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Legal & user requirements


Building thresholds are highly trafficked making access and mobility an imperative consideration. Designers must cater for a diverse occupancy driven by a number of factors including an aging population as well as disability requirements. Level threshold drainage in buildings facilitates access and eliminates the need to have conventional step downs that were once used to contain stormwater  runoff.

There are a number of regulatory and user requirements that designers must be aware of when specify drainage channels.

Slip resistance

With the increase in litigation and compensation for injuries caused by slips, trips and falls, designers must consider specifying grates and floor surfaces that comply with AS 4586 – Slip resistance classifications of new pedestrian surface materials. It is important for designers to specify a grate that is relevant for the application with a suitable slip resistance rating.

The perception that a higher slip resistance rating will provide a better solution is incorrect. Trip hazards can be introduced where a grate has a higher slip resistance than the surrounding floor surface, or vice versa. ACO recommends grates to have the same level of slip resistance as the surrounding floor.

The slip resistance of Tile and Brickslot grates depend on the slip resistance of the infill material specified. In order to measure the slip resistance of a grate or floor surface, three tests are specified in AS 4586.

  • Wet pendulum: Applied to pedestrian areas that can become wet with rainwater.
  • Wet-barefoot inclining platform: Applied to wet areas where footwear/shoes are not worn. For instance at pools, waterparks, beach areas etc.
  • Oil-wet inclining platform: Applied for commercial and industrial areas that can be contaminated with oil or grease e.g commercial kitchens.

Slip resistance standards

The National Construction Code (NCC) requires and specifies minimum slip classifications for certain, high-risk areas. The table below is adapted from the National Construction Code 2016, volume 1 and 2.

In 2014, Standards Australia published a supporting handbook, HB 198:2014 Guide to the specification and testing of slip resistance of pedestrian surfaces, which provides recommendations and guidance for specifying surface materials that suit different application requirements. The adjacent table details guidance from HB 198. To assist designers in specifying grates with adequate slip resistance, ACO has commissioned and independent third party authority to test and rate each of its grates to AS 4586.

NCC 2016
Location Wet pendulum
Dry surface
Wet pendulum
Wet surface
Wet ramp
Dry surface
Wet ramp
Wet surface
Ramp steeper than 1:14 P4 P5 R11 R12
Ramp steeper than 1:20, but not steeper than 1:14 P3 P4 R10 R11
Ramp not steeper than 1:8 P4 P5 R10 R12
Tread surface P3 R10 R10 R11
Nosing or landing edge strip P3 - P4 -
HB 198 : 2014


Location Wet
pendulum test
platform test
External Pavements and Ramps
External ramps including sloping driveways and footpaths steeper than 1:14 P5 R12
External ramps including sloping driveways and footpaths, etc., under 1:14, external sales areas (e.g. markets), external carpark areas, external colonnades, walkways, pedestrian crossings, balconies, verandas, carports, driveways, courtyards and roof decks P4 R11
Undercover car parks P3 R10
Hotels, Offices, Public Buildings, Schools and Kindergartens
Wet areas P3 R10
Transitional areas P2 R9
Dry areas P1 R9
Toilet facilities in offices, hotels and shopping centres P3 R9
Hotel apartment bathrooms, en-suites and toilets P2 A
Hotel apartment kitchens and laundries P2 R9
Supermarkets and Shopping Centres
Fast food outlets, buffet food areas, food courts and dining areas in shopping centres P3 R10
Shops and supermarket fresh fruit and vegetable areas P3 R10
Shop entry areas with external entrances P3 R10
Supermarket aisles (except fresh food areas) P1 R9
Other separate shops inside shopping centres – wet P3 R10
Other separate shops inside shopping centres – dry P1 R9
Loading Docks, Commercial Kitchens, Cold Stores, Serving Areas
Loading docks under cover and commercial kitchens P5 R12
Serving areas behind bars in public hotels and clubs, cold stores and freezers P4 R11
Swimming Pools and Sporting Facilities
Swimming pool ramps and stairs leading to water P5 C
Swimming pool surrounds and communal shower rooms P4 B
Communal changing rooms P3 A
Undercover concourse areas of sports stadiums P3 R10
Hospital and Aged Care Facilities
Bathrooms and ensuites in hospitals and aged care facilities P3 B
Wards and corridors in hospitals and aged care facilities P2 R9
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