Nearly 18 months after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, Australian governments and regulators are continuing with national cladding audits of buildings to prevent such a horrific tragedy from being repeated.
The Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure is managing the investigatory phase, in collaboration with local councils, to determine whether Aluminium Composite Panels (ACPs) and their installation method are acceptable considering the safety risk they may pose.
So far these audits have identified 77 residential buildings in South Australia as requiring further assessment to determine if they will need remedial works.
The next phase
Buildings identified during Phase 2 of the audit as requiring improvements to ensure their safety may be subject to rectification work including:
- replacement of the ACPs as part of its general ongoing maintenance routine
- removal of part or all the ACPs
- installation of additional alarms and/or sprinklers
- placement of barriers to prevent fire from spreading.
For privately owned buildings, the South Australian government has advised that local councils will be responsible for ensuring that owners address any non-compliant buildings.
Yes, this ultimately means that owners will be responsible.
In many instances the identified building’s existing fire safety systems will most likely provide the level of safety required, if they are maintained in accordance with the relevant standards.
Phase 3 of the audit will determine the next plan of action and any timeframes.
In the meantime, the Lacrosse building in Victoria remains non-compliant from 2014 and the Grenfell Tower is awaiting demolition.