Wall cladding

Council is working with Fire and Rescue NSW to identify local buildings with non compliant wall cladding to the Building Code of Australia and Australian Standards.

Non-compliant wall cladding is made from aluminium composite panels, consisting of two aluminium faces and a core material. Typically this material is either polyethylene, mineral based material or a combination of both. Panel thickness typically ranges from between 3mm and 5mm.

There are several products on the market that appear outwardly similar, but the main difference is in the core materials used.

The core material affects the fire performance of the panel. Panels with a higher proportion of mineral based material have better fire performance than those with a polyethelene core or a low proportion of mineral core content.

Aluminium composite panels can cause the rapid vertical spread of fire. Typically, there is a 25mm to 50mm gap at the rear of the panel that acts as a chimney, drawing the flame and resulting in entire façades being engulfed by fire in a very short time.

If you think your building contains combustible wall cladding material:

  • Seek advice from a suitably qualified fire safety engineer
  • Arrange for testing of the material by a suitably qualified testing laboratory

  • Keep balconies clear of excessive clutter

  • Ensure fire alarm systems and fire-fighting devices are functioning and well maintained

What is Council doing? 

  • Undertaking an audit of all multi-unit developments and commercial buildings constructed since 2005 to identify buildings at risk
  • Working with the owners of ‘at risk’ buildings to have wall cladding materials checked and appropriately certified

  • Where necessary, using powers under the  Environmental Planning and Assessment Act to ensure public safety in ‘at risk’ premises

  • Working with government agencies to ensure the fire safety inspection program is appropriate

  • Supporting national initiatives for better control of building products