Remediation work to strip flammable cladding from high-risk buildings in NSW is advancing.

Fifty strata communities of the 214 qualified residential apartment buildings across the state have registered for the NSW government’s three-year program, called Project Remediate.

The initiative supplies a 10-year interest-free loan, expert assurance and professional project management services to manage the remediation work.

The material removed, aluminium composite panels, was banned in NSW in 2018. It is the focus of dual separate class actions against manufacturers and suppliers after widespread usage in Australia since the 1990s.

As per the program, cladding may be replaced with fibre cement panels, non-combustible cement render, solid aluminium panels or solid metal sheets—all installed with the benefit of cavity barriers and fire-proof mechanical fixtures.

The project is scheduled about four years after combustible cladding added fuel to a fire at the high-rise residential Grenfell Tower in London that claimed 72 lives.

The NSW Cladding Taskforce stated that 372 buildings were designated high risk—seven of which are government owned—following 4127 inspections.

The majority, 171, of pinpointed buildings have been assessed with two buildings still waiting for assessment.

A NSW government spokesperson informed The Urban Developer the buildings could not be released under guidance from NSW Police and NSW Fire and Rescue.

NSW better regulation minister Kevin Anderson stated it was positive to observe lot owners, strata communities and managers taking the offer.

He hopes that this number will quadruple in coming weeks.

He said the NSW government is on track to start assessment and project design for the initial batch of 30 buildings by July in 2021, with the initial cladding removed later in the year.

Registering will initiate the process to have your structure assessed and a design prepped—there is no obligation or commitment involved in registration, he said.

Strata communities who register to enroll in the $139-million program will have their structure assessed and a remediation design completed before they decide whether to agree to the remediation labour.

Anderson stated that the State government had introduced new resources to aid strata communities in comprehending what’s involved in Project Remediate and the benefits of joining.

The government also launched a complimentary course in collaboration with TAFE NSW to set out the remediation process for strata managers, strata committees and lot owners who join the program, Anderson stated.

Earlier in 2021, the Victorian government presented a new amendment to the state’s building code to bar the application of specific external wall cladding products in the construction of multi-storey structures.

In Queensland, the state-government-led taskforce is auditing all buildings constructed in the state since 1994.

Queensland in 2018 passed regulations mandating some privately owned buildings to be cleared or remedied.

Cladding is being removed from many high-profile, privately owned Brisbane CBD buildings.

A $25-million refurbishment of Brisbane’s 60-year-old Christie Centre was proclaimed in February after the state government finished a fire audit of the building.

In mid-2020 2700 privately-maintained buildings in Queensland which had not been divested of flammable cladding.

Source: The Urban Developer.Com