New combustible cladding regulations in NSW

by | Sep 27, 2018 | Legislation updates

New regulations will come into effect on 22 October 2018 that require owners of buildings in NSW with external combustible cladding to register with the NSW Government via an online portal.

The online portal is not yet live, but you can sign up to be notified when it is available on the NSW Planning and Environment website.

For buildings occupied before 22 October 2018, the deadline for registration is 22 February 2019. Owners of new buildings will have four months to register the building from the time of occupation.

Building types

The Regulation applies to the following building types (both new and existing buildings) of two or more storeys:

  • residential apartment buildings
  • other types of residential buildings where unrelated people sleep (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, backpackers, student accommodation)
  • aged-care buildings, hospitals and day surgeries (and any associated single dwellings within the building)
  • public assembly buildings (e.g. theatres, cinemas, schools and churches) and any associated single dwellings within the building.

Cladding types

The Regulation applies if any of the above buildings have external combustible cladding made of the following materials:

metal composite panels, including products that consist of aluminium, zinc, or copper outer layers and a core material
insulated cladding systems including systems comprised of polystyrene, polyurethane, and polyisocyanurate.
Reporting requirements

Building owners required to register their buildings with the NSW Government will need to report:

  • the name and address of the building owner
  • the address of the building
  • the classification of the building under the Building Code of Australia
  • the number of storeys in the building, above and below ground
  • a description of any external combustible cladding applied to the building, including the materials comprising the cladding
  • a description of the extent of application of external combustible cladding to the building and the parts of the building to which it is applied.

Penalties apply to building owners who do not register buildings with external combustible cladding, as well as those who have been directed to register their building and do not.

The laws enforcing these changes are the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2018 and the State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Exempt Development – Cladding and Decorative Work) 2018.

There are also new provisions in the legislation that require alternative solutions (under the Building Code of Australia) involving external combustible cladding to be referred to Fire and Rescue NSW for review.

Eight State Environmental Planning Policies on new cladding, re-cladding and decorative work on buildings have also been updated.

These regulations follow the ban on certain aluminium composite panels under the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 in August this year, which are part of the fire safety reforms passed by NSW Government in 2017.

If you are concerned that your building may be affected by the new regulation or the ban on aluminium composite cladding, contact an Accredited Building Certifier at MBC for advice on next steps.

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