Below is an email Cladding Compliance Australia received from the Technical Officer at the Victorian Builder’s Association clarifying the Governements stance on non compliant material on buildings.
The Ministers Guidelines 14 is applying restrictions on claddings to buildings of Type A and Type B construction – for proposed buildings – not existing buildings. The restriction means that the building cladding in question has to be approved via the BAB prior to its approval for use.
Whilst there is not a clause in the Building Act or Building Regulations that states that all such cladding has to be removed from existing buildings, there is provision for each relevant Council to make a determination on any existing building as to whether the building is safe for the intended use. This is applied to any part of the buildings requirements. Eg, a large old building has no fire suppression equipment installed, and the activity within the building has grown so that 100 people are employed. The Council can step in and make an Order that the building is to be made safe by providing fire suppression equipment.
The same application can be used to the external cladding if Council carry out an inspection and deem an improvement necessary. The owner also has the right of appeal such an Order to the Building Appeals Board.
Bushy Miles | Technical Officer
Victorian Building Authority | Goods Shed North, 733 Bourke Street, Docklands 3008 | GPO Box 536, Melbourne 3001
telephone: 1300 815 127 | fax: 03 9618 9658 | web: www.vba.vic.gov.au
The council also binds themselves to: The National Construction Code Volume One
This requires that a building must have elements that will avoid the spread of fire in a building and between buildings in a manner appropriate for that building. This requirement can be met under a ‘Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution’ for buildings of Type A and Type B construction by non-combustible external walls. A non-combustible external wall inhibits fire spread via the external wall of the building, thereby contributing to a building’s compliance.
Under the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of NCC Volume One, external walls of buildings of Type A and Type B construction must be constructed wholly of materials that are not deemed combustible as determined by testing in accordance with AS 1530.1. In the case of an external wall that is required to have no fire rating, the external wall must still be non-combustible. Therefore, building components determined to be part of an external wall in buildings of Type A and Type B construction must be non-combustible under a Deemed-to Satisfy Solution, unless the requirements of C1.9 (d), C1.9 (e), C1.10 and C1.14 apply.