ACP Combustible Cladding Assessment
On 18 August 2018, a ban was issued on ACP with a core of more than 30% polyethylene by mass in any external cladding or related application for Type A and Type B buildings, under section 9 of the Act.
The exceptions to the ban are:
Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) also known as Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP) is a building material that is commonly used as a lining to external walls. Some core types comply with the requirements of the BCA and are an acceptable product and can remain in place with no work required. Other cores that are highly flammable do not comply with the provisions of the BCA and consideration needs to be given to the replacement of the material.
WHAT WE CAN DO:
BCA Logic has a team of experienced building surveyors and fire safety engineers that can assist in the identification of the ACM applied to a building, and complete assessment of compliance in accordance with the National Construction Code (NCC).
The thorough analysis encompasses the review of available building documentation to determine compliance with BCA, followed by a test of a small sample of ACP from the subject building to determine the composition of its core material. The final stage is a complete report to inform clients of the material installed and identified in the test and a pathway for action.
GET IN TOUCH:
By undertaking a building facade assessment, you can move forward with the peace of mind that you have mitigated your risk from possible disaster.
At BCA Logic, we pride ourselves on integrity, accountability and performance to ensure that we provide solutions which lead to creating safer buildings for our clients and community.
The value of a life is immeasurable and therefore, it is crucial to ensure that a building is constructed to provide a high level of protection to ensure the life safety of all occupants within. Sure, the paperwork and legislative requirements have all been met, but what about the actual physical construction?
It has come to light through many discussions held with Private Certifying Authorities (PCA) and builders that there are ongoing issues present in the industry with fire stopping defects. We find that there is confusion in the industry between installing to tested systems and common practice which is a result of poor knowledge and understanding.
One of the biggest factors that affect fire stopping is the traditional method of installing services before erecting fire rated walls. This is contrary to the fire testing regime that constructs walls prior to service installations.
It is further noted, the industry is constantly changing with new products and materials being sought and used on sites. Many of these new products or materials are not tested by a registered testing authority and therefore do not comply.
There are consequential ramifications with these defects that affect the builder. These include:
There are consequential ramifications with these defects that affect the consumer. These include:
WHAT WE CAN DO:
We are currently assisting contractors during the construction phase by detailing fire stopping solutions to assist with construction methods and processes employed by the builder. These services include, initial “toolbox talks” where we discuss the construction methods and processes adopted with all sub-contractors to achieve a fully compliant fire stopping system that is then documented in a detailed penetration report.
We provide routine inspections of all units and common areas to maintain compliance with further inspections of common areas for general BCA/Access non-compliances that may arise. Every inspection is photographically documented and uploaded electronically to a cloud-based software accessible by client and consultants to allow for defects to be addressed and closed out. Upon building completion, BCA Logic will provide a penetration completion certificate verifying compliance with fire sealing systems for the Occupation Certificate.
GET IN TOUCH:
Whether you are a Developer, Builder or PCA, please feel free to contact the BCA Logic team to discuss your project and our construction phase services to ensure that your development maintains a high level of life safety and compliance with the Building code of Australia in the physical form. If you are an Owner or Investor buying off the plan, protect your investment and have a discussion with your builder/developer to ensure that the highest levels of fire stopping are being provided.
Our directors have prepared many litigation compliant reports on buildings and the approvals process for a number of jurisdictions including:
We have undertaken the role of an expert witness – this requires compliance with a strict code of conduct and we comply with these requirements not only with respect to legal issues, but in our day to day consulting projects.
The area of fire related building defects and Home Owners Warranty Insurance claims is expanding rapidly and we have been at the fore front of this part of the industry.
We have worked closely with law firms such as Clayton Utz, Mills Oakley, Bannermans Lawyers, Chambers Russel, Collins Biggers and Paisley, and the insurance companies including Allianz, Vero and Lumney both in the settlement of claims and the recovery of monies.
Through our partner company BCA Energy we provide detailed consultancy services and reporting in the field of building energy efficiency including:
With BCA Section J Reports, we recommend the assessment of all retail and commercial buildings prior to the development approval stage as Section J requires the consideration of the building fabric, including any glazing in the external walls (such as windows). This could require design changes at the construction certificate stage which could lead to additional council approval and subsequent time delays.
Our team of unrestricted Grade A1 accredited certifiers are accredited by the NSW Building Professionals Board (BPB) as being competent in all aspects of the BCA which contains the legislative requirements for the provision of access for people with a disability under Part D3 and F2.4. This includes the requirements under AS1428.1-2009 “Design for Access and Mobility – General Requirements for Access – New Building Works”, AS1428.4.1 “Tactile Ground Surface Indicators” and AS2890.6-2009 “Parking Facilities – Off-Street Parking for People with Disabilities”.
Our in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Access to Premises Standards that apply to existing buildings where new works are being carried out allows us to competently assess the “affected part” and provide reasonable and cost effective options to achieve compliance with the Premises Standards. If relevant, we can also coordinate the preparation of an application for unjustifiable hardship. We also have a representative on the Access Advisory Committee, the State body that reviews and comments on all applications for unjustifiable hardship.
We can provide clear and concise assessment and reporting on adaptable housing requirements for residential buildings to show compliance with the relevant council codes and policies and AS4299-1995 “Adaptable Housing”.
We are one of the few companies with a specialised fire safety engineering team. Our team has extensive experience developing fire engineered solutions for existing and new buildings.
Fire engineering gives the designer the flexibility when looking at options in existing buildings, without necessarily achieving prescriptive compliance with the deemed-to-satisfy provisions of the BCA. The performance format of the BCA also allows the use of fire engineered solutions to new and existing buildings as a means of evidencing compliance and achieving a suitable level of fire and life safety, to satisfy the performance provisions of the BCA.
While the deemed-to-satisfy provisions of the BCA generally only contain one method of satisfying the objectives for fire and life safety, fire engineering allows alternative solutions to be pursued and encourages innovation to meet the performance provisions of the BCA.
We have peer reviewed a number of performance-based fire engineered alternative solutions for both the regulatory authority and/or the designer, acting independently to provide an objective assessment of a building proposal.
With a combined experience exceeding 100 years in working with the BCA within Councils and Private Consultancies, BCA Logic is uniquely positioned to provide consultancy to all building users including Architects, Developers, Builders, Strata Plans, Owners of Existing Buildings and Public Sector Authorities.
For new building work, BCA Logic can facilitate and expedite the building approvals process by ensuring that building proposals both satisfy the regulatory provisions and also the requirements of the approval authority. Further, for buildings under construction, BCA Logic can provide detailed progress inspections on behalf of the Builder, Developer or Owner in addition to those carried out by the PCA, avoiding any last minute issues that can delay finalisation of the building works.
For existing buildings, BCA Logic can provide services such as detailed condition reports, due diligence reports and fire and life safety audit reports.
Through experience, team work and an innovative approach to building design BCA Logic utilises the flexibilities and opportunities available within the Performance Regulations to assist in the economic undertaking of building development.