Building Commission urges independent cladding audit after flammable panels found in Leederville

The Building Commission wants a state-wide audit after flammable panels were found in Leederville.
The Building Commission wants a state-wide audit after flammable panels were found in Leederville.

THE Building Commission has urged occupants, managers or owners to seek an independent audit in light of the discovery of flammable panels in Leederville in June.

The authority is currently working with local governments as part of a state-wide high-rise building audit, which a spokeswoman said would be an “arduous” task that would “take some time”.

In June, flammable panels were discovered on youth refuge Foyer Oxford building, prompting lessee Foundation Housing to install more CCTV and provide a round-the-clock concierge.

Foundation Housing confirmed in July it was working on replacing the panels.

Building Commission acting executive director Ian Munns encouraged independent audits for peace of mind.

“The Building Commission supports building owners or agents taking action to confirm the cladding on their buildings does not pose an unacceptable risk of fire spread,” he said.

“This can be done by engaging suitably qualified experts such as fire safety engineers to carry out the necessary assessments.

“Such assessments may help to allay the concerns of occupants and the community about a building’s fire safety.

“If the assessments find issues with the building’s cladding, owners or agents should discuss them with the builder in the first instance and seek further advice from the relevant local government and the Building Commission.”

QED Environmental Services senior environmental consultant Matthew Weir said apartments, hotels, hospitals, universities, schools, shopping centres and high-rise commercial buildings could be high risk.

“We would urge an audit of buildings in which people sleep, and those that attract crowds of people each day,” he said.

“It’s not only new buildings that are a cause for concern, it also applies to any refurbished ones.”