Dangerous combustible cladding widely used in the construction industry for the past 15-20 years ultimately lead to the Grenfell tower fire tragedy. We specialise in the removal of combustible cladding and replacement with non-combustible cladding.
What is combustible cladding?
Cladding is generally defined as the outside skin of a building. Cladding serves to weatherproof and insulate a building and frequently to provide architectural aesthetic. Some cladding types may pose a risk for building occupants and the community, especially ACP and EPS. in the event of a fire, ACP and EPS cladding may increase the rate at which the fire spreads.
ACP comprises two thin aluminium sheets bonded to a polymer core which will burn easily and exude copious toxic smoke when alight.
Prior to 2012 ACP was manufactured with a black 100% polyethylene core. This variant is the highest risk in a fire. Post 2012 some ACP manufacturers added inert fillers and/or fire-retardant chemicals to the polymer. Notwithstanding, ACP manufactured with polymer additives is still combustible and therefore still poses a serious fire risk.
Temperatures of around 800°C to 900°C are typically reached in a fire and will cause the aluminium skins of ACP to melt (aluminium melting point is around 660°C) expediting ignition of the polymer core.
In construction applications EPS is typically covered with render (mixture of cement/acrylic binder) to look like rendered blockwork or rendered concrete
EPS has a very poor reaction to fire, even if it contains chemical fire retardants. EPS presents an increased risk of fire spread particularly in multi-storey buildings (class 2 buildings).EPS is now prohibited for use as external wall cladding on class 2 building work in connection with Type A and Type B construction in Victoria.
Does my building have combustible cladding?
In 2018 the Victoria Building Authority audited 4700 buildings and identified 384 buildings clad with hazardous combustible cladding.
The building industry estimates that over 20 000 buildings throughout Victoria alone have been built using Combustible cladding systems such as ACP and EPS
The Victorian Building Authority advises (VBA website) that “if you suspect your building has combustible cladding, you should first seek advice from your Owners Corporation. Your Owners corporation or building managers will know if the building has been audited for the presence of combustible cladding” ….. by the local Municipal Building Surveyor &/or Cladding Safety Victoria (CSV) being the responsible statutory authorities.
“If your building has not been audited, you can ask them to request building documents, such as permits and drawings, from your local council or the relevant building surveyor. This may provide additional information about the building materials used in your apartment complex. If your building is found to have at-risk cladding, it does not necessarily mean your building is unsafe. The fire hazard of your cladding depends on various factors, for example, how it has been installed, where it has been applied, and the overall safety measures of the building”.
What do I do about combustible cladding?
If you know or suspect that your building has combustible cladding, then DFX FIX can help solve this serious and dangerous problem.
Our experts can attend site and quickly and simply confirm the cladding system present on your building, either combustible or non-combustible.
DFX FIX will guide building owners through a clear and logical set of steps to understand whether full or partial replacement of the cladding may be required. We will explain and guide the building owner through the daunting regulatory process that must be followed to obtain any dispensation for partial replacement. Cladding replacement is extremely expensive and is not always the necessary.
When engaged by a Building Owner/Owners Corporation to solve a combustible cladding problem DFX FIX will
- Identify if a building is non-compliant by working with a qualified Building inspector/Fire Engineer
- Determine the type of cladding in-situ, its combustibility characteristics/rating and risk status.
- Create a project ‘scope of works’ with recommendations on costs, timeframe, materials used and expected outcomes.
- Facilitate appointment of experienced, competent registered builder to
- remove designated combustible cladding from the building
- Replace the combustible cladding with an alternate compliant non-combustible cladding approved by the building owner
- Obtain necessary sign-off/Certificate of Compliance and recission of any building notice by relevant local Council Municipal Building Surveyor and provide these documents to the building owner
What makes DFX FIX different?
We will always act in our client’s best interest!
DFX FIX is not part of a building company seeking to obtain building work. Our technical and commercial advice and professional recommendations to our clients is unbiased by self-interest.
To solve building defects, we harness the combined knowledge and experience of a consortium of skilled professionals and high-quality builders.
We expertly superintend and project manage all the necessary technical, legal, risk, and finance components of a solution, arrange competitive building tenders from our pool of competent, quality builders and get the job done safely with minimum delay.
Remediating a defective building is typically a complex and stressful undertaking unless you know what you are doing. DFX FIX will expertly deal with the total project from start to finish.
The DFX FIX consortium is a virtual full-service team of expert practitioners.
If you own or manage a Class 2 – Class 9 (but not Class 4) building, we are happy give initial advice.
Without limitation DFX FIX can help with solutions for
- Combustible cladding problems
- preliminary inspections, materials testing, fire engineered solutions
- Local Government compliance
- Building insurance
- Legal claims
- Scope of Works & Building Contracts
- Structural engineering issues
- structural integrity assessments
- Concrete leachate problems
- limescale removal from glass/metal balcony balustrades
- Water leaks
- Discovery, leak rectification, waterproofing membranes
- Building Maintenance Plans & implementation
- Preventative Maintenance programs & implementation
- Facilities Management
- Mechanical Services
- Remediation funding
We promise the best customer service experience, professional performance, and commitment to effective two-way communications.