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Friday, 8 December 2017
Update on SCDF’s Actions on Non-Compliant Cladding

On 24 August 2017, SCDF announced that two models of the Alubond brand composite panel used as cladding had been found to be non-compliant with Fire Code requirements[1]. SCDF has since identified a total of 34[2] building projects that used non-compliant Alubond cladding. 17 of these buildings have completed the removal of the cladding while the remaining 17 are in the midst of removing them.

 

2. Industry partners were also advised to approach SCDF if they have reason to believe that the cladding used for their building projects are not compliant with Fire Code requirements. Based on information provided so far, the following has been found:

a) Two other models of composite panel used as cladding - Bolliya and Bolli-Core FR - have Certificates of Conformity[3] (CoCs) certifying them to be Class ‘0’ on core (i.e. as required under Fire Code requirements for use as cladding). However, sample tests reveal that the panels may not be Class ‘0’ on core. A total of seven buildings could be affected, with six using Bolli-Core FR and one using both Bolli-Core FR and Bolliya composite panels.

b) Another two building projects used other models of composite panel, which based on their CoCs, do not meet Fire Code requirements for use as cladding.  Qualified Persons (QPs) are required to ensure that composite panels used for cladding have CoCs which comply with Fire Code requirements for such use.

 

3. Investigations are ongoing to determine how the non-compliant composite panels which do not meet Fire Code requirements for use as cladding, came to be used for these building projects.

 

All Identified Buildings Are Fit and Safe for Occupancy

4. SCDF has conducted comprehensive on-site fire safety assessments of the identified building projects referred to in the preceding paragraphs. Two of the identified building projects have unrestricted public access while the remaining have restricted public access. These building projects are assessed to be fit and safe for occupancy due to their existing fire safety provisions. In making this assessment, SCDF has examined several factors, including the proximity of the cladding to possible ignition sources; occupied spaces and escape routes; the proportion of the external walls covered with cladding; and the availability of fire protection systems such as fire hose reels, sprinklers and fire alarms.

 

5. SCDF takes a very serious view of non-compliance with the Fire Code. SCDF has engaged all affected building owners, and is working closely with them. They will be required to test or remove the cladding as the case may be, and to inform their tenants of the status of their cladding as conveyed to them by SCDF. Affected building projects with unrestricted public access will be listed on the SCDF website (see ANNEX).

 

6. All affected building owners whose cladding are found to be non-compliant with Fire Code requirements must work with their QPs to remove the affected cladding within 60 days, starting from the ground level. In the meantime, the building owners will be required to further strengthen fire safety practices by ensuring that their fire safety systems are in good order, enhancing vigilance of their personnel, and removing fire hazards.

 

SCDF is Working with Certification Bodies and Qualified Persons to Check for Other Buildings with Non-Compliant Cladding

7. SCDF is working with Certification Bodies (CBs) and QPs to check if there are other buildings that could have used non-compliant cladding.

a) CBs have been asked to expedite the annual market surveillance audit of all models of composite panel with CoCs that meet Fire Code requirements for use as cladding. This is to verify that these models are indeed compliant.

b) SCDF will also issue a direction to all QPs to ensure that the cladding used on their building projects have CoCs that comply with Fire Code requirements. QPs will be required to submit the information to SCDF.

 

8. SCDF is reviewing the fire safety regulations and certification processes relating to the use of composite panels as cladding with a view to further tightening them. The outcome of the review will be announced next year.

 

[1]  Model FRB1 had been certified as Class ‘0’ on core for use as cladding. However, subsequent checks revealed that FRB1 composite panels that were used were not uniformly Class ‘0’ on core. Model FRB2 was certified as Class ‘0’ on full assembly, which means it can be used on roofs and internal walls, but is not allowed by the Fire Code to be used as cladding.

 

[2] SCDF had identified 39 buildings that use Alubond cladding, but five of them tested compliant.

 

[3] A Certificate of Conformity (CoC) is issued by a local accredited Certification Body based on the product’s test results from accredited laboratories.

 

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Last updated on 8th Dec 2017