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Combustible cladding and owner’s requirements to register building details – What you need to know

  • January 30, 2019

The NSW Government has implemented a new initiative requiring owners of certain buildings containing combustible cladding to register their building details with NSW Planning and Environment (the Register).

The initiative comes in response to issues surrounding London’s Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, Melbourne’s Lacrosse Tower Fire in 2014 and a number of similar incidents worldwide.

Building Types Affected

  • Residential apartment buildings.
  • Residential buildings used for lodging; for example hotels, boarding houses, student accommodation.
  • Aged care buildings, hospitals and day surgeries.
  • Public assembly buildings, for example theaters, cinemas, schools and churches.

Types of Cladding

Registration of the above buildings is required if they have any external combustible cladding made of the following:

  • Metal composite panels, including products that consist of aluminium, zinc or copper outer layer and core material; or
  • Insulated cladding systems including systems comprised of polystyrene, polyurethane and polyisocyanurate.

What to do if you are an owner

The registration requirements are implemented by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with External Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2018.

If you are an owner of an affected building and it was occupied before 22 October 2018, you must complete the building registration by 22 February 2019.

If you are an owner of an affected building which became occupied after 22 October 2018, you must complete the building registration within 4 months of occupation. Note that this includes any newly built buildings which will become occupied in the future.

Owners who fail to register building details by the deadline face monetary penalties for their non-compliance.

To register your building or to determine whether your building requires registration visit www.claddingregistration.nsw.gov.au

This legislation allows for a strata manager or strata managers (as agreed with the appropriate owners corporation) to register apartment building on behalf of the owner’s corporation.

What to do if you are a builder

In December 2017 the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 was enacted in order to prevent the use of unsafe building products by giving the NSW Fair Trading Commissioner the power to prohibit the use of unsafe building products.

On 10 August 2018 the NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Rose Webb, issued a banning notice on the use of aluminium composite panels made up of more than 30% polyethylene by mass for use in any external cladding, external wall, external insulation, facade or rendered finish in:

  • Class 2, 3 and 9 buildings with a rise in storeys of three or more and Class 5, 6, 7 and 8 buildings with a rise in storeys of four or more (Type A construction defined in the Building Code of Australia);
  • Class 2, 3 and 9 buildings with a rise in storeys of two or more and Class 5, 6, 7 and 8 buildings with a rise in storeys of three or more (Type B constructions as defined in the Building Code of Australia)

Note: there are exceptions to the use of a banned product in circumstances where the product has been tested and passed by an Accredited Testing Laboratory in compliance with applicable Australian Standards.

Any person who uses the banned product in contravention of above, may be dealt with by way of penalty notice or in the Local or District Court of NSW.

For more information please see the following links:

www.claddingregistration.nsw.gov.au

https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/2017/69/part8/div1/sec65

Michael Tuck

Michael graduated from the University of New England with a Bachelor of Laws and from the Australian National University with a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. He also holds an Associates Degree in Policing from Charles Sturt University. Prior to joining Keystone Lawyers Michael worked in International law firms in Hong Kong within the Construction & Commercial Litigation departments. Michael has experience in a broad range of litigation and dispute resolution matters, with a focus primarily on high-value construction disputes. Before entering law Michael attained the rank of Senior Constable with New South Wales Police performing general duties and as a motorcyclist in traffic and highway patrol. Michael’s experience has provided him with a strong eye for detail and the ability to provide practical legal solutions in a range of matters.