CARAS is experienced in providing client-side project management services for the following types of façade projects;
- Combustible Cladding Façade projects
- Asbestos-Containing Material Facade Projects
- Concrete Spalling/Cracking Facades Projects
Building envelopes or facades have come under increased scrutiny over recent years both in the United Kingdom and here in Australia for various reasons. Most notably, we have seen the impact of fires in the Lacrosse Building in Melbourne in November 2014, the Neo Building in Melbourne in February 2019 and tragically, the Grenfell Tower fire in London in June 2017.
These events spurred the NSW Government to bring in the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017, giving them the powers to identify, restrict, and rectify building products that pose a safety risk in buildings. In August 2018, the NSW Commissioner for Fair Trading prohibited the use of aluminium composite panels (also called ACPs) with a core comprised of more than 30% polyethylene (PE) on any external cladding, external wall, external insulation, façade or rendered finish in buildings with the following classification:
Type A construction as defined in the Building Code of Australia:
- Class 2, 3 and 9 buildings with a rise in storeys of three or more
- Class 5, 6, 7 and 8 buildings with a rise in storeys of four or more
Type B construction as defined in the Building Code of Australia:
- Class 2, 3 and 9 buildings with a rise in storeys of two or more
- Class 5, 6, 7 and 8 buildings with a rise in storeys of three or more
The change in laws relating to combustible cladding is part of a whole-of-government response to the fire safety risks posed by external combustible cladding and must be according to National Construction Code Clause C1.9 and C1.10. New cladding must now comply with Australian Standards and pass the fire tests AS 1530.1-1994 and AS/NZS1530.3-1999.
A new initiative by the NSW Government allows owner's corporations to register their interest in a program to remove high-risk combustible cladding on Class 2residential apartment buildings in NSW. This initiative called Project Remediate is a three-year program to help remove combustible cladding on an estimated 225 buildings known to the Cladding Taskforce.
Eligible building owners will be helped through:
- interest-free loans over a 10-year period with repayments to commence upon completion of the work
- assurance and project management services to provide technical and practical support to owner's corporations and strata managing agents
CARAS can assist Strata managing agents, building managers and owners to:
- review all design and construction documents to determine whether the external wall cladding uses the banned cladding product
- review the annual fire safety statement to ensure it is up-to-date
- engage a fire safety professional to undertake testing
- project manage rectification works
Asbestos is a flexible, fibrous material that is resistant to heat, corrosion and electricity. It was used in a variety of building products, mostly for roofing, cladding and insulation. It is likely to be present in buildings constructed or renovated between the 1940s to 1980s.
If asbestos-containing material (ACM) is in good condition, it poses a little health risk. However, when asbestos-containing products are disturbed by cutting, drilling or water blasting or if they deteriorate over time, small fibres may be released into the air. These fibres (Friable Asbestos) are harmful if inhaled and may lead to asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma. Around 4000 Australians die every year from asbestos-related diseases; that's double the road toll. Asbestos-related diseases are preventable by following safe practices when working with asbestos.
It is important that a competent environmental consultant inspects ACM roofs and cladding. If they are deemed to be a safety risk, it is essential that they are remediated either through partial encapsulation, full encapsulation or total removal and replacement.
After decades of exposure to the elements, pre-cast concrete panel facades can start to exhibit deterioration in the form of delamination, cracking or spalling. Concrete spalling (also known as concrete cancer) results from the reinforcement with the façade rusting. As the steel rusts, it expands, causing the concrete to become brittle and jeopardising the structure's integrity, causing potential risk to building occupants and the public.
It is crucial that a competent structural engineer inspects concrete facades that exhibit concrete spalling or cracking. If they are deemed to be a safety risk, it is important that they are remediated either through concrete patching or total removal and replacement.
Here at CARAS, we can provide your complete one-stop solution for façade remediation. We will take your project from our initial site inspection, engagement and co-ordination of relevant consultants, material assessments, provide a detailed report including strategy, risk assessment and cost estimates, manage the complete tender process, recommend a competent contractor, on-site supervision, contract administration, defect management to completion and final certification.