Between January 1990 and March 2021 there have been over 190 reported fatalities and 560 injuries attributed to high rise cladding façade fires. The deadliest cladding façade fire occurred on June 14, 2017 at Grenfell Towers in the UK and resulted in 72 deaths and 70 injuries.
The most recent façade fire engulfed a 26-storey office block in Shijiazhuang, China, with TV footage showing burning chunks of cladding falling off its façade. Melbourne, Australia has had two significant fires attributed to combustible cladding in the past 8 years, at the Lacrosse Building on 25 November 2014 and at the Neo 200 Building on 4 February 2019.
Cladding taskforces throughout Australia have been conducting thorough audits to tally the number of buildings identified as requiring remediation. The tally is now in the thousands nationally. The cost of remediation is significant to owners and also impacts significantly on the cost of insurance for the building.
There are number strategies for remediation that are being considered such as:
FSI has collaborated with a highly skilled research team at the University of NSW (UNSW) and a number of state government and industry partners, to develop a Cladding Monitoring System (CMS) to monitor fire safety on the external surfaces of buildings. The advantages of the CMS are:
FSI has commenced deployment of pilot systems on a number of prominent buildings in NSW and Victoria. Over the next few months, the functional performance will be thoroughly evaluated in preparation for launch towards the end of the year. The CMS system includes optical cameras, infrared cameras, wired and wireless flame detection sensors and fully redundant back-end cloud infrastructure. As a complete system, the CMS is able to monitor every square centimetre of combustible cladding in real time including ‘blind’ spots such as alleys, loading docks, overhangs and the undersides of verandas.
For further information please contact James Barlow, e: firstname.lastname@example.org