Regulation for Cladding

Regulation for Cladding

Shortly after the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, the NSW Government announced a wide-ranging fire safety package in response to the fire safety risks posed by external wall cladding.

Compulsory Checks

As part of the package, the NSW Government announced they would make checks for combustible cladding on buildings compulsory.

The Department of Planning and Environment is now formalising a draft regulation that proposes that owners of buildings with combustible external wall cladding will be required to register the building with the State Government.

Under the proposed regulation, these building owners will be required to submit a cladding statement to the Department of Planning and Environment. This must be provided by an independent qualified inspector (A1 and/or C10 certified inspectors) within 3 (three) months of the enactment (expected this month) or issuance of Certificate of Occupancy.

What will the proposed regulation do?

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to identify and manage the fire exposure at the premises. When finalised, the regulation will require owners of certain buildings with combustible cladding on all or part of the external walls to provide further information.

This information will assist Fire and Rescue NSW to help prevent fires and in their fire-fighting efforts at specific buildings.

It will also assist the Government, together with building owners to take action to reduce fire risks. This includes providing information to local government so they can take action, including by issuing fire safety orders where necessary. The authorities are currently developing a checklist of motions that may assist the Owners Corporation. It will aid the process of managing the fire exposure in relation to combustible cladding material(s) in their building.

What to do?

Since this cladding statement will be required under the legislation, it is imperative for the Owners Corporation to start making a plan. It should be made in conjunction with their managing agents as there will be a time-frame imposed and costs involved. Furthermore, the cladding information will form part of their Insurance Duty of Disclosure (please refer to our previous article – How Cladding Can Affect Your Insurance Claim).

The owners and occupants of buildings don’t need to be 100% certain whether there is combustible cladding material(s) in their building. When they think or suspect there is a potentially combustible material(s), they should act without delay. No one should wait for the new laws to be finalised if they have concerns about their building.

When it comes to insurance, in general, the underwriters will need the following details before they can offer terms for your next renewal:

  • Type of cladding
  • If it’s ACP, the manufacturer or brand of the product
  • Percentage of the use of cladding material in the building
  • Fire protection and the maintenance program in place
More disclosure items are available on your renewal invitation under Important Notices – Duty of Disclosure.

If owners and occupants of buildings are concerned about fire safety in their building, they should act without delay. There is absolutely no need to wait until the new laws are finalised before they need act.

For further information visit the Planning NSW website or view the draft regulation here.

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