Posted: 26 July 2018
Following a number of high profile fires involving combustible, polyethylene core aluminium composite panels (ACPs) used as external cladding, the use of the ACP has been the subject of a number of avenues of inquiry, both in New Zealand and internationally.
New Zealand’s performance-based Building Code provides multiple lines of fire defence. A multi-storey building constructed in New Zealand would have active fire protection, passive fire protection, and an all-out evacuation plan.
Changes have been made to the NZ Building Code Acceptable Solutions for Protection from Fire to restrict the use of combustible cladding on buildings above three storeys.
MBIE commissioned an audit and peer review of CodeMark certificates attached to ACP products. The audit was not intended to identify specific safety concerns with ACP cladding. It did identify that there was insufficient documentation to support evidence of compliance with the fire performance clauses of the New Zealand Building Code for which the below CodeMark certificates make claim.
Under Section 271 of the Building Act 2004, MBIE has suspended the following CodeMark certificates:
- CMA-CM40035 – Alucobond Cladding Systems
- CMA-CM40075-I01-R01 – Alpolic FR ACM Panel Cladding
- CMA-CM40100 – Larson FR
- CMA-CM40094 – Symonite (Alubond) Cladding Systems
- CMA-CM40111-I02-R03 – Symonite Cladding Systems (Reynobond FR)
- CMA-CM40193-I01-R01 – Vitrabond FR Cladding System
Manufacturers now have the opportunity to rectify issues identified with their CodeMark certificates. If these issues are not rectified, MBIE may revoke the CodeMark certificates.
This process has not unearthed evidence that these products are dangerous.
Building Consent Authorities (BCAs) can no longer rely upon these CodeMark certificates as evidence that the products comply with the requirements of the Building Code while they are in a state of suspension.
BCAs will be required to consider product use on a case-by-case basis when assessing a building consent, including those for which a building consent application has been received but not yet issued.
Any questions regarding the use of these CodeMark certificates can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Building owners with fire safety concerns about cladding should contact their local council, and tenants should contact their landlord.