“Time is running out” for building owners on combustible cladding

Source: Therealestateconversation.com

The requirement to register with the NSW Government follows the introduction of a New South Wales wide ban on certain cladding materials following the tragic Grenfell fire in London in 2017.

Strata corporations and certain building owners have until the 22nd of February to register with the NSW government if their building contains combustible cladding in either a metal composite panel system or an insulated cladding system.

The ban relates to a wide range of materials including:

  • Any cladding system comprising metal composite panels such as aluminium, zinc or copper sandwich panels
  • Any insulated cladding system including a system comprising polystyrene, polyurethane or polyisocyanurate. This can include rendered polystyrene foam panels used as an architectural detail.

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Buildings that are two storeys or more must be registered, including:

  • Apartment buildings
  • Boarding houses, hostels, backpackers accommodation, or residential parts of a hotel, motel, school or detention centre
  • Hospitals, laboratories and health care buildings
  • Assembly buildings, such as theatres, cinemas, universities, child-care centres, nightclubs, schools (including any trade workshop or laboratory in a primary or secondary school), churches, and aged care buildings

Under the new laws, failure to register a building containing combustible cladding is $1,500 for individuals and $3,000 for companies.

If a building owner fails to observe a direction to register by their local Council, Fire NSW, the Department of Planning or the Minister, the fine can be doubled.

“Time is running out for building owners and those holding positions on strata corporations to comply or face significant potential penalties”, said Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers’ Ben Robertson.

“Any person responsible for the management of any commercial or residential building should be seeking immediate inspections to determine if their building contains any declared product if they do not know so already.

“Given the significant implications of the new bans on combustible cladding – and the clear onus of responsibility placed on building owners – it is important that building owners seek legal advice as to their potential liability and how they can comply with these new measures”, Mr Robertson told WILLIAMS MEDIA.

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said the Institute “welcomes a reform of the environmental planning and assessment legislation to address the safety risks posed by the use of combustible cladding on buildings.

Read More: Cladding-Regulation-frequently-asked-questions-for-apartment-and-building-owners

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