If it hadn’t been for recent media about problem cladding – in particular flammable cladding, there would be no prompt to discuss this topic…..
Peter Georgiev, the director of Archicentre Australia has long explained the pitfalls of commonly used cladding systems including texture coated “blueboard”, polystyrene and any non-articulated system of lightweight cladding. ‘These cladding systems have been defective ever since their entry into the market-place over 20 years ago’ he states. ‘The fact that they are still on the market and being used is a shortcoming that material regulators continue to ignore….it’s a case of the “free-market” being more important than common sense protection of unsuspecting consumers’.
He laments that some many architects, builders and building designers have been caught up in a pattern of behaviour that emulates Lemmings…..‘and it is shameful’ he says.
So what are the alternatives to cladding systems that crack – allowing weather into inherent structure, or those that catch fire?
Georgiev explains ‘looking at well understood materials and those newer versions that are based on similar attributes, is a good start. Simple materials such as weatherboards can do the job. Instead of standard dressed Pine weatherboards, consumers can ask for dressed treated Pine boards – thereby reducing timber deterioration, or even better, a cement sheet based weatherboard can be considered. Well known manufacturers including Hardies and CSR make these products – and they are reliable, efficient to use while requiring reduced maintenance.’
This is but one example – bricks, brick tiles, conite (render set in expanded metal), plain and decorative concrete blocks, Hebel systems, colorbond profile sheets and an array of treated timber cladding systems abound.
Georgiev pleads ‘A return to common sense and adopting materials that have a track record will make a welcome change to the opportunism and faddism of the past 20-30 years’ he says.
‘Materials that will be matter of fact and endure weather, fire and offer thermal performance – this is a way to the future – and these are what experienced and independent architects have espoused’. At Archicentre Australia you can find this authoritative approach.
For more information go to www.archicentreaustralia.com.au
This media release has been written and distributed by:
Peter Georgiev, Director
Level 1, 9 Strathalbyn Street,
Kew East, VICTORIA, 3102
Phone: 1300 13 45 13 | 03 9859 9950