Audit of cladding on high rise buildings

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade's (MFB) investigation of a fire at a Docklands apartment block in November 2014 found that the external aluminium cladding on the building contributed to the fire spread and did not meet compliance with the National Construction Code (NCC).

Following those findings, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has taken a number of actions, which to date include:

  • Investigating the conduct of the building practitioners involved.
  • Using the VBA's coercive powers to compel the builder of the Docklands apartment block to disclose any other buildings where it used Alucobest (the product used at the apartment block). The builder complied and provided the names of two buildings (see table below).
  • Contacting more than 20,000 building practitioners requesting information about possible non-compliant use of cladding.
  • Using the VBA's coercive powers requiring the builders and building surveyors of some 170 building permits relating to building work on high-rise buildings in inner Melbourne and immediate surrounding suburbs built in the past 10 years to provide evidence that the external cladding complies with the NCC. The VBA's audit is directed at determining whether there has been potential non-compliant use of cladding within the works covered by the 170 permits.

If, through the audit, the VBA identifies buildings where cladding has been used in a potentially non-compliant manner, it will take the following steps:

  1. Notify the local Municipal Building Surveyor (MBS), who will consider:
    • taking appropriate action to determine if the building is safe to occupy and notifying the occupants;
    • determining the appropriate action required;
    • notifying the VBA of the results of the inspection.
  2. Notify the relevant fire service.
  3. Notify the general public by posting the details on the VBA website.
  4. The VBA will then take appropriate action which could lead to disciplinary action or prosecution.

Read the VBA media release published 17 February 2016

Read the VBA External Wall Cladding report published 17 February 2016

Where the VBA Audit identified non-compliant use of external wall cladding materials, the role of the relevant Municipal Building Surveyor (MBS) was to independently assess the building and then take any necessary steps to ensure the safety of occupants. Due to the location of the buildings, the relevant MBS was primarily the City of Melbourne's (CoM) MBS. The results of these actions have been progressively referred back to the VBA and published on this website. To view the list of these buildings and their status click HERE (PDF, 382.08 KB)