The new cladding regulation in Queensland
A new Queensland building regulation for combustible cladding came into effect on 1 October 2018. It is called the Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 (Qld). The Queensland Government passed this new regulation in response to the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, which resulted in preventable loss of life. The blaze was unfortunately exacerbated by the combustibility of the cladding on the outside of Grenfell Tower.
The aims of the new regulation are that:
- building owners can make informed decisions about fire risks
- the government can use evidence-based data to make policy
- the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services can respond efficiently to buildings identified as high risk.
Buildings affected by the new regulation
The buildings covered by the regulation are private buildings in classes 2 to 9 buildings of Type A or Type B construction which were given building development approval between 1 January 1994 but before October 2018, inclusive. Buildings constructed before 1994 may also fall in the scope of the regulation if cladding on the building was altered between 1 January 1984 and October 2018.
Class 1 buildings are excluded – that is, detached houses, horizontally attached townhouses and small boarding houses or hostels; and Class 10 buildings are also excluded – that is, private garages and sheds.
So, what buildings come under the new regulation?
Most habitable buildings other than detached houses or townhouses separated by fire-resistant walls.
Buildings owned outright or by more than 50% by private entities (i.e. not state or Commonwealth governments). Where a building is comprised of more than one lot, the body corporate is regarded as the owner.
The regulation applies to all buildings of these types:
- Residential buildings of at least two storeys – for permanent or transient accommodation, like multi-unit apartment complexes, hotels, motels, backpackers and larger boarding houses including dormitory-style accommodation
- Office buildings used for professional or commercial purposes, including accountants, engineers or medical practitioners
- Shops or other buildings for retail sales or the supply of services to the public, such as cafes, restaurants, kiosks, hairdressers, showrooms and service stations
- Storage buildings – some examples are car parks and buildings for wholesale storage or display of goods
- Factory type buildings such as those used for production, assembling, repairing, finishing, packing or testing of goods or produce
- Public use buildings – such as healthcare facilities including day surgeries and hospitals, aged care facilities, and buildings used for assembly, including childcare centres, schools, universities, theatres, sporting facilities or clubs
The QBCC website has a complete list of building classes.
What to do if you own a private building?
(1) If your building is an in-scope private building (i.e., is of class 2–9, of Type A or B construction and had a building development approval issued after 1 January 1994 but before October 2018, for building work – (i) to build the building; or (ii) to alter the cladding on the building): contact Safer Buildings Group so we can help you work through the combustible cladding checklist requirements (parts 1 and 2).
(2) If your building is an affected private building (i.e., it has combustible cladding forming part of, or attached or applied to, an external wall or another external part of the building other than the roof): contact Safer Buildings Group so we can assess the combustibility of cladding materials used on your building and complete a building fire safety risk assessment report (part 3).
For buildings found to have combustible cladding material on the external wall, our assessment process provides you with an understanding for the identified fire risks and we will outline recommendations so you can make informed decisions about which corrective steps to take.
Safer Buildings Group are building cladding, fire engineering and construction project management professionals who also have expert knowledge of the requirements of the new regulation.
Contact us today so we can put our experience to work to ensure the protection of your property and occupants.