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The Victorian Government’s policy is for the adoption of a risk-based approach to the reduction of fire risk associated with combustible external cladding on certain residential buildings in Victoria.
This policy applies to ‘relevant buildings’, being buildings in Victoria:
- which are classified as Class 2 or Class 3 by the NCC or contain any component which is classified as Class 2 or Class 3;
- for which the work for the construction of the building was completed or an occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection was issued before 1 February 2021; and
- which have combustible external cladding.
This policy does not apply to:
- risk attributed to fire hazards on or in a building which are not caused by or related to combustible external cladding; or
- buildings which do not have combustible external cladding.
2.2. Cladding risk rating categories
With a primary focus on cladding as fuel for fire, this policy provides a means of separating buildings into three risk categories.
The three categories of cladding risk are as follows:
Table 1: Cladding risk rating categories
Cladding risk rating category
|Not sprinkler protected|
Risk of fire spread across the combustible external cladding of ≥ 4 SOU
|Risk of fire spread across the combustible external cladding of ≥ 3 SOU|
|Elevated||Risk of fire spread across the combustible external cladding of 3 SOU||Risk of fire spread across the combustible external cladding of 2 SOU|
|Low||Risk of fire spread across the combustible external cladding of ≤ 2 SOU||Risk of fire spread across the combustible external cladding of ≤ 1 SOU|
2.3. Risk-based approach to reduction of fire risk
Under this policy, remediation work proposals for buildings with combustible external cladding should adopt a risk-based approach. For each relevant cladding risk rating category, the potential actions for the remediation work proposal are set out below.
The table below provides potential actions for those risk categories for context.
Table 2: Cladding risk remediation
- Immediately lower the combustible external Cladding risk by implementing interim mitigating measures/works if required;
- remove most or all of the combustible external cladding from the building to achieve, at a minimum, an acceptable cladding risk rating; or
- undertake targeted removal of combustible external cladding and apply alternative, cost effective risk reduction interventions which achieve, at a minimum, an acceptable cladding risk rating without, where possible, the need to remove all combustible external cladding.
Undertake targeted removal of combustible external cladding either alone or in combination with the application of alternative, cost effective risk reduction interventions to achieve, at a minimum, an acceptable cladding risk rating without, where possible, the need to remove all combustible external cladding.
Owner ESM maintenance and other fire safety measure maintenance practices of building owners to be improved and monitored.
This policy applies the principle of proportionality and scalability in responding to cladding fire risk on buildings in Victoria. Applied to relevant buildings, the primary focus is on achieving an acceptable cladding risk rating. The recommended focus is targeted combustible external cladding removal in conjunction with enhancements of the building’s active and passive fire safety systems proportionate to the risk exposure presented by combustible external cladding.
This publication may be of assistance to you but the State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication.
Page last updated: 26/10/23