State-wide cladding audit underway

Western Australian Building Commissioner Peter Gow today confirmed the Building Commission is broadening its audit of aluminium composite panels (ACPs) following the Grenfell Tower fire in London.

The new audit scope includes all high-risk, high-rise buildings in WA that have cladding attached. Permit authority certification records will be used to identify buildings that require further assessment.

“The Grenfell Tower fire has tragically reinforced the need to ensure buildings are safe and puts particular focus on refurbishments of old buildings,” Mr Gow said.

“The Building Commission is working with permit authorities across WA to assess whether the cladding on all high-risk, high-rise buildings meets the requirements of the Building Code of Australia.

“The audit will give Western Australians confidence that the buildings they occupy are built properly and remain safe to occupy and use.”

Mr Gow said the audit requires significant work and will not be a quick or easy task.

“Buildings are being assessed based on their degree of risk to public safety,” he said. “Buildings in which people sleep, such as apartments, hotels and other short stay accommodation, are high-risk and will be prioritised in the audit.”

The audit is being carried out in cooperation with State Government agencies such as the Department of Fire and Emergency Services; and the Department of Communities, which is responsible for State-owned housing buildings.

One WA building, Foyer Oxford in Leederville, was recently found to contain non-compliant cladding.  The Building Commission is supporting Foundation Housing and the Department of Communities’ efforts to ensure the building is made safe and compliant with BCA requirements.

The Building Commission commenced its initial audit of ACPs following the Lacrosse building fire in Melbourne in 2014. Working with the City of Perth and Town of Victoria Park, the audit assessed the fire risk from ACPs in high-rise apartment, hotel and public buildings that were over three storeys in height and constructed in the past 10 years. All of the ACPs assessed in the initial audit contained fire resistant cores (read the interim audit report).

The Building Commission has since audited ACPs in the Perth Children’s Hospital (read the final report) and several other WA buildings. A final audit report on ACPs will be published when the investigation is complete.

Anyone with information about the use of combustible cladding should contact the Building Commission on 1300 489 099 or email bcinfo@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

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Media release
04 Jul 2017

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