Information for BCAs to consider when assessing external wall cladding systems for compliance with Building Code Clause C3 External spread of fire.
When considering an application for a building consent the building consent authority (BCA) needs to be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the provisions of the Building Code would be met if the building work were properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications that accompanied the application.
The BCA needs evidence of which compliance pathway you are using to show how the building’s cladding system meets the performance requirements of the Building Code and evidence to show how it can be constructed to comply.
BCAs may wish to consider the following when assessing external wall cladding systems case-by-case:
- the extent of combustible products used on the building (i.e. is it a feature or the entire cladding?)
- the building use (occupancy type)
- the active (e.g. alarms and sprinklers) and passive (e.g. firewalls and smoke compartments) fire protection systems throughout the building
- the system tested by the manufacturer or supplier and whether its use is consistent with this (and if not, are the changes likely to negatively affect the building’s fire performance?)
- the quality and accuracy of the building consent documentation and detailing in relation to external wall assemblies (i.e. can the cladding system be constructed from the information that has been provided?)
- the height and proximity of the building to other buildings
- the use of plastics (e.g. polyethylene core aluminium composite panel), including the content of the specific product and its use
- whether the design has been reviewed/peer reviewed by a suitably qualified and experienced person.