In A Nutshell
The use of combustible composite panel cladding, such as aluminium composite panels (ACPs) in the construction of multi-storey buildings in many cases present a fire risk, seen in devastating fires both domestically and internationally.
As part of the strategy of addressing this issue the NSW government has passed regulations with effect from 22 October 2018 which requires certain buildings which may contain combustible cladding to register their details:
- By 22 February 2019 (in the case of buildings occupied prior to 22 October 2018); or
- Within 4 months of the date of occupation (in the case of buildings occupied after 22 October 2018).
So Is My Building Required To Be Registered?
The buildings which are required to be registered include the following buildings which are 2 or more storeys and contain external combustible cladding:
- Apartment buildings;
- Boarding houses, hostels, backpackers accommodation, or residential parts of a hotel, motel, school or detention centre;
- Hospitals, laboratories and health care buildings;
- Assembly buildings, including any trade workshop or laboratory in a primary or secondary school; and
- Aged care buildings.
For a full list of the affected buildings see the checklist prepared by the NSW Government at https://www.claddingregistration.nsw.gov.au/do-i-need-register-my-building.
External combustible cladding is very broadly defined as including:
- A cladding system comprising metal composite panels including aluminium, zinc and copper applied to the building's external walls or other external areas of the building; or
- An insulated cladding system including a system comprising polystyrene, polyurethane or polyisocyanurate applied to the building's external walls or other external areas of the building.
Who Will Have Access To The Register?
It is uncertain at this stage who will have access to the register and the government may do any of the following:
- Make the register available to Fire and Rescue NSW, any council or other person;
- Make the register available to the public; and
- Publish the register on a website maintained by the government.
Be Warned Fines Apply
There are significant fines that apply for building owners who fail to register their building by the applicable deadline.
Individuals face fines of up to $1500 for a breach of their requirements and corporations face fines of up to $3000 for a breach of their requirements.
While we recommend that all building owners register their buildings there is provision for directions to report to be issued to individual building owners by the Planning Secretary and failures to comply may result in fines of up to $3000 for individuals and $6000 for corporations.
Where Do I Report?
The NSW Government link to the online portal for registration of buildings can be found at the following link: https://www.claddingregistration.nsw.gov.au/
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.