Building Product Safety Alert : Use of ACP and EPS as external wall cladding

This Building Product Safety Alert warns building practitioners about the potential fire risks associated with the non-compliant use of Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) products when used as external wall cladding and provides information on the Ministerial Guideline restricting the use of these products.

See the following linked PDF issued by the State of Victoria: https://certmark.org/downloads/Building_Product_Safeety_Alert_13.03.18_12.20pm.pdf

Fairview’s new packaging initiative for use on ACM panel types

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.

CertMark initiative

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.

Kind Regards,

ANDREW GILLIES
MANAGING DIRECTOR | M +61 4 29 034 395

FAIRVIEW ARCHITECTURAL
P +61 2 6352 2355 | F +61 2 6352 3115
E andrew.gillies@fv.com.au

CMI Advisory Note: Product Certification vs. System Certification.

certmark-int-180

CMI has recently sought advice from the ABCB regarding the referencing to test results of products that have been tested in concert with other building materials to achieve specific compliance values.

For example, a wall sheeting material that has been tested for its acoustic and insulation values in a wall assembly that incorporates the sheeting, Rockwool insulation, an air gap and plasterboard.

Such an assembly may well achieve a R value of 50 + and comply with the requirements of the Building Code. However; if the CodeMark™ application for certification is for the wall panel, as a “product”, and not for the wall panel as a “system”, then the certificate of compliance cannot reference the R values achieved by the “system”.

In the case of a “product” certification, only the values actually achieved by the “product” that forms the subject of the certification can be attested to on the certificate of compliance.

If the application is for a “system” then the “system” certification must clearly identify the components that go into making up the system. For example:

The XYZ wall system consist of the following:

Product Description
XYZ wall panel The XYZ wall panel is a 12mm fibre cement wall panel.
Top Hat The Top Hats have a nominal width of 35mm
Framing Steel framing conforming to NASH Standard/Timber Framing to AS1684
XYZ Rockwool 75mm XYZ Rockwool
XYZ plaster board 10mm XYZ plasterboard
Fasteners & Fixing Fixing of Top Hat to steel framing; 10-16x16mm Hex Head Teks screw
Fixing of XYZ wall panel panels to Top Hat from inside of buildings 14-10x65mm Hex Head Type 17 Screw
XYZ Adhesive XYZ Adhesive is used for gluing the panels together at vertical and horizontal joints.

 

It is important to note that certification of a building system requires the Certificate Holder to accept responsibility for the other components used in the system. Such components must be clearly defined in the Certificate Holders version controlled installation manual or guide. Any installation of the certified system that varies from the description on the Certificate of Conformity (CoC) will be considered to be non-compliant in line with CMI’s Terms and Conditions and the Scheme Rules.

If you require further information on the above or clarification on any other aspect of the CodeMark Scheme, please contact your CMI Client Liaison Officer.

ABRB – Issue 18 Released

The ABRB is one of the ABCB’s key mechanisms for delivering and raising awareness of technically based information directly relevant to the building and plumbing industry and the community. This electronic publication provides a means for delivering information on code-related issues that address specific technical matters, contains information on broader building and plumbing regulations, and provides for expert opinions on significant technical and regulatory topics.

The ABRB is produced three times each year and is an information service to users of the NCC.

This is the August 2016 edition.

Visit the ABCB website for the PDF Download

Bypass bridge steel found to fail tests in New Zealand

Breaking_News_LogoA article has been published by Radio NZ today that sixteen hundred tonnes of steel from China has been found to be too weak.
This steel was to be used for four bridges on the $450 million Huntly bypass that forms part of the $2 billion Waikato Expressway.

Contractors building the ‘Road of National Significance’ chose a very low bid for the steel tubes.

But the test certificates for them have turned out to be wrong, and now an expensive fix-up job is under way.

The contractors, Fulton Hogan and HEB Construction, have admitted to RNZ News the steel tubes were not good enough. They did not comply with standards for structural steel, which for bridges were very high as they must resist impacts, heavy loads and low temperatures.

It was only after a third lot of testing that the contractors found out. The first tests were done in China by the steel mill and the tube manufacturer; it is understood the second tests were done in New Zealand on samples sent here from China.

Both lots of tests said the steel met the New Zealand standard….

 

Read the full article on www.RadioNZ.co.nz

Australian Construction Safety

What benefits can be derived from product certification in the construction industry?

The overall goals of any product compliance function within an organisation should be to:

  1. Understand market and customer needs/requirements concerning product compliance with relevant safety, technical standards, specifications and regulation.
  2. Minimise the company’s legal exposure by ensuring all regulatory compliance and product approval requirements are met.
  3. Minimise the impact of market driven (government/customer) product requirements by providing a resource/ability to confirm compliance with those requirements.

The use of certified, compliant products ensures the organisation and the organisation’s product presently comply and continue to comply with all product regulations, product approval and associated requirements in all geographic markets where the organisation or the organisation’s distributors are supplying product (target markets).

This is particularly important when considering new products or technology as it enable the company to obtain and review all necessary product compliance documentation to ensure product compliance. The organisation can also resolve any compliance anomalies that may arise, and obtain the required product approval(s) and if necessary, establish product Technical Construction Files (TCFs) or product Compliance Folders (CFs).

In the case of product variants and or modifications, certification of a product will enable the organisation to review all necessary compliance documentation concerning the variation/modification to ensure continued product compliance.  Resolve any compliance anomalies and where necessary, obtain new product approvals or apply to update existing product approval(s).

Certification is also an ideal way to incorporate new information in existing product Technical Construction Files (TCFs) or product Compliance Folders (CFs) as required relating to compliance of product variations/modifications (including review findings, record of compliance decisions and actions taken as a result of such product variation/modification documentation review).

Types of Modern Construction

Modern methods of construction (MMC) are now used across the construction industry, and particularly to build new homes. MMC offer potential savings in time and materials and can provide higher standards of quality than conventional construction methods. Off-site assembly means quicker erection on site and the ability to achieve a weather-tight construction within a shorter period of time.

While off-site construction is generally well managed and auditable, there are a number of additional factors that those using MMC must bear in mind. With traditional building methods, certifiers have developed a good understanding of the associated risks. This is not the case with many new methods, and although the risk of systemic failure is low, the consequences could be severe. Insurers therefore seek to ensure that systems are correctly certified, and that they are manufactured and built in line with that certification.

MMC typically fall into the following categories:

  • Volumetric or modular construction involves the off-site production of three-dimensional units. Modules may be brought to site in a variety of forms, ranging from a basic structural shell to complete rooms with internal and external finishes and services already installed.
  • Panelised systems involve the off-site production of panel units, which are assembled on site. The panels may consist of wall, floor or roof units, sometimes referred to as cassettes.

Closed panel units may be built of timber, steel frame or concrete panels. Lining materials and insulation are installed in the factory. Panels often include services, windows, doors and finishes.

  • Open panel systems do not include elements such as insulation, lining boards or vapor control layers. These are applied to the frame system on site, together with external cladding and internal finishing. Careful control of on-site finishing is therefore required, and the panels must be protected against the elements until weather-tight.
  • Site-based structural systems, such as insulated concrete formwork, are not considered to be manufactured off-site. These systems require third-party approval to secure a warranty, and their acceptability relies heavily on the procedures in place to ensure correct installation on site.

With MMC, the construction, design and layout of a typical system is planned in advance and a “design freeze” is imposed before factory production begins.

Testing is often needed to ensure that standards for durability and weather-tightness can be achieved.

To obtain approval by a building certifier, MMC systems must:

  1. Meet the requirements of relevant local building codes, or international equivalents current at the time of application.
  2. Be covered by a current approval from an independent third-party technical approval body. Details of the testing body’s accreditation will need to be supplied to the certifier, together with the certification document.
  3. Have been subject to independent third-party testing that identifies equivalent local test standards have been verified. Details of performance and the limitations of use must be provided.

At CertMark, we operate the CodeMark™ certification scheme, which is recognized by the Australian and New Zealand governments and allows MMC providers to show evidence that their systems are fit for purpose. This scheme removes the requirement for individual site assessments in place of a general certification.

Contact Us

For further information regarding CodeMark certification, please contact our friendly team members on 1800 CertMark (237 862)  or email Office@CertMark.org.