Australia’s dwelling construction industry is literally falling apart. After firefighters last month identified 10,000 buildings along Australia’s east coast with suspected flammable cladding, the fiasco has now spread to Australia’s suburbs, with nine more materials commonly used on low-rise dwellings also classified as non-compliant. From The ABC:
The alert affects an unknown number of dwellings, including single-storey family homes, which had previously been largely unaffected but are now not compliant with building codes.
Until now, most of the concern relating to non-compliant cladding was focused on flammable material used primarily on medium and high-rise buildings…
The VBA alert said the certification withdrawal meant nine types of cladding “cannot be relied upon as evidence of suitability”, meaning they would no longer be regarded as compliant with building codes…
The organisation’s vice president, Wayne Liddy, said the affected products were commonly used on small residential homes as well as high-rise apartments, meaning the impact would be felt throughout Australian cities and suburbs.
“It’s very alarming,” Mr Liddy said.
“It affects the industry as a whole. From high-rise to suburban housing.
“It’s not just aluminium composite panel, or ACP, it’s also expanded polystyrene, which is common in many buildings with fewer than three storeys.
“Many of these products thought to be compliant are no longer…
Phil Dwyer, national president of the Builders Collective of Australia… [said] “We’re in an incredible situation now where the industry is falling apart”…
The national general manager of building inspection company Roscon, Sahil Bhasin, estimated the certification changes could quadruple the number of building rectification orders issued in Melbourne.
“The majority of second-storey dwellings in all the outer suburbs are built from expanded polystyrene,” Mr Bhasin said.
“If you have a look at other places like Sydney’s outskirts, they would also be affected.
The scariest thing about this fiasco is that the Neo200 building, which caught alight earlier this month, was deemed only “moderate risk” and yet managed to catch alight from a cigarette. So what does this say about those buildings deemed “high risk”?
Policy makers have allowed the building of not just thousands of ‘slums in the sky’, but also shoddily built homes on the fringe, all to feed the business lobby migrant consumers and workers, and our universities international students.
Meanwhile, the Coalition and business lobby have spent years rallying against “redtape” as if it is some sort impediment to business, rather than necessary rules and regulations meant to stop shoddy building practices, the use of dangerous building materials, and the use of apartments as over crowded slums.
Australia desperately needs a royal commission into building standards and practices within the construction industry. When combined with the widespread defects discovered, there are major systemic issues here that desperately need thorough investigation.