure that is a fence, mast, antenna, retaining wall or free-standing wall or swimming pool or the like.
  3. Class 10c is a private bushfire shelter.

 

Therefore to be given a class 10b classification a pool must be a structure in its own right/ outbuilding and not part of any other building i.e. an externally landscaped pool.

 

This is further clarified in A6.11 Explanatory information figure 6 below where it clearly shows the class 10 swimming pool is separate to the class 2 development. The pool is associated with the class 2 development, it is not a part of the class 2 development.

Class 10 Swimming Pools

 

Table D3.1 Requirements for access for people with a disability

This table as follows states the access provisions that are required for buildings with swimming pools.

Class 1b rooming house
To and within
1 bedroom and associated sanitary facilities; and not less than 1 of each type of room or space for use in common by the residents or guests, including a cooking facility, sauna, gymnasium, swimming pool, laundry, games room, eating area, or the like

Class 2 apartment building
To and within not less than 1 of each type of room or space for use in common by the residents, including a cooking facility, sauna, gymnasium, swimming pool, common laundry, games room, individual shop, eating area, or the like.

Class 3 supported accommodation or hotel
To and within not less than 1 of each type of room or space for use in common by the residents, including a cooking facility, sauna, gymnasium, swimming pool, common laundry, games room, TV room, individual shop, dining room, public viewing area, ticket purchasing service, lunchroom, lounge room, or the like.

Class 9b place of assembly
To and within all areas normally used by the occupants.

All classifications above clearly require access to be provided “To and within swimming pools without exception or conditions. You must then apply the requirements of D3.10 for the type of access that must be provided with large pools more than 70m perimeters not being able to rely solely on a sling-style swimming pool lift.

Class 10b external aquatic centre swimming pool

Class 10b external aquatic centre swimming pool

 

Class 10b: Swimming pool
To and into swimming pools with a total perimeter greater than 40 m, associated with a Class 1b, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 building that is required to be accessible, but not swimming pools for the exclusive use of occupants of a Class 1b building or a sole-occupancy unit in a Class 2 or Class 3 building.

So which classification should I apply?

Class 2 apartment upper level spa

Class 2 apartment upper-level spa

 

As detailed above under ‘Back to basics’ for a pool to have a class 10b classification it must be its own structure, for example, an external pool that is separate from any building.

As soon as a pool becomes a part of a building i.e. a hotel (Class 3) or an aquatic centre (9b) it must be assessed as part of the building it is within (external or internal). However there are instances where a building surveyor may apply a 9b classification to a pool and gym area of a hotel (mixed-use), but again class 10b must not be applied.

If an aquatic centre has both internal and external swimming pools, the internal pool would be classified as 9b and the external pool 10b.

If an apartment building has pools or spas on external decks say on upper levels, they are associated with the class 2 building they must be assessed as class 2 pools and spas and not class 10b.

What access should be provided?

Class 10b pool for an apartment building

Class 10b pool for an apartment building

 

Ask yourself, if the Class 10 requirements were to be applied to all pools, why would the D3.10 requirements be needed?

For Class 1b, 2, 3 & 9b buildings, the Class 10b 40m concession does not apply. The access requirements detailed within  D3.10  Swimming pools must be applied as follows.

 

D3.10  Swimming pools

(a) Not less than 1 means of accessible water entry/exit in accordance with Specification D3.10 must be provided for each swimming pool required by Table D3.1 to be accessible.
(b) An accessible entry/exit must be by means of—
    (i) a fixed or movable ramp and an aquatic wheelchair; or
    (ii) a zero depth entry and an aquatic wheelchair; or
    (iii) a platform swimming pool lift and an aquatic wheelchair; or
    (iv) a sling-style swimming pool lift.
(c) Where a swimming pool has a perimeter of more than 70 m, at least one accessible water entry/exit must be provided
by a means specified in (b)(i), (ii) or (iii). View Post
(d) Latching devices on gates and doors forming part of a swimming pool safety barrier need not comply with AS 1428.1.

In plain English, for Class 1b, 2, 3 & 9b Pools

Pool less than 70M perimeter 

Class 3 hotel swimming pool

Class 3 hotel swimming pool (or 9b)

 

An accessible entry/exit must be provided by means of one of the following

  • a fixed or movable ramp and an aquatic wheelchair; or
  • a zero depth entry and an aquatic wheelchair; or
  • a platform swimming pool lift and an aquatic wheelchair; or
  • a sling-style swimming pool lift.

 

Pool greater than 70M perimeter 

Class 9b aquatic centre pool

Class 9b aquatic centre pool

 

An accessible entry/exit must be provided by means of one of the following

  • a fixed or movable ramp and an aquatic wheelchair; or
  • a zero depth entry and an aquatic wheelchair; or
  • a platform swimming pool lift and an aquatic wheelchair; or

 

Hopefully, this clears everything up so no longer will a pool or spa as part of a Class 1b, 2, 3 or 9b building be classed as a 10b and exempted from providing access if under 40l/m, unlike a standalone pool that has been built separately to other buildings.

 

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