In recent years, many buildings around the world have suffered damage because of fires relating to their combustible cladding, such as the Water Club USA in 2007, the Roubaix Residential Tower France in 2012; the Torch Tower Dubai in 2015; and (most notably) the Grenfell Tower London in 2017.
As a result, regulators have been increasingly concerned about cladding and the effect it might have on fire safety within buildings.
Queensland Building Regulation took effect on 1 October 2018
The Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 (the “Regulation”) came into effect on 1 October 2018.
The Regulation introduces a staged process to manage and regulate combustible cladding.
Who needs to comply?
Owners (including bodies corporate) of certain types of private buildings where all of the following conditions are satisfied:
- Class 2-9 (excluding houses and townhouses); and
- Type A or type B construction; and
- Building approval was given between 1 January 1994 and 1 October 2018.
What are the obligations?
If this Regulation covers your building, you will need to take the following steps:
Stage One – Registration (before 29 March 2019):
- Register your details and your building with QBCC using the online system; and
- Complete online checklist (part 1).
The registration website is https://www.saferbuildings.qld.gov.au/
Stage Two (before 29 May 2019):
- If your building may be affected or you failed to register in Stage one, you need to complete the Stage two requirements:
- Complete checklist (part 2); and
- Obtain a Building Industry Professional statement from a building industry professional about whether the cladding on your building is non-conforming; and
- Report to QBCC; or
- If you know your building is subject to conforming cladding, you can skip the statement and notify QBCC directly.
Stage Three (before 27 August 2019):
- Notify the QBCC of the name and registration number of the fire engineer engaged;
Stage Four (before 3 May 2021)
All owners must upload the following documents online:
- Checklist (part 3) online;
- Building fire safety risk assessment by the fire engineer online;
- The fire engineer statement.
If the final assessment states your building is an affected private building, you must display a notice in your building in the following manner:
- Display an Affected Private Building Notice; and
- Display the notice in a conspicuous position. Other conditions relating to the positioning of the notice apply.
You also need to take the additional steps as follows:
- Give a copy of the assessment to each lot owner, and each leasehold interest owner;
- The Notice must be displayed within 60 business days after the assessment to the owner until the combustible cladding is removed from the building or a private certifier gives the notice stating that the combustible cladding is in compliance.
- Original owner to give notice of compliance to the new owner and the new owner is to keep all documents.
Remedying fire safety mechanisms
Just because your building cladding is non-conforming might not mean it needs to be removed. The fire engineer assessment may take into account other fire safety mechanisms that could mitigate the risk and deem the building to be safe.
The owners should work closely with the fire engineer who may be able to give suggestion on the fire safety issues.
If you are unclear about your obligations, ABKJ Lawyers can offer assistance. To make an enquiry, please use the contact page or call us on 07 5532 3199.