RISK ASSESMENT TOOLS
DETERMINE OVERALL RISK
Building façades are the external part of a structure typically used to make a building aesthetic. Before the National Construction Code (NCC) 2016 Amendment 1, façade materials did not have stringent legislative requirements.Façade materials that are combustible pose a risk for accelerated vertical fire spread along with the external building envelope. Aluminium Composite Panels (ACPs) were commonly used by designers and builders worldwide as feature panels or lining to provide a decorative finish to the external walls and façades of buildings. Based on recent eventssuch as the ‘Grenfell Tower’ fire in London, building insurers,Government departments and building authorities have increased concern about combustible cladding due to a spate of external façade fires.Building audits conducted worldwide revealed that many structures have portions of combustible cladding and do not pass the current test.
As a result, the NCC and Government departments introduced new legislation for all buildings of Type A or B construction to rectify all combustible cladding due to the increased risk for fire spread and occupant safety in the event of a fire.
Australia has taken action to rectify the façade problem within the construction industry by introducing new legislation deeming all combustible cladding non-compliant (NCC Clause C1.9). Through the new legislation, NSW and Victoria (VBA) cladding task force and the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) have carried out a formal audit process to ensure buildings are safe if the combustible cladding is found on a building.
Fire Check Consultants (FCC) provide services to assess building façades and the potential of external fire spread to occur. Through the audit process, our consultants draw on quantitative data and fundamentals of fire dynamics to assess the potential risks of fire spread, the undue risk to occupants and surrounding structures. FCC is currently involved in multiple façade audits across Queensland and has assisted clients through Stage 2 and 3 of the Safer Buildings processes introduced by the QBCC in October 2018.
As a building owner or manager, you may ask, What do I need to do with my building façade?If that is you, FCC can provide the solution and is more than capable of assisting in the process, whether it be in the initial risk assessment stage or final stage requiring a performance solution to permit the existing building façade (if applicable). Through the façade audit process FCC can provide the following services to assist building owners/managers:
Outcomes from the façade audit can identify minimal risk if the combustible cladding is found on a building. In such cases, a performance solution can be adopted with mitigation strategies implemented to ensure fire spread does not occur in the event of a fire. If a performance solution can be adopted it can often be a cost and time effective solution for building owners and managers from an operational perspective.
Overall, FCC aims to provide a tailored solution for clients to ensure their building maintains the highest level of occupant safety and building protection.