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Ensuring safe and compliant buildings

Combustible cladding can pose a significant fire hazard and risk to public safety. It has the potential to escalate a fire rather than prevent or slow its spread. Events such as the Grenfell Tower fire, the Lacrosse building and Neo200 apartment fires, brought global attention to the dangers of flammable cladding on high-rise building exteriors. Since then, Australia’s federal and state governments have moved to tighten restrictions on the use of combustible cladding.

Building owners and strata managers need to ensure that their property’s exterior cladding panels are compliant with their state’s applicable regulations. Engaging knowledgeable people from industry who can correctly identify offending materials is crucial.

We have extensive experience in combustible cladding rectification and will guide you through the process, making sure that you are informed every step of the way. Providing clear facts with options and recommendations to ensure a compliant and economic outcome is reached. When rectification is done properly in the first place, you can avoid future insurance or legal woes and protect the value of your asset.

With the right people, project management and cost management approach, we;

  • Meet best practice standards
  • Engage with industry experts to define and scope the project with various options
  • Assist in reducing fire risk
  • Secure the long-term sustainability and value of building assets

Download our guide to combustible cladding and what you need to know

Where we discuss;

  • What is combustible cladding?
  • Navigating the minefield
  • Implications for the industry
  • Our approach to rectification or replacement

Frequently asked questions

What is combustible cladding?
Lightweight, versatile and modern, metal composite panels are a popular external treatment on buildings. These metal panels can be made from various materials, including copper and zinc, but are most commonly made from aluminium and known as aluminium composite panels (ACP).

ACPs are generally two thin sheets of aluminium separated by a core material. The core can be made up of polyethylene (PE), mineral fibre or a combination of both.

ACP is frequently used for external cladding on the facades of buildings, insulation and signage. ACP has been used widely as a construction material due to its cost, durability, low weight and ease of fabrication.

Why is it banned?
The PE core of ACP is the key reason for the product ban, due to its combustibility and potential to contribute to rapid fire spread. Derived from petroleum, PE has a poor fire rating performance and is prone to melting and dripping at high temperatures. Aluminium is also a heat conductor.

ACPs in multi-storey buildings pose the largest risk, because of the potential for fire to spread rapidly via the external areas of the building.

How do I know if the cladding on my building is compliant?

Every building is different and an individual assessment will determine if ACP cladding is both present and compliant. Since the Senate Inquiry into combustible building products, a number of state authorities have developed working groups to identify buildings with unsafe cladding products. Checking with your local state authority or task force is also recommended. 

Does all banned ACP need to be removed?

The presence of external combustible cladding does not necessarily mean a building is unsafe. Some buildings with ACPs can still be declared safe, given other safety features, such as fire sprinklers. Where safety issues are found, they should be addressed as a priority. Other factors to consider when determining whether cladding on a building poses a higher risk includes the total coverage, vertical coverage, positioning around balconies, windows or doors, as well as the building type and the way it is used.

Contact a qualified professional

Our multi-disciplinary team of professionals brings a wealth of industry experience and unparalleled data-driven insights, providing the clarity you need to make informed decisions.

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