The recent judgement handed down for the Lacrosse fire has ended with the builder being able to pass on liability to the; Fire engineer 39%, Surveyor 33%, Architect 25% and a Resident 3%.

"Critically, his Honour found that the Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) did not satisfy the Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) provisions of the Building Code of Australia (BCA)."

This highlights the need to be mindful of risk and liability due to the use of non-compliant building materials.

So how can we check our current projects to ensure we are risk free and our cladding is compliant?

The Building Amendment Regulations (No. 2) 2018 of Western Australia set’s out how to control the performance of an external wall in relation to the potential spread of fire via that wall. It does that by:

  • Requires external walls of buildings with type A and B construction to comply with the deemed to satisfy (DTS) requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA), refer to C1.9 for specific performance requirements; or
  • Requires external walls of buildings with type A and B construction to comply with a performance solution according to verification method CV3 of the NCC which incorporates full scale fire testing of the wall system in accordance with AS 5113:2016 Fire propagation testing and classification of external walls of buildings.

This regulation amendment (No. 2) 2018 makes it clear in multiple statements that as long as you can fully satisfy either one of these pathways, your building is compliant. One statement is noted below;

“If the design of the external walls complies with the DTS provisions of the BCA, the new regulations do not affect your design.”

An advisory note from the ABCB in March 2018 in relation to Fire Performance of External Walls and Cladding also states;

“It should be noted that CV3 is one method of verifying compliance with the relevant Performance Requirements. It need not be used if a Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution is proposed.”

In summary the safest way to specify cladding material is to; Ensure compliance based on NATA approved test certificate results achieving BCA/NCC performance criteria.

For external cladding materials on Type A & B construction, the two key compliance options are;

  • Deemed-to-satisfy (DTS) the performance requirements of the BCA
    Performance criteria = C1.9 of the 2019 BCA
    Test certificates required = AS1530.1 & AS1530.3 (unless the material is noted under C1.9 ‘e’ ‘i’,’ii’, ‘iii’, ’iv’)
     
  • Performance solution according to verification method CV3
    Performance criteria = EW classification
    Test certificates required = AS 5113:2016

As one of the most innovative façade material suppliers in Australia, BLUECHIP offers a suite of safe & compliant façade materials that can be confidently specified, some of our most popular choices are noted below.

 - ULTRACORE Non-combustible Aluminium Core Panel
 - ULTRASURE Prefinished Solid Aluminium Panel
 - ULTRAWOOD Non-combustible Timber Cladding
 - EQUITONE Through-colour Fibre Cement

We look forward to assisting you on any current or future projects, for a FREE project consultation and/or CPD presentation on cladding compliance please get in touch. 

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