Shame, shame, shame, shame. Non-conforming building products – the system is failing us all dismally.
There would not be too many people who have not heard about the tragic events of the Grenfell fire which took the lives of so many innocent people in the UK. We had our own fires here, both in Melbourne, one at Lacrosse Towers and one at Neo 200, both in Melbourne by chance.
I think these fires and the publicity that pursued regarding so called combustible cladding made our Governments enact some legislation regarding defective building products; encompassing both Non-Conforming Building Products and Non-Complying Products; often referred to as NCBP’s and NCP’s.
I think the dramatic footage of Aluminium Composite Panels filled with combustible PE core, and the spate of fire that continue to make the news globally, has made people aware that something is amiss.
This article is not about cladding alone, sadly there are many other products being sold that fit into this category.
I am going to discuss some of my personal experiences with the system here in Australia which in the most part is failing the consumer.
This is just a snippet of the full article. To read the entire article, download the pdf today.
Table of Contents
What Is An NCBP & NCP?
The following definitions co me from the ABCB web page.
Non-conforming building products (NCBPs) and materials are those that:
• claim to be something they are not;
• do not meet required standards for their intended use; or
• are marketed or supplied with the intent to deceive those who use them.
Non-compliant products (NCPs) and materials which are products or materials used in situations where they do not comply with the requirements of the National Construction Code, NCC.
Are you confused with the difference?
I am a little and I can only infer that NCBP’s relate to suppliers of building products providing materials which make false claims and try to deceit those buying and using the building products.
In term of NCP’s, I am not sure but I think these are different because in this case the installer might be using the products in a manner which does not comply with the NCC?
What is an example of NCBPs and NCPs?
A building product that is labelled or described as being non-combustible but which is combustible is a non-conforming building product.
A building product that is combustible, and described as such, but is used in a situation where a non-combustible product is required under the NCC, is not fit for purpose and is a noncomplying product.
Legislations, Regulations and Effective Implementation
Well done to Governments in each State & Territory for enacting new Legislation or improving old Legislation to provide some mechanism to deal with NCBP’s.
Sadly, each State & Territory has its own Legislation and associated Regulations to deal with NCBP’s
The most important thing to get some necessary change in behaviour is to implement some systems and adequate resources to deal NCBP’s.
In my humble opinion, the system is BROKEN. There are inadequate resources and very little or in some cases no appetite to roll up the sleeves and do something about the NCBP’s, well at least for anything but cladding.
There is some serious media pressure relating to cladding and there is all sorts of activity going on in regards to removing the cladding NCBP’s; or are they NCP’s? Who knows?????
So, what about cladding?
There were 2 or 3 major suppliers of Aluminium Composite Panels, ACP’s, prior to awareness being promoted that at least ACP’s with purely PE core (I’ll call them ACP-FE) are very dangerous when used as external cladding as part of high rise building facades.
So, were these AC-FE’s an NCBP? Were they an NCP? Whose fault was it that they were sold and used?
Should the building owners replace it and have to pay for the privilege?
Wouldn’t you think the Government would deal with this; at least to help sort out the root cause?
Well, I think they have just made it worse by not addressing the root cause and letting things stay in limbo so to speak and the courts having to decide, as strata bodies sue builders, who sue consultants and we await for precedents.
Whilst in the meantime, the same supplier who supplied the ACP-FE’s are now able to sell the replacement products and to date the NCBP supply issue has not been adequately dealt with.
This sadly is being left to class action having to be taken by all those poor building owners who have to replace the NCBP / ACP-FE cladding on the building they happen to live in.