In the HIA’s November 2017 issue of Housing magazine p14 has an article on Product quality. Of particular note in this article is that following the senate inquiry into non-conforming building products, Senator Nick Xenophon introduced a bill seeking to ban the importation of PE-cored ACPs into Australia.
The HIA has recently published a very informative Information sheet REF LEG 17-05 NEW LAWS REGARDING BUILDING PRODUCTS (QLD). CMI strongly recommends that any person engaged in Product Design, Manufacture , Importation , Supply or Installation study this document as well as obtaining a copy of the new laws.
Finding safe solutions to the non-compliant use of ACM cladding is currently a primary focus of industry regulators and businesses. Fairview keenly supports this drive, and has several updates below, which may help find effective answers to critical problems. We hope you find this informative and useful.
Fairview – in partnership with CertMart – is launching a new packaging initiative to further assist people to correctly identify and use ACM panel types. While our current panels do feature inkjet identification stencils on each panel, all Fairview ACM panels will soon feature striking new red, amber or green labels clearly reinforcing panel types and suggested usage.
CertMark CEO John Thorpe said: “This is a timely and effective initiative by CertMark and Fairview to ensure each panel has a definition of the core material and the applicable class of building the panel can be installed on”.
Fairview informs Senate Committee
Having previously (2015) briefed and met with politicians interested in the safety of ACM panels in Australia, Fairview was again able to address a Senate Inquiry on 19 July. Our CEO Andrew Gillies – supported by key technical staff – presented Senators with expert insights and information about initiatives we are pursuing to facilitate better understanding of panel technologies and safety procedures. At the hearing, Fairview supported a suggested ban on the import of ACM panels with a PE core.
State task forces
Fairview Architectural also welcomes the Victorian Government’s task force to fast-track the investigation into non-compliant cladding. Architect and former Liberal Premier Ted Baillieu and former Labor deputy premier John Thwaites will lead an audit of buildings to ensure they adhere to safety standards. We trust our new labelling initiative will support ongoing audit works.
Fairview also welcomes the formation of similar agencies in other states and territories.
CMI, in consultation with the Society of Fire Safety and leading Fire Safety Engineers have discussed the recent issues of combustible facades.
From these discussions, a number of issues have been raised in relation to the nature of wall systems which may contain multiple combustible elements such as insulation, weatherproofing or decorative cladding.
Concerns have been raised that Certificates of Conformance typically only focus on the subject of the certificate and its reaction to fire. There is a concern that, current certifications do not take into account the multiple combustible elements, which make up the rest of the wall system.
CMI feels that there is a valid reason to address the unknown impact of having multiple combustible wall elements (however low their fire hazard properties might be) and for the potential for these elements to contribute to an uncontrolled progressive external wall fire event with tragic consequences, as we have witnessed recently in London.
CMI in consultation with its Risk and Technical Committee has decided that the most responsible course of action, is to highlight the need for a full evaluation of all elements which make up a wall system, by adding the following Condition and Limitation to all wall system certifications.
Reaction to Fire: This Certification relates only to the subject wall elements reaction to fire, and no evaluation has been made of any other wall system elements used in conjunction with the subject of this Certification. As there may be a potential for multiple combustible elements to be incorporated in constructing the wall system, a review of the proposed wall system, in its entirety, to verify its compliance to relevant fire safety clauses of the Building Code, should be undertaken by an appropriately qualified Fire Safety Engineer as well as the projects authority having jurisdiction.
CMI feel that the inclusion of this Condition and Limitation will have the effect of highlighting the need for due diligence in the engineering and construction of fire rated walls as well as ensuring the safety of the occupants of the building.