New Cladding Legislation - is your building affected?
There are major legislative changes being introduced across NSW, QLD & VIC to target high-risk buildings with combustible cladding. If you are a building owner or strata manager, find out more about how these changes could affect your building.
The NSW State Government have introduced new requirements for owners of buildings that have external combustible cladding. Under the new laws, owners of the specified buildings are now required to register their building with the NSW Government through a NSW Cladding Registration Portal.
The new laws apply to the following buildings (two or more storeys):
- Residential apartment buildings
- Other types of residential buildings where people sleep eg. hotels, boarding houses, student/backpacker accommodation
- Aged care buildings, hospitals and day surgeries (and any associated residences within the building)
- Public Assembly buildings such as theatres, cinemas, schools and churches
If you are a building owner in NSW and your external cladding is made of any of the following materials, the new laws will apply to you:
- Metal composite panels, including products that have either an outer layer or core material that contains aluminium, zinc or copper
- Insulated cladding systems including those containing polystyrene, polyurethane and polyisocyanurate
By law, building owners of existing buildings that fit any of the above criteria will need to register their building on the portal by 22 February 2019. Owners of new buildings will be required to register their building within four months of the building being first occupied.
QLD Parliament has passed a new regulation aimed at targeting high-risk buildings with combustible cladding. The legislation took effect on 1 October 2018 and affects private building owners in QLD.
The Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 (QLD) amends the Building Regulation 2006 (QLD). Now by law, private building owners in QLD are required to undertake a detailed 3 stage process online to identify whether their building is affected by combustible cladding.
The new regulation covers class 2-9 buildings of Type A or B constructions where building approval was given or cladding altered after 1 January 1994 and before 1 October 2018. The body that is regulating this process is the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).
If you are unsure whether this new Regulation applies to your building, you can access QBCC's complete guide to building classes here.
Under the new legislation, private building owners are required to comply regardless of whether a building development approval had been given for building and any cladding work or if there is a current certificate for cladding.
What do building owners need to do?
QLD building owners are required to undertake a 3 stage process to identify at-risk buildings.
Relevant building owners must register with the QBCC and complete Part 1 of the Combustible Cladding Checklist. Registration must be done by 29 March 2019. Building owners that fail to register with the QBCC by the specified date may incur a penalty or fine.
Building owners will also need to provide a copy of a completed Combustible Cladding Checklist (Part 1) to the QBCC by the specified date.
QLD building owners can complete their registration here.
Relevant building owners must engage a building industry professional to prepare a building industry professional statement. Once this statement is obtained, owners are required to complete Part 2 of the Combustible Cladding Checklist. This section of the checklist will determine whether an owner will also need to engage a fire engineer.
Building owners must provide a copy of the professional statement and a completed Combustible Cladding Checklist (Part 2) to the QBCC by 29 May 2019. Building owners that fail to do so may incur a penalty or fine.
Please note, that if a building owner already suspects that their building has combustible cladding, they do not have to complete Part 2 of the checklist and can engage a fire engineer right away. The building owner must then complete Part 3 of the Combustible Cladding Checklist.
A building owner must keep Part 1 and Part 2 of the Combustible Cladding Checklist for at least seven years.
After completing Part 2 of the checklist, those owners with buildings potentially affected by combustible cladding must engage a fire engineer for a Fire Safety Risk Assessment for the building. The assessment will determine the composition of the cladding and the type of insulation materials used in the building. Upon completing the evaluation, building owners are required to complete Part 3 of the Combustible Cladding Checklist.
Building owners must provide the registration details of the attending fire engineer to the QBCC by 27 August 2019.
Finally, by 3 May 2021, a building owner must provide the QBCC with a completed Combustible Cladding Checklist (Part 3), a building fire risk safety assessment and a statement about the building fire safety risk assessment.
Once a building owner receives the cladding report from the fire engineer, they will have 60 days to display a notice in the approved form for the building. A copy of the cladding report is to be given to each lot owner and each tenant for the building.
On 20 September 2018, legislation was passed in Victoria that allows owners corporations to enter into a Cladding Rectification Agreement (CRA) with Local Council, to fund the removal of combustible cladding through low interest loans through Council Rates.
If you are an owner or manager of a building in Victoria, see how these regulatory changes may apply to you. Click here to access helpful information for owner's corporations to consider.
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The information provided in this article is of a general nature only and has been prepared without taking into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. If you require advice that is tailored to your specific business or individual circumstances, please contact Coverforce directly.
- Holding Redlich: "Combustible Cladding: Obligations of building owners"
- Corrs Chambers Westgarth Lawyers: "Queensland introduces regulations targeting combustible cladding"
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