In November 2014 a fire sparked by a cigarette butt on the balcony of the eighth floor of the Lacrosse Apartments in Melbourne quickly became out of control, spreading to the top of the building and causing over $2 million in damages.

The ensuing investigation into the apartment fire found that while the cladding used in the construction complied with Australian standard tests for ignitability, spread of flame, heat and smoke, it did not meet the combustibility requirements set down by the BCA, meaning the spread of flames was far quicker and greater than what should have occurred.

In response to the Lacrosse Apartments fire, The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) recently launched an audit into the compliance of wall cladding used in high-rise buildings in Melbourne. Of the 170 buildings audited so far, a staggering 51 per cent were found to have used non-compliant cladding.

Recent safety audits have also revealed Melbourne’s AAMI Park stadium is covered in combustible cladding.

The results have prompted Scott Williams, the boss of the Fire Protection Association Australia, to describe cheap external cladding as “A ticking time bomb” and “the dirty secret of the building industry in Australia.”

The specification of these non-compliant claddings of course not only leaves residents at risk, but according to the VBA will likely lead to penalties for those involved, with the VBA audit finding failures in every phase including the design, approval and construction stages.

So as the consequences from the past decade’s market saturation of these non-compliant claddings become clearer, and the crackdown from authorities on the use of these materials becomes greater, the responsibility for specifiers to ensure compliance reaches new levels.

Eurobond is a world leader in the design and manufacture of non-combustible cored internal and external wall and ceiling solutions.

Manufactured using a fire rated stone wool insulant with a low environmental impact, the Eurobond range of non-combustible sandwich panel solutions offers the specifier complete assurance in the event of exposure to heat or flames.

Eurobond is tested to Australian Standards AS 1530.1 Combustibility test for materials and AS 1530.4 Fire resistance tests on elements of construction as required by the Building Code of Australia.

Eurobond products are suitable for a broad range of residential and commercial projects and have been specified in a number of major projects including retail, schools, hospitals, hotels, stadiums and multi-residential buildings.

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