Following the Grenfell Tower fire in London in 2017, there has been industry-wide review of standards related to façade products and cladding systems to ensure the tragic event does not occur in Australia.
While CodeMark standards have been tightened on fire compliance requirements of external cladding materials for high-rise façades in Australia, Brickworks is proud to confirm that INEX BOARDS™ and Terraçade cladding systems remain approved for use.
Combustible, polyethylene core aluminium composite panels used as external cladding have been under scrutiny after the Grenfell Tower fire in London last year and as part of a Senate enquiry into non-conforming building products that began in 2015. Comprehensive measures have since been taken to address fire safety in high-rise buildings, particularly the use of acceptable materials that ensure fire resistance.
In Australia, almost all states and territories have initiated investigations to assess the use of aluminium composite panels in existing buildings. The Queensland Government undertook a year-long audit into the extent of combustible cladding and has made recommendations for stronger laws to prevent combustible façades being installed on new buildings, as well making existing buildings safer. The Victorian Government has implemented rules to prevent aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core of more than 30 per cent being using on multi-storey buildings. Across the Tasman, New Zealand has suspended six CodeMark certificates for composite panel systems.
At a national level, the Australian Building Codes Board amended the National Construction Code in March 2018 and is implementing the improved CodeMark Australia Certification Scheme, which commenced in August 2017. These changes focus on cladding and non-combustibility requirements for multi-residential buildings greater than two storeys and commercial buildings greater than three storeys. INEX BOARDS™ and Terraçade systems remain CodeMark approved for high-rise façades.
“Rigorous testing has been taken to ensure INEX BOARDS™ and Terraçade systems comply with building standards and pass fire testing for cladding materials. These products demonstrate suitability due to their very nature and proven history of performance, and when used as part of an approved system, meet the non-combustibility requirements for cladding materials,” says Brett Ward, General Manager Marketing, Brickworks Building Products.
The Terraçade system combines fired extruded clay tiles with galvanised steel rails and aluminium trims. INEX BOARDS™ is made from low-carbon magnesium oxide and employs fibre-reinforced Engineered Cementitious Composite (ECC) technology. Following the Grenfell Tower fire, Brickworks undertook an intensive 30-minute fire-propagation test of INEX BOARDS™ to ensure it could withstand bushfire attack level BAL-FZ. The test found that INEX BOARDS™ both limited the spread of fire and protected the structure of a building.
The INEX BOARDS™ range meets Australian Standard AS3959-2009 Construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas Section 9, via testing to AS1530.4-2005 Fire resistance tests of elements of building construction.