The glass block is a unique architectural element which is compliant with the National Construction Code (NCC) fire-rating requirements and offers solutions for increased natural light, privacy, security and insulation.


Glass blocks and fire-rating

A glass block panel installed in a wall or floor is able to prevent the spread of flames and smoke for a period of 60 minutes or longer depending on the glass block used. To see our range of fire rating glass blocks, head to our fire rated glass blocks page.

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Residential buildings

  • The NCC requires 60 minute fire-rating for external walls and windows less than 900mm from a boundary
  • In a number of states windows within 3 metres of a brush fence must be fire- rated
  • If there are multiple buildings on the same property, an external wall less than 1800mm from the next building is required to be constructed with fire-rated materials.

 Commercial buildings

  • The various classes of commercial buildings require different levels of fire-rating. The maximum achievable fire-rating for glass blocks in vertical walls is 90/90/90
  • For horizontal structures such as floor paving, the maximum achievable fire-rating for glass blocks is 120/120/90

Fire resistance level (FRL)

The FRL consists of 3 ratings in minutes: structural adequacy/integrity/insulation.

  • Structural adequacy –  the ability of the structure to withstand collapse within the prescribed period
  • Integrity  –   the ability to resist the passage of flames and smoke
  • Insulation  –  the ability of the surface not exposed to the fire to maintain a temperature below the limits specified in AS 1530.4

The NCC states that windows or glass panels in the above external walls are required to be protected with a fire resistance level of   /60/    i.e.  the ability to resist the passage of flames and smoke for 60 minutes.