Call to make Australian Standards Free to Australian businesses.

See the following below articles from the Safety Institute of Australia regarding opening up Australian standards from the monopoly that SAI Global currently holds.

https://www.sia.org.au/news-and-publications/news/media-release-call-australian-standards-be-free-australian-businesses

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/australian-standards-unfair-exchange-david-clarke/

Holding Redlich – Combustible Cladding Assessments

Combustible cladding assessments for building industry professionals and fire engineers: golden goose or road to ruin?

In response to public concerns about the use of combustible building materials, the Queensland Government has introduced a new regime to assess the safety of existing cladding on buildings.

On 1 October 2018, changes to the Building Regulation 2006 (Regulation) commenced, affecting privately-owned class 2 to 9 buildings of type A or type B construction, (ie mainly, but not exclusively, commercial buildings over three story’s )[1] for which a building development approval was given after 1 January 1994 but before 1 October 2018 for building work to build the building or to alter the cladding on the building.

The new changes have ushered in a process for such building owners to assess whether buildings have potentially combustible cladding (i.e. made of a material not consistent with the Building Code of Australia (BCA)), or deemed combustible under AS 1530.1-1994.

This new regime may provide a golden business opportunity for some building industry professionals and RPEQ fire engineers with the ability to cater to this new market need. However, building industry professionals and fire engineers should carefully consider whether to undertake this type of work as there are risks involved.

………

Read the full story at https://www.holdingredlich.com/combustible-cladding-assessments

 

QFES Building Application Position Statement – Combustible Cladding

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have put out a position statement,

“To inform stakeholders involved in the development of Class 2 – 9 buildings of Type A or Type B construction in Queensland of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services’ (QFES) expectations with respect to the fire safety performance of buildings affected by combustible cladding.

This position statement is intended to be a readily identifiable policy applied by QFES as a Referral Agency for the purposes of Section 22(2)(b) of the Planning Regulation 2017.”

For the full position statement please see https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/buildingsafety/cladding/Pages/Cladding-Position-Statement.aspx

QLD Non-Conforming Building Products Audit Taskforce and Safer Buildings

Source: http://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/construction/BuildingPlumbing/Building/Pages/NonConformingBuildingProducts.aspx

Queensland building safety

Maintaining the safety of Queensland buildings involves many factors, including the adequacy of existing fire safety systems.

It is important to note that investigations by the Non-Conforming Building Products Audit Taskforce are in addition to an already strong building safety system in Queensland. Mandatory fire safety systems in commercial and accommodation buildings may include fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and evacuation requirements. Hospitals equally have comprehensive emergency safety systems and measures in place.

If issues are identified during the audit process, the Taskforce will work closely with building owners and local authorities to explore solutions.

While the risk of an incident is low, if you have concerns about a building, please contact the QBCC on 139 333.

Safer Buildings website

The Safer Buildings website has been established to help identify buildings in Queensland that may have potentially combustible cladding.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) is contacting some building owners in Queensland who may be required to register and complete the combustible cladding checklist as part of the Safer Buildings website. Building owners that have not been notified must also register.

On 1 October 2018, the Building and other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 came into effect compelling building owners to complete the combustible cladding checklist to determine the type of material used on their building and whether any further assessment is required.

Technical information (PDF, 1.79MB) has been developed to provide owners of particular private buildings, building industry professionals and fire engineers with guidance on how to meet their respective obligations under the regulation to complete the combustible cladding checklist. This information supplements and extends the guidance information available on the Safer Buildings website.

For more information read the Safer Buildings for Queensland summary (PDF, 610KB) or contact the QBCC on 139 333.

What is the Audit Taskforce?

On 30 June 2017, the Queensland Government established an Audit Taskforce to conduct a targeted investigation into buildings using Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP) cladding and other possible combustible products. The Taskforce is made up of representatives from HPW, QFES and the QBCC.

The Audit Taskforce is working to identify government and privately-owned buildings of possible concern.

Work was prioritised, starting with hospitals, aged care facilities, accommodation buildings, high occupancy public and private buildings, and high-rise office buildings.

In relation to privately-owned properties, the Taskforce is supporting local governments with data to help them identify any in-scope buildings built from 1994 onwards, requiring further investigation, including:

  • health care buildings, public buildings (places of assembly), high-rise residential buildings greater than one storey or greater than 3,000m2 overall building size
  • retail facilities and office buildings greater than two storeys or greater than 3,000m2 overall building size.

Building owners may need to seek the services of an industry professional such as a fire engineer. In some cases, mitigation and remediation work may be necessary.

What are non-conforming building products?

Non-Conforming Building Products (NCBPs) can cause serious health and safety issues for Queenslanders.

NCBPs are building products and materials that are not safe, not of acceptable quality, do not meet Australian standards, or are not fit for their intended purpose.

In some cases, a product technical material may contain false or misleading statements.

This Australia-wide issue is complex, and affects industries including manufacturing, importation, retail and construction.

National program of work

All jurisdictions across Australia have undertaken audits to understand the extent of potentially combustible cladding incorporated within their respective built environments.

The national Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) has been active in addressing the inappropriate use of potentially combustible cladding materials in Australia.

On 6 October 2017, the BMF agreed to use the available laws and powers in their respective jurisdictions to prevent the use of combustible cladding in a range of buildings depending on their classification under the building code and number of storeys.

In April 2018, the BMF reaffirmed their commitment to prevent the inappropriate use of potentially hazardous aluminium composite panel (ACP) cladding on Australian buildings. Consultation with industry will soon commence on possible options for a new system of permanent labelling for ACPs.

In addition, the BMF has made recommendations to use available laws and powers to prevent the use of ACP.

These are just some of the BMF actions contributing to the improved safety of buildings across Australia.

For more information on the BMF visit www.industry.gov.au/BMF.

Permanent Labelling System for ACP products discussion paper

The Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) recognises the public safety concern and clear risk arising around the use of cladding that does not comply with the National Construction Code (NCC).

The Senior Officers’ Group (SOG) has consulted with industry on a discussion paper containing four possible options for a new system of permanent labelling for cladding products. Outcomes from the consultation were presented to the BMF at the last meeting on 10 August 2018. The BMF has agreed to ask Standards Australia to develop an Australian Standard for permanent labelling of aluminium composite panels to be mandated through the NCC.

Read the August 2018 BMF communique (PDF, 98KB).

Read the Permanent Labelling System for ACP products discussion paper (PDF, 257KB).

Non-Conforming Building Products Audit Taskforce Status Report

On 17 May 2018, the first Non-Conforming Building Products Audit Taskforce Status Report (PDF, 3MB) was tabled in parliament.

The report was prepared by the Independent Chair of the Taskforce, the Honourable Terry Mackenroth.

The report is the result of Taskforce investigations into the use of non-conforming combustible cladding on government and non-government (private) buildings in Queensland and combines the expertise of the Department of Housing and Public Works (HPW), Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).

At the heart of the problem is the use of a thin layer of combustible thermoplastic material called polyethylene (PE) sandwiched between two sheets of aluminium which, when fitted externally to buildings, can contribute to fire spread.

Taskforce investigations have resulted in six recommendations to address this issue which are supported by the Queensland Government.

Read the NCBP Audit Taskforce Status Report (PDF, 3MB).

More information

Find out what else is being done to contribute to safer buildings for Queensland:

Queensland leads the way forward

Queensland is leading national work on ways to address the issue of NCBPs, whether domestically manufactured or imported.

The BMF, via its Senior Officers’ Group (SOG), has investigated the issue and endorsed a plan (PDF, 1MB) to help address the problem.

The SOG is comprised of senior officers from each state and territory as well as the Commonwealth. Queensland’s Department of Housing and Public Works is the current secretariat for the SOG and is also the Chair. The Deputy Chair is Victoria’s representative.

The BMF has asked Queensland to lead the implementation of the strategy that looks at ways to improve state and territory building regulatory frameworks.

On 24 August 2017, legislation addressing NCBPs was passed by the Queensland Parliament and commenced on 1 November 2017. This legislation was the first of its kind in Australia.

The Building and Construction Legislation (Non-conforming Building Products—Chain of Responsibility and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2017 (PDF, 628KB):

  • establishes a chain of responsibility, placing duties on building product supply chain participants (including product designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers and installers) to ensure building products used in Queensland are safe and fit for intended purpose
  • expands the compliance and enforcement powers of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission, and the responsible Minister.

Code of Practice

To assist industry in meeting their obligations under the amended Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991, HPW has prepared a Code of Practice (PDF, 132KB).

Schedule of notified government buildings with confirmed combustible external cladding

The Queensland Government has been dealing with the issue of potentially combustible cladding since the inception of the Non-Conforming Building Products Audit Taskforce in June 2017. The Princess Alexandra Hospital was the first government-owned building found to contain combustible external cladding.

The following list represents a summary of Government-owned buildings where combustible external cladding has been confirmed within the facilities’ facade.

It is important to understand that these facilities are deemed safe to occupy whilst remedial works are being undertaken.

Interim risk mitigation measures have commenced with staff and building occupants notified. The facility is subject to heightened Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) response. Where remedial works have been completed to the satisfaction of a specialist fire engineer, such facilities will be removed from the schedule of notified Government buildings.

It is the government’s priority to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of Queensland residents and visitors where they live, work and visit.

List of buildings as at 15 October 2018

Buildings​ Asset Owner​
Princess Alexandra Hospital Queensland Health​
Logan Hospital ​ Queensland Health
Mackay Hospital Queensland Health ​

Government progress

  • 1 October 2018 – the Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 came into effect compelling building owners to complete the combustible cladding checklist on the Safer Buildings website.
  • 20 August 2018 – Safer Buildings website and combustible cladding checklist launched enabling building owners to complete a combustible cladding checklist.
  • 27 July 2018 – The Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 was announced.
  • 17 May 2018 – Non-Conforming Building Products Audit Taskforce Status Report tabled in Queensland Parliament containing six key recommendations to enhance public safety.
  • 1 November 2017 – Queensland NCBP legislation commences.
  • 24 August 2017 – Queensland Parliament passes a suite of NCBP-related legislative reforms – the most comprehensive building product safety laws in the country.
  • 30 June 2017 – Non-Conforming Building Products Audit Taskforce established in Queensland to develop a risk-based approach to deal with potentially problematic buildings.
  • 19 February 2016 – Outcomes of the SOG investigation were considered and given in-principle agreement by the BMF. The SOG released a consultation report (PDF, 1MB) to seek feedback on the best way to implement the strategies. The SOG is implementing these strategies (PDF, 845KB).
  • 31 July 2015 – BMF established the SOG (PDF, 203KB) to form a national approach to address the issue of NCBPs.

More information

For more information about NCBPs, including how to report a potential NCBP, please visit the QBCC or the Australian Building Codes Board.

To contact the SOG, please email BCQ-NCPSOG@hpw.qld.gov.au.​​​​​​​

CMI Advisory Notice: Report Validations, Performance Requirements & Engineering Assessments, CodeMark NZ Template & Evaluation Reports.

Subject: Evidence of Compliance – Report Validations

CMI wishes to advise all our valued clients of the following requirements in relation to evidence of compliance.

It is the responsibility of the Certificate Holder to make sure that all the evidence supplied to CMI in support of your accreditation is up to date, verifiable and completed by accredited &/or competent persons.

In most cases testing bodies place a validity period on their reports. This means that reports that are approaching the end of this period will require revalidation by the testing authority. Where testing bodies do not place a validity period of testing reports, CMI suggest the testing be validated by the testing authority every 5 years, regardless of whether the testing standard has changed. This may be for a number of reasons, but generally, where the test standards remain current, it is to ensure that the test lab maintains its support of that testing.

In the case of Engineering Reports these need to be kept up to date given the changes in the standards and building codes. To ensure that you are keeping your testing current and Engineering Report, Technical Appraisals etc. current, CMI requests that all of our clients review their current testing and determine if any of the test reports or Appraisals/Evaluations require validation.

It is important to note that, in most cases, the testing body merely needs to issue a validation of the original test, this can normally be done quite quickly by the issuing body. Engineers and technical bodies will similarly re-issue their report having conducted a review of the material.

When conducting annual surveillance and accreditation audits, CMI will be advising Certificate Holders if we note testing that is due for revalidation. CMI believe the above direction is fair and reasonable and shows us that you keep current and up to date records and provide the expected Quality Assurance of your product in the market.

Subject: Performance Requirements & Engineering Assessments

In light of the changes to the Building Code and increased surveillance, moving forward, there will be a need for Engineering Report and Evaluations to be provided in support of any Performance Requirements of the BCA or NZBC being claimed. Please note, this is not a requirement for Deemed to Satisfy (DtS) provisions of the BCA in most cases. An example where an Engineering Report would be required for both the DtS and Performance Requirement is Structure. Clients will be required to engage the services of a suitably Qualified Engineer to assess the test data and report on the product/system’s compliance with the relevant building code and confirm the applicable clauses, inclusive of sub-clauses.

CMI may be able to assist in recommending Engineering firms for this work. Please notify us should you require this assistance.

Subject: New Zealand CodeMark Certificate of Conformity (CoC) Template

As of mid July, CMI has been given the approval to amend the single page CodeMark New Zealand CoC template to an extended template that CMI have produced in line with the CodeMark Australia template. The additional real estate allows us to address matters we previously were unable to on the template supplied to Certification Bodies; such as detailed information on product/system components, tested specimens and subsequent results, evaluation methods etc.

Subject: CMI Evaluation Reports issued in conjunction with CodeMark

Given that the function of the CMI Evaluation Reports was to fill the gaps between the lack of information on the old format CodeMark CoC templates, CMI, upon consultation, has determined that having both the new format CodeMark CoC and an Evaluation Report in the market place will lead to confusion, consequently as the CodeMark CoC is now carrying the same information that the Evaluation Report would have contained, the Evaluation Reports, as related to a CodeMark CoCs, have become redundant. Consequently, CMI will not be issuing Evaluation Reports in conjunction with CodeMark CoCs and will be withdrawing any applicable Evaluation Reports. The above will become effective upon issue of your CodeMark onto the extended template CoC. Following this date, the Evaluation Report will be withdrawn and must be removed from advertising and other company literature.

For those clients who would still prefer to have an Evaluation Report, CMI will be happy to supply one, however this will require a new application and will be subject to Surveillances and Renewals similar any other Scheme offered by CMI.

CMI would like to thank our Clients for their understanding in the above matters and request that should clarification be required in relation to any of the above, please reply via email: office@certmark.org.

Testing requirements under the Building Code of Australia (BCA) – CodeMark Australia, Type Test & WaterMark

The review of the BCA 2016 Amdt 1 has resulted in the redefining of what constitutes an Accredited Testing Laboratory.

Under the requirements of BCA Volume 1, Part A1, the following definition is now stated:

CMI has been in conversation with both NATA and the ABCB and wishes to advise the following:

Any testing undertaken, to be used as evidence of conformity against the BCA, MUST BE conducted by a NATA or ILAC accredited testing body, with the test standard under its scope.
CMI WILL NOT accept testing from testing bodies that do not meet this criteria and nor should any Engineering Firms.

Clients are advised that they must be mindful of this when commissioning test reports. The test lab should be asked to provide a copy of their scope, referencing all of the test standards they are proposing to test the product against. Alternatively, you can search the scope of the laboratory on either the NATA web site https://www.nata.com.au/accredited-facility/ or through a mutually recognised accreditation body from another country https://ilac.org/signatory-search/, such an IANZ in New Zealand http://www.ianz.govt.nz/directory/.

Please note, in many cases, testing bodies who are not accredited will produce test reports with a disclaimer, usually; “this report is not to be used for regulatory purposes”. Such reports can not be used as evidence of compliance against the BCA.

Clients currently proceeding through Initial Certification, Certificate Changes, Surveillance Audits or Renewals, will be notified of whether any reports supplied are not valid, otherwise, CMI request that each Client complete a review of their supporting documentation and ensure that all testing  and Engineering Evaluations have been conducted in line with the above prior to your next audit activity.

If you have any questions, please email office@certmark.org or contact your Client Manager.