In a recent announcement, NSW Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson revealed details of the NSW cladding rectification plan announced in the October budget.
Deemed Project Remediate, the three-year initiative intends to strip combustible cladding from 225 Class 2 buildings (apartments) affirmed by the NSW Cladding Taskforce as being covered in high-risk flammable material.
The program will be administered by the Office of Project Remediate, initiated in the office of the NSW Building Commissioner and will initiate and oversee the program.
The program boasts three components.
Initially, an interest free loan scheme will help owners to manage the financial burden affiliated with rectification.
Dissimilar to the cladding rectification scheme in Victoria, apartment owners whose structures are rectified under the NSW plan must cover the costs affiliated with rectification for their building.
To help these owners in achieving the financial burden, the government will found a new loan scheme under which owners can apply for interest-free loans to cover the rectification.
Under this scheme, the government will pay the cost that comes with the interest part of the loans.
Owners will be responsible for covering repayments for the loans’ principal component.
Repayment of the loans will start upon the finishing of work.
Provisions will be allowed to assist owners who incur financial hardship.
To guarantee quality results, a project assurance service has been started to help owners corporations to administer rectification projects.
The service will supply expert advisement at each phase of program risk assessment, product choices and design selections.
It will assign a managing contractor to administer construction on every project.
All of these services will be complimentary and will be coordinated via the newly formed Office of Project Remediate.
Finally, a Principal Designer will also be appointed to provide a source and library of design knowledge through the program.
Project designers will collaborate with the Principal Designer and building owners to supply amenable designs for the remediation of each structure.
Detailed scoping and design detail will be completed before each project starts.
This will permit building owners to reap advantages from the certainty affiliated with a fixed price contract and will lessen the dangers of cost inflation.
Both throughout the globe and in Australia, issues affiliated with flammable cladding on structures have garnered public heed in the wake of the 2017 Greenfell fire in London as well as the Lacrosse fire in Melbourne.
In its most current update on 18 December 2020, the NSW Cladding Taskforce stated it inspected 4,127 buildings – 3,749 of which had received clearance and 378 of which needed further attention.
Of those buildings needing more work, 219 are residential apartment buildings (Class 2 buildings as specified by the National Construction Code).
Of these structures, 81 take the form of high-rises (9 storeys and above), 132 are mid-rises (4 to 8 storeys) and 6 are low-rises (1 to 3 storeys).
Anderson stated the program would help expedite efforts to render buildings more secure.
He said the program would facilitate the state’s COVID economic recovery and would create up to 3,500 construction jobs in the apartment building sector.
Under the program design devised since the 2020-21 NSW Budget, he confirmed that by 2023 the Government aims to safely strip high-risk combustible cladding on an approximate 225 buildings in the State. Up to $139 million has been invested in a project assurance service that will be coordinated through the Office of the NSW Building Commissioner.
Owners Corporation Network Executive Officer Karen Stiles lauds the package but said the support should be given to owners corporations of other buildings outside the program who are struggling with flammable cladding.
Owners of influenced structures will be contacted and encouraged to register their interest, with applications are expected to open around March.
Through the next few months info packs, guidance and training materials will be issued to aid Owners Corporations in the navigation of Project Remediate.
The Office of the NSW Building Commissioner is consulting with the strata sector as a component of this project.