Go to top of page

Windows, glass and painting standards for contractors

Guidelines for contractors working with glass and paint at SA government schools and preschools.

Windows and glass

Size and placement

The preferred maximum pane size for windows is in the order of 1200mm x 1200mm (or equivalent area) to reduce maintenance costs.

Consider the articulation of window frames to reduce the size of individual glazing panels.

Types of glass

Glazing in new windows must be minimum 6.3mm laminated safety glass and/or meet AS 1288 Glass in buildings – Selection and installation specifications where these exceed the minimum 6.3mm laminated safety glass.

Toughened glass is not accepted.

Solar/safety film can be used on existing windows to provide sun shielding and protection against forced entry.

Mirror reflective film is not acceptable as it causes discomfort from reflected glare externally.

When a high level of security (or anti-vandalism) is required, 9.5mm thick marr-resistant type of polycarbonate sheets must be used as the preferred glazing material. The size of polycarbonate sheet has limitations due to flexing. Consult with the department’s Security and Emergency Management team for information on the level of security required.

For further information, refer to the design standards (PDF 1.2MB).


Use paints from the Australian Paint Approval scheme (APAS) to ensure paints have low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Light colours should be selected to increase natural light and to accommodate students with disabilities who may be affected by bright colours.

Recommended finishes




Concrete/cement render

Satin acrylic

Fibre cement wall cladding

Satin acrylic

Timber fascia, barges, rafters

Flat acrylic (a)

Steel beams, posts, handrails, balustrades, bag racks

System c and gloss enamel or galvanised finish (b)

Fibre cement soffits

Low sheen acrylic

Timber doors and frames

Full gloss enamel (c)

Timber window frames

Full gloss enamel (c)




Plaster and plasterboard wall

Satin acrylic

Plasterboard ceilings and bulkheads

Flat acrylic

Fibre cement toilet partitions

Factory polyurethane     

Timber doors and frames

Full gloss enamel (c)

Timber windows

Full gloss enamel

Timber sills, skirtings, and trim

Full gloss enamel or clear finish

Timber joinery

Full gloss enamel or clear finish or melamine surface

Steel columns and beams

Full gloss enamel (b)

For further information, refer to the design standards.

  1. External timber subject to weather is best protected with oil based pink primer and flat acrylic finish coats.
  2. Galvanising is the preferred finish to metal surfaces that take wear.  Metal surfaces to be painted must first be treated with System C protection and not galvanising.
  3. Full gloss enamel is the preferred finish to timber surfaces that receive any hand contact, internally and externally.

Asset Standards and Environmental Management

For enquiries regarding standards 

Phone: 8226 0091 

Email: education.standards [at] sa.gov.au  


For enquiries regarding sustainable infrastructure 

Phone: 8226 3497 

Email: education.environment [at] sa.gov.au