IN the wake of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London, Bayswater councillor Chris Cornish has called for an audit of the city’s high-rise buildings to see if they contain the highly flammable aluminium composite cladding.
The cladding is banned in the USA and parts of Europe and is about $5 cheaper per square metre than the fire resistant alternative.
Outfitting the whole Grenfell Tower with the fire resistant version would’ve cost an extra $8000 and could have saved at least 79 lives—$101 per life.
In his first meeting with new Bayswater council CEO Andrew Brien, Cr Cornish asked staff to find out if the highly flammable cladding was used in the city.
“All local councils should be looking at their high-rise buildings for this cladding,” he says.
Cr Cornish noted that similar cladding contributed to the spread of a fire in the Melbourne suburb, Docklands, in 2014.
Builders Collective of Australia president Phil Dwyer was on 3AW radio this week warning homebuyers not to purchase any apartment with combustable cladding.
“Don’t buy it, don’t take the risk, it’s just not worth it,” he says.
“This product is so flammable, it’s like a firecracker or like a flare.
“It basically explodes and the heat is enormous.”
We asked Stirling, Perth and Vincent councils if they had plans to check their high rise buildings for this cladding.
Vincent CEO Len Kosova said, “we understand the WA Building Commission will be undertaking an audit for this purpose” and they’ll work with them to carry that out.
Cr Cornish says says councils should “not wait around for state or federal governments to act”.
by DAVID BELL