Combustible Cladding: What To Expect In 2019

Combustible Cladding: What To Expect In 2019

Combustible Cladding: What To Expect In 2019

 

Governments focus on combustible cladding

Combustible Cladding and other Non-Conforming Building Products were a key focus for Government, the Built-Form industry and globally in 2018.

From the outside, community members have been justifiably concerned for the safety of their current dwellings and the safety of any new or existing dwelling they may come to occupy.

Building owners, too, are concerned that non-compliant materials may have entered the supply chain and have been used throughout their assets.

As we settle into the year, implementing legislation that outlines key responsibilities and procedures to manage and avoid current and potential risks will be central to establishing a national position on Non-Conforming Building Products.

Following the release of the Final Report by the Senate Inquiry into Non-Conforming Building Products in early December, several recommendations have been made to address the ‘need for a coherent and robust regulatory regime.’

Nine of the recommendations in the Senate Inquiry seek to address current reporting requirements, governance and industry standards directly. Of these, four major recommendations made were also taken from the interim report.

1. ‘Making all Australian Standards freely available’

H: The ability to provide easy access to up-to-date regulations, especially to advisory bodies and consultants, is a great benefit in understanding a client’s position and the necessary steps to rectify any issues which may arise.

2. ‘Consulting with industry stakeholders to determine the feasibility of developing a national database of conforming and non-conforming product’

H: We agree that a public register will prove to be highly useful for all parties in gathering information on a given building or matters relating to material compliance. Currently, such a register does not exist. Registers are provided in independent reports from a product manufacturer and, as such, could benefit from an independent review where the independent body has the experience to validate the suitability and compliance of a product.

3. ‘Imposing a penalties regime for non-compliance with the National Construction Code such as revocation of accreditation or a ban from tendering for Commonwealth funded construction work and substantial financial penalties’

H: Hendry believes that this measure would present a deterrent for parties with a history of non-compliance or who have been involved in matters of non-compliance. Penalties like these would likely serve as an additional deterrent for non-compliant materials to enter the supply chain unchecked.

4. ‘Requiring manufacturers, importers and suppliers to hold mandatory recall insurance for high-risk building products’

H: Accountability is a key priority regarding suppliers and the products they provide, particularly their ability to comply with current requirements and their suitability for the intended application.

Making recall insurance mandatory will importantly provide a method for people to recoup losses related to the use of non-compliant building materials.

Amendments to building regulations

Amendments to ‘Building Regulation 2006’ accompanied these recommendations. Like practices implemented in NSW, building owners must register their buildings and complete a combustible cladding checklist online.

Owners must register buildings that fall within the following criteria by 29 March 2019:

  • Are a class 2-9 building
  • Of type A or B construction
  • Built or have had the cladding altered after 1 January 1994 but before 1 October 2018.


Hendry can work with you to assess the current state of your assets and provide guidance regarding your concerns.

To avoid this issue, certifiers and building professionals can uphold their organisation’s credibility and ability to renew their registration through maintaining a consistently low-risk profile.

Hendry agrees with the objective of creating a national standard and the potential to align with an internationally coordinated effort to ensure the safety of the built-form and its occupants. We support processes that ensure the safety and compliance of materials entering the supply chain through a more thorough process of identification, a consistent framework for accountability and in implementing a consistent standard for rectification where non-compliant products are in use.

Choosing the right compliance expert for you

Where cladding or other fire risks are concerned, it is recommended that you engage with a company with dedicated Fire Engineers and professionals who can provide up-to-date knowledge of compliance and regulations surrounding fire risk management.

Greg Payne, Hendry’s National Manager for Project Delivery, has recently joined the United Nations-backed International Fire Safety Standards committee, an international coalition of experts in safety standards. He will contribute to key discussions around non-compliant or unsafe building materials to establish a consistent approach and process of identifying and risk mitigation internationally.

Hendry’s experts are also involved in several industry and regulatory standards committees to discuss producing a consistent nationwide approach to unsafe building products and regulations or guidelines. To prevent further issues from occurring, including Victorian Building Authority (VBA) panels on wall-cladding audits and expert review, BCA Audits, fire safety surveys and certification.

If you have any concerns regarding non-compliant building materials or cladding, Hendry can assist in understanding your particular requirements and develop a robust approach. We can also assist in preparing documents and inspection of your asset portfolio related to cladding and occupant safety to establish a clear position.

Inspect Your Asset Portfolio

Contact our Asset Audit & Advisory Team today to discuss the state of your asset portfolio relative to cladding and occupant safety.

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