23 Jun 2017

Akl Council won't name combustible-clad buildings

9:00 pm on 23 June 2017

The Auckland Council will not name two high-rise buildings that have been found to have a combustible type of aluminium composite panel.


Photo: 123RF

The council has been checking buildings around the city to find out how many have the particular type of panel which has been implicated in London's Grenfell Tower blaze that claimed at least 79 lives.

The council's building control general manager, Ian McCormick, said the two high-rises were already in the process of being re-clad, due to weather-tightness problems - not fire-related issues.

The buildings would be re-clad with a fire-resistant cladding system.

Mr McCormick said the fire safety systems in the buildings were up to standard.

"All of the active and passive systems that exist in those buildings, which are significant, were put in place and are maintained and operated to make that building safe for the people that are in it," he said.

"The combination of features in that Grenfell Tower, you won't find in Auckland."

It was not known how many people were living in the privately-owned buildings.

Mr McCormick said he did not want to identify the buildings, until the body corporates has been contacted.

He said this would be done as soon as possible.

It would then be up to the body corporates to tell the occupants about the panels.

However, Mr McCormick said if the buildings were not going to be re-clad, the building owners would not have been told to remove the panels, because they complied with building code at the time the consents were granted and the buildings were built.

He said the cladding had also been taken into account in designing the fire safety systems.

However, a rule change that came into effect on 1 January this year means that that particular type of panel is no longer permitted.

Mr McCormick said aluminium cladding systems had only been sold in New Zealand since the early 1990s.

The council has so far looked closely at 21 out of 90 high-rises identified with aluminium composite cladding of some type.

But Mr McCormick said he did not have any major concerns with any of them, around their cladding or fire safety systems.

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