New Zealand’s performance-based Building Code provides multiple lines of fire defence. A multi-storey building constructed in New Zealand would have active fire protection (for example smoke detection, a building wide alarm, and an automatic sprinkler system), passive fire protection (solid fire-rated construction), and an all-out evacuation plan.
Changes have been made to the NZ Building Code Acceptable Solution for Protection from Fire to restrict the use of combustible cladding on buildings above three storeys.
Metropolitan councils provided information on ACP use in New Zealand, and MBIE is satisfied there is no systemic issue of ACP use in high rise buildings in New Zealand. No significant concerns about ACP and building safety have been raised by Councils to date.
“MBIE commissioned an audit and peer review of CodeMark certificates attached to ACP products. This work was not intended to identify specific safety concerns with ACP cladding, rather to identify if there was sufficient documentation with ACP CodeMark certificates,” says Acting Building System Assurance Manager Paul Hobbs.
“The expert advice found there was insufficient documentation to support six CodeMark certificates, and manufacturers have been unable to satisfy the evidence-based requirements outlined by MBIE to support claims made in the CodeMark certificates.”
Under Section 271 of the Building Act 2004, MBIE has suspended the following CodeMark certificates:
- CMA-CM40035 Alucobond Cladding Systems
- CMA-CM40075-I01-R01 Apolic FR ACM Panel Cladding
- CMA-CM40100 Larson FR
- CMA-CM40094 Symonite (Alubond) Cladding Systems
- CMA-CM40111-I02-R03 Symonite Cladding Systems (Reynobond FR)
- CMA-CM40193-I01-R01 Vitrabond FR Cladding System
Manufacturers now have the opportunity to rectify issues identified with their CodeMarks. If these issues are not rectified, MBIE may revoke the CodeMark certificates.
“Throughout this process, MBIE’s focus has been to ensure the safety and code compliance of ACP panels, while running a fair and legally sound process.
“This process has not unearthed evidence that these products are dangerous, only that their use needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis by building consent authorities (BCAs) when considering a building consent,” Mr Hobbs says.
Building owners with concerns about cladding should contact their local council. Tenants should contact their landlord in the first instance.