In Australia, the aftershocks of the Grenfell and Lacrosse tower fires are still being felt to this day, years after the original disasters which cost dozens of lives and resulted in billions of dollars worth of property damage and legal costs. 

A new wave of concern has hit the construction industry after several recent events related to the widespread use of combustible cladding in Australia. In February 2019, the landmark Lacrosse decision was handed down in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), which found the architect, fire engineer and building certifier proportionally liable for damages stemming from the 2014 building fire. In early 2019, another cladding fire on 200 Spencer St in Melbourne was traced back to the non-compliant use of combustible cladding. 

Fresh litigation involving the use of non-compliant cladding before the VCAT this year has caused further alarm. Legal experts predict that an avalanche of similar claims will be made over the next few years given the prevalence of combustible cladding in residential buildings across the country.

Against this backdrop, it is essential for the façade industry, architects, and building developers to take greater care when specifying cladding. Practitioners must identify solutions that provide peace of mind and confidence by being certificated-tested and compliant with Australian fire safety regulations. SOLIDAL® Solid Aluminium Cladding is one such solution. 

Ideal for both new and re-cladding applications, SOLIDAL® is a premium rolled aluminum product that is supplied pre-painted and semi-finished in strip or solid panel form. This product has been coil-coated with high-quality polyvinylidene fluoride, anodise and powder-coated finishes. SOLIDAL® cladding offers flatness and workability, ideal for concealed and ventilated facades. It can also be fabricated into various shapes, laser cut patterns, perforated and dimpled. 

Available in a range of dimensions and design options, SOLIDAL® includes mechanical properties and architectural coating materials that have been specially designed to meet modern performance and aesthetic needs.

Critical for today’s safety-conscious market, SOLIDAL® provides practitioners with an efficient and reliable path to compliance with Australia’s stringent fire performance requirements. Ideal for areas requiring maximum fire safety, SOLIDAL® pre-finished solid aluminium has been certification-tested and approved by the National Association of Testing Authorities as ‘non-combustible’, a key performance requirement for cladding under the National Construction Code and relevant Australian Standards. This product has been tested in accordance to AS 1530.1-1994 Methods for fire tests on building materials, components and structures – Combustibility test for materials. 

Engineered specifically for use as architectural cladding, SOLIDAL® aluminium is sustainable, enduring and easy-to-use. Aluminium is highly recyclable, with approximately 75% of the lightweight metal still in use today due to recycling. Recycling aluminium results in lower emissions and energy use when compared to the production of primary metals. Versatile and strong, while also being non-toxic and highly durable, aluminium offers designers and architects limitless design flexibility to create structures that cannot otherwise be made with wood, plastic or steel. 

The Preferred Brand for Architectural Cladding

Cementing its status as a tried and tested brand preferred by practitioners across Australia, SOLIDAL® has been selected for a major infrastructure project – the Sydney M4 Smart Way. This groundbreaking New South Wales project will be the first smart motorway in New South Wales and integrates intelligent traffic technologies to maximise motorway performance. 

The SOLIDAL® team was involved in early integration with the project’s façade engineers and contractors to assist in the correct choice of SOLIDAL® aluminium metallurgy, and design co-ordination for all gantries including shop drawings and production drawings. Full-scale prototypes were developed in the SOLIDAL® factory along with critical façade integration programming to meet the tight building program completion date. 

With its expert team guiding customers through all steps of its comprehensive, end-to-end process, the SOLIDAL® brand offers integrated prefabrication systems that can meet an extensive range of customised project needs.

SOLIDAL® is a 100% Australian-owned brand and strives to use all Australian primary metals from Australian mining of bauxite mineral, the smeltering process through to the finished SOLIDAL® product.

For more information and to learn more about SOLIDAL®, visit the SOLIDAL® website at: https://www.solidalmetal.com.