The department is at the helm of a major project to check the cladding materials used on a range of buildings across Western Australia, in the wake of the June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in London.
The State-wide Cladding Audit was officially launched in July 2017 after aluminium composite cladding panels were found to be a major factor in the rapid spread of flames across the Grenfell apartment block.
The department is the lead agency for assessing private buildings that fit the audit’s scope, and is supporting several other State Government agencies as they check the cladding materials on applicable public buildings.
The audit achieved good progress during the 2017–18 financial year.
From more than 1,700 private buildings that fit the project’s parameters – mainly multistorey structures where people sleep, or buildings with vulnerable occupants and high-occupancy events – 450 were found to have cladding. Of these, 242 were assessed as requiring further investigation. By the end of the financial year, 35 had been cleared because their cladding materials represented a low fire risk.
More than 1,250 public buildings were included in the audit’s first stage, which comprised buildings that fit the audit scope plus additional sites that some agencies chose to include. Around 1,000 of these public buildings did not require further assessment of their building materials.
The audit team is keeping building owners updated on the project’s findings and any rectification work that may be required.