The rise of non-conforming and non-compliant building products infiltrating Australian building projects is one of the greatest challenges faced by the industry today.
As some recent events in Australia have shown, the specification and use of non-conforming building products can significantly increase the chance of fire behaviour, contribute to building compliance failure and potentially require replacement well before time which must be funded by the owner.
Just as dangerous as non-conforming building products are non-compliant building products – products that are conforming but used incorrectly and do not meet regulatory obligation such as those found in the NCC.
A new white paper from one of Australia’s most trusted building product companies, Cemintel, examines how the use of these products becoming one of the fastest growing problem for the industry.
There have been a number of incidents in recent years which have highlighted the potentially devastating consequences of using non-conforming and non-compliant products in a project.
The paper looks at some of the most notorious events in recent years to be associated with the use of these products. The events include the Lacrosse Apartments building fire, where non-compliant external cladding was found to have fuelled the fire which caused over $40 million worth of damage. It also delves into the recent asbestos crisis, where a large number of products imported from China including roofing and metal skirting have been found to contain traces of asbestos, already exposing hundreds of workers to the deadly substance with fears the incidence will be far-reaching.
For architects, designers, specifiers and project managers entrusted with producing safe and sustainable projects, being well informed on both a product’s background as well as its intended applications is crucial to making the right decision. Dealing with trusted manufacturers and suppliers who have a systematic, in-country testing process and effective record management can advise on their products compliance can help ensure a successful project and allay concerns for all parties involved.
While the wheels are certainly in motion for tighter regulation across the industry to provide better protection against the use of non-compliant and non-conforming building products, there is no quick fix. With the Government of the day lacking courage to swiftly address the issue, the flood of non-conforming and non-compliant products entering the Australian market looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
The paper helps these industry professionals understand the risks involved with specifying non-conforming and non-compliant products, and what steps can be taken to help avoid potential disaster.
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