Cladding Inspectors Order Building Upgrades

Building owners have been ordered to conduct urgent safety upgrades

The Herald-Sun recently reported that the owners of a dozen buildings have been ordered to conduct urgent safety upgrades to prevent a Grenfell Tower-type tragedy in Victoria.

Teams of engineers, surveyors and firefighters have been examining 1369 buildings that have potentially dangerous cladding. Of these, 44 have been deemed to be at the greatest risk, the majority of which are two or three storeys high, have only one exit, and have inadequate fire safety measures.

Owners of 12 buildings have been issued emergency orders to conduct immediate upgrades, such as putting in fire-detection and warning systems and sprinklers, as well as removing potential ignition sources.

The Age also recently reported that flammable cladding wll be stripped from 13 government schools in Victoria, twelve in the metropolitan area and one in Wodonga. 16 school buildings in total, each at least two-storeys high, were found to have been built with combustible cladding.

The Victorian Building Authority is leading the Victorian Statewide Cladding Audit on behalf of the Victorian Government. The project’s focus is on reducing the fire safety risk of buildings found to have combustible cladding – such as expanded polystyrene or aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core.

Owners of apartment buildings inspected as part of the project will receive a letter from the VBA. Building managers, building owners or owners’ corporations will also be contacted by the VBA prior to an inspection taking place.

The Herald-Sun also noted that registered builders who repeatedly disregard public health and safety concerns can immediately be suspended.

Sources: Herald-Sun, The Age, Victorian Building Authority