Fire Boar can assist you to comply with the new QLD Combustible Cladding laws.
When it comes to managing your building’s cladding – exactly what are you responsible for under the new legislation?
Under the new Building and Other Legislation (cladding) Amendment 2018 (an amendment to Building Regulation 2006), the owners of certain types of private buildings in Queensland are now responsible for the combustible cladding assessment of their building façade.
The affected buildings are private buildings that meet the following criteria:
- Development approval granted after 1 January 1994 and before 1 October 2018, and
- Class 2 to 9 building classifications, as defined in the Building Code of Australia, and
- Type A or B construction, as defined in the Building Code of Australia.
A full summary of your obligations is as follows-
To undertake your review, you will need to complete the online building cladding checklist at the Safer Buildings website published by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).
There are three parts to the online checklist, and each contains a series of questions relating to the building being assessed.
- Building owners were required to complete Part 1 (which related to the general building specifics) by 29 March 2019. The system then determines, based on the responses to the questions, if a building met the above listed criteria for cladding assessment.
- If it was determined that the building needed to proceed to Part 2 of the process, the building owner must then engage a Building Industry Professional (BIP) to help complete this. This deadline has been extended from 29 May 2019 to 31 July 2019.
During Part 1 or Part 2 of the process, if it’s deemed by the online system that the building does not need to progress further, the building will be exited from the process. The building owner will be required to submit a signed declaration online to complete the process.
- If a building is required to proceed to Part 3 for a fire engineering assessment, the building owner must engage a qualified fire engineer and provide QBCC the engineer’s details by 31 October 2019. A Building Fire Safety Risk Assessment report must be completed by the fire engineer by 3 May 2021.
Fire Boar can assist to supply this Part 3 report.
Building design innovations over the past two decades have seen new building materials enter the Australian market. Of note are the developments made in cladding products for use on the external walls of buildings. Larger buildings are traditionally designed to contain fire spread by a combination of active and passive means.
However, fire events throughout the world have provided graphic examples of the rapid and extensive fire spread possible when a building fire involves external walls incorporating combustible materials. The behaviour of these fires has challenged the traditional understanding of fire spread in buildings.
Investigation of the use of combustible materials in external walls has shown these materials can contribute significantly to fire growth resulting in:
- fire spread to other areas in the building (beyond the original intended area of containment) more rapidly than expected
- fire spread overwhelming the fire safety systems provided in the building more rapidly than expected
- falling debris hazards
- degradation of material leading to combustible material dripping or detaching while flaming causing secondary fires or burn hazards.
These events have given rise to heightened community concerns over the risks posed to building occupants and responding emergency personnel. In response, the Queensland Government has introduced changes to the Building Regulation 2006 which commenced 1 October 2018.
These changes require owners of particular buildings to undertake an assessment of the material used on the external walls of their building. This will identify which buildings are affected by combustible cladding and whether cladding rectification work is likely to be required to achieve an acceptable level of safety.