construction site workers
Chris Gray, Unsplashed
  • Specific flammable aluminium composite panels along with rendered expanded polystyrene are now banned
  • Ban applies to Type A and Type B buildings
  • MBA agrees safety is paramount but guidelines need to remain clear
  • Up to $400,000 for breaches

The Victorian Government announced changes several weeks ago after receiving technical advice suggesting they can be a contributor to fires when used inappropriately or installed incorrectly.

The ban applies to external wall cladding featuring flammable aluminium composite panels along with rendered expanded polystyrene.

Type A and Type B buildings fall under the ban which includes apartments, hotels and aged care facilities that are two or more stories high.

In addition, office buildings, shopping centres, warehouses, factories and car parks three or more storeys high are also subject to the ban.

Richard Wynne, the Victorian Minister for Planning is pleased the ban is in place in conjunction with the $600 million Cladding Rectification Program that was established in July 2019.

“This ban will ensure new developments are built to the highest standard to keep Victorians safe while we continue to rectify existing buildings through our world-first cladding rectification program,” said Mr Wynne.

“We’re continuing to act on the most up to date expert advice on cladding products and anyone caught flouting this ban will face significant penalties,”

“These products are a high risk when used inappropriately or installed incorrectly – that’s why we’ve acted to ban them for new multi-storey buildings.”

In a statement from the Master Builders Association, CEO Rebecca Casson remarked that safety is paramount but going forward guidelines should remain clear for those in the industry.

“This change provides certainty around what cladding products are deemed acceptable as at February 1, but it’s important to avoid any further changing of the goalposts, as that’s where the confusion for builders comes from,” said Ms Casson.

“Prior to this February 1 change, stringent processes had already been put in place to ensure the appropriate use of cladding products,”

“While this further change may simplify the process for future projects, it should be recognised that builders had abided by the previous changes that have been made to ensure the safety of cladding products acted to ban thSm for new multi-storey buildings.”

Victoria’s building regulator, the Victorian Building Authority, will enforce the ban with penalties of up to $400,000 for the most serious breaches.

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