During the life of a building, it may be necessary to rectify cladding to fix damaged panels, to modernize an older building’s appearance, to improve energy efficiency, or to replace panels that are not compliant.

Recent catastrophes, both in Australia and abroad, have raised concerns about the safety of building facades and their impact on building occupants. This has led to a major overhaul of the building standards in Australia to combat the use of non-compliant cladding.

State and Territory Building Ministers charged the ABCB in 2019 with developing national answers to 22 recommendations from the Building Confidence Report and a definition for building complexity. State task forces, such as Cladding Safety Victoria or NSW’s Project Remediate, for example, have responded to this by conducting building audits as well as overseeing the work to rectify any at-risk buildings which were identified.

The construction industry has been affected by insurers who have increased premiums or limited their liability because of the use of nonconforming cladding material.

The government has been very clear on ‘what’ – that Aluminium Composite Panels and Expanded Polystyrene must be removed in large quantities from a high-rise building – but not so clear on ‘how’ – which will have a wide-ranging impact on the industry and the environment.

Before recladding, every building owner must consider five factors:

1. The Laws

  • Code compliance. Best practices and regulations change. Updates to older facades are not usually required. However, a change of use or significant renovation may trigger the need to comply with current codes.
  • A new look can be the ideal opportunity to renovate the building envelope in order to meet recently amended regulatory requirements regarding fire safety, thermal efficiency, and energy efficiency. This will result in a building that is more efficient for both the occupants of the building and the owners.
  • Fire. Fire.
  • Thermal performance. Thermal performance regulations are getting more strict, and U-value targets are being set. Recladdings are usually required to comply with the current rules. Therefore, a thorough review of benefits and costs is necessary.
  • Watertightness. Sealants and gaskets can fail even with regular maintenance after 15-20 years. In deciding whether to repair or reclad, the condition of these components plays a major role.

2. The Cost

Repairs may be less expensive in the short term but more costly over time, depending on the project. The long-term benefits of removing and replacing a facade are excellent, but the upfront costs can be high and disruptive to tenants. Installing new cladding on top of the existing system can save money – there is no need to deconstruct – and improve energy efficiency by creating a “double-skin” facade.

The cost of recladding depends on the amount of combustible material used on the façade of the building, as well as its size and location. Costs will be affected by the recladding in auckland material chosen.

You may be eligible to receive funding if your building has been given priority for cladding repair by a government program, such as Project Remediate in NSW or Cladding Safety Victoria.

3. The Material

It is important to choose the right replacement material for your building. There are many alternatives to combustible siding that are durable, attractive, and safe for residents.

It can be confusing to know which materials are non-combustible and which ones are. Your materials should comply with Australian Standards AS1530.1 (combustibility), AS1530.3(flammability), and AS3837(ignitability).

The following should endorse your chosen cladding:

  • A certifier or fire engineer will confirm compliance with BCA
  • Other stakeholders, as required by local or body corporate regulations
  • All stakeholders at the beginning and end of the replacement

Cladding-rectification solution relies on our non-combustible composite aluminum product, Vitracore G2, as well as the premium non-combustible solid aluminum cassette-cladding system Vitradual. These products are part of a complete range of compliant materials available to the construction sector for cladding repair works in all building applications.

4. The Disposal

The state governments have strict rules on disposing of combustible materials. Transporting combustible materials in a horizontal orientation will help to prevent spontaneous combustion. You will need to hire a builder who is knowledgeable and experienced in these areas.

Only a few facilities are authorized to accept combustible waste cladding.

The process is designed to divert all non-compliant cladding from rectification project waste to recycling, giving the recovered resources a new purpose as they are repurposed to create new products. This will help to reduce virgin material consumption and contribute to the circular economy.

5. The Building Expert

Recladding can be a complex process involving many parties. A lack of consultation with appropriate stakeholders can lead to increased costs, approval delays, and project delays.

A range of key stakeholders could be involved in the process.

  • *Building Manager / Owner
  • * Qualified Engineer (including Fire Engineer)
  • * Project Manager / Architect
  • * Fire Service/ Local Council
  • * Private Certifier / Surveyor
  • * Facade Consultant
  • * Facade Builder

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