What is the importance of safe Cladding in Buildings?

Posted by Ullrich Alumunium on February 15th, 2021

Cladding is the material used to cover the outside of a building to protect the structure and what’s inside. Having a non-combustible cladding such as brick, glass, iron, steel, aluminium, fiber cement or composite materials is important.

All the different types of cladding have their advantages and disadvantages and are an important part of a building’s design strength and aesthetic appeal.

External cladding must be

  •        Weather resistant so it prevents rain and wind entering the building
  •        Insulting, it forms a physical barrier that provides both thermal protection as well as sound with its sound dampening properties
  •        Today external cladding is expected to be non combustible to protect the building from fire

Timber was the most accepted material for external cladding but it’s readily burns so has largely been replaced by non-combustible cladding alternatives especially fot tall and commercial buildings

Safety Concerns

Australian Government state audit have revealed there are about 600 buildings in NSW with high risk cladding, in Victoria there are about 500 and in Queensland there are about 237.

These types of cladding can burn quickly and fuel a fire, causing it to spread rapidly. The main dangerous cladding is those made using metal composite panels with a sandwich of polyethylene at the core.

These types of cladding materials are no longer being approved for new buildings and many of the older buildings that used this type of cladding are being rectified.

Modern Non-combustible Cladding

Modern non-combustible cladding is made in a variety of colours and materials to safely increase the aesthetics appeal of a building.

PVC boards are made to provide a similar appearance to timber and don’t have the same problems of being high maintenance items and susceptible to termites, rot and fire.

Fibre cement panels and boards are a cost effective alternative they are non-combustible, won’t rot and cannot be attacked by pests.

Large building often use solid metal cladding made from steel, aluminum or zinc alloys. These are used in large sheets and favored because they are cost effective and easier to install and maintain.

Glass sheets fixed to steel frames are often used for high rise buildings sometimes in conjunction with other types of long lasting Non-combustible cladding.

The choice of cladding used is usually because of its functional capabilities, the maintenance requirements, cost factors, building regulations and the design and aesthetic considerations of the owners and architects.

Safety First for Cladding

The most important aspect of cladding is the safety aspect. In multi-storied buildings the difficulty in installation is a concern, If the cladding is not properly and securely installed there is a possibility f it breaking off and cause injury or damage as well as allowing the elements to enter the building.

Fire is the biggest concern so non-combustible cladding is now almost universally used

Materials such as steel sheets, cement panels and bricks provide non-combustible cladding but timber, plywood and burnable plastics are a poor choice

Non-combustible cladding is a sensible choice for any new building as the materials these types of cladding are made from usually mean they are long lasting low maintenance and of uniform sizes making them easy to install and aesthetically pleasing.

Like it? Share it!

Ullrich Alumunium

About the Author

Ullrich Alumunium
Joined: October 4th, 2019
Articles Posted: 6

More by this author