QLD Cladding Regulations – Will This Affect Me?
The Queensland Government has introduced Legislation (commencing on 1 October 2018) relating to potentially combustible external wall cladding on existing Class 2-9 buildings which are of Type A or B construction and which have been built or refurbished after 1 January 1994. The Regulation requires Building Owners to initially register their buildings with the QBCC before the 29 March 2019 (Step 1), to potentially engage a building professional to assess and complete a combustible cladding checklist before 29 May 2019 (Step 2) and potentially engage a fire engineer before 27 August 2019 (Step 3). If Step 3 is required, the building fire safety risk assessment provided by the fire engineer needs to be submitted by 3 May 2021.
Some of the aspects to this Legislation that we feel building owners and managers need to consider include:
- The Legislation includes all forms of combustible cladding to external walls, not just Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) as included in some other states. These cladding materials need to be not deemed combustible in accordance with AS 1530.1. Therefore materials such as timber cladding need to be considered.
- External Walls can include façade covering, framing, insulation, sarking, spandrels and internal linings of an external wall. Obviously, some of these materials are covered up.
- “Ancillary elements” can also be defined as being part of an external wall. These may include sunshades and protrusions if integral with the wall.
- Signage on external walls can be included where they extend more than one level.
- The Legislation will capture buildings built before 1994 where the external walls have been refurbished or altered, with or without a building approval, after the 1 January 1994.
- Whilst buildings of a Type C construction are excluded, insurers may still require a statement or certificate from building owners that provide information on the external cladding of buildings. Owners of these buildings should still complete the Step 1 checklist.
- In a lot of cases, we find Certificates of Classification don’t indicate the type of construction the building has been certified to. Professional assistance may be required to answer this question.
- To complete Step 2, owners need to engage a Building Industry Professional to complete the checklist and provide a statement. There are strict criteria of who qualifies as a Building Industry Professional.
- Testing will be a requirement in Step 2 and 3 to determine if the cladding material is compliant. There are guidelines on how many samples are required (eg 10 to 15 samples for buildings over 10 storeys).
Buildings built with combustible cladding don’t necessarily trigger the need for replacement, unlike the current laws in NSW for certain types of buildings. There are many factors to be considered, including the fire safety systems, class of building, type of construction, basis of the original approval, etc. Again, professional assistance will be required for this decision.
We recommend Building Owners and Managers engage an Independent Building Advisor as early as possible to step through the process and interact with all stakeholders which may include the original developer, builder, designers, certifier, panel suppliers, insurance underwriters, etc.
PEP have qualified industry professionals who can complete the required surveys and statements.