Flammable cladding rife in Australian construction industry

The use of aluminium panels with highly flammable polyethylene cores is banned on the exteriors of high-rise buildings in Australia and many other countries. However, the use of the product is widespread because it is cheaper—$35 per square metre less expensive than their fire-resistant counterparts—20 percent lighter and easily installed. Contrary to the current public posturing about the panels, state and federal governments and regulatory authorities have resisted taking any action to prevent the spread of the dangerous material, let alone conduct a national audit and order its removal.

Two days after the Grenfell Tower disaster, the Age newspaper revealed that the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), the industry regulatory body, had, in fact, been aware of the safety threat posed by ACP material since 2010.

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