The fires in the Grenfell Tower, and other high-rise buildings in
Australia and internationally, linked to flammable external building cladding
highlight a wide range of issues surrounding non-conforming and non-compliant building
This chapter examines a range of matters that have aggravated the issues
of non-compliance and non-conformity in building products in Australia such as,
product importation, reports of fraudulent certification and the risks
associated with product substitution. The chapter discusses some of the
proposed measures to address both the use of non-complaint and non-conforming
building products more broadly. In particular, it looks at measures to address
the use of Aluminium Composite Panels (ACPs) with polyethylene (PE) cores which
have been identified as a major fire safety risk in modern buildings.
Aluminium Composite Panels
The fires in the Lacrosse and Grenfell buildings, as well as similar
fires in Dubai and China, have all involved ACPs, made of highly combustible PE
Aluminium Composite Material (ACM).
This type of panelling consists of two thin aluminium sheets bonded to a
non-aluminium core, and are most frequently used for decorative external
cladding or facades of buildings, and signage. They are classified as
attachments in Australia and New Zealand, and it is a requirement of the
Building Codes in both countries that the panels, 'irrespective of their fire
classification', only be attached to fire rated walls. Such panels must demonstrate
that they will not contribute to the spread of flame in the event of fire.
ACPs are manufactured with various cores ranging from a highly combustible
PE core up to the non-combustible Aluminium honeycomb core. It is important to
note that there is a difference in price and weight between the flammable PE
cored material and the fire retardant and fire-proof cored material.
The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) noted that ACP cladding is not
the only external wall components that could be dangerous if used in a
non-compliant manner. As such the National Construction Code (NCC) 'takes a
blanket approach to all external wall components, including assemblies (or
systems) to reduce the spread of fire within and between buildings'.
The table below explains the types of ACPs available and details their
Table 1: Type of
Aluminium Composite Panels and their uses
The ABCB made the following observations in relation to the
combustibility of external walls:
With the exception of low-rise buildings (typically single storey
residential buildings and two storey commercial, industrial and public
buildings) and single dwellings, the NCC requires that external walls must be
non-combustible if using a Deemed to Satisfy Solution. In this context, the NCC
contains some concessions whereby, provided specified conditions are met, a
multi-residential building of up to four storeys may be permitted to have
combustible external walls.
Non-combustibility of a material is determined by testing to
Australian Standard AS 1530.1. The NCC also lists some low hazard combustible
materials that can be used where a non-combustible material is required (such
as fibre-cement sheeting).
The NCC Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions also require that any
attachments to the external wall must not impair the fire performance of the
external wall or create an undue fire risk to the building's occupants as a
result of fire spread or compromising fire exits. Permitted attachments are
generally incidental in nature such as a sign, sunscreen, blind, awning, gutter
If not following the Deemed-to-Satisfy compliance pathway, a
Performance Solution for combustibility of external walls must be able to
demonstrate that it will avoid the spread of fire in and between buildings,
including providing protection from the spread of fire to allow sufficient time
Increase in the number of products being imported from overseas
Since the 1990s, there has been a significant decline in Australia's
manufacturing base. The effect of this decline has been a transition where the
majority of products used in the Australian domestic building market are now
imported from overseas.
The prime risk identified with the importation of construction materials into
Australia is the difficulty in establishing if the materials are compliant with
the relevant Australian standards.
Certification of a product indicates that it is compliant with a
mandatory standard like the Australian Standards or a voluntary third party
certification scheme (like the CodeMark), which confirms that a required
standard has been met. For certification to be effective a standard must be
clear, information about the standard should be easily accessible, monitoring
and auditing of material against the standard must be maintained and consumers
must have confidence in the credibility and integrity of the certification
system whether it is onshore or offshore. Furthermore, enforcement, including
penalties for non-compliance, need to be maintained.
In its submission to the inquiry, the Australian Institute of Architects
noted the 'enormous array of materials coming from international
manufacturers'. It flagged the concern that the certification credentials of
imported products are not always reliable. It noted that at this point in time,
'any person can import construction products and materials, and many of these
would not understand the Australian Standards relating to the materials they
import. Nor would many understand the implications of using the material
Reliability of certification documentation
The committee heard of numerous incidents where individuals and
businesses believed that import materials compliance documentation was possibly
suspect. Fraudulent or misleading product certification documentation enables
non-compliant or non-conforming materials to be easily used or substituted on
Australian building sites. For example, the Australian Institute of Building
Surveyors (AIBS) stated that they had identified 'incorrect, fraudulent or
inadequate documentation and certificates of adequacy' as one of the potential
reasons 'why non-compliant external wall cladding has been installed on so many
buildings in Australia over the past 30 years'.
Mr Travis Wacey, national Policy Research Officer from the Construction,
Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) also raised similar concerns about
the prevalence of the use of fraudulent certification. Mr Wacey considered the
issue to be widespread and provided an example of the types of fraudulent
certification that has been found by the CFMEU:
The example is that we find something that is stamped as a
certain product or comes with certain paperwork, certain certificates, saying
something along the lines that this is compliant with a certain standard and
has been certified under this testing regime by this testing authority, and
subsequently someone makes an inquiry with that testing authority and it is
found that the test never occurred; they have never heard of this distributor
Mr Wacey also highlighted the limited number of prosecutions in relation
to fraudulent certification. He was aware of examples where false or misleading
statements claiming conformity with a standard had been raised with the
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. However, he understood the
'examples might not have been prosecuted with reference to the list of
priorities in terms of the agency'.
Mr Murray Smith, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Building
Authority (VBA), highlighted a recent case which had been prosecuted by
Consumer Affairs Victoria involving a false certificate for a fire safety or
separation wall—a product designed to prevent or delay the spread of fire.
Many in the industry told the committee that they felt that the problem
of fraudulent documentation was significant, Mr Rodger Hills, Executive
Officer, Building Products Innovation Council (BPIC), considered it was a
'massive problem within the industry'. Mr Hills noted that one of BPIC's
members, the Australian Windows Association had 'literally thousands of
documents that are fraudulent'.
Mr Hills observed that in his experience:
A large part of it—I won't say all of it—is from imported
products. The imported products, for whatever reason, can be tested to varying
standards and not necessarily the standards that people think. The
documentation could be completely fraudulent, with no testing done at all.
There has been forging of NATA [National Association of Testing Authorities,
Australia] certificates and forging of industry code certificates and things
like that. It gets very difficult then for a building certifier or an engineer
who is trying to check...If you look at the asbestos contamination in the Perth
hospital, the builder had all of the proper information and all of what they
believed to be relevant certification documentation, which turned out not to be
Likewise the Australian Institute of Architects submitted
that 'fraudulent documents abound', noting that architects had reported that
'relying on the supplier/agent to supply the appropriate information and
documentation can be difficult'. In its view:
To avoid fraudulent documentation, it appears that the only
avenue for a higher degree of certainty is to request third party product
certification. However, for the construction industry, the current patchwork
system of assessment schemes is unwieldy. There is great disparity amongst the
schemes as to the quality of assessment, level of auditing and checking for
The risks associated with product substitution
Along with deliberate misleading or fraudulent documentation or
certification, non-compliance and non-conformity can be demonstrated through
product substitution. When a similar, often inferior and, generally cheaper
product is substituted it has the significant potential to underperform when
compared to the original product specifications. Product substitution has been
identified as perhaps the most significant contributing factor to the prevalence
of non-compliant external cladding materials on Australian buildings.
Mr John Thorpe, Chief Executive Officer of CertMark International, noted
that since the Lacrosse fire in 2014, his company has examined high-rise
properties where the body corporate provided the building plans which
specifically state that fire-retardant material was to be used and there has
been a substitution for a PE. In CertMark International's experience:
Substitution occurs, from our perspective, when a builder, or
somebody in involved in the purchasing process, is looking to save money.
Basically, what's happened is there's been a tender go out for the building, a
company's won the tender and the first thing that happens is they look to find
Icon Plastics cautioned that product substitution was a 'major problem
within the construction industry'. Of particular concern was:
...the continued substitution of compliant products in favour
of lower cost non-compliant products and systems. This unfortunately is done
mainly through the construction phase of the project. Either building companies
or installers will substitute products to make the project more profitable for
Concerns about the National Construction Code
Ignis Solutions told the committee that it considered the complexity and
lack of clarity in the National Construction Code (NCC), to be a primary factor
leading to the use of flammable cladding materials.
The ABCB is a joint initiative of all levels of government in Australia.
As such, the Board is a Council of Australian Government (COAG) codes and
standards writing body that is responsible for the development and maintenance
of the NCC, which comprises the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and the
Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA). While the ABCB submission notes that it 'aims
to establish minimum performance based and proportional codes, standards and
regulatory systems that are consistent, as far as practicable, between states
and territories', Mr Neil Savery, General Manager of the ABCB, emphasised
that 'the ABCB is not a statutory authority; it has no regulatory powers, no
powers of compliance'.
These responsibilities lie with the relevant state and territory authorities.
As outlined, the code governing the built environment in Australia is
the NCC. The NCC is a performance-based code, meaning there is no obligation to
adopt any particular material, component, design factor or construction method.
The Performance Requirements for the construction of all buildings can be met
using either a Performance Solution (Alternative Solution), which can be done
in consultation with the state and territory planning and design authorities or
using a Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Solution:
A Performance Solution is unique for each individual
situation. These solutions are often flexible in achieving the outcomes and
encouraging innovative design and technology use. A Performance Solution
directly addresses the Performance Requirements by using one or more of the
Assessment Methods available in the NCC.
A Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution follows a set recipe of what,
when and how to do something. It uses the Deemed-to-Satisfy Solutions from the
NCC, which include materials, components, design factors, and construction
methods that, if used, are deemed to meet the Performance Requirements.
Prior to the introduction of the performance-based codes, building codes
were very prescriptive, as Mr Norman Faifer, Immediate Past National President,
Australian Institute of Building noted:
Before the Building Code of Australia was in, we had only one
regime, and that was prescriptive, highly specified, in the book. If it was not
in the book, it did not get a look. In order to provide innovation and
inventiveness and allow some latitude to architectural design and construction
techniques, we went to performance based. Opening the door to performance based
product and solutions then opened up the regime of who certifies, who says that
this is an approved method or product to use, under the performance based.
The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering observed that the 'greater
use of performance-based design appears to be threatened by inadequate
regulatory and administrative weaknesses and a lack of attention to
practitioner competence'. At the same time, it also considered that
performance-based codes had provided many benefits to the building and
construction industry, such as innovative buildings and cost effective
Ai Group recommended that the evidence of suitability provision in the
NCC be reviewed as they felt that the provisions are too broad. It suggested
rewriting the provisions to:
differentiate between the varying levels of assurance (i.e. third
party certification is more credible than self-declaration) and the types of
building materials and systems that should align with these levels of
differentiate between material conformance and design
The AIBS, while supportive of the Code, maintained that the NCC needs to
be revised to 'remove ambiguity of interpretation and provide greater clarity
around the evidence of suitability provisions supporting performance based
design and assessment'.
The AIBS also expressed its support for the BMF's resolution to improve
industry wide understanding of the performance assessment process available
within the NCC, noting:
Building surveyors are often frustrated by the lack of
understanding of the evidence of suitability requirements and performance
assessment processes among design consultants and believe a widespread
mandatory education program on these aspects of performance design is required
to address the issue.
In relation to the code's effectiveness regarding flame retardant
products, Mr Graham Attwood, Director of Expanded Polystyrene Australia,
considered that there were loopholes in the NCC, that need to be 'tightened up'
to ensure only flame retardant products are used in building and construction. 
Mr Attwood stated:
There are loopholes in the Australian standards, and there
are loopholes in the NCC, the National Construction Code, that allow certain
product lines to fall into play. That may or may not be a conscious decision,
but, in the whole building process, once an approval is given to construct a
domestic or commercial building, the next stage on is to look at ways to
minimise cost in the construction phase. Sometimes loopholes are found to
actually implement and move away from this, while still supposedly compliant
with the broad element of documentary compliance; however, the specific and
detailed areas of, for instance, applying certain Australian standards to this
particular code have got flaws and have got holes in them that need to be tightened
Furthermore, the AIBS provided a number of examples to emphasise its
concerns about the lack of clarity in the NCC including the concern that
'Specification C1.1 Clause 2.4 [in the NCC] has been identified as providing
for some degree of use of combustible elements on parts of building facades'.
The committee heard that performance-based pathways can enable a
collective arrangement of adaptations, suggested by builders, such as
additional sprinklers or fire walls to circumvent more prescriptive elements of
the NCC. Ignis Solutions stated that the NCC currently has a performance-based pathway
which permits the use of PE core ACPs in high rise buildings above the
prescribed floor height limit for such panels. Additionally, Ignis Solutions
also raised concerns in relation to wall fire safety compliance, stating that 'the
NCC is fragmented, confusing, lacking in definitions, contradictory with
conflicting prescriptive clauses and has no hierarchy between the conflicting
Mr Benjamin Hughes-Brown, Managing Director of Ignis Solutions
[The NCC] is contradictory, with no hierarchy of control for
various clauses which compete with each other. The matter of fire safety and
building compliance is too great to rely on one person. By way of example,
let's take sarking used for external walls for weatherproofing. One part of the
code requires it to have a flammability of less than five. This indicates that
combustibility is permitted. Another part of the code says that the external
wall must be non-combustible. How is this to apply for a consecutive nature? If
it is used externally, does the clause that allows it to be used as combustible
apply internally? Well, you don't put sarking on internal aspects of a
building. And does it apply to only low-rise type C construction? There are no
requirements for fire resistance in many applications for that. So what does
the flammability requirement actually hold on that front? The Australian
Building Codes Board has written a nine-page document to provide clarification
on these two levels of clauses. A nine-page document to provide clarification
certainly highlights that something is not right.
Ms Liza Carroll, Director-General, Queensland Department of Housing and
Public Works, noted that the introduction in Queensland of a performance-based building
code in 1996 informed the Queensland Government's decision to examine those buildings
that were constructed between 1994 and 2004 as the initial scope for its cladding
audit. Ms Carroll noted:
I think this goes to the kind of thing that happens within
the Building Code, as I am sure you are aware, which is: is it non-flammable,
non-combustible cladding or is it a performance solution so it can effectively
replicate the standards that might be required? So there is a focus on: do some
of these buildings have performance solutions and were they appropriately
tested back then.
In addressing these and other concerns raised about the effectiveness of
the NCC, Mr Savery of the ABCB stated that 'the performance based code is a highly
sophisticated regulation and it needs properly qualified and trained individual
assessors in order to understand how a performance based code works'. He
In the early 1990s, we introduced a performance based code
which is highly sophisticated regulation; it is not something that the average
individual can necessarily understand. You need qualified, trained people to
understand how a performance based code works. At the same time as that,
private certification was incrementally introduced around the country. At the
same time as that, we had a process around the country of deregulation or
reduction in regulatory requirements around things like mandatory inspections.
At the same time as all of that is happening, the world is changing around us.
We have global supply chains. We have multinational companies operating. 
Mr Savery, having agreed with the committee on a number of statements
regarding the lack of compliance in the system and the erosion of confidence
through the gradual removal of elements such as mandatory inspections, also
noted that there is considerable non-compliance occurring in the industry.
There is noncompliance occurring. We have got non-compliant
products, but I would suggest to you that it does not end at non-compliant
Not just products; non-compliant construction. It is not just
a product; the actual potential construction of a building
Mr Savery was asked 'who was responsible for the existence of these
unsafe buildings' and whether they were a product of deregulation. Further, the
committee asked Mr Savery if he believed the answer was to reregulate. Mr
Savery informed the committee that these particular question was being considered
by the BMF's expert review into the Assessment of the Effectiveness of
Compliance and Enforcement Systems for the Building and Construction Industry
Mr Hills from the Building Products Innovation Council (BPIC) believed
the industry support a move to reregulation including 'nationally consistent
approaches to training, licensing and banning of non-complying products and
The committee notes the concern from witnesses and submitters that the
non-compliant use of cladding is widespread and that there have been extensive
delays in developing and implementing policies to address non-compliance and
non-conformity in the building industry.
As highlighted in Chapter 2, the committee notes that the BMF has now
released the Assessment of the Effectiveness of Compliance and Enforcement
Systems for the Building and Construction Industry across Australia review's
terms of reference and its timeline. The committee looks forward to following
this review and learning about its outcomes.
The committee also welcomes the recent announcement that the NCC would
be amended to reflect the ABCB's new comprehensive package of measures for fire
safety in high rise buildings. The committee is hopeful that this amendment to
the NCC, if delivered in a timely manner, will provide greater clarity and
reduce the ambiguity around interpretation which has been identified by stakeholders.
Of particular concern to the committee, and stakeholders, is the long
time lag between government responses to the Lacrosse fire in 2014 and any
meaningful resolution between governments, the BMF, and the SOG on possible steps
forward. Furthermore, the committee notes that more disastrous fires have
occurred internationally, but Australia has yet to implement any major reforms
or communicate any course of action publically. Considering the prevalence of
PE core cladding across Australia, the committee considers it paramount that all
governments focus attention on this issue before the next disaster occurs.
Need for greater clarity of CodeMark Certificates of Conformity
The need for confidence in the conformity of Australian building
products is paramount. Certificates of Conformity issued under the ABCB's
voluntary CodeMark Scheme are evidence that a building material or method of
design fulfils specific requirements of the NCC. Currently, there are a number
of external wall products on the market displaying a CodeMark Certificate of
Conformity, including some aluminium composite panels.
Icon Plastics highlighted the importance of clear product labelling in
reducing the incidence of product substitution. It considered:
One quite simple way of stopping this type of practice is to
have all products labelled with the appropriate standards and certificate
number, the particular product has passed. All products would then be able to
be visually checked as they arrive on construction sites, prior to
installation. This would also be confirmed with copies of the test certificates
either supplied by the manufacturer or the importer.
Mr Murray Smith, the VBA, drew the committee's attention to two critical
weaknesses in the current building product certification system which were
highlighted by the Lacrosse building fire:
...firstly, that there is no single organisation or regulator
responsible for certifying products for compliance with relevant standards and,
secondly, that, certificates of conformity with the Building Code of Australia
performance requirements, where available, are not always explicit in respect
of the range of uses and circumstances in which a product may be relied upon to
be fit for purpose.
Mr Savery of the ABCB advised the committee that the CodeMark Scheme had
been overhauled. Mr Savery also explained that there had already been a review
in train prior to the Lacrosse fire which was then expedited further noting:
One of the key changes has been the introduction of a new
certificate. It was deemed by the board that the existing certificate did not
adequately describe to the practitioner what the limitations of the product
were or what performance requirements of the code it satisfied. So the new
certificates which have been road tested by the conformity assessment
bodies—they are the bodies that issue the certificates—are more precise in
terms of describing what the product complies with. A product will not comply
with every requirement of the code; they will only be seeking to attest to
certain parts of the code and what the actual limitations are in respect of
Mandatory third party certification, national register and product auditing
The committee notes that the SOG report included recommendations to assess
the costs and benefits of mandating third party certification and establishing
a national register for high risk products (see paragraph 2.44).
Mr John Thorpe, Chief Executive Officer of CertMark International argued
that the quickest way to address the use of high risk products would be to make
the CodeMark Scheme mandatory, stating that 'I'm not saying everything needs a
mandatory certification—decorative items that are non-flammable, obviously
not—but that could be a move that could go ahead quite quickly'.
The Australian Institute of Architects also considered third party
product certification to be only avenue to avoid fraudulent documentation and
provide a higher degree of certainty. However, in its view, the 'current
patchwork system of assessment is unwieldy. There is great disparity amongst
the schemes as to the quality of assessment, level of auditing and checking for
fraudulent documentation'. It also noted:
Third party certification from a testing laboratory that is
properly recognised and accredited by NATA is essential, as is current
certification schemes, and product registers coming under the one umbrella to
ensure that minimum standards are upheld. The certification and testing regime
should not be limited to imported products, but should apply to those
manufacturers in Australia to ensure that all products comply
with Australian standards.
AIBS advocated for random testing and auditing as well as developing a
central product register:
An ongoing and proactive system of random auditing and
testing of high risk products undertaken by the testing bodies should be
introduced, with significant penalties for those found to be involved in the
supply or manufacture of non-conforming products. Once a product has been found
to be compliant, all testing details and evidence of suitability should be made
available via a central body responsible for the coordination and publication
of that information, to ensure that the latest information is readily
accessible to all involved in the design and assessment processes.
Submitters and witnesses have raised concerns about the progress of the
SOG Report's recommendations, which were due to be finalised in May 2017. The
committee is concerned that progress appears to have stalled and there is no
clearly identified timetable for implementation. The committee is of the view
that the implementation plan should be released as soon as possible to assure
stakeholders that progress is being made and again makes its point about the
timeliness in response to these issues.
Proposal to ban aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core
Many who provided evidence to the committee believed that the complexity
of the NCC and the ability to undertake 'Alternative Solutions' to items that
would appear to most people to be non-negotiable, led them to advocate for a
total ban of the highly flammable ACPs with a Polyethylene (PE) core in
The committee heard from three distributors of ACM panels during the
inquiry. Two of the companies—SGI Architectural and Fairfax
Architectural—supported a ban on PE core ACPs.
Mr Clint Gavin, National Sales Manager advised the committee that SGI
Architectural fully supported a national ban on the importation of PE core
ACPs. He noted that SGI Architectural had made a conscious decision in 1999 not
to import PE core products, and are now only importing fire retardant products
with a fire retardant non-combustible mineral filled composite core. Mr Gavin said
that his decision was made despite the fact that SGI Architectural had lost
business to companies who provide the cheaper PE core products. 
Fairview also supported a ban of PE core ACPs due to the risk that they
can 'inadvertently be substituted for the correct product'. Fairview indicated
that it had ceased manufacturing PE core ACPs two years ago, although its
remaining PE core stocks may still be sold if requested. Fairview advised the
committee that it would write off its remaining stocks if a ban was issued.
Mr Bruce Rayment, Chief Executive Officer of Halifax Vogel Group,
cautioned against a blanket ban as PE core ACPs are also widely used in the signage
industry. Mr Raymont noted that the company was not able to confirm where
its products had ended up, or whether they were used in a compliant manner.
Mr Thorpe, CertMark International, did not believe there was strong
argument for being able to have a niche market for flammable products in the
building industry. He concluded that 'the simplest way with PE flammable core
materials, as with any flammable material that is in a building, is it should
be banned; it should be kept out of the marketplace'.
Mr Smith from the VBA observed that banning PE core ACPs would 'make
regulation a lot simpler'.
Similarly, Ignis Solutions submitted that there were 'no legitimate uses
for PE core materials in Australian buildings be it cladding or signage, that
cannot be cost and life safety effective with a fire retardant core panel'. 
The committee was advised that there was not a significant price
difference between PE core and fire retardant panels, particularly in light of
the potential cost of millions of dollars for remediation of buildings found to
be clad in PE core ACPs. The committee was informed that the price of a panel
is approximately $50 per square metre. Mr Rayment of Halifax Vogel Group advised
that 'for us the difference in price between the polyethylene cored material
and the fire-resistant material, at a wholesale price, is A$3 a square metre'.
However, the CFMEU acknowledged the complexities surrounding the
introduction of an import ban while there are still compliant uses of PE core ACPs.
The committee also notes that Australian Border Force has previously advised
that it is not in a position to reliably determine whether an imported building
product will be used or installed correctly.
Despite this complexity, the CFMEU suggested that if necessary, the
Australian Government could introduce interim import bans on the product 'until
systems were established to provide the public with confidence that products of
this type were going to be used appropriately and compliantly only'.
The CFMEU considered that such an action would be consistent with Australia's
international obligations as the World Trade Organisation's Agreement on
Technical Barriers to Trade states:
No country should be prevented from taking measures necessary
to ensure the quality of its exports, or for the protection of human, animal or
plant life or health, of the environment, or for the prevention of deceptive
practices, at the levels it considers appropriate.
The Hon John Rau MP, Deputy Premier of South Australia stated:
We have the capacity, if there is completely unsafe building
material—whether it be cladding or something else—at risk of coming into the
country, to stop it at the border. Once it's in, once it's past the port and
it's into the distribution network, chasing it, catching it and identifying it,
particularly after it's been used, is an absolutely massive task and one for
which, quite frankly, as far as I'm aware, nobody is adequately resourced. When
I say 'nobody' I mean any level of government. So the obvious answer, it would
seem to me, is to find effective mechanisms to root this material out at the
point of entry into the country to the extent that we possibly can.
The committee understands that under the NCC in its current form, there
are compliant uses for PE core ACPs in low-rise buildings, as well as pathways
through performance-based solutions to allow the use of PE core ACPs in
high-rise buildings. The committee also understands that the signage industry
uses PE core ACPs.
In light of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, the committee does not
consider there to be any legitimate use of PE core ACPs on any building type.
The committee believes that as there are safe non-flammable and fire retardant
alternatives available there is no place for PE core ACPs in the Australian
market. While Australian Border Force and suppliers of ACM are currently unable
to determine whether an imported building product will be used in a compliant
manner, the committee believes a ban on importation should be placed on all PE core ACPs. In addition,
the sale and use of PE core ACPs should be banned domestically.
The committee recommends the Australian government implement a total ban
on the importation, sale and use of Polyethylene core aluminium composite
panels as a matter of urgency.
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