The use of flammable cladding systems in apartment buildings is an unknown quantity and a great cause for concern, according to Archicentre Australia.

This makes it vital for apartment owners and those intending to purchase an “off the plan” (OTP) apartment to carry out proper due diligence.

There have been a number of instances of events involving flammable cladding in Melbourne, the national architect’s advisory services says.

Given the uncertainty that exists around which buildings are susceptible, multi-storey residential buildings – 3 storeys and over – in other Australian cities more than likely face the same risks, the national architect’s advisory service says.

Adding to the uncertainty in Victoria is the fact that State authorities and the development industry are being less than informative.

As well as being Registered Building Assessors, Archicentre Australia architects are independent, which makes them ideally placed to advise on matters relating to defects and incomplete contract works before consumers make the final payment as part of the Contract of Sale conditions.

Archicentre Australia director Peter Georgiev says member architects can visually assess apartments then report on matters of finish and incomplete work.

“Matters of inappropriate waterproofing including detailing deficiencies at balconies and level entry showers are amongst the issues that assessors are constantly reporting as being defective.

“Other matters of a statutory nature should be considered by OTP purchasers and apartment owners, particularly when it comes to flammable cladding and all fire safety measures.”

Peter Georgiev urges all those with potential to be affected to do effective due diligence and ask questions directly pertinent to their individual circumstances.

“The Victorian judiciary has determined that apartment owners are on their own and the authorities are silent at this stage as to what can be done on this important matter of public safety.

“The intending purchaser is entitled under the Section 32 Vendors Statement of the Sale of Land Act to request ALL information that affects the particular land parcel be disclosed with a copy of all Compliance Certificates which formed part of the Occupancy Permit process. This includes matters of Fire Safety Engineering – in Melbourne – the endorsement of the MFB Chief Officer is required as a part of the occupancy permit conditions. Also a copy of the certificate from the Fire Brigade that the transmission signal of alarms is connected to the fire station or monitoring service.

“The purchaser’s solicitor may request the above information from the vendor when not provided prior to signing.

“An Occupancy Permit alone is not evidence that the building complies with the provisions of the Act and the regulations.

“The Certificate of Compliance provided from various building practitioners is required to verify the satisfactory completion of building works from a health and safety perspective and is suitable for occupation as part of the Occupancy Permit conditions.

“Remember, legal advice from a qualified lawyer should always be sought regarding the information contained in the Section 32, and what information SHOULD be included therein,” he adds.


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This media release has been written and distributed by:

Archicentre Australia

Peter Georgiev, Director

Level 1, 9 Strathalbyn Street,

Kew East, VICTORIA, 3102

Phone: 1300 13 45 13 | 03 9859 9950