Combustible cladding has been blamed for numerous high-rise apartment tower fires around the globe in recent years, with most notably the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London in 2017.
While the Grenfell fire gained worldwide attention due to the significant loss of life, it is not the first time such a rapid spread of fire has been caused by combustible cladding.
In November 2014, the fire at Melbourne’s Lacrosse apartments was attributed to combustible cladding on the building facade, while in Dubai the unfortunately named Marina Torch building caught fire in 2015, and again in 2017.
In February this year, despite numerous government inquiries, investigations, reports and recommendations, an unfortunate event unfolded again, the NEO200 apartment building in Melbourne’s CBD erupted in flames, again the rapid spread of flames across the façade created headlines.
While there has been much rhetoric written and spoken over the types of cladding used on buildings across Australia, combustible cladding is one of the biggest issues affecting the building & construction industry. Audits by the NSW, VIC & QLD state governments confirm there are hundreds of apartment buildings with combustible external cladding, presenting potential risk to apartment owners and tenants, with calls for funding and action by respective governments to replace combustible cladding on existing buildings.
Until we wait for action from the Federal and State governments, property owners should review and ensure their fire safety procedures are compliant and working properly. Architects, developers and builders, need to review their procurement / product specification processes to ensure cladding performance is at the top of their review and selection procedures.
Whilst some cladding products may provide a specific look to a building, there’s certainly numerous ways to achieve The Look while achieving excellent fire, acoustic and thermal performance.
The choice of material used for external wall systems can have a significant impact on preventing the spread of fire across a building’s façade, but it’s not easy to tell the difference between combustible and non-combustible cladding materials. The only sure way to know if you’re using non-combustible cladding is to obtain a test report or test certificate in accordance with AS1530.1 confirming the product achieves non-combustible status.
Installers too need to be confident that the product delivered to site maintains the project specification and subsequent compliance with the relevant fire provisions of the building code.
Hebel façade walls provide solid, non-combustible cladding options, offering flexible & affordable CodeMark certified construction systems. Hebel façade systems include the Hebel PowerPanel & PowerPattern range offering architects & designers numerous facing & finishing options to get the look they desire.
The Hebel PowerPanel facades provide clean lines and can be finished with render to achieve a sleek, modern look, while the new Hebel PowerPattern façade collection is a routed panel giving architects more decorative options & aesthetic features on the façade. Both Hebel PowerPanel & PowerPattern are non-combustible.
Hebel external wall panels offer excellent fire and acoustic performance – all Hebel wall panels are non-combustible in accordance with AS1530.1, making fire compliance for your next project easy to achieve.
Overall, the Hebel PowerPanel & PowerPattern façade systems are reliable, high performing solutions when it comes to non-combustible external wall cladding for all building types. The perfect choice for apartment buildings delivering quality, speed of construction and compliance, while reducing project risk exposure for developers, builders & installers.
Don’t leave the safety of your next project to chance. For a creative non-combustible façade option, download the Hebel PowerPattern Façade brochure and learn more.