Alpine areas are defined as those areas which are 1,200 m or more above Australian height datum (AHD) for NSW, ACT and Victoria and 900 m or more above AHD for Tasmania.

Sub-alpine areas are those areas 600 - 1,200 m in NSW, ACT and Victoria and between 300 - 900 m in Tasmania.

The BCA requirements only apply to alpine and sub-alpine areas in which the snow loads are significant. In some sub-alpine areas, successive snowfalls are not likely to accumulate and therefore the snow loads are not considered to be significant.

This picture contains following scene. Diagram displaying the alpine and sub-alpine heights in two regions. The first region includes NSW, ACT and Victoria. The second region is Tasmania. Map of the states of NSW, Victoria and Tasmania with several alpine and sub-alpine regions shaded. There are four major alpine regions - one north of Sydney, one west of Sydney, a large area which spans the border between NSW and Victoria and a large area in the centre of Tasmania. There are two major alpine areas - one spanning the NSW and Victorian border, the other in the centre of Tasmania.

These areas require compliance to the BCA for the following:

  • external doorways
  • external ramps
  • access bridges
  • access for firefighting vehicles.

For example, external stairways, ramps, access bridges or other trafficable structures of a building must have:

  • a floor surface that consists of steel mesh or other suitable material if it is used as an exit
  • any required railing (balustrade) or other barrier constructed so that its sides are no more than 25% solid.

Refer to the BCA, Section 3.7.5 Alpine areas for more information.