01 Sep 2020

AS/NZS 5131: 2016, Structural Steelwork - Fabrication and Erection is cited in NZBC B1/VM1, 5.0 Steel. This new Amendment A1, which has just been released, of course is not cited yet and so the use of amendment A1 would be an Alternative Solution.
However if you do want to use the new amendment and all its changes, the following is a short review of those changes.

This is by far the major change, with modifications to the definitions (Section 4) and application (Section 5) of traceability, apparently to better align with international practice.

Clause 4.7.1 has renamed and redefined the three types of traceability.

a) Was Basic Traceability - now Lot Traceability (see Clause 4.7.2 for definitions)
Was Partial Traceability - now Piece-mark Traceability (see Clause 4.7.3 for definitions)
Was Full Traceability - now Piece Traceability (see Clause 4.7.4 for definitions)

Clause 5.2.3 (NZ) has re-correlated traceability and Construction Categories (CC1 to CC4).

i. CC1:  No specific traceability requirements (old & new versions)
ii. CC2:  Was Basic Traceability - now no formal type of traceability just Test Certificates to be provided and Grades of Steel to remain identifiable
iii. CC3 & CC4:  Was Partial Traceability - now Lot Traceability for main structural members, connections between main structural members and major plate components. Test Certificates to be provided for all steel and Grades of Steel to remain identifiable for minor components. Extending Lot Traceability to all steel items, or applying Piece or Piece-mark Traceability is an option for the specifier where appropriate.

Clause 6.2 IDENTIFICATION AND TRACEABILITY for welding (NZ) has aligned the requirements for CC3 & CC4 with the new traceability requirements. There are no specific formal traceability requirements for CC1 or CC2 in the new version, although testing reports/certificates may still apply.

Bolt Tension
Table 8.5.5 MINIMUM BOLT TENSION was just for Grade 8.8 bolts, but now also covers Grade 10.9 bolts.

NZS 3404 Steel Structures Standard
The new version has replaced ‘NZS 3404.1’ with ‘NZS 3404’. In point of fact nothing has changed, NZS 3404; 1997 still has a Part1 and a Part 2, however they have taken upon themselves to refer to it as a single document?

Welding Quality Requirements
Clause 7.1.1 QUALITY REQUIREMENTS has had a slight update of Standards for the different Construction Categories.
CC1 was to AS/NZS 1554 or AS/NZS ISO 3834.4 ‘Elementary quality requirements’ - now only AS/NZS ISO 3834.4 (AS/NZS 1554 deleted).
CC2, CC3 & CC4 are unchanged.

Fusion Welding
AS/NZS ISO 9606.1: Qualification testing of welders - Fusion welding - Steels, in the new version, has replaced ISO 9606.1.

Minor Changes
There are a considerable number of minor changes, with a large proportion of them to do with the sense of performance. For instance there are a lot of - 'shall' replaced by 'should' - 'approve' replaced by 'review' etc. Some of these changes have added value, but some seem just less definitive?

Australia Only Changes
Some of the changes only affect Australian requirements.  For instance Appendix G STANDARD TEST FOR EVALUATION OF SLIP FACTOR, which did apply to New Zealand and Australia, in the new version it will not apply to Australia, but still apply to New Zealand.  Australia will now use AS 4100 instead.

Until NZBC B1/VM1, 5.0 Steel cites Amendment A1, Masterspec will continue with the pre-amendment version of AS/NZS 5131: 2016. Over the next few months, for those that need them, we will add some background on the impact of Amendment A1 to the guidance notes of the structural steel sections.