NSW Update: Combustible Cladding Performance Solutions
From 22 October, new regulations will take effect in New South Wales concerning performance solutions for buildings containing or using combustible cladding. The intended purpose is to provide identification and collect information about buildings where external combustible cladding has been applied.
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New combustible cladding regulations taking effect from October
The document ‘Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with External Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2018’ was provided by NSW Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts.
It identifies key changes concerning EPA Clause 144 for class 2-9 buildings. The change means using an alternative solution to CP2 does not apply CV3 (BCA verification method) in its entirety. A main concern relates to installing existing aluminium composite panels. If tested under AS5113, it would fail to meet all necessary parts of the Standard. Thus, ensuring compliance with CV3 cannot be achieved.
Meanwhile, the UK has announced a state-wide ban on combustible cladding products for all new buildings above 18 meters.
CV3 conditions requirements
- Compliance with standard AS5113.
- Fire sprinkler systems fitted throughout the structure for Type A.
- Fire sprinkler systems fitted throughout the structure for Type B or compliant spandrel construction between floors.
- Cavity barriers as per current regulation.
In cases where you cannot comply with CV3, builders and asset owners will often develop a performance solution to provide rectification. A performance solution allows them to satisfy compliance requirements using an alternative method or approach. The performance approach must be certified by relevant building authorities or experts.
Building approvals for affected composite panels
Building approvals for affected composite panels (ACP) require supporting verification of solutions from:
- An accredited C10 Fire Safety Engineer.
- A1 Certified Building Surveyor who has no restrictions concerning performance.
- Referral to the New South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (NSWFR).
The new regulations also identify that CodeMark Certificates can be ‘relied upon as evidence to support a performance solution.’ CodeMark Certificates are a product certification scheme designed to authorise ‘the use of new and innovative products in specified circumstances in order to facilitate compliance with Volumes One and Two of the [BCA].’
However, as stated in Part A 2.2 of the BCA, the voluntary third-party building product certification scheme ‘is not a performance solution in its own right.’
The new regulations provide an alternative pathway for the certification or approvals of existing structures deemed to satisfy. In addition, the new regulations introduce greater approval of relevant fire safety authorities.
What the combustible cladding regulation changes apply to
These regulation changes will apply to:
- Class 2, Class 3 or Class 9 buildings of 2 or more storeys. *
- Any class 4 part of a Class 9 building of 2 or more storeys.
- Any class 5 to 8 buildings of 3 or more storeys.
* 2 storey class 2, 3 and 9c buildings considered Type C due to the BCA clause C1.5 concession may need further consideration. The buildings are not subject to BCA clause C1.9 and thus may not be subject to the above requirements.
Changes to Part 9 of the ‘Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000’ will add Division 7C. Thus, providing new sections S, T and U under Clause 186. This concerns the identification and registration of buildings with unsafe cladding. It requires that they may need to provide registration details of the building and its cladding to help collect information on buildings in which unsafe cladding has been used.
Where self-reporting of building and cladding information is required, owners must provide the necessary information through the NSW Planning Portal.
Hendry is an expert in providing compliance advice and we are currently assisting with cladding audits and inspections in partnership with bodies such as the VBA.