NSW Update: Combustible Cladding Performance Solutions
New combustible cladding regulations taking effect from October
From October 22nd, new regulations concerning performance solutions for buildings containing or using combustible cladding will take effect in New South Wales. The intended purpose is to ‘make provision for the identification of, and collection of information about, buildings to which external combustible cladding has been applied.’
The document ‘Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with External Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2018’ was provided by NSW Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts.
It identifies key changes concerning EPA Clause 144 for class 2-9 buildings where using an Alternative Solution to CP2 does not apply BCA verification method CV3 in its entirety.
The main concern relates to the installation of existing Aluminium composite panels. If tested under AS5113, it would fail to meet all necessary parts of the standard, thus ensuring compliance with BCA Verification method CV3 cannot be achieved.
This decision has been further justified as British Housing Secretary James Brokenshire announced a UK state-wide ban on combustible cladding products for all new buildings above 18 meters.
CV3 conditions requirements
- Compliance with standard AS5113,
- Fire sprinkler systems fitted throughout the structure for Type A
- Fire sprinkler systems fitted throughout the structure for Type B or Compliant spandrel construction between floors, and
- Cavity barriers as per current regulation
Where compliance with CV3 cannot be met, builders and asset owners will often rely on developing a performance solution to provide rectification. This allows them to satisfy compliance requirements using an alternative method or approach and must be certified by relevant building authorities and/or experts.
Building approvals for Affected Composite Panels (ACP)
This view is being expanded for building approvals for ACP to require supporting verification of solutions from:
- An accredited C10 Fire Safety Engineer
- A1 Certified Building Surveyor who has no restrictions with respect to performance
- Referral to the New South Wales Fire and Rescue service (NSWFR)
The new regulations also identify that CodeMark Certificates, a product certification scheme which was designed for authorisation of ‘the use of new and innovative products in specified circumstances in order to facilitate compliance with Volumes One and Two of the [BCA]’ can be ‘relied upon as evidence to support a performance solution.’
However, as stated in Part A 2.2 of the BCA, the voluntary third-party building product certification scheme ‘is not a performance solution in its own right.’
The new regulations seek to provide an alternative pathway for the certification or approvals of existing structures deemed to satisfy existing and newly introduced regulations and have the greater approval of relevant Fire Safety authorities.
What the regulation changes apply to
These regulation changes will apply to:
- Class 2, Class 3 or Class 9 buildings of 2 or more storeys *
- Any class 4 part of a Class 9 building of 2 or more storeys
- Any class 5 to 8 buildings of 3 or more storeys
* 2 storey class 2, 3 and 9c buildings considered Type C due to the BCA clause C1.5 concession may need further consideration, as the buildings are not subject to BCA clause C1.9 and thus may not be subject to the above requirements.
Building owners are also advised that changes to Part 9 of the ‘Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000’ will add Division 7C, providing new sections S, T and U under Clause 186. This concerns the identification and registration of buildings with unsafe cladding. It requires that they may need to ‘provide registration details of the building and its cladding’ to assist in the collection of information regarding buildings in which unsafe cladding has been used.
Where self-reporting of building and cladding information is required, owners must provide the necessary information through the NSW Planning Portal.
Hendry is an expert in providing advisory across issues throughout the built-form. We are currently assisting with cladding audits and inspections in partnership with bodies such as the VBA and are a leading firm for compliance and regulatory needs.