Recently, PAS 9980:2022 was formally issued in the UK, which contains the methodology for the fire risk appraisal of external wall construction and cladding of existing multi-storey and multi-occupied residential buildings. With much focus on vertical fire spread due to the combustible cladding, the UK government and construction industry collated the practices and lessons learnt and standardised the assessment process.
In Australia, each state jurisdiction has addressed the combustible cladding problems, that were identified following the Lacrosse building fire in Melbourne in November 2014. As a company, Sotera has been assisting our clients in assessing the risks of their cladding from domestic dwellings to large complexes, in line with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) guideline. We have developed vast experience in southeast Queensland and accumulated many resources and publications on material properties.
Here at Sotera, we work closely with our partners who undertake Stage 2 assessments to identify the issues and detail the hazards with professional fire engineering analysis. We thoroughly follow the process, from assessment to remedial work and completion to ensure the revised building is compliant with the QBCC requirements.
Our services focus on safety and cost. We assess possible fire scenarios and their implications using a Building Fire Safety Risk Assessment. Our fire engineering evaluation is streamlined for the approval process, considering their source, development and implication. We conduct site investigation and evaluate the fire risk considering the benefit and shortcomings of the existing building fire safety systems. Where required, we work with our Stage 2 assessment partners to obtain samples from the subject building and measure their flammability, and benchmark against literature. We assure our clients that our evaluation is impartial, meets regulatory requirements, and turnaround is fast to minimise uncertainties. From a staff development perspective, the cladding assessment is a great opportunity for one to rationalise the understanding of fire safety systems and all aspects of fire engineering design.