Combustible Cladding – What are your obligations?

From 1 October 2018, the Building Regulation 2006 (Qld) (“the Regulation”) mandates that an owner of a building is required to undertake certain steps to identify whether their building is affected by combustible cladding and if so, complete a checklist and register such findings.

Combustible cladding is cladding that can burn rapidly if it catches fire and cladding is essentially a building material used as a skin or covering attached or applied to the external wall of a building. There are two types of combustible cladding that may pose a risk in the event of a fire and these are:

  • Aluminium composite panels; and
  • Expanded polystyrene.

In the event of a fire, these materials may increase the rate at which a fire spreads, posing an increased risk to the occupants and neighbours of a building.

As stated in Part 4A Regulation, the Regulation applies to owners of a building:

  • that is a class 2 to 9 building; and
  • that is of type A or type B construction; and
  • for which a building development approval was given, after 1 January 1994 but before 1 October 2018, for building work to build the building or to alter the cladding on the building; and
  • that is privately-owned.

The Regulation requires owners of such buildings to register and complete an assessment using the Combustible Cladding Checklist. The Combustible Cladding Checklist is accessed through the Safer Building Queensland website’s online system (“Online System”). Building owners must have registered and completed Part 1 of the Combustible Cladding Checklist by 29 March 2019. Building owners must keep their completed Combustible Cladding Checklist for a minimum of 7 years.

The Online System will direct an owner to complete Part 2 of the Combustible Cladding Checklist if the owner’s responses to Part 1 indicate that the building may be affected. Part 2 of the Combustible Cladding Checklist must have been completed by 31 July 2019 and if required, a building owner must engage a building industry professional to undertake an assessment of the building.

If the Online System determines that the building is affected following the completion of Part 2, a building owner must complete Part 3 of the Combustible Cladding Checklist. If required, a building owner must engage a fire engineer for the preparation of a Fire Engineer Statement and a Building Fire Safety Risk Assessment. A building owner must have engaged a fire engineer by 31 October 2019 and Part 3 of the Combustible Cladding Checklist, Fire Engineer Statement and a Building Fire Safety Risk Assessment must be completed by 3 May 2021.

A building owner must keep the completed Combustible Cladding Checklist and the Fire Engineer Statement for a minimum of 7 years. A building owner must also keep the Building Fire Safety Risk Assessment until the later of the following:

  • the day the combustible cladding is removed from the building;
  • the day a private building certifier gives the building owner a notice stating that the combustible cladding complies with the building code; and
  • a minimum of seven (7) years.

Within 60 days of receiving the Building Fire Safety Risk Assessment, a building owner must display a notice (in the approved form) that its building is affected by combustible cladding in a visible position near the main entrance of the building.

Pursuant to the Regulation, the following are important dates for building owners to remember:

  • 1 October 2018 – the Regulation comes into effect.
  • 29 March 2019 – register buildings and complete the combustible cladding checklist (part 1).
  • 31 July 2019 – complete the building industry professional statement and complete the combustible cladding checklist (part 2).
  • 31 October 2019 – engage fire engineer and register their details on the combustible cladding checklist (part 3).
  • 3 May 2021 – complete the building fire safety risk assessment, fire engineer statement and the combustible cladding checklist (part 3).

If you have yet to comply with your obligations under the Regulation or if you are unsure whether the Regulation applies to you, please contact our office on 4052 0700.

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