In recent years, the serious fire risk of aluminium composite cladding (ACP) has become evident. Australia-wide audits of aluminium cladding in various buildings have begun, to ensure buildings are compliant with guidelines and legislation.
See our steps and information below to understand more about aluminium composite cladding, or alternatively, if you already know your cladding needs replacing, contact us or visit our page to discover how we can assist you in calculating the area of your facade that requires refurbishment.
What is aluminium composite cladding?
Aluminium composite cladding, or aluminium composite panels (ACPs), are flat panels that are made of two thin aluminium sheets, and a core made of a non-aluminium material. The core of an aluminium composite cladding panel is often flammable, containing polyethylene, and if the core of one panel catches fire, the cladding can act as a “chimney”, allowing the fire to quickly spread upwards. This causes fast, very dangerous fires that can claim entire buildings and take lives.
Why is ACP a problem for building owners (in Australia)?
After the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire claimed numerous lives in 2017, it was discovered that the fire may have been far less severe and fatal if the cladding had not assisted the spread of the fire. Plans to implement aluminium cladding audits throughout Australia commenced to prevent a similar tragedy from happening in Australia.
Each state/territory government has since implemented an audit plan, which include site inspections by qualified fire services, desktop reviews, and comprehensive assessments of dangerous buildings. Some states, such as QLD and NSW, have changed legislation around the use of aluminium composite panels (ACP), with repercussions for non-compliant building owners.
Realserve can help you by outlining exactly how much cladding needs replacing, after an audit of your building has been done. See our steps to discover what you need to do to update your building’s façade and replace potentially flammable cladding.
What is my state/territory doing about ACP?
Follow the links below for more information about what the various State/Territory Governments are doing about non-compliant composite cladding:
New South Wales Government - Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Taskforce
Queensland Government - Department of Housing and Public Works - Non-Conforming Building Products Audit Taskforce
Victorian Building Authority - Victorian Statewide Cladding Audit on behalf of the Victorian Government
Government of South Australia – Department for Planning Transport and Infrastructure
Government of Western Australia - Department of Mines industry regulation and safety
Tasmanian Government - Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (CBOS) Department of Justice
WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT MY BUILDING?
1. Talk to someone about your building
If you are a building owner, you will need to contact the following people to talk about the potential of your building having dangerous cladding:
1 – Local Council
2 – Local Fire Services/Fire Safety Engineer
2. Receive an audit
A fire safety engineer can carry out an audit to determine whether any parts of your cladding pose an unacceptable risk and may need replacing.
Below is an example of an audit you may receive, where red indicates dangerous cladding that needs replacing, and blue outlines compliant cladding.
3. Confirm area of non-compliant cladding
After receiving an audit, you will want to confirm the exact square meterage of your flammable ACP. Having the exact area of dangerous cladding will mean you can replace it with compliant cladding, knowing exactly how much is required.
At Realserve, we can work with you to find this exact area, using an Existing Conditions Elevation Survey. An Existing Conditions Elevation Survey can measure any building and represent it on a 2D drawing, so you can easily understand the exact measurements of dangerous cladding. The information provided will allow your architect to start confident on a potential redesign of the building's facade.
Below is an example of a 3D scan we produced of a building. This can then be made into a 2D plan to show you all the measurements you require. If this is what you need, don't hesitate to request a quote from us today!
We bring over 18 years of experience in creating detailed plans like the Existing Conditions Elevation Survey. To learn more and see some examples, contact us today.
Or, request an Existing Conditions Elevation Survey quote today to get your project underway.
4. Replace façade
The final step is to refurbish your façade and replace the aluminium composite cladding with a non-flammable alternative