Several fires over the past decade, including one at London’s Grenfell Tower in 2017 that resulted in significant loss of life, have shone a light on the use of combustible cladding in tower buildings around the world including here in Australia.
Despite regulatory change aimed at clarifying the issue of fire safety, there is still a widespread lack of understanding based on comparing ‘generic’ product types regardless of brand. In the case of aluminium cladding, for example, while some products are made with a combustible core and should never be used, others comply with fire safety regulations and are completely safe.
What are these compliant aluminium cladding products and how do they satisfy the fire safety requirements? Moreover, how do they compare to each other in terms of other important considerations like waterproofing, durability, sustainability, and thermal transfer?
Key Learning Outcomes
At the end of this presentation you should be able to -
- Outline the regulations dealing with external cladding and fire safety in Australia and explain how products achieve compliance.
- Identify the various types of aluminium cladding products and explain why each is/is not compliant with fire safety regulations.
- Identify the general benefits associated with the two types of compliant aluminium cladding, namely Aluminium Core Panel and Solid Aluminium Panel.
- Evaluate the benefits of Aluminium Core Panel and Solid Aluminium Panel individually in terms of waterproofing, durability, sustainability, and thermal transfer.
- Use your professional judgement to specify aluminium cladding that meets aspirations in terms of not only design and fire safety, but also the criteria mentioned in the previous point.
AACA Competency Standards
Design: Project Briefing 1.4
Design: Conceptual Design 3.4, 3.7
Design: Schematic Design 4.6, 4.7
Documentation: Detailed Design 5.3, 5.5
Ben Wallis, Sales Director (BLUECHIP)
Ben founded BLUECHIP in 2003 with his five brothers, and it has grown every year since to become one of Australia's leading suppliers of architectural building envelopes. BLUECHIP's product range covers the complete system from the structure out including all types of cladding materials, sub-framing, insulation, waterproofing and fixings.
With many years combined experience, BLUECHIP has now supplied more than 3,000,000m2 of materials to Australian projects since 2003 and Ben plays an important role as the companies Technical Director. In Ben’s words, “their commitment to innovation and ongoing investment in R&D ensures BLUECHIP will continue to lead the market with BCA/NCC compliant façade solutions in the years ahead and their vision to be trusted advisors to the industry and not just another supplier, means they will always put the long-term interests of the building owner first”.