NZBC F8 Compliance - Exit Signs

Since April 2012 the Building Code Acceptable Solution for emergency exit signage (F8/AS1) has allowed photoluminescent ("PL") exit signs to be used wherever "illuminated exit signs" are required.

There are strict performance requirements specified in F8/AS1 that make sure the PL signs will meet all the requirements of the NZ building code. To Ecoglo's knowledge, Ecoglo signs are the only PL signs available in New Zealand that are bright enough to meet F8/AS1.

If you're not sure if Ecoglo signs are right for your project, please read through our FAQs below, or work through our decision tree flow charts (Download below).

If you're planning to specify or use Ecoglo signs that meet F8/AS1, we recommend you review our compliance checklist (Download below) and test report (Download below).

F8/AS1 requires 100 lux illumination on the signs whenever they need to be charged ready for possible emergency use. If you aren't sure whether the existing illumination (from daylight or electrical lighting) will provide 100 lux there are a number of ways to check this out.

To see if you are likely to meet the 100 lux requirement, Ecoglo are developing a number of scenarios (see System Design/Lighting Models) that show typical lighting installed in a variety of situations, with the calculated illumination where the exit signs would typically be.

Alternatively, you can use your own lighting model using DIALux or similar, or you can measure the illumination on site.

You can discuss your specific project with Ecoglo.

  • If you want to use Ecoglo signs but there isn't 100 lux illumination where the signs need to be, you can do this with one of our 'Alternative Solutions'. We recommend you review the F8 flow chart along with the F8 Alternative Solution document, the F8 specifier checklist, the F8 compliance doc checklist and the maintenance checklists which are all available in the Technical section.

Or Ecoglo can review your project and provide alternative solution documentation if appropriate. This is a free service. Contact Ecoglo.

F8 Technical Documents

Thumbnail Title Description Download
Technical Justification for Ecoglo Signs This report provides the technical justification for the product performance specification and design of Ecoglo signage to meet the requirements of NZBC Clause F8 ‘Signs'.
F8/AS1 Compliance Checklist (Indoors) This checklist can be used to show your building consent authority that Ecoglo signs will meet the requirements of the New Zealand building code.
F8/AS1 Compliance Checklist (Outdoors) This checklist can be used to show your building consent authority that Ecoglo signs will meet the requirements of the New Zealand building code.
F8/AS1 Flow Chart How to check if an Ecoglo sign will meet F8/AS1.
F8 Alternative Solution Flow Chart How to check if an Ecoglo sign will meet F8 with an Alternative Solution.
F8/AS1 Maintenance Checking This checklist can be used to show your building consent authority that Ecoglo signs will meet the requirements of the New Zealand building code.
F8 AS1 Brightness Report Summary of glow performance from testing with different light sources including LED's.

FAQ's:

Most commonly less than $50+GST trade price, but signs that need to be seen from more than 16 metres cost more, and if brackets are required to mount the signs from a ceiling, or sticking out from a wall, the cost is an extra $20.

No, they are designed to make use of the existing light in the building.

A minimum of 30 years when installed indoors before there would be any measurable change in performance and 15 - 30 years outdoors.

Make sure they are cleaned of dust or dirt build up. If the building doesn’t need any other emergency lighting, in many cases Ecoglo exit signs will not need to be part of the annual building WOF schedule.

Ecoglo signs are designed to work in most normal lighting situations. Ecoglo’s professional engineer can design an alternative solution to meet F8 in situations where there is as little as 55 lux available. This is a free service. Contact Ecoglo (engineer@ecoglo.com) for details.

No. Any lighting, including LEDs, with a colour temperature of 4000K or more, is suitable for charging Ecoglo exit signs. The wording of F8/AS1 is due to be changed in the near future to remove that sentence.

No. Ecoglo exit signs have been independently tested to confirm they meet the F8/AS1 luminance (brightness) requirement for Risk Group C buildings1 after at most, 5 minutes charging at 100 lux.

In most cases a sign will have sufficient residual charge from when there was light on it before, but even if the sign has become fully discharged and someone enters a dark space and turns on a light, the signs will meet the F8/AS1 brightness requirement for a longer evacuation time than the time since the light was turned on. By the time 5 minutes has elapsed the signs will have the full 30 minutes charge required for Risk Group C buildings.

They have no moving parts or components that will need replacing. As long as they are installed where there are normal indoor light levels, and they are kept reasonably clean, and not physically damaged, they will be visible in an emergency for the time required by F8 and F6 for at least 30 years.

They are designed and manufactured in Christchurch, using a unique process that was developed locally, over fifteen years ago.

Ideal places are in building spaces that are normally occupied when the signs may need to be used, such as classrooms, offices, meeting rooms, retail spaces, factories, and warehouses. In these places if the space becomes dark, the occupier will turn on a light, making sure that the signs remain well charged. Ecoglo Exit signs can also be used in spaces that aren’t normally occupied (such as corridors, linking rooms and stairwells), but there needs to be a management process for making sure that the signs are always sufficiently charged when someone may need to use them. Contact Ecoglo for more details.

Anyone who knows how to put a screw into a wall, and knows where the exit signs need to be installed to meet F8.

They are made in New Zealand in a factory that uses electricity (from a supplier committed to sustainable electricity production) as its only energy source. The factory creates no commercial liquid effluent, and negligible air emissions. The products have no replaceable parts which would need to be disposed of, and no cadmium, mercury or radioactive material. They normally don’t require any electricity to be used to keep them charged. They have an extremely long life, and if for any reason they need to be disposed of, they can be included with other aluminium products for aluminium recycling.

Yes, they are designed to meet the rigours of long term outdoor exposure in our harsh Southern Hemisphere environment. No matter what the weather, they can meet the requirements of F8 for several hours after sunset, or 24/7 when the distance they need to be seen from is no more than half their rated viewing distance. Contact Ecoglo for specific details.