Cladding makes a building appear even more polished and modern. It can also improve thermal insulation and further protect the external wall from natural elements. These include the harmful rays of the sun and torrential rain. Depending on the cladding, however, it can be combustible—and dangerous. To avoid a potential disaster, building owners have to participate in a cladding assessment QBCC requires.
If this is your first time to hear about it or you don’t know much about the combustible cladding regulation, then these Q&As are for you:
- What Is Combustible Cladding?
Cladding is a non-load-bearing material that makes up the external wall system. It features a tough layer with another material in between.
It’s the “sandwich” material such as plastic that may prove harmful later on. Since cladding can run the entire side of the building, it can mean a quick spread of fire when it combusts.
Because of this, new regulations are in place. One of these is the cladding assessment QBCC implements. One of its primary goals is to determine whether the cladding used in a building is a fire hazard.
- What Is Combustible Cladding Checklist?
One of the essential aspects of safe cladding legislation Queensland has is the checklist. It has ten questions divided into three parts:
- The first four questions will determine whether you need to register into an online system for a cladding assessment. If you don’t meet some of the criteria, you also don’t have to proceed with the rest of the questions.
- The fifth and sixth questions compose the second part. At this point, you may need to hire a building industry professional who can make the initial assessment like DMA Engineers. Then, you should upload a Building Industry Professional statement into the system.
- The rest of the questions will need the engagement of a fire engineer, who should provide a Fire Engineer Statement and Building Fire Safety Risk Assessment.
Please note that these steps have different due dates. Currently, the assessment process runs from 29 March 2019 to 3 May 2021. You can request for an extension from QBCC, but it will still be subject for approval.
- What Happens if Your Building Is Using Combustible Cladding?
Safety is and should always be a priority whether you’re the owner, manager, or administrator of a private building included in the scope of the registration. Even a suspicion is enough to consider changing the cladding.
Otherwise, the regulation provides you with two options. One, the cladding assessment QBCC implemented specify that you can undergo further fire safety evaluation to determine appropriate solutions. The objective is to bring the quality of the cladding to acceptable standards.
Second, you may need to place more fire security measures while the assessment is still underway.
Either way, you need to do something. Non-compliance comes with harsh penalties, including a possible conviction.
As part of the Queensland community, you are just as responsible for the safety of the residents and employees as the government. Do your part by ensuring your building is structurally sound and secure for people to use. Learn more about cladding assessment from QBCC.