As a result of the devastating fire at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in London in 2017 and an earlier local example at the 23-storey Lacrosse Building in Melbourne in 2014, new laws have been made for buildings with Combustible Cladding.
Some types of cladding have been recognised as posing increased fire safety risk if they are selected or installed incorrectly, these include:
- metal composite panels, including products that consist of aluminium, zinc, or copper outer layers and a core material; or
- insulated cladding systems including systems comprised of polystyrene, polyurethane, and polyisocyanurate.
On 10 August 2018, the Commissioner for Fair Trading Prohibited the use of Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) with a core comprised of greater than 30% polyethylene (PE) by mass in any external cladding, external wall, external insulation, faced or rendered finish in:
- Class 2, 3 and 9 buildings with a rise in storeys of three or more and Class 5, 6, 7 and 8 buildings with a rise in storeys of four or more; (Type A construction as defined in the Building Code of Australia); and
- Class 2, 3 and 9 buildings with a rise in storeys of two or more and Class 5, 6, 7 and 8 buildings with a rise in storeys of three or more (Type B construction as defined in the Building Code of Australia).
Planning and approval considerations
The cladding remediation work requires approval by the local council or consent authority.
The NSW Government has amended eight State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) to help facilitate and fast track the approval process for replacement of cladding.
For information about the SEPP amendments and FAQs on the changes go to the Exempt development for cladding webpage.
Project Remediate was launched by the NSW Government in late 2020, as an initial three-year program to assist building owners remove combustible cladding, on an estimated 225 buildings currently known to the Cladding Taskforce.
Hansen Yuncken has recently been appointed by the NSW Government as the Managing Contractor to facilitate the cladding works being undertaken under Project Remediate.
Eligible building owners will be helped through:
- Interest free loans over a 10-year period – repayments commence on completion of works
- Assurance and project management services to provide technical and practical support to owners corporations and strata managing agents
As at August 2021, over 60 eligible strata buildings have registered interest.
*Information contained within this post has been sourced and adapted from the NSW Government (www.nsw.gov.au/nsw-cladding-taskforce, www.nsw.gov.au/customer-service/projects-and-initiatives/project-remediate and Online Course: Project Remediate: Understanding the program)