Safety experts key to ensuring cladding safety on current buildings

Victorian Executive Director Michael Zorbas has cautiously welcomed the Planning Minister’s update on building safety but calls for the Government to rely on experts to certify the fire safety of buildings under construction.

“It is good news that there are far fewer buildings on the government’s investigation list and Victorians can draw confidence from this,” said Mr Zorbas.

“Protecting public safety is the priority and the Property Council supports bans on Aluminium Composite Panels (ACPs) with 100% Polyethylene core and the orderly assessment process being undertaken by the Victorian government and its cladding taskforce to identify where more needs to be done,” said Mr Zorbas.

However, this announcement goes a step beyond previous consultations and would apply to some ACPs that are fire retardant.

“Where fire safety engineers certify that fire retardant products are safe to use and sit within an appropriate fire safety system, current construction should be able to proceed. We will consult further with the Government about the important role of fire safety experts in evaluating projects under construction,” said Mr Zorbas.

Notes

There are some forms of fire retardant building products which have polyethylene (PE) cladding of up to 50%.

The PE materials can be approved by a fire safety engineer, and be completely safe, when they sit within an appropriate fire safety system including the physical fire safety elements of the building such as fire rated doors, walls, windows, alarms, sprinklers, extinguishers and exits among other technical considerations.

The need for any rectification should always be based on compliance with relevant existing standards and advice from these fire safety experts.

Media contact: Michael Zorbas | M 0434 182 362 | E mzorbas@propertycouncil.com.au