Project Remediate industry and strata briefings
We hosted briefings for the building and construction industry and strata communities and council representatives on 1 September 2021.
Wednesday 1 September
10:30am - 1:30pm
|Time||Agenda item||Video time marker|
Opening and introduction
Yvette Laurence, Office of Project Remediate
Welcome from the NSW Building Commissioner
David Chandler OAM
|NSW Building Commissioner|
Keynote address from the Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation
The Hon. Kevin Anderson, MP
|The Hon Kevin Anderson, Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation|
Meet the Project Remediate Managing Contractor
Nick Luzar and Nick Jacobs, Hansen Yuncken
|Hansen Yuncken - Managing Contractor for Project Remediate|
What scaffolding safety looks like
Patrizia Cassaniti, Director, Let's Talk About Safety Australia and Founder, Touched by Christopher Foundation
|What scaffolding safety looks like|
Securing safe remediation workplaces
Meagan McCool Director, Construction Services Group Metropolitan, SafeWork NSW
|Securing safe remediation workplaces|
Building Assurance Solution
|Building Assurance Solution|
An update from the Office of Project Remediate
A presentation from the Project Remediate team featuring the NSW Cladding Taskforce Chair, John Tansey
|Office of Project Remediate|
Presentation from the Cladding Product Safety Panel
Prof. Mark Hoffman and Allan Harriman OAM
|Cladding Product Safety Panel|
Panel discussion with live Q&A session
Facilitated by Tanya O'Brien, Office of Project Remediate with:
Yvette Laurence, Office of Project Remediate
- What scaffolding safety looks like
- Good morning, everyone. And welcome to our Project Remediate Briefing for the Building and Construction Industry. My name is Yvette Laurence. I'm a member of the Project Remediate team and I'm your emcee for today. I want to say a very warm welcome to the almost 400 of you that registered for today's event. It's great to have so many of you from across the building and construction industry here with us today. I'd like to start by acknowledging that I am coming to you from the land of the Gadigal people and pay my respects to elders past, present, and emerging, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are watching today.
- Today's event is hosted in Slido. If you have any issues viewing the briefing today, we have provided an alternative link in the email we sent you yesterday. For those watching on Slido on the right of your screen, you'll see two tabs. One is for you to submit questions for our panel discussion that is taking place later in the briefing. And the other type is a poll which at the end of today will activate and ask you all to complete a short survey to tell us what you thought of today and if you found it useful in answering your questions about the programme. I want to thank those of you who submitted questions at the time you registered. Many of those questions will be answered by our speakers and presenters today and during our panel discussion.
- But we acknowledge that we may not get to answer all of your questions during the course of today. So we're going to publish a list of Q and A's on our website after the briefing. So today you're going to hear from everyone involved in Project Remediate. We know that many of you are here to find out more about the programme and how you can get involved. We've got a big agenda for you.
- First up, you'll hear from the New South Wales Building Commissioner who will deliver his opening address and welcome you all. Then, you will hear a message from the Minister of Better Regulation and Innovation, the honourable Kevin Anderson. He will give you an update on the programme. Then, you will meet the recently appointed Managing Contractor Hansen Yuncken who will speak about their role and their plans for the programme. We're then going to speak to you about the importance of workplace safety. We've got Patricia Cassanniti here with us today to share her story and the work that she is doing to advocate for greater safety measures on work sites and what scaffolding safety looks like. And then you'll hear from SafeWork New South Wales about securing safer mediation workplaces. And then we'll take our first break of the day. When we return, you'll hear about the building assurance solution from the office of the building commissioner.
- And then you'll hear from the Project Remediate team and the chair of the New South Wales Cladding Task Force. Following that, members of the Cladding Product Safety Panel will speak to you about their role, the importance of design prior to remediation, and they will present the cladding material submission form and the process to submit materials for consideration. We'll take another break at this point and return with the final segment of the day, our panel discussion. You'll hear from our subject matter experts, and it's your chance to get as many of your questions answered as we can get through. And as I mentioned earlier, we'll post a set of Q and A's on our webpage after the briefing.
- So let's get started. First up to deliver his opening address is the New South Wales Building Commissioner, David Chandler. Over to you, David.
- Thank you, Yvette and welcome everybody. And we really appreciate your investment in time in today. It's been a big process to get to today, but as Yvette said, we've got nearly 400 people who've registered for this event so it's certainly an opportunity for everyone in the industry to make sure that they've got an opportunity to hear what we've got to say about this important project. Project Remediate is the New South Wales' government response to actually removing flammable cladding and remediating the facade systems on residential class buildings in New South Wales. This is a worldwide challenge and, of course, it's hard to go a month without hearing that there is some event around cladding in the world. But more importantly for us is that we're focused on very much understanding what's the situation in New South Wales, how we're going about it, and how are we going to get everybody back to the level where the highest standards apply.
- I'm just looking at the slides here. So first of all, I'd want to outline to you what our collective endeavour is. My role as the Building Commissioner is to actually return buildings that are being built in New South Wales, residential buildings in New South Wales to a level of trustworthiness that hasn't been visible in the past. And we're talking about what trust means. So we believe that we've got to make sure that buildings are safe in terms of that emotional, physical, environmental impacts on consumers in the industry. We want to make sure that New South Wales leads the way nationally in re-establishing public confidence in the sector. And of course that is an important part of getting our economy back into shape as well.
- My role as Building Commissioner has been to set the bar for the standards we want to achieve in New South Wales. And in particular, lead this through improving the situation for Class 2 residential buildings. This critical work means that the days of leaving purchases of these buildings in a standing that innocent bystanders with a trailings of unsatisfactory work have got to come to an end. And for those of you who've seen our work, you'd have to start to imagine that we're making some important progress in that regard. The message to everybody is that cutting corners is no longer acceptable. The people of New South Wales deserve better and we'll be calling out industry participants at every stage to make sure that their practises are raised and that sub-standards work and designs are no longer part of our future.
- Project Remediate, therefore, is an opportunity for us to, to take that work to the next level. And so in bringing everybody that you're going to hear from today on board, I hope that you'll be satisfied that this project is in good hands and that you've got the A team actually undertaking what's about to occur.
- I'm just pressing these slides. So we will be leading by example. And the first example that you'll get to see is the implementation of the Design and Building Practitioners Act, new legislation in New South Wales that was commenced on the 1st of July this year. And it puts responsibility on designers and builders to ensure that the work that they do is up to scratch before construction starts on site. For Project Remediate, this has got to be a fundamental basis of taking this work forward. Class 2 buildings are very important part of our industry. So we will be using the Design and Building Practitioners Act not only to ensure that this project is undertaken properly, but also to make sure that we work at our level with the small and medium-sized enterprises of New South Wales to actually raise the standards. And this is all about permanent industry capability building as well as it is performing this project satisfactorily.
- Some of you will have heard recently that a projects like Remediate and other remediation works will now also be caught by the Design and Building Practitioners Act. There is already existing development approvals and construction certificates for the projects that we'll be looking at, but we've had this class of buildings, these remediation buildings, off the landscape for some time. You'll see that Project Remediate will, in fact, deliver a high degree of visibility for people who are undertaking remediation work going forward. So all of the material that you're seeing slide into the background here today, will in fact be available to you as part of the introduction and the fact sheets that we're producing, that will be all about Project Remediate.
- Now let's move forward to ... sorry. I should have put it out. There is a huge amount of material available on our website on Project Remediate, on the Design and Building Practitioners Act, and other legislation that will be important for us to ensure that this project is delivered with all of the apparatus that are available, the government to really insert ourselves into this project and deliver the goods that we're expecting to achieve.
- Project Remediate is a opt-in project for owners who have got eligible buildings that need to have their planning remediated. We've committed to doing this project over the next 24 to 36 months. And we know that a lot of apartment owners who bought their projects some years back didn't see this coming. We've met with many owners, corporations, and I can assure you that many are feeling very stressed about the experience that they've found themselves in. But it's important for everybody to understand that we are just so committed to actually giving you an experience that we hope that you'll look back and say, "Well, if that's an exhibit of what the construction industry in New South Wales is doing, then it has certainly lifted its game."
- So it will always be difficult for us to imagine that you as the owners of these buildings are really feeling quite aggrieved as to what they're facing into paying for the work. Well, the government of New South Wales has actually come up with this programme of Project Remediate under our guidance and we hope that this is actually going to relieve some of those stresses as we move forward. It is important for the industry to understand that we are going to be providing a high level of oversight of this project at all stages. That's the triaging of these buildings. That's the design of the new facade solutions. It's the installation of those designs. It's the superintendents of the work. And at the very end, it's about making sure that the outcomes are highly trustworthy and put these buildings back to a point where the industry is, or the consumers are actually very confident at buildings that they've left behind.
- So I want to acknowledge at this stage that enormous collaboration that has occurred as we've brought this project to this particular point in time. The Department of Planning, Department of Premier and Cabinet, New South Wales Treasury, the Department of Customer Service across all of its liaises, Office of Fair Training. There are so many people who have been involved. Insurance Council Australia, Fire and Rescue, the list is quite lengthy in terms of the people that have been involved getting us to this point. People like the Owner's Corporation Network, and Strata Communities Australia.
- Project Remediate also involves us working with over 30 councils who have got buildings in their LGAs where this cladding needs to be removed. So we'll be working very carefully with them to make sure that as we move through addressing the orders that they have placed on these buildings and lifting those orders, and at the end of the day, assuring both the councils and the occupiers of these buildings that the work has been done to the highest standard.
- We have a number of immediate objectives, and that is the first one is to encourage as many of the owners, corporations out there to enter into Project Remediate. We need them to understand that in fact this process is a very thorough one. There will be no corners cut, and that we make sure that we're recruiting people into support the delivery of this work that really understand that this has got to be done in a way where the question of their proper performance is not even brought into play. So this programme will hold everyone to higher standards. We want to make sure that everybody in this process understands that we're working on occupied buildings and that it's the people in those buildings that are the most important to us in the first instance. And then, of course, we're wanting to make sure that everybody who works on these projects is also understanding that we want them home safe as well. And you're going to hear some pieces that talk to that during the day.
- Most importantly, today, we're going to introduce you to the Managing Contractor Hansen Yuncken. Hansen Yuncken will do an elegant job in talking to you through what the arrangement is. But there are many moving parts to getting this done properly and the managing contractor that we've got, in my view, has come through the field and represents the best of the class of people who could help us perform this important activity. We had a very, very competitive number of contractors bidding for this work, all outstanding. But in this case, Hansen Yuncken produced what we thought was a leading-quality solution for the work that lies ahead of us.
- So Hansen Yuncken are currently moving to a position where they are procuring consultants and contractors who will be able to perform this programme. You'll hear more about that from them as we move forward. We want to make sure that only suppliers of components into this project truly demonstrate to us that in fact their contributions are going to be the best practise standards that we're seeking to apply here. And in that regard, we'll taking a very precautionary approach to making sure that only those things that we want to see form part of the overall programme are, in fact, permitted to be part of it.
- You'll hear about the global facade consultant. We're looking to make sure that we create a learned body of knowledge about this particular programme that can be shared with all of the people that are performing works on it. We don't want to have a situation where there are several hundred buildings out there where an individual solution is always having to be done from Greenfields. So we want to make sure that everybody is able to benefit from what the programme wants to produce and share collectively. We need every one of these projects to be performed in a consistent way.
- We will be fully designing every project and then will be tendering those designs to remediation contractors to perform these on build-only contracts. We do not believe that DNC or design and construct as it's known in the industry is, in fact, an appropriate way for us to conduct a procurement of this work. We want a higher level of control than just simply putting it out into a situation where we perhaps lose some of that in engagement moving forward.
- You'll also get to hear from experts today about cladding. And I know that there's always going to be debate about what materials are suitable, what components and what systems are suitable. Well, you can be rest assured that we have assembled a talented team of people that will guide us and the industry through this process in New South Wales, which will be particular to Project Remediate. We're not trying to change the world. We're just simply trying to make sure that what we do achieve here gets all of these buildings in Project Remediate homes so that everybody is home safely in a safe building, and that everybody who is working on the project actually gets home safe as well. So you're going to hear more about that as we move forward.
- So, in concluding. I believe that we've assembled a really talented and dedicated team. I believe that the way that we're onboarding everybody onto this project is going to ensure that we're not going to be cutting corners. We want the industry to exhibit it's best practise. We want the industry to show the consumers of New South Wales that they could be confident that this industry has them in mind first and foremost. And now I'm going to hand over to the Minister for Better Regulation in new South Wales, Minister Kevin Anderson, who has prerecorded a message for you. And then we'll get on with the presentations that I hope will inform you about Project Remediate in a thorough way. Thank you for joining us.
- Hello, I'm Kevin Anderson, the New South Wales Minister for Better Regulation. Thank you for the opportunity to update you on Project Remediate today. As you know, the New South Wales government is committed to protecting the health and safety of the people of New South Wales, and we've driven major reform in the construction sector to do just that. Our next challenge is to oversee the safe removal of New South Wales combustible cladding. And we've designed a world-class innovative programme to ensure remediation work is completed as efficiently and safely as possible. So far, over 60 eligible buildings have registered their interest in this programme and we anticipate that number will grow considerably in the next few weeks. Project Remediate has widespread support across all sides of government, the construction industry, and many other realms. We've also consulted with a wide range of stakeholders to design the programme. The next step, that the practitioners who will play a crucial role in ensuring buildings are remediated safely to restore building owners' peace of mind, and to return the value and insureability of these properties.
- We established the New South Wales Planning Task Force to accelerate the work, to address the issue of combustible cladding on New South Wales buildings. The task force oversaw inspections of over 4,000 apartment buildings to identify those with potentially flammable cladding. Thankfully, most of those buildings were not at risk, but as of today, 239 residential apartment buildings here in New South Wales have been assessed as high risk, needing to have that cladding removed. That's why we've set up Project Remediate to restore the safety and quality of these buildings and to protect the most important assets of thousands of people living in strata communities in New South Wales.
- We've brought everyone together today in two separate events, one for strata communities and councils to update them on progress; and this one, to talk those who will be responsible for delivering the work. Following on from the cladding task force to investigate the scope of the issue and how many people in buildings were impacted, we set up Project Remediate. We've worked hard with owners corporation, strata managers, councils builders, and the insurance industry to develop a gold standard programme. It's a programme that will remediate buildings to the highest safety standards, and importantly, ensure each of them can be fully insured without caveats or exclusions.
- I'd also like to acknowledge Fire and Rescue New South Wales who have already played a key role and will help us ensuring Project Remediate is completed safely. Under Project Remediate, the New South Wales government's funding quality assurance measures to support and assist in the delivery of the remediation work. And we've provided eligible building owners corporations with a 10-year interest free loan to fund the cost of the work. Project Remediate is appointing industry leading organisations to guide and deliver remediation solutions that strata communities can have confidence in.
- The first key appointment was the Managing Contractor Hansen Yuncken who will be the main point of contact for those of you who are selected to join in in this project. Hansen Yuncken has over 100 years experience in the building and construction industry and have a strong track record of working closely with the New South Wales government to deliver landmark projects across all sectors including managing large programmes of works.
- A multidisciplinary team of construction and project management and programme management experts will oversee and project manage the entire remediation programme. That includes working directly with owners corporations and handling any issues that might arise. It will be a very hands-on, communicated, connected approach. This will bring high-level capabilities to this programme, including digital technologies that will deliver transparent and timely communications and reporting dashboards so property owners are kept informed of progress throughout the remediation programme.
- A key role of the managing contract is the coordination of all activities necessary to deliver a safe, compliant, and durable solution for each building, including setting up selection panels to select pre-qualified service providers to deliver the remediation work and other services. The panels will be made up of building assessments and investigation contractors, designers, remediation contractors, superintendents, and assurance. only suppliers from these pre-selected groups will be engaged to provide services for Project Remediate. These arrangements will deliver value for money and a consistent approach to the planning and completion of remediation projects. I'll leave the rest of the details to Hansen Yuncken who will be speaking next and running through their plans to manage the delivery of the project.
- The next milestone for Project Remediate is the appointment of a Global Facade Consultant to oversee the design requirements for replacement cladding products and systems, which will be followed by the design teams for each building. The Global Facade Consultant will play an important role in ensuring consistent quality and safety standards in the remediation system that owners choose for their building. Those of you who participate in this programme will be working closely with the consultant as they'll have to determine the designs and systems you'll be using on buildings being remediated. As the Minister for Better Regulation, the area of work health and safety falls within my portfolio and it's something I'm extremely serious about. We need to ensure the safety of both workers and residents is prioritised in every element of this programme.
- While for residents, these occupied buildings are their homes and during the pandemic, potentially their workplaces and classrooms as well. That expectation of developing a culture of safety and compliance has been conveyed to Hansen Yuncken. And I'm sure they will be just as insistent as I am. To ensure that all possible steps are taken to minimise the impact on resident amenity and resident and worker safety, the managing contractor will provide clear communication with residents and remediation service providers about all matters relating to the works, including the scheduling, hours and access, implement site induction processes, ensure that tamper-proof scaffolding ties are used, and apply their impeccable safety record to all the project, the design, and Building Practitioners Act 2020 and all that it covers. It came into effect on the 1st of July, introducing wide-ranging regulatory changes to the building industry. This includes the concept of regulator designs for building work likely to affect the safety and quality of buildings.
- Regulated designs must be prepared by a registered design practitioner who must also provide a compliance declaration for those designs. As Project Remediate's design and construction work is covered by the Design and Building Practitioners Act, the design practitioners, engineers remediation contractors, as well as building practitioners, must be registered in accordance with this Act. Then, a compliance declaration must be made about the designs by the design practitioners, engineers, and building practitioners. At the end of the works, the remediation contractor must declare that the works have been completed in compliance with the declared designs and that declaration will be cachet on the New South Wales planning portal.
- Owners corporations will have access to the declared designs and the declaration by the remediation contractor. This means, owners and their insurers can be assured that the cladding remediation work was undertaken in accordance with a regulated design. With regard to insurance, we've worked with the insurance industry to make sure they understand the importance of proper design in the remediation process. Any design teams involved in planning, remediation works are required to carry out their own professional indemnity insurance policy. We're working directly with the Insurance Council Australia to ensure that suitable insurance products are available to the teams carrying out that work. The end result is that you'll be properly insured for the work you're doing and the building owners can obtain insurance coverage for their buildings once your work is done.
- As you know, our plan is to render all eligible buildings safe in the next 24 to 36 months. We've seen owners of over 60 buildings registering their interest in this programme. And we expect many more to follow as we come towards the deadline of 30th of September. We're on track to commence assessment and project design for the first batch of buildings later this year. I'm looking forward to seeing work commence and the first buildings completed as soon as possible. Thank you very much for your time today and I look forward to joining you at some point on this journey of Project Remediate.
- So many thanks to Minister Anderson for his message. And now it's time to meet our Managing Contractor, Hansen Yuncken. Representing Hansen Yuncken and our Managing Contractor team is Nick Lazar, the New South Wales and ACT State Manager. And with him is Hansen Yuncken's Programme Director, Nick Jacobs. They're here to talk to you about the role of the Managing Contractor, their plans for the programme, and how you can register interest to provide services for this programme. Over to you, Nick Lazar.
- Thank you, Yvette. And good morning, everyone. I'd like to thank everyone for finding the time to join us this morning. This morning, I'm going to be talking a little bit about the overall aim of the Managing Contractor programme, and also a little bit about Hansen Yuncken. Nick Jacobs will come along shortly and talk a bit more about the actual project itself in a little bit more detail. The first thing I wanted to do this morning was just acknowledge the traditional custodians of the Darramurago land in which where I actually work now. Used to be just where I live, but like all of us, we're spending a lot more time at home than we used to so I'd like to pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging.
- A little bit about the Managing Contractor role. We were appointed in July of 2021 to be the Manager Contractor for this programme. And in a nutshell, essentially, the programme is to manage the replacement of combustible cladding on Class 2 residential buildings with fully-designed to compliant facade systems as David talked about a minute ago. The key elements, obviously to work closely with the owners, the industry owners, industry, and government to deliver safe, compliant, insurable solutions. But I think more than that, ultimately, what we're looking to do is bring the whole programme together.
- I'll show a slide shortly, which gives a bit of an overview of the size of the programme in terms of the numbers of organisations that need to be involved. And our role is essentially to stitch all of that together and to work very closely with the owners corporations to make sure that we provide a product that is ultimately able to be signed off by the Insurance Council of Australia and far more by New South Wales. We want to get everyone home safe, but also we want to rebuild confidence in the New South Wales construction industry, which over the last few years has taken a bit of a hit for a number of reasons.
- This particular slide gives a little bit of information about the structure for the Remediate delivery programme. And as you can see, primarily our client is the New South Wales government and the Office of Building Commissioner, but Hansen Yuncken, see, our core client, is actually being the builders owners corporations, the people that actually own these assets that we'll be helping them work through. And a big part of our role is really to make sure that we work very closely with those groups all the way through.
- Nick's going to talk a little bit of the detail about the project shortly, but I think a couple of the key elements that I wanted to talk about was firstly, the Cladding Product Safety Panel, which we'll be hearing from shortly, who ultimately are working with us to help advise us on what are products that are suitable and compliant for these projects going forward. And then the other key role will be the Global Facade Consultant, which we'll be engaged by us shortly. And ultimately their role is to assist in providing pattern book designs, and ultimately making sure we come up with some systems and solutions that we can actually roll out across the multiple projects. Each individual building will get its own bespoke solution. But what we don't want to do is reinvent the wheel on every individual project. And the Global Facade Consultant's role is to help us get that information so that we can come up with solutions that come from a pattern book, but ultimately can be bespoke for each of the individual assets.
- Our vision for the project is ultimately to rebuild confidence in cluster residential buildings, across New South Wales, to get everyone home safe from the project. Everybody that goes to work should be able to come home in the same fashion or better than they went. But also to make sure that safety is not just for the people working on the project it's for all of the owners and the people who actually live in these buildings while where this work is being done. Because obviously for the most part, it's going to have to be done while they're fully occupied. We're obviously very focused around customer satisfaction and we see that as being the owners, the residents, but also our ultimate client, the government. But we actually want the industry generally to be satisfied with the outcome as well.
- Our role here is to find the right solution for all of the buildings and that includes looking after everyone. We're looking for industry to be part of the solution and we'll be engaging and have already started engaging with industry about how industry can help us and find the right solutions for it. And we want industry to ultimately be the best that it can be across the overall programme. And in the end, I think we're looking for people to look back across Project Remediate and see it as a real key way as managing contractor as a real key way of delivering a programme like this and do it quickly and safely and it's strong value for money for the owners.
- David talked a little bit about the assurance layer in the long scheme and I just want to talk about that in a little bit more detail. But obviously there are a series of layers that make sure that the programme is done and there is assurance at the end of it. So there's obviously a strong level of stakeholder engagement and management throughout the whole course of the project. The Global Facade Consultant will be making sure that we have products and solutions and designs that are compliant and meet all of the relevant codes and requirements. There'll be a detailed panel procurement. And I'm sure that's what most of you are here today to learn about, which Nick will talk about shortly. But actually having a panel that people are pre-qualified as simple so that the cost of bidding these projects is really is quite efficient and the owners are getting the best value for money. There's mechanism in there for direct payments for second line contractors, to make sure that people are all paid all the way through.
- And ultimately the end of it, there's a certificate for the project for each of these individual projects to ensure that they can be insured and then they do meet the requirements of New South Wales Fire Brigade. Secondly, there is a loan-
- ... New South Wales fire brigade. Secondly, there is a loan scheme that sits in behind this, which provides 10 year interest free loans to the body corporates using quarterly payments. But importantly, it also has hardship provision so that if there are particular owners or groups of owners that are struggling to make payments due to anything they might be dealing with, but in particular could be COVID for what we're dealing with at the moment, that there are mechanisms to make sure that the work can still be done and paid for, but the owners aren't necessarily inconvenienced.
- Just a little bit about Hansen Yuncken for those who don't know about us. We are a bit over a hundred years old. We were established in 1918, and we're a wholly Australian owned company. Over the course of that hundred old years, we've delivered over 5,000 buildings, and we still operate across most of the states in Australia today.
- And some interesting projects that we've delivered over time would be things like Sydney Coliseum Theatre in Sydney, or Inner Sydney High School. But I think probably more importantly projects like Building the Education Revolution or the Sydney Ferry Wharf Upgrade Programme, which were both large programme managing contractor jobs, both done in New South Wales, that have shown that we have a track record in delivering this type of work. Or you can look at the largest project we've done, which is the new Royal Adelaide Hospital project, the $2 billion hospital in Adelaide, or some more bespoke projects like The Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, otherwise known as MONA.
- At Hansen Yuncken, we have a lot of values that we aspire to deliver [to all the day 00:34:23], and I think probably the key ones for in particular, this particular programme, are customer orientation and an innovation journey. We're very focused around ensuring that we work with our customers very closely to make sure that they get the value they're looking for out of the project. And innovation, which I'll talk about shortly is another key element of the HY business. Over the hundred years, we've seen ourselves change multiple times to lead off innovation and really drive forward in what that means at the time it is today. We're driven by challenge and building with pride. We focus on integrity, respect, excellence and innovation. We look to adhere always to best practise corporate standards. And we're always looking to drive improved safety, quality, environmental outcomes across all of our projects.
- In terms of innovation, we have our own built-in digital information management platform, which is not a platform that has to actually essentially develop software around packages. We work with all of the external third-party information platforms, and we bring it together under one model. And what this tries to do is make sure that we can capture information from the most efficient systems, but be able to use it very readily across the programme.
- And what you can see on the right-hand side of the screen there is essentially a map of New South Wales. Within [inaudible 00:35:36] essence, a large number of the projects that are part of Project Remediate dotted across that. So this system is already up and running. We are already collecting data on all of the projects. [Not that have just opted into 00:02:47], but all of the projects that are identified as being high risk projects.
- For most people that have been watching the news lately, you'll notice a whole series of, I suppose, the salmon colour, the orange colour block out there. That's actually the LGAs, the 12 LGAs that are currently of concerned in New South Wales.
- So we're obviously keeping up being aware of that to make sure that when we do commence work on some of these sites, we're aware of the implications of COVID and where we can and can't work effectively.
- But ultimately what's in our key aims to do is really deliver really improved management system software to people working on the projects, but also to our clients and to everyone else involved in the project. Because ultimately this is just data and it's there for everyone to use as they see fit across the course of the journey.
- So ultimately, what are the outcomes we're looking for in Project Remediate? We want to rebuild confidence in clustered residential buildings in New South Wales. And there's been a number of examples over the last three or four years where I think clearly the industry has seen things not quite go as well as we'd like, and Project Remediate, enhancing academe to try and correct that.
- We want to provide safe, compliant, and high quality outcomes for our communities and for the unit holders that we work in. We're focused on safety and getting everyone home safe. We also have a focus on industry education, training and performance. And there's a number of things that organisations that are signing up for the programme will need to do in terms of education and just getting better focus around what we're doing in training people across the industry.
- We're here to provide value for money for the owners and provide the most cost effective solution to their problem, but also looking at customer satisfaction and making sure that at the end of the programme, everyone's satisfied with the outcome that they've got.
- So that's a quick update on the overall programme and Hansen Yuncken. What I'd like to do now is pass over to Nick Jacobs. Who's going to talk a little bit more about the programme in detail. Over to you, Nick.
- Yes. Thank you, Nick. And good morning everybody. And thank you for joining us today. I would like to talk a little bit about how industry can get involved in Project Remediate, and what to expect in terms of how we will go about engaging with industry, and the timeframes that you can expect across the three-year programme.
- I just want to start by saying that our goal is we want all buildings remediated to a best practise standard, with everyone home safe. And you've heard that already today, and I'm sure you will hear it again in other presentations. It's an extremely important part of the programme to us and we want everybody to take this as seriously as we are.
- The managing contractor will coordinate all activities necessary to deliver safe, compliant, and durable solutions for each building. We want Project Remediate to be an example of the best that industry can be. And we are going to leave no stone unturned to achieve that objective.
- We're going to do this by appointing qualified experts, service providers, and contractors to perform the design construction and assurance work. You've already heard mention of the global facade consultant, and this will be our first appointment. And that's expected to occur later this month.
- The global facade consultant will work with the managing contractor and the cladding product safety panel to inform replacement material and product selections, produce a pattern book of design solutions, which will drive efficiency across the entire programme, and provide technical guidance to the managing contractor and the broader project team.
- [inaudible 00:39:28] the global facade consultant. We are in the process of creating six main service provider panels. The triage contractors who will undertake building investigations and ascertain the nature of facades and their attachment methods, designers who will develop designs with cost estimates provided by quantity surveyors, the remediation contractors who will carry out the cladding replacement works, the superintendents who will manage the remediation, contractors, onsite activities, payments, and any low level issues that may arise between the contracting parties.
- Independent assurers will confirm that work and documentation is compliant with the programme standards. And recycling contractors will recycle waste cladding materials, ensuring that bulk waste material does not go to landfill. I'd also like to make mention of the material and other buildings suppliers, and we encourage you to register your interest and propose products for our consideration against the best practise standards that have been established for this project. I'll give you some details on how to register in a later slide.
- The contracting arrangements that we propose are based on small to medium sized enterprises with an emphasis on training and skills development, which is a key priority of ours. The contracts will generally be based on Australian standard forms of contracts. IS4000 for remediation contractors and IS4904 for the other panels that I mentioned in the previous slide.
- After registration successful respondents will be shortlisted to one of the six panels. All registrants will be notified of the outcome of our assessment. Tenders in due course will be called from those panels of service providers and contractors to provide the range of services that we need to complete Project Remediate. The GFC and triage contractors will be engaged and will remain engaged by the managing contractor throughout the entire programme.
- It's important to point out that the design contracts will be initially engaged by the managing contractor, but subsequently now voted to the owners of corporations [inaudible 00:41:55] 100% design. Now the managing contractor will manage the tender process for remediation contractors, superintendents, and independent insurers. But these suppliers will contract directly with the owners corporations and not the managing contractor.
- The global recycling contracts engaged by the managing contractor will ensure that programme-wide recycling of materials removed from buildings does not end up in a landfill.
- Just want to talk a little bit about the timeframe for the programme. Indicative timeframe is three years, from now until 2024. But our goal is to get every building remediated as soon as possible without cutting corners. We're scheduling buildings into the programme at the moment, and we're doing this on the basis of risk and complexity and readiness. Their risk and complexity considerations include the size and the scale of the remediation work, the extent and configuration of cladding and the operational risks of a building as assessed by Fire and Rescue New South Wales.
- Readiness refers to the affairs of the owners corporations in preparing for remediation works. And this includes the procurement of fire orders or development consents to enable the works to proceed.
- The timeline here graphically. Typically triaged design and construction work will take around 12 months for the average building. Although some buildings will have longer or shorter durations, depending on the scale and complexity. We anticipate six trenches of around 30 to 40 buildings, but we have capacity to upscale. If we get significant interest from our communities, we can upscale to deliver a larger number of buildings. And if it's necessary to create additional trenches and expand out panels of service providers, then that's exactly what we will do.
- You've heard from all the speakers so far about the importance of safety. And safety is our number one priority, not just for residents and visitors and the general public for our workers, for everybody involved in the programme, there is now higher priority. Now in order to ensure that we achieve our everyone home safe objective, there'll be mandatory training that all participants must complete. Training depending on which panel you belong to and your specific role on the project, you'll be required to undertake one of at least four courses.
- There is a Project Remediate general course, of course, on Australian standards, a position of psych course, and one on the Design and Building Practitioners Act, and other training may be introduced into the programme as required by the managing contractor.
- Workers will need to obtain a Project Remediate passport before being allowed to work on site. As a minimum, this will include a general industry induction card, a working with children check, agreement to our code of conduct for onsite behaviour and evidence of licences to carry out certain works.
- We want best practise safety standards on site and we won't settle for anything less. Safety is simply not negotiable on this project. And your commitment to safety is of paramount importance.
- I'd like to give you some information now on how you can participate in Project Remediate. The first thing that you need to do is register your interest and I'll provide details of how you can do that in a moment. I want to say that being shortlisted to a panel is not a guarantee of work. As the number of suppliers needed will depend on the number of buildings ultimately in the programme. But we will make every effort to offer work opportunities for all panel participants.
- And when you register your interest, you need to demonstrate your credentials to us. The things that set your business apart and make you worthy of being included on a panel. You must agree to our contracting framework for tendering work allocation and service delivery. You also need to agree to get independently rated by iCERT, which is an independent construction industry star rating tool.
- And we will be asking our suppliers to become rated before being awarded any contracts. Also need to be willing to get trained as I mentioned previously, there will be some mandatory training to be undertaken, and you need to be willing to do that if you want to participate and you need to commit to safety.
- In terms of how you register. We've placed advertisements on LinkedIn, Instagram and within NBA Newsletters. So if you look up those advertisements online, you'll find more details on what you need to provide by way of information. The registration period will remain open indefinitely. We'll give you plenty of opportunity to register your interest, but I want you to register sooner rather than later. We want to hear from you and we want to hear from you now. Certainly don't want you to wait for six months or 12 months. So please, please register early. And you can register your interest at the email address, which I hope you can see on screen. It's remediateroi@ hansenyuncken.com.au And you'll find that that email address on LinkedIn or Instagram, if you want to look it up later.
- Well, I'd like to just end with some points as to further information. So I've given you the email address for registering your interest. You can also visit the Project Remediate website. You can call us if you want to speak with us, if you have a question about anything that you've heard today, or you have any other inquiry related to the project. And you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer to put your question in writing. I'd like to thank you for your attention this morning and I'll hand over now back to our moderator.
- Okay. Thank you very much. Nick Luzar and Nick Jacobs. Okay. So now we're going to meet Patrizia Cassaniti. Patrizia is the director of Let's Talk About Safety Australia and founder of the Touched by Christopher Foundation. Patrizia is a keynote speaker and a safety advocate. Her mission is to share her story with as many workers as she can. And she's here to share it with us today and talk about what scaffolding safety looks like. Over to you Patrizia.
- ... Everyone. And thanks for having me on today. But firstly I'd like to start my presentation with a video. The video, there is a bit of a warning there because it is real. It's not a reenactment of what happened to Christopher, it's the actual event. So I'll get you to start the video for me. And then I'll continue from there.
- [inaudible 00:16:59]
- On the 1st of April, 2019 at 1:15 PM, I received one of the worst phone calls that any mom should ever receive. I was at home cleaning because we've just celebrated Christopher's birthday on the weekend when a friend of ours called us and he's a truck driver in the industry and was actually told to stay away from Macquarie Park because of an incident that had happened. So because he knew Christopher and I worked on the site, he gave me a call. And the first thing he asked me was, "Is Christopher okay?" I was a little bit baffled by that question because I'm thinking, why would it be asking me? And he's gone on to tell me that there's been a very bad incident on the site and that I should go.
- So hung up on the call, I got my keys, I got into my car and I'm driving down the N2 to get to Macquarie Park at speeds that I probably have never seen before. I get there, I'm sitting in the car, I'm trying to call Christopher's phone and there's no answer.
- And I'm trying to convince myself that everything is okay, but my anxiety levels are getting to the point now where everything's starting to feel really weird in my body. And so I call one of his supervisors called Adam. And when he answered the phone, he just told me that he knows about the incident and he's not onsite. So he couldn't give me too much information. But he did tell me that Christopher was involved.
- So when I was there, I'm thinking I need to know more. So I called Jim, who's another supervisor of his, and he picks up his phone and he's huffing and puffing. And I'm thinking to myself, oh my goodness, Jim, what's happening, is Christopher with you? Do you know the situation? And all he could say to me is, "I'm sorry, Patrizia. There was nothing I could do. I can't speak to you right now. I'll have to call you back later." So I said to Jim, I said, "Please just let me know that Christopher is okay." But then again, he just said, "I'm sorry, I can't speak to you right now. I have to call you back later." And he hung up.
- Now my anxiety levels are through the roof and I'm thinking, what on earth am I going to do? I get to the site and there's police everywhere. So all the roads are blocked. I put my car to the side, I get out of the car and I start running toward the site and everything starts to feel like slow motion. The site feels like as it's going further and further away from me because I can't breathe now. My legs are going jelly. And I turn around and I hear a car coming up behind me.
- So I stopped, stopped the car and I got into the car and I said, please take me up. And as we drove up, we stopped in front of the evacuation area, and there's 250 workers standing there. I get out of the car and everyone turns to me and they start to cry. The whole situation has now become personal because I'm mom on that site. I'm there every single day, providing these workers their lunches and coffees. And I'm scanning them thinking and Christopher is come out, has anyone seen Christopher? But no answer.
- Then Zach, one of the delegates grabs me and he takes me to this room, but I'm feeling like I'm suffocating, I can't breathe. And I said, please, I've got to be out there just in case Christopher gets taken out and put into an ambulance. I want to go with him.
- So I walk outside and I'm pacing up and down when somebody else grabs me and they said, "Please follow us. We just need to go into this room." And they take me into the first stayed room of the site. As I sit down, soon as I sit down, police officer walks in, kneels in front of me, he puts his hand on my knee, he looks up at me and he says, "I'm really sorry, Patrizia, but there's been a very bad scaffold collapsed. And unfortunately Christopher's been caught under and we did everything we could, but unfortunately he passed away at the site." For me, I'm in obviously denial. And I said, "No, no, no." And I said, "You need to go back now and go get my son and get him out there. He's only just turned 18 and you need to do more to bring my son back to me." And all he could say is, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Cassaniti, but we've done everything we could. But unfortunately he's passed away at the site."
- That ladies and gentlemen is my daily nightmare. Every single night I lay down to bed and I visage Christopher face down with heap of scaffold that has suffocated him to death. All because of a five-minute complacent decision that was made. That decision was to remove every single tie off the scaffold and to overload it by 18 tonnes of material.
- Those type of decisions are made on a daily basis and they're quite regular. And so I know Christopher's incident impacted the industry and beyond, and has left behind the legacy that I've taken upon myself to make sure that his death shall never be in vain. And that his name will always be remembered in the name of safety.
- And I've been on a mission to get in front of as many workers as I can to share my story and the trauma of what tragedy actually looks like. I attend Toolbox Talks to shift workers complacency and give them the courage to be able to speak up.
- Minister, Kevin Anderson has been working very hard to make Christopher's law a reality, and we've had many discussions on ways to be proactive so that what happened to Christopher shall never happen again. And that we all need to work together to take the responsibility, to make sure that no Australian should ever go to work and die. Because going home safe is a necessity. It's not a privilege.
- Last year, I met up with David Chandler and discuss the plans of Project Remediate with him. Because the job involves a lot of scaffold, we discussed the use of anti-tempering devices to be used on the scaffolds to start setting an example and a precedent of what scaffold safety should look like.
- And thank you, David and everyone that's involved in the Project Remediate for making this happen. I'm working on lobbying to make sure that these devices are actually a part of, being mandatory on an all scaffolds, because I think there are no brainer.
- Shortly after Christopher died, first thing I asked minister Kevin Anderson was for a crime stoppers for workers, a tool that allows workers to speak up anonymously because unfortunately the culture of the industry is ingrained into workers to not be able to speak up through the fear of losing their jobs.
- So together with Kevin, SafeWork New South Wales and I, the Speak Up app was launched in October, where workers are able to download the app, upload three photos directly to SafeWork with a description of the unsafe situation. It will then be triaged into severity and the inspectors are able to be sent out to the sites to rectify the problem before an injury or a fatality shall occur.
- Oh my clicker, yeah. And it has been immensely successful within the first nine months, we've had 2,734 submissions made. So thank you, Kevin and SafeWork for all the work you've put in to the development and the ongoing work of the app and giving workers the opportunity to be able to speak up.
- It is everyone's responsibility to do the right thing at their workplace to prevent injuries and deaths from occurring. Complacency is a human nature, but we all know that complacency will always override what we know is safe to do. And we must all work together to shift that, you'll be right mate attitude so that we can all go home safe to all our families.
- I know that incidents will continue to happen. Therefore, I started a foundation called Touched by Christopher, where we raised money to help families who have lost a loved one in construction by providing them with groceries and pay offs any bills that are outstanding.
- Today, we've helped up to five families through the foundation. I'm working very hard to get the name of the course and obviously the Touched by Christopher Foundation out there because when somebody dies, privacy laws get in the way. And it's very hard for us to get in contact with the families. So I'm hoping that the awareness is out there and that families will eventually be able to call us for assistance.
- Let's Talk About Safety is what I do on a full-time basis now. I'm a keynote speaker and a safety advocate. I'm sharing my story to as many workers as I can at Toolbox Talks, expos and forums. And I'm not there to replace a safety professional, but I stand there as a mom who wants to motivate and inspire all workers to make their families the reason why they got home safe every single day.
- And I hope that my message resonates with everybody personally. I can not bring Christopher back, but if I can save a life in his honour, then I'm happy. So thank you, David, Kevin and everyone involved with Project Remediate for having me speak here today.
- I wish everybody the very best for the project and please stay safe so we can all go home safe to our families. Thank you very much.
- Thank you so much for joining us today, Patrizia and telling us your story and staying with the topic of workplace safety. Next up, I'd like to introduce Meagan McCool.
- Meagan is director of the construction services group, metropolitan of SafeWork New South Wales. And Meagan is going to speak to you about the role of SafeWork New South Wales and how they are working with Project Remediate in securing safe for many action workplaces. Over to you, Meagan,
- Thank you. And again, our sincere condolences to Mrs. Cassaniti. In terms of this project, we'll see what we're doing in terms of designing out certain safety issues right at the front of the project. So I'll walk you through a couple of slides to demonstrate that. Also we are developing with industry scaffolding safety industry standard, which should be available in the coming months. So just clicking through the slides.
- Thank you. So who SafeWork is? We are the state's workplace health and safety regulator that looks after safety in all workplaces, excluding mines and petroleum sites.
- Our main role is preventing harm. So working from a proactive approach and improving safety culture from using advice licencing testing, but when situations do occur that we actually investigating the incident and we can enforce the work health and safety laws. Next slide, please.
- How we do that to ensure that we remain focused? We have been working through a five-year sector plan, which runs up to June, 2022, so next June. And essentially calls out those harm areas that we've been concentrating on and we need improvement within the industry. That will obviously be reset again at the end of the five years. But in terms of things that have changed over today is the industry has expanded. It's actually hit all the targets in terms of growth a couple of years earlier than expected. And obviously during COVID times, other than the two week pause, the industry has remained in business and essentially workers continued. But what we're still seeing is there's a number of harm areas that are continuing to need improvement. And the sector plan keeps us focused on those in driving down those trends. Next slide, please.
- How we're doing that with the OBC, [Older 01:05:20] building commissioner's area. Obviously teamwork, collaborative compliance, and anytime, anywhere visits are our primitives. Obviously with the commissioner's office coming in to the better regulation division, where we are SafeWork and they are trading that will obviously be strengthened as move forward.
- So works that we're already involved in is over 300 sites where we're actually working with the building commissioner's office on doing the occupational certificate audits. We attend with the Fair Trading Inspectors, and that's obviously going to be extended through to Project Remediate where we're going to be looking at the 200 plus sites that required cladding remediation.
- That required cladding remediation. So there are the ways that we're working collaborative. Collaborative [story 01:06:09] and through those programmes, as I said, it's, well-established through the work that we've been doing for the years prior. Next slide, please.
- In terms of Project Remediate, specifically, as we received the details of those 200 plus sites will essentially be issuing them with what we call a category four letter, to say that we have your details, essentially what we're looking for in terms of expectations and what our programme will look like in terms of our intervention.
- From there, we will then assessed the sites using a risk-based approach, or other ways you could describe it as being poor proportionate to the level of risk. So we'll look at another number of factors to determine the kind of visit that each site will receive. Obviously, the sites that meet a certain criteria will have a more intense visit. And those that have said that don't have some of the risk factors will receive a different proportion.
- But in terms of every site will be on our radar. Every site will be looking at previous compliance history, will be looking at essentially the risk factors in the location, the type of build, the number of levels, which I'll go through a little bit later in the slides.
- Once we visit the site, we'll obviously go back through the letter that we issued, explaining our role and how we fit into the programme, what we're going to look at in terms of the risk factors involved with that previous assessment, and then what it looks like in terms of compliance and our role there. So that could be where there are deficiencies they can be improvement, notices, prohibition notices, penalties, and they can also be investigations and enforcement. So that's explaining again, why were they, how we fit in and what can happen if things are not to standard.
- Our inspectors obviously go a valuable education resource. We obviously also give a lot of advice. And that we're there to ensure that this programme is a success and that sites are safe and everything is operating in accordance with how it should, including the additional requirements that the project is requiring for this programme.
- And then obviously throughout the programme, as well as at the end, we'll be providing continually reports on what we're seeing, where there's some good things, not good things and where we need to see any improvements if they occur. So it's giving you a bit of a landscape of how we'll be involved. Next slide, please.
- The things that we'll be specifically looking at again, looking at the harms related to this type of work is working at height. So we'll be looking at what controls are in place to manage the risk in terms of scaffolding, swing stages, abseiling and the systems for managing the risk of falls. We'll also be looking at falling objects and what's in place to manage those risks, including the exclusion zone, catch areas, nets, tool lanyards, and obviously what systems and processes, keeping that all together.
- Looking at traffic management on what plan has been developed and implemented again, the exclusion zones, fencing, hoarding, and traffic and pedestrian control and site security, which is really important, particularly as these are occupied sites. Are the balcony secured window openings, secured fencing and hoarding. So that's giving you an idea of... Those are the specific things that we'll be looking at for each of these sites. Next slide, please.
- To give you an idea of some of the work that we do in relation to falls. This is a current Working at Heights Campaign. It does touch on when you fall, they fall, which again, normally you wouldn't have this person's partner there with the groceries, but it is really a dramatisation of that when things go wrong it doesn't just affect the worker. The devastating effects has on the family as Mrs. [Carsonedi 01:10:20] highlighted before. So we might just play the radio ads that are out at the moment to give you an idea of how we're trying to educate industry around these kinds of [inaudible 01:10:33].
- Hello. Yes, that's me. What? When? Oh, no. Is he breathing?
Speaker 3: When you're working at heights in construction, remember it's not only your life you're protecting even falls from under four metres can be devastating. Not only for you, but for the ones you love most.
- Okay. Okay. I'm leaving right now.
Speaker 3: When you fall, they fall. Work safely at any height. Visit safework.nsw.gov.au.
- And probably the area that you're probably wondering why has falls from under four metres studies where 60 odd percent or 61% of the falls occur, whether that's due to complacency at that level. So it's not just when you're working at higher levels, it can be on the way down. But we do have an, as I said, generally, that fall relates to falling on concrete. So that is our target area. And that obviously as the height goes up, obviously additional concentration occurs. But as I said, it's normally from four metres of below is where we're seeing the biggest impact. So we'll just move to the next one, which will just give you a slightly different variation of the campaign. But again, from a tradie.
Speaker 3: Goodnight guys, [Norm 01:11:54] here for Safe Work. Now, when we think about building and construction, we think about multi-story buildings, but the reality is most serious falls occur from less than four metres or about one story. That's high enough to cause serious damage or even death. But not quite high enough to scare us tradies, but it's just not worth taking the risk. Just think about all the people who rely on you. Your family, your mates, the list goes on and on. If you're working from any height make sure you stay safe. For more information about working safely from any height head to safework.nsw.gov.au.
- Thank you. So you'll start to see those appear on billboards at service stations. There's some more radio ads to occur, and they'll also be quite a big social media campaign. I'm just about to start, including, as I said, a bit of a media release this week as well. So that's giving you an idea. You might hear that on the radio, you might see it on a billboard, social media or in the press over the next couple of days. Next slide, please.
- These are the resources that obviously assist sites and assist the industry with their work. So we've got the pocket guide for construction safety. We also have the code of practise for construction work. We also have some site supervisor, virtual workshops that are available in a series that are free. They heavily subscribed. So you have to book in early, but we're running them throughout the year. And there are a series, as I said of about five workshops that are specifically targeted at supervisor, free to enter and obviously the supporting guides. And as I mentioned, we're also developing with industry the scaffolding industry standard. Next slide, please.
- That's probably really a little bit small to see, but essentially, as I said, depending on the height of the building, where it's located, if it's occupied or unoccupied, if it has a mix of commercial, as well as residential, what the access looks like in terms of public it will receive. And again, compliance history. This is a tool that will rate the level of interaction that we will have with the site to ensure that the harms are controlled. Next slide please.
- And if you need to get in touch with us as Mrs. [inaudible 01:14:23] mentioned, there's the speak-up app where you can go in, take a photo, report anonymously. Particularly if a worker or member of the public wishes to report something particularly anonymously if they have not able to pick up the phone or call 131050, or visit our website.
- So those three channels are available for our customers to get in contact with us if there's a safety issue that needs to be reported or areas of concern. So that's it for me today. And as I said, we really wish to congratulate this project on getting up and running. We hope to add value to the project with our role as the safety regulator and as a city, if there's any questions or concerns, certainly reach out to us and we'll answer them for you.
- Thank you, Megan. And now it's time for a quick break. So we'll be back in a few minutes with the presentation on the building assurance solution. We'll see you back here shortly.
Go to video: Building Assurance Solution
- Welcome back everyone. I hope you got to have a break, stretch your legs and we're back. So our next presentation is on the building assurance solution. To speak about that, we have the digital director from the office of the building commissioner Yin Man here with us today. Now I'll hand you over to her now.
- Thank you, Yvette. I'm going to talk about the building assurance solution, but it's really about assuring the remediated buildings using smart technology.
- Taking you to why we've started this journey. In the last few years, we have found that there have been fault lines in the buildings and then remediation work of buildings within New South Wales and where we wanted to start from trying to increase the consumer confidence. And some of the issues that we have found and strata owners have actually provided feedback is on that traceability. The information across the building life cycle, being able to understand who was involved, what certifications had been undertaken and effectively, what materials have actually gone into the building so that they can actually maintain the building once they've moved in.
- Now, where we've actually tried to utilise is that smart technology in actually building what we call a building assurance solution. It's really the capability of those buildings to really understand whether it's being compliant with the regulations throughout the design in construction phase, as well as providing evidence and that it met those requirements.
- Now, in order to do that, we have as a regulator implemented a number of legislations, which will provide the building blocks for those connecting, that actual lifecycle of that building. What we call the building digital FRED. We've established that over two platforms to create two single sources of truth, one in the New South Wales panel portal and the Australia's portal, which now connects together to provide you visibility of that accountability throughout that lifecycle.
- But how are we actually going to assure and give you confidence in that the buildings that we remediate can be trusted? Through recording product safety panel, there's a facade system, which is made up of several different parts a set of products which have been recommended by that panel. All of these components effectively will need to be certified throughout the remediation work, as well as understanding that material traceability right back to the manufacturers, as well as the people that actually involved in the remediation work from the builders to the designers.
- These three combined together will give us assurance and that traceability of how we've remediated those buildings. And underlying the building insurance solution is an assurance framework, which assesses that risk rating of all of these components.
- Now, what do we mean by the assurance framework? We're actually collecting these certificates. We're also collecting evidence of how these certificates were obtained and to what level. When we say level we're talking about, who's actually provided it, their qualifications, wherever they were licenced, wherever they were registered.
- We also looking at the quality of the evidence as well. All this information is fancifully collected on your behalf and we will calculate what we call the trustworthiness of that building and that remediation work.
- Now the full benefits of that is effectively compared to all the remediation work for all the buildings we'll have full visibility and traceability. This will give you this long-term view of the assets and your ability to maintain the assets beyond the remediation work.
- We call this trustworthiness. It's really around the information that we can provide. So it's dealing with the original issues that you've said... The [Ksasa00:01:20:14] owners have said that they've not had the traceability, can not find the information. We will provide that in one solution so there's only one place that you need to go to. And you'll be assured that that information is collected on your behalf and effectively you'll have visibility of that.
Go to video: Office of Project Remediate
- Thank you so much for that Yin. So next up the Project Remediate team is going to present their update. So with us today is director Tanya O'Brien and executive officer Matt beating from the of Project Remediate. And with Tanya and Matt, we have John Tansey. John is the executive director of Policy and Strategy in the Better Regulation Division of the department of customer service. John is also the chair of the New South Wales Cladding Taskforce. Over to you, Tanya.
- Thank you so much Yvette. And I thank you for joining me, Matt and John, as well for this session. What we're looking to do over the next few minutes is to give you a bit of an update from John around the Cladding Taskforce and how we got to this point. And from there, we'd like to give you a little bit more information on Project Remediate and the outcomes that we're seeking to achieve. So with that, John, I'm going to pass over to you.
- Thanks very much, Tanya, and thanks everybody for the opportunity to be here with you today. And as Tanya said, I want to recap some of the key developments over time related to combustible cladding and how they've led to establishment of project remediate.
- In November, 2014, a fire occurred in the LaCrosse building in Melbourne that I'm sure many of you are familiar with. And the fire began from a balcony and spread by the buildings cladding to the top of the 21 story building within only 10 or 15 minutes.
- And that event kick-started the Australian focus on combustible cladding. And in 2015, the then department of planning environment issued a planning circular New South Wales councils, certifiers, builders, architects, designers, and industry practitioners, and other stakeholders about the requirements in the building code of Australia for the external walls of certain buildings to be non-combustible. DPA also wrote at that time to councils or in 2016, asking them to consider buildings in their local areas that may be affected by combustible cladding. And highlighting the complexity in this area at that time, in 2016 the ABCB issued an advisory notice providing guidance on interpreting the existing national construction code provisions relating to the fire performance of external walls.
- But as we all know, the international game-changer was the Grenfell Tower fire that occurred in London in June of 2017. That fire started in an apartment on the fourth floor and spread in all directions to soon involve the entire facade and tragically led to multiple deaths and injuries.
- The New South Wales government established the Cladding Taskforce in the days immediately following the Grenfell Tower fire. And the taskforce was established then and continues today to be led by the department of customer service and includes representatives from the department of planning industry and environment and the office of local government, Fire and Rescue New South Wales, treasury, and the department of premier and cabinet.
- The taskforce was charged with the coordination or delivery of all of the elements of the New South Wales government's 10 point plan. And the number one task from day one was to coordinate the government's work to identify and make safe any buildings in New South Wales that may be affected by combustible cladding.
- And the challenge from day one was that there was no available dataset identifying the parts of [cladding 01:24:18] products or the buildings that they were installed on in New South Wales. So we set about a foraging exercise massively helped by the New South Wales data analytics centre and the taskforce conducted data audits of a range of government records and a commercial building data set totaling, approximately 185,000 building records to identify possible uses of flammable external cladding on buildings dating back to 1985.
- It initially identified over 1100 buildings and sites. But the data audit was later combined with local knowledge and reviews by New South Wales councils. And in 2018, the department of planning implemented amendments to the environmental planning and assessment regulation that required owners of class two, three, and nine buildings to register the buildings details if it had any kind of metal composite cladding product or an insulated cladding system installed.
- And so to date from all of these sources over 4,000 properties and sites have been identified. Critically on behalf of the taskforce, New South Wales Fire and Rescue offices visually inspected every one of those buildings and sites to assess whether they had potentially cluster combustible, cladding installed.
- Buildings were categorised as high risk once they've been inspected, if they appeared to have cladding of a type, an amount or a configuration on the building that increased the risk of fire spread and the risk to occupants or firefighters. As you'd well appreciate from a visual inspection, it's often not possible to distinguish a combustible cladding product from a non-combustible material.
- And so to manage this Fire and Rescue on behalf of the taskforce, categorised buildings as potentially high risk, if there was any uncertainty about the material on the building. On behalf of the taskforce, Fire and Rescue also used its powers under the [AP&I Act 01:26:23] to refer all potentially high risk buildings to the local council or consent authority, which required councils then to investigate and report back to Fire and Rescue on the building's fire safety provisions.
- And since that time and up to the present Fire and Rescue and the taskforce have monitored the investigations by councils. It's also important to highlight that across all this time, since 2017, till today, the taskforce has used mainstream media, statewide advertising, continuously using social media, we've done direct letter writing to owners and letter box drops to residents. And foreign rescue have also through their inspections provided direct information and engagement with building owners and residents.
- And that outreach has provided information about the risks of cladding, the steps being taken to identify effected buildings and the expertise needed to assess and determine where the buildings needed rectification. Across that time to, or in 2018 the commissioner for fair trading called for submissions on a possible ban of aluminium composite panels, polystyrene and similar cladding product. Then a wide range of submissions from industry and other stakeholders we've received. The commissioner subsequently issued a prohibition on certain uses of element opposite panels with a core comprised of greater than 30% polyethylene by mass, unless the product or external wall system past specified fire tests.
- But I want to emphasise that this ban was not, and is not the sole measure used to assess building safety or indeed its eligibility for Project Remediate. As I said earlier, those assessments were done based on whole building fire safety assessments. Throughout the work of the taskforce, it's important to recognise too, that local councils have been a critical partner in understanding and identifying risks and responses.
- The roles and powers granted to councils in New South Wales Planning Legislation make them a critical element in working with fire authorities, with the task force, with the construction industry and owners and communities.
- Both the task force and councils have faced similar challenges in responding to the risks and issues associated with the assessment of cladding products in use. The taskforce established a Cladding Support Unit in August, 2019 to provide a one-stop shop for coordination and collaboration and information sharing between the taskforce and councils. And that unit also established a direct and secure platform for sharing information between the taskforce and councils to ensure that there was a single source of truth on effective buildings, [inaudible 01:29:20] all sources available to councils and the taskforce.
- We believe this is really important because this collaboration underpins the high degree of certainty and confidence that the taskforce has about the identification, the triaging and the assessment of effective buildings.
- The cladding task force has heard from councils and building owners from day one that assessing building fire safety and cladding products is challenging. And cladding remediation will now poses both a financial and technical challenge, particularly to the owners of residential apartment. And councils and residential building owners have sought independent guidance on products and systems that are suitable to use in remediation projects because the reliability of information available from suppliers and proponents is not guaranteed and is not always of a high quality.
- We've also recognised the consultant reports purporting to justify the rectification of combustible cladding on buildings have occasionally been found to be of questionable or variable quality.
- So all these insights and findings directly informed the drive to establish Project Remediate to address these challenges, bringing expertise and an informed approach to all aspects of rectification assessment and design, providing an assurance programme to oversee all aspects of the project and importantly, to provide financial support to owners to assist in meeting the cost of the rectification work.
- And so that's why I'm delighted to be here today with all of you to talk about standing up and delivering this important project. So thank you. And now, back to you, Tanya.
- Thanks so much, John. So as you've already heard from David and from the minister and also from John, we've got a very extensive programme of expectations and a critical delivery message that we need our industry to hear that this project is all about standing up and demonstrating the best that our industry can be. It means that we're holding the same level of accountability to our managing contractor and all the contractors that work for Project Remediate and on Project Remediate sites.
- We have a range of outcomes and expectations that we need you to be aware of before you even participate on a Project Remediate site, but you need to keep these things in mind as you go through the delivery phase of remediating these buildings on the behalf of the owners corporations that are affected by this product.
- So what we're looking to ensure is a range of requirements across safety, across value for money across efficiency compliance and those minimum standards. Again, we are obviously part of a customer-facing programme and the service levels that were delivered to these owners corporations is of the utmost importance.
- We are, again, I stress a customer-centric programme and we are going to be finding many different ways that we will be supporting the owners through this difficult process. John was just touching on that it is a very technical remediation approach that needs to be undertaken. And owners corporations will accept and completely understand and not always best place to actually make those technical and difficult decisions. So what we want to do is to make this journey for them as easy and as supported as we can. And that means designing the processes with the customer in mind. It means making sure that the amenity and the safety of the residents who were living in those buildings, visiting those buildings is critical to the way that we designed the programme and execute the work.
- We also need obviously to have real-time reporting and real-time feedback loops from the customers who are living in these buildings so that we can monitor and make sure that we're working through that well, and obviously distribute information in a proactive way so that they know what's going to be happening on their building and that they can plan in advance and have a full understanding of what's happening to their asset.
- In terms of a critical message that we will continue to reiterate because it is so incredibly fundamental to our programme. We are 100% all about making sure that everyone on these programmes arrives home safe. And that's everyone. From the people who reside in these buildings, to the visitors, to the workers. A hundred percent, we are making sure that we apply all of the necessary safety requirements to these buildings and these work sites. But we're also going to be applying extra work requirements under this programme. And the reason for that is that we are dealing with occupied sites. It's not a normal building site where rock up to a blank slate and the construction progresses under normal circumstances with no one other than the building crews in play.
- We have occupied sites and that means there's unpredictability. There's a whole bunch of extra factors that we need to take into consideration. And obviously therefore we will be working very closely with our partners in Safe Work and making sure that our managing contractor is delivering on and monitoring safety to the highest extent possible.
- With this in mind, we have some particular training elements that we are looking to roll out and there will be compulsory learning modules that are required for the people who are working on these sites and then management teams within those companies.
- So there's four online training courses that have been developed by the office of the Building Commissioner and particular that relate to Project Remediate. So these are the courses that you can see on the slide right now.
- I know that we had a question earlier in the system, which was in regards to how much these courses cost. I think one of them, or two of them cost $140. One of them is free and I think one, we still haven't worked out the fee but it will be a modest cost. So when we're looking at that obviously it's a big commitment for us to make sure that everyone who steps foot on one of these sites knows the requirements and is able to perform the work in the safest possible way and in line with the possession of site requirements that we have established.
- So, like I said before, these are occupied sites. And so we are setting extra protocols in play to make sure that the works and the operations that are undertaken are done safely and are done in a way that is mindful of the people who are on these buildings.
- We have seen a few case studies in the past where we've gone on for these types of remediation sites. And there's been elements where we have noticed that there's not the utmost safety standards on some of these remediation sites, and that's something that we acknowledge and that we will take active steps to, to move forward and to train our staff to make sure that well, not our staff, but our contractors to make sure that those standards are met.
- So the possession of site course, obviously it touches on things like working at heights and obviously fire risk, because we are going to be working with flammable materials.
- Again, the idea is that once you've got all of this training under your belt, you will get what we call a possession of site passport, and that sort of outlines that you've completed all of the working requirement, the training requirements necessary for taking possession of that site and for working actively on those sites. And it will also... Those training elements, will also explain for your requirements to report any incidents, any near misses, those kinds of things, because we do want our managing contractor to have all of the information available so they can monitor the performance and the compliance, safety compliance, particularly on these sites.
- Just moving on to some of the outcomes of the programme. As David was saying earlier, and the minister mentioned as well. The Design and Building Practitioners Act does apply to all of their Project Remediate sites. It also applies to every class to have remediation. So it's not just these remediations, but it's every remediation done to a class to building in relation to cladding.
- And what this means is basically that you need to get regulated designs prepared and that the builder undertakes the declarations in accordance with those requirements as well, and makes those declarations on the New South Wales Planning portal through the process.
- So we're in the process of updating the planning portal to actually capture those details, but I'm just flagging for you that way through the programme will be supporting the owner's co-ops compliance with these acts, because we will be obviously working with the managing contractor and our teams, involved in everything from the design through to the preparation and undertaking the work to ensure that we have the required designs and declarations [captioned 01:39:00].
- In terms of the remediation approach that we'll be taking there is a clear difference between what a normal remediation site might look like and a project remediation approach and part of that is about making sure that we provide detailed investigation upfront to scope and cost the work that is going to be undertaken, and that means that we know upfront how much it's going to cost and how long it's going to take at a much more detailed level than a lot of other private remediation approaches take. We are obviously going to be meeting the cladding product safety panel recommendations in terms of the materials that we utilise on our buildings, and you'll hear a little bit later from the CPSP in regards to those elements and those requirements. We're also looking to return fully insurable buildings with no carve-outs in regards to cladding and all ongoing fire safety requirements in regards to those cladding.
- So that means that we're doing fully integrated signs to make sure that those buildings are returned in a way that will be fit for purpose and that doesn't have any ongoing problematic legacy issues for the owners corporations. Again, like [Nicola 01:40:22] was saying, there is a complete oversight layer that is brought into this programme, and that's brought by the managing contractor. It's brought by our partners in local government. It's brought by our partners in Safe Work New South Wales, and also the issuers that we will be in bringing into the programme and not to mention, I guess, their sites every attendants who will be actively on every site. Conversely, I'll just quickly touch on an alternate private remediation approach might mean. Like I touched on earlier, we have seen some case studies where we've seen sites where there's not been very good firefighting equipment.
- There's not been fire scaffold safety elements, have been a bit questionable. There's not been an opening limiter so that people can open the windows and, or balcony doors and get access to the scaffolding. So there's a few things there that we will make sure that we address on all of our sites and those examples will not form part of Project Remediate. We absolutely say that there is not going to be something, that we will be accepting on any of our sites. So again, the alternate remediation approaches, obviously it is possible to do remediation alone. However, again, it is a technical process and this programme, Project Remediate, we'll be providing quite a lot of support and applying those minimum standards hopefully make it easier for owners corporations to go through the process.
- At the end of the day, what we're looking to do is to make sure that every building that we work on is issued of Remediation Assurance Certificate, and that certificate will outline to people that they have got the ability to get the insurance that they need. The work undertaken and the designs undertaken will be done by the Global Facade Consultant, and I'll pass over to Matt to tell you a little bit more about our Global Facade Consultant. They have not actually been appointed at this point, however, we are advertising, I guess, for those people at the moment, so Matt, do you want to join in?
- Thank you, Tanya. So as Tanya said, the Global Facade Consultant is another very important role for our programme. Along with the managing contractor, Hansen Yuncken is recruiting this organisation as we speak and announcing and appointing them later in September. The important roles that this consultant will provide, include providing programme-wide advice to assist the building investigation and the design team. They will provide guidance to the building investigators to ensure that those consultants capture all the relevant information to assist in the design of the remediation. They will also provide design guidelines to the design teams to ensure that all elements of a high quality [inaudible 01:43:35] are addressed in the design that those teams produce. Another role for the Global Facade Consultant will be reviewing potential facade materials and referring materials to the cladding product safety panel for consideration.
- Another very important part of their role is maintaining a pattern book. This pattern book is a store of information that's developed through the work of the building investigators and the design teams as they investigate buildings and come up with facade solutions. The concept and the value of this patent book is that design teams will be able to draw on these design solutions when designing remediation plans for each individual building, and it avoids the need to recreate the wheel when it comes to creating a design for any particular building, this pattern book will be our issue or knowledge to assist designers, and we'll also make information available for the wider benefit of the industry.
- Now, we know as well that with the buildings in scope for our programme, it's possible that they may have some pre-existing building defects within the facade or the wall system. We'll discover these as part of the extensive investigation that's carried out before work gets underway, and this is how we will handle those defects, where they are uncovered. If there are defects within the facade system, those will be identified and that will be fixed as part of Project Remediate. Any defects in the wall system more broadly will be documented for the information of the owners and for any other relevant parties, including the local council. If there are other fire safety defects, Fire and Rescue New South Wales will provide a report on those so that they can be addressed as well, and where investigations would be any past misconduct about builders involved in the construction of the building, that will be documented and referred to the New South Wales for training for investigation and any necessary compliance section.
- Finally, just moving on to the way Project Remediate will work with the consent authorities. Local councils that are considered authority for the majority of buildings and there will be extensive interaction with those local councils throughout our programme. We've done the preparation work to educate councils about the programme and get them on board and the consultants and contractors that we bring on board we'll interact with the local council throughout the programme, including through the triage of the building, assessing the fire safety orders that are in place, developing the designs for the remediation, informing the council when the work is getting underway, allowing the council to inspect as necessary throughout the work, and finally, when a remediation assurance certificate is issued, that we'll be able to act as confirmation to the council, that the work has been done in compliance with the order and the order can be lifted. That's it. So back to Yvette,
- Sorry about that. I'll just make sure I'm off mute there, sorry everybody. Thank you to Tanya, John and Matt there. I think I just wanted to point out for everybody there. If you wanted some more information about Project Remediate, please visit our web page. So that is nsw.gov.edu forward slash project dash remediate and we hope that presentation answered some more of your questions that you had about the programme. Okay. So next up, you're going to hear from professor Mark Hoffman and Allan Harriman from the cladding product safety panel. Professor Mark is a leading material specialist and engineer. He specialises in the structural integrity of materials, including composites, structural ceramics and biological materials. He is deputy vice chancellor and vice president at the university of Newcastle and the chair of the cladding product safety panel and with him is Allan Harriman, a respected fire safety engineer and building regulations' consultant, and Alan is a member of the cladding product safety panel as well. So I'll hand you over now to Mark and Allan.
Go to video: Cladding Product Safety Panel
- Good afternoon everybody and thank you very much for joining us. What we're going to do now is we'll all start off by just outlining the role of the panel and what we seek to do, and also our preliminary work and what we're planning to do in the future. The first point that I wish to make is that the purpose of the panel is to advise the New South Wales state government on cladding replacement materials and external wall assembling methods. So we are very much an independent expert advisory panel. Now, the advice essentially is focused around rectification work under Project Remediate. One of our key goals is to make sure that any remediation solutions can be affordably insured and the advice we give is also made available to councils and to building owners. The panel has been set up to provide a broad stakeholder input across the various levels of different expertise and it's supposed to be independent and to be available to provide that expert advice to the Minister who appointed the members of the panel. I chair the panel.
- The deputy chair is Dr. Marianne Foley, who is a building and construction expert. The New South Wales department of customer service is represented by Stephen Dunford. We have a couple of fire safety engineering experts. One of those who is Allan Harriman, who will be speaking to you in a couple of minutes. It's also important that we have the surveying and certification industry represented and that is through Mr. Robert Marinelli. Fire and risk is of course a very key important and key stakeholder in this whole matter, and Stephen [Getting 01:50:24] represents them. We also have professor Bijan Samali, another fire engineering expert, is also able to make some [inaudible 01:50:32] contributions in the areas of testing.
- Most importantly, given one of the goals of the panel that was mentioned on the previous slide is, we have representation from the insurance council of Australia in the form of Mr. Corey Nugent, who provides that really important perspective on the deliberations of the advice providing to the state government. Now, the initial part of our work plan, well, it is as follows. The first part was to set the strategic priorities of the panel and that's been completed. We also thought it was very important to get some early advice out to the industry for the government to provide and therefore we released our initial report earlier this year, and the whole idea of that was to look specifically at cladding products and also wall assembly systems. Their deliberations have led us to realise that this is very much a materials product systems piece of work.
- It is not limited just to the product. We also worked out our risk assessment methodologies, and also moved to various facilities in terms of testing laboratories that are around. Now, the panel has continued to be very active since the release with that first report and then what we're planning to do soon and in future is firstly to release, what we would call a tranche two materials, those that weren't mentioned in the first report, which was tranche one. So we've set up a material submission process, which I'll talk about in a minute. We've also set in pace protocols around testing or for the consideration and evaluation of further products and systems, which were released in our second report. We also take referrals from the cladding task force, particularly around special cases of material systems buildings, and take assessment against those criteria and provide that advice to the cladding task force.
- We have three working groups. One is looking closely at essentially accredited testing laboratories because we've been quite clear that particularly in areas fire safety, all testing needs to be done by accredited testing laboratories. We're also looking closely at the risk assessment methods to [inaudible 01:52:57] essentially, which products need to be rectified or replaced and then of course, the process for future replacement products, is the third working group where we assess those. Now, our approach is as follows and this forms the basis of the advice to the government that focuses on five key areas. Firstly, the risk appetite in the insurance aspect particularly for replacement and materials. So we then have to set the criteria for removal and retention and the criteria for that replacement. Now we've realised also that design is very important and we were very much taking advice in that regard and also we're realising that the nature of testing is also key.
- Now for this project and the approach taken by the panel, the risk appetite needs to be really clearly articulated. Firstly, we're setting up recommendations based on a very low risk appetite for this product. Now there's a number of reasons for this. Firstly it means that solutions need to be addressed by design and we don't wish there to be future management requirements for building owners or occupants as a basis of our record, as a part of our recommendations. A really key part is that the buildings must be able to be affordably insured. The third point is that we want to be sure that there's no likelihood of future compliance issues. It's well understood that the standards, regulations, et cetera in this area are in ongoing development. Therefore we want to make sure that any recommendations we make are unlikely to cause problems with future changes in those regulations.
- First report, which we completed in March, which we released in early April had essentially just based upon the recommendations had to meet the Dean to satisfy conditions under the building BCA, I know performance solutions at that stage, and therefore we recommended materials, which I'll talk about in a minute, which were noncombustible and in compliance with AS1530.1. Apart from where a combustible product can be used, where a non-combustible product is required under the BCA, we also made a decision that we will consider bonded laminate's in future work and they were not proposed under tranche one.
- Now we also realise that we need to look at a range of different factors when recommending of facade systems. So they at least need to be authenticated and we mentioned these in the report. There's all of the different factors of a cladding system that we need to be considered are mentioned here, and then part of which product selection is but one, and the four products which we recommended for use in our first report were, cement render, solid aluminium, solid metal sheets and fibre cement. We also do have local government representation on the panel providing recommendations and also of course we have got a setting up a system for [inaudible 01:56:28] the products to be considered through the product submission process. What we now have, and there's the WebLink fair, is essentially a product submission form, which is a first step for suppliers to provide the details, which we will need to start considering side materials and systems for use in Project Remediate and the web address is there, I'd encourage you to go there to find the form.
- Now, essentially what will then happen is the application submitted through that form will be reviewed by the Global Facade Consultant who will be appointed on the Project Remediate and that was mentioned in the previous presentations, and obviously the cladding product safety panel. Now suppliers may be contacted for further information because things may come up as a part of the evaluation where we need more information about a product and that we leave that open as a part of the process.
- The intention is to get as much relevant information as we can as a part of the initial process, but there may be other parts of this time in that we haven't been able to prepare it for a particular system. We're also in the process of developing a reference test procedure for materials. The important part is that we need to consider not just the material itself, but also how it will perform under installation. And therefore we need to look at that. The Global Facade Consultant will assist us in that, and also we're going to of course, take industry feedback on testing protocols. I'll now like to pass over to Allan Harriman, who is another member of the panel who will talk on further work of the panel.
- Thank you very much. So thanks for that Mark. Right. We've heard a lot this morning about that, we're actually talking about a system, a cladding system, which is part of the external wall. Mark just mentioned that there's a number of things that have to be taken into consideration with respect to design and my purpose is just to pull a few of them out, which relate to fire safety and in particular cavity barriers. So we're probably all aware that under the building code, there is a deem to satisfy solution and performance pathway to follow if you wish to. So I just wanted to check in on spandrel panels. The spandrel panel is designed to stop fire spreading from one level to the other [inaudible 01:59:25] the outside of the building. It's generally a fire rated panel as indicated in that little circle in the centre of the diagram.
- Sorry. So under the deem to satisfy provisions, where we don't have sprinklers, we do require a spandrel panel and we do require the external wall cladding to be non-combustible. So in this diagram, they have indicated a fire-rated spandrel, which is made out of plaster board and then we have, on the left of that, a very large gap, which is open air, and then on the very left is the external cladding. So under the deem to satisfy provisions, we must feel that gap with mineral fibre wall. Now, the reason I put this slide in, is I've inspected around about five buildings that have spandrels and no sprinkler system, of course, and in all five there has been no mineral fibre. So this is why Project Remediate is requiring a full design process because a lot of times the existing building is not up to the standard and it's not a simple matter of replacing, like for like cladding, it may need a little bit more design work.
- So if we meet the deem to satisfy, which is those [inaudible 02:01:04] requirements and a non-combustible we stop, we don't have to do anymore. If we don't meet the deem to satisfy, we then can look at the performance solution route, and the BCA does have one method of complying with that. It's not mandatory, but CV3 basically requires sprinklers, cavity barriers and compliance with the test standard 5113. There is a lot of talk in the industry about 5113 but very little talk about the other requirements, which is sprinklers and cavity barriers. So certainly if you've got to go and retrofit sprinklers in a building to use a combustible cladding, it might price it out of the market and that's got to be considered.
- So the 5113 tests, there is a lot of controversy around it, particularly the amount of [inaudible 02:02:03] that ends up on the ground at the end of it. But it is a test that looks at external fire spread and really compares apples to apples. We can take the results of product A and compare them to product B if the walls have been assembled in the same manner. What the problem with this test is, is not the whole solution. It doesn't address window openings and therefore you still need a detailed performance solution to address the site-specific conditions of that building, which amongst other things includes windows and other openings.
- So without cavity barriers, they're designed to stop smoke and fire spread up through that cavity. This was a major concern on the Greenfield fire in that there was fire behind the colliding and quite simply the fire brigade couldn't get the water onto it. So we've also got to be careful with cavity barriers that they don't cause other problems with condensation management, which we'll talk about in a minute. So basically cavity barriers aren't designed to go around all windows, all doors at the edges of slabs at each level, and also dividing walls between individual units and between units and common corridors, for example, and that just carves up the building so that fire and smoke can't spread horizontally and vertically.
- So here's an example of a facade test that was done with no cavity barriers. It was fibre cement shading so we're not picking on aluminium here. You can see at the top of quite clearly that there is flaming, what happens is the cavity behind the wall acts like a chimney, so effectively hot gases go in and when they meet the fresh oxygen at the top, they're able to reignite. So it doesn't really matter whether this wall is three or four metres high or 10 metres high, you'll probably get the same net result. So that's why cavity barriers are important to stop that spread. Now, you've also got to remember without cavity barriers, fire can also break out of power points and around windows in other units above, so it is quite important.
- So this slide here is being provided to me by others, but shows two identical tests of solid aluminium, one with cavity barriers on the left and one without on the right. There is a lot of difference in the performance with cavity barriers. You can see that it's gone a few metres up and stopped. Whereas the one on the right, it's just basically ended up in the total destruction of that wall system. So this is one of the reasons why cavity barriers are so important and has been made part of the Project Remediate programme.
- So coming back to compensation management and we can't just go and clog up all our cavities without making sure that there is adequate drainage. So in this particular diagram on the left where we've got the red thermometer that represents the inside of the building and all the blue represents the outside. So just doing some static modelling, and this is only one example. We can see that the old PE ACP which we're taking off, condensation only forms on the back of the sheet at around about six degrees and lower, whereas with solid aluminium, which is one of the preferred products to put back on, condensation can occur at 13 degrees. If you go back a few weeks in July, we were having 13 degrees at four o'clock in the afternoon, whereas there's very few nights you get down below 60 degrees. So we're really comparing cup falls of water with the PE ACP to absolute buckets full of water per year, going down that cavity.
- So we really must make sure that any cavity barrier that goes in allows for drainage and that's why an intermittent type cavity barrier which swells up is a good solution, and there's a couple of the market's not limited to one or two. So here is a quick case study of an existing building. On the left, that was it before it was pulled apart and you can clearly see at the bottom of that photo, the aluminium returned 90 degrees and went horizontally into the edge of the slab. No provision for drainage. When a panel was pulled off that wall, you could see that there was an air righted concrete behind with no socking on it, combustible packers and absolutely no cavity drainage. So it is important that when we're pulling the cladding off, we are designing a complete and total system to ensure that we're not repeating mistakes of the past.
- So this is one example of a fire rated cavity barrier, which will allow moisture to drain out and obviously ventilation within it and these are the intumescent ones that, as I said earlier, swell up and close the gap only in the event of a fire, and when there's no fire conditions we can allow for the drainage on the right is an example of what we do see on site. Once again, no socking, no drainage. Very quickly on this one. This is another example where the only water protection or weatherproofing to the building was the aluminium layer itself. There was no angles around windows. There was no proper drainage to the subs hill and I could literally put my hand down the side of the window and touch the plastic port on the inside. So good design is required and we have to be careful when we're pulling these panels off to make sure that we're looking at all aspects necessary before we put the new stuff on. Thank you. I'll hand back to Yvette. Thank you.
- Okay. All right. Thank you, mark and Allan for your presentations. Okay. So now it's time for another quick break. We'll be back in a few minutes with our panel discussion and if you haven't already done so a reminder that you can submit your questions for our Q and A through Slido, and we'll see you back here shortly. Thank you. Welcome back everyone. It's time for our final segment of the day, our panel discussion, thanks to everyone who submitted questions for our Q and A. They've been coming in thick and fast today. So now I'm going to hand you over to Tanya O'Brien director of the office of Project Remediate, who is facilitating our panel discussion. So over to you, Tanya
Go to video: Panel discussion
- Thanks Yvette. So again, just like Yvette mentioned, we've been getting a great number of questions that are coming through live and that we've been noticing here and in addition to that, we have a very long list of questions that people have submitted, thank you very much as the registration process happened. So what we'll try to do is to make sure that we get through as many of those as we can just noting, obviously, we are limited for time and as a result, we'll undertake to try to answer as many of these questions as if I curious on our website in the future. So if we don't get through them today, have a look on onto our website and we'll see if we can get those up over the next couple of weeks. So again, hopefully you all had a chance to have a quick break.
- We have joining us on our panel, obviously, a lot of experts that you've already seen and heard from today, but we have David Chandler, our New South Wales building commissioner. We have John Tansey, the chair of the New South Wales planning task force. We have Mark Hoffman, the chair of the cladding and cladding product safety panel. We have Allan Harriman who was our cladding experts speaking about cladding and cladding systems earlier. We have Nick Jacobs from Hansen Yuncken and we also have Matt BD from the office of Project Remediate. So thanks again for joining us for this session.
- What I'm going to do is to go through a series of questions. It'll be a little bit of a combination of the things that we saw earlier, as part of that registration process, but also I'll try and throw in some of the ones that are really popular that are popping up in the chat I guess. So to kick off, maybe the first question I could ask would be to you Mark. If you could tell us what are the products that have been approved for use as part of the cladding replacement products?
- Thanks, Tanya. As I mentioned in my presentation, the cladding product safety panel advisors on materials, products, systems for Project-
- Materials products systems for Project Remediate. And in our first report, we released what we call tranche one of materials, and that was for endorsed materials. They were fibre cement sheets, solid aluminium, solid metal sheets, and cement render. We're now looking at additional materials and which are currently under consideration and we'll issue those findings in future reports.
- Fantastic. So, one of the questions here just related to that market, I'm not going to let you off, is just around the [inaudible 02:12:39] cladding report. Any idea on timing for that?
- We're certainly hoping to release that before the end of the year. We're currently taking submissions as you would have seen, and we'll consider those submissions and the intention is to do it before the end of the year. But there are a number of different factors coming into this, it will depend in large part on the nature of the submissions.
- Fantastic. So David, if I could pop to you, one of the most popular questions on our sort of list here is around PI and the hardening of the PI marketplace, particularly obviously related to when you're working with facades and flammable cladding. How would you respond to the people who are going to take part as part of Project Remediate?
- Well, Tanya, we've been working very closely with the insurance council of Australia and the objective there was to first of all, minimise the risk of the solutions that we're considering. So there'll be no fire products or flammable products going back on building. So therefore, we won't be asking insurers to provide professional indemnity for designers considering products that have got flammable components in them. So, we expect to be able to provide a Project Remediate PI cover for the designers who will be designing replacement facade solutions. That will be the main people that will be the benefit of PI. And we'll negotiate that with insurers on the basis of a PI for Project Remediate.
- Fantastic. So the next one David's also for you, and this one's in regard to certify our liability. It's kind of, I guess related to what extent of liability, what is the extent of the liability of the certifier when an inspection can only be carried out due to limited access to access and limitations requirements? Obviously there's some assumptions there but, how will Project Remediate deal with having the work certified or the work assured through the process?
- We'll be working with Hansen Yuncken to divide a scope of work for the assurance process, or alternatively what we'd call the setup process. There'll be a particular scope of work identified for the service that will be particular to Project Remediate. So, for those certifiers out there who sort of feel that this is business as usual, and therefore they do this and they don't do that. You'll see in fact that there'll be a scope of service defined for Project Remediate certification services. Those services will be overseen by Fire and Rescue New South Wales. We've engaged Fire and Rescue New South Wales to provide a QA desk to make sure that the services that we are seeking, which will be more frequent observations, far better record keeping and making sure that there is an absolute authenticity for the products that are going to be used. It will be a much higher level than perhaps might be seen in the industry, in the normal setting.
- Definitely. Maybe I'll pop one to John Tansey. This one's just in regards to cladding replacement under control orders. So, cladding replacement is obviously being undertaken as part of a council issue control order under division nine of the APNA acting in this circumstance for the most part, obviously. The DNB pay act requires that cladding replacement issued under these orders are not exempt development. So, from that perspective, there's that different approach there from a lot of local government or there's some interpretation issues that we've got with local government there. Could you clarify how the designers need to comply with the DNB pay act under this process?
John Tansey: Thanks, Tanya. Look, and I appreciate with so much important change happening in New South Wales that people are trying to come to grips with all the different reforms. But I think the only thing to highlight here is the consistency of our approach. So, I can confirm absolutely that cladding remediation work must be carried out in compliance with the Design and Building Practitioners Act. So, our understanding and our experience is that most remediation work will be done under Fire and Safety orders, or alternatively can be done under Development [inaudible 02:17:34] and Construction [inaudible 02:17:35] complying development pathway. But whichever pathway it's going, yes, it will be necessary to comply with the Design and Building Practitioners Act.
- Great. And I did notice earlier, there is a question, Matt Beattie might be able to answer this one. We were looking at a question earlier that came through around those declarations under the DNBP act. Like I mentioned, in my presentation, we are working with a [inaudible 02:18:07] planning around developing the system that will capture those declarations. The question I guess out there is, when is that going to happen?
- That's right. So, as Tanya said, we are working with the Department of Planning and the Planning Portal team to ensure that that pathway is available to the building practitioners and design practitioners. That is the process to comply with the Design and Building Practitioners Act through the Planning Portal is available now, but there are also enhancements to capture the range of approval pathways, including fire safety orders. We've provided some information in the chat, but people can certainly get in touch with Department of Planning and Environment for advice on how to access those pathways or access the guidance information on the Planning Portal website.
- Thanks. And Allen, maybe one for you just around cavity barriers, as we've heard you speak a lot about this morning. The question is, is it mandatory to add a cavity barrier to the gap between the cladding and the building?
- Thanks, Tanya. It is a requirement of Project Remediate that they do go in. And as I outlined in the presentation, the purpose of them is to stop the vertical and horizontal spread of fire and smoke through those cavities. So, we are requiring them around windows and doors, and at the slab edges, and between dividing walls between units and common areas. Thank you.
- Great. I guess I might pop one to Nick. This one goes to the contractors who would like to be shortlisted and participate as part of the programme in terms of the contracting work. How will they know once they've filled in their nomination form or their nomination online, how will they know when they're shortlisted and what will those next steps look like?
- Yes, thank you, Tanya. So, for the first step upon registering is that the registrant will receive notification acknowledging that we've received that registration. That then triggers an assessment process and a determination as to whether the registrant has been successful on obtaining a place on the panel or panels for which they applied. Now, that process will vary from panel to panel. We anticipate that'd be about a four week period before we are able to write back to each registrant and confirm whether or not they've been successful.
- Okay. Tanya, could I -
- Kind of make a couple of comments. First of all, just on the question about cavity barriers, Project Remediate is setting a very high or best price standard because the assistance we're providing owners, corporations is for a 10-year loan. And the last thing we want to do is during the course of that-10 year loan, find that if there is progressive upgradings of other standards, that in fact we're caught with an installation that may not be up to that level. We're going to be ahead of that for Project Remediate, simply because we don't want any of the people who are entering the programme to be caught with that sort of risk down the track. The other important thing about contractor selection is that in the criteria to decide which contractors are suitable, we want to make it very clear that this is not a pink bats opportunity. So, if you think that a [inaudible 02:22:12] and a mobile phone is all you need to do to be considered, please don't bother even trying. You'll need to have been in the remediation business for at least five years to be considered by this programme.
- Yeah, that's a great point. And I guess it goes to that earlier emphasis on making sure that we are applying those correct standards throughout the whole project. And with that in mind Nick, I might come to you and actually just ask you to explain a little bit around the role of superintendents. How extensive you expect that to be, and just what are the requirements that we're going to be monitoring via the superintendents?
- Yeah, thank you, Tanya. Well, the superintendents like any other role on this project, will need to have experience in overseeing building works directly. That is, they need to be experienced in overseeing works on the site and not remotely from a separate office. That there are really four key requirements for the superintendency role. Firstly, the superintendent will not engage directly with the managing contractor, they will be engaged directly by the owner's corporation. However, the tender process will be conducted by Hansen Yuncken, and a recommendation will be made to an owner's corporation at the appropriate point in time. In regards to typical activities of the superintendent, I mentioned the overseeing of the project works on site, on a day-to-day basis. They also need to ensure the work is completed in accordance with the contract, the designs and the plans provided, and they will also have a role in the assessment of works and the development of the progress claims which will be done, we anticipate on a monthly basis. And any low level issues that occur on-site between the superintendent and the owner's corporation, or the owner's corporation.
- And the remediation contractor will also be managed by the superintendent. However, the managing contractor is available at all times to assist with any issues that can't be resolved at the project site level.
- Okay. Excellent, the execution and [inaudible 02:24:58] guess of our programme. I know that I'm jumping around a little bit, but I might jump back to the beginning of the programme, which is always going to start with the proper investigation and the proper design of our remediation efforts. There's a particular question that's been raised here around who has designed responsibility, is it the global facade consultant or is it the panel designer? Maybe David, do you want to jump in on this one?
- Hmm. Okay. Well, first of all, we have observed in the field that there's been some very light touch in terms of investigations that have led to contracts. In some cases, just a couple of hours of a contractor sending somebody out to have a look. And for that to provide the basis for a project manager to oversee the award of a design and construct contract to a managing contractor, basically with the only reference document being manufacturers brochures. So yeah, that is simply something that we won't entertain in this particular project. It simply, doesn't comply with the legislation. And if we do find that there are people in the field going forward that are not using declared designs, it's highly likely those jobs will be stopped until such time as they have been reorganised based on the cleared designs.
- Yep. So, there's so many questions coming through. Sorry. The critical skillsets, Matt, I might have to ask you to have a quick chat around this as well. When it comes to procuring the service providers and the skillsets that are required in that space, what does the potential consultant participants in Project Remediate? What are the critical skillsets that are going to be required by them?
- So, there will be some different skill sets required. There are a number of key roles that we will be using for this programme. So firstly, there'll be consultants, organisations, and people needed to conduct the assessments and investigations of the buildings. So, these people will need to identify the cladding on the building, and document the cladding and the facade, and wall build up. They'll need skills and capabilities when it comes to building access, including high-rise buildings, and they'll need to be able to thoroughly document the facade system so that the detailed designs for remediation can be prepared. The design team, so will do that design work, will consist of designers, such as architects, as well as facade engineers and estimators. So, all of those skills will obviously be needed when it comes to designing a holistic facade solution. And in some projects, the different elements, they will come to the fore.
- The estimator's role will obviously be to provide the estimated pricing, which will be important as the designs are presented to the owners of the buildings for consideration as they make their design choices. And then, we'll meet remediation contractors who are to carry out the remediation work. And we'll be looking for contractors, who've been in the industry for a number of years. Hansen Yuncken will be able to provide advice on the suitable qualifications and experience of those contractors. There will be superintendents required to oversee the contracts and advise the owners on progress claims under the contract. And we'll also need independent assurers who will perform a role that's similar to a certifier carrying out inspections, providing certification that the work is compliant, and also issuing those remediation assurance certificates that certify that the work once completed, meets Project Remediate's standards. And Hansen Yuncken of course can talk about the processes for accessing those roles as well.
- Tanya, might I just add, I didn't quite finish the question that I was asked. I apologise for that.
- That's okay.
- The role of the global facade consultant is to receive the progressive investigation reports on the buildings that we'll be looking at, to establish the sorts of typologies of those buildings. What's the normal makeup of the way the buildings have been built, so that we can then develop an informed set of patterns or repeat solutions that might be appropriate that could apply across the whole of the programme. So, if we've got 220 buildings going to form part of the programme, then we expect there'd might be 10 or 15, sort of scenarios that are the most repeated scenarios. What we want the global facade consultant to do, is to produce a pattern book of guidelines that then would be made available to each of the design teams or the design panels, and they do a bespoke design solution for each project.
- So the people who will do the investigations will provide information up to the global facade consultant, but equally it will be the first piece of work that will be relied on by the design panels, who will then be doing bespoke designs for each project. So, up to the global facade consultant, across to the designers, but making sure there's a bridge of what our progressive load acknowledges, so that we don't have people trying to build up solutions from a greenfield situation every time. So, that's the way that we're going to bring the control and consistency into this project, and make sure that everything that we do and everything that we use is to the standards you've heard our team outline today.
- Yeah, absolutely. I guess, obviously the design element and story keeps coming back in, and it's such an integral theme of our programme. There's a question here, and I might throwing this one to Nick. Will the buildings be opened up to make sure that the, to understand what was designed or what was actually installed, and how will we know if the design is appropriate for our products to be installed on?
- Yeah. Thank you, Tanya. So look, in some cases, owners have already begun their remediation journey and they've subsequently joined the programme. Whereas, others are starting from a different position. So the first thing that we're doing as the managing contractor, is to look at where each building currently sits within its remediation journey, and make use of the available documentation to inform the extent of triage work that needs to be carried out. Now in some cases, this will require samples to be taken from buildings and sent to laboratories, to have those materials tested. And, we will need to lift panels off buildings in specific and strategic locations to understand what the composition of the facade system is in its totality. And at the same time, we'll also be, excuse me, we'll also be looking at the structure behind the facade and any evidence of existing defects that would need to be addressed prior to the cladding being replaced.
- Yeah. Great answer to that one. In a sort of similar or related question, an anonymous has asked us, when looking at the external walls, will you assess them as a whole system? And, and maybe this goes a little bit back to what Allan was talking about earlier, but oh, and the question just moved, sorry. So [inaudible 02:33:30] will we be considering other combustible elements in the wall systems such as plastic packers or fixings that might be installed behind products and that kind of thing?
- Yeah. Sorry. Tanya, was that a question to me?
- Well, you could definitely jump in and Allan Harriman might also like to make a comment on that one.
- Yeah. So, the simple answer to that question, and I'll let Allan add what he wishes, is that if these components form part of the facade, then we will be looking at those components for replacement. That is the bottom line, that the facade system is not just the cladding panel itself, it's the support structure, the installation, the sarking. All of the components that you saw earlier in a slide that I think John's [inaudible 02:34:31] showed, that showed all of the component parts, which form a composite facade system. So any of the parts that we investigate, that form part of that facade system would be considered for replacement as part of the scoping activity.
- Yep. Allan, did you want to jump in on that at all? Or, are you comfortable with that explanation?
- No, I think Nick answered extremely well.
- Covered it. Yeah. Excellent. A [Goodwin Grahams 02:35:07] asked here is, will the pattern book be made available to class two buildings that don't fall into the risk profile covered by Project Remediate? Maybe Matt, did you want to jump in on that one?
- Sure. So yes, the intention is definitely to make the pattern book and the information insights that come from that process available to the wider industry, so that the industry can benefit from it. And, so can the building owners of affected buildings, whether or not they're in our programme, or whether indeed they're residential buildings or not. We know that there are other types of buildings out there that need remediation, so we are keen to support that.
- Fantastic. I just have to change my view, sorry. Okay. So, I might jump to recycling. So at the end of the day, we're going to have a whole bunch of remediated buildings, which is fantastic. But we've got a couple of questions regarding the material that we remove, in regards to how are we going to organise the waste recycling. And, is that going to be done domestically or is it going to go overseas? Nick, I might pop that one over to you.
- Well, maybe I can jump in there [crosstalk 02:36:40].
- Oh, okay. Of course.
- Because, I'm the project sponsor here and I'm just going to sit down and share with everyone what's the policy here. And that is that Hansen Yuncken will go to tender and we may engage one or two companies to be the collectors. So basically, remediation contractors will take material off buildings and put it into a bin or a platform that can be collected by one of the contractors that will be responsible for taking this material, and ensuring that it's recycled properly. The most important criteria when we come to select that, is that the person who, or the people that are selected to do collections and recycling can demonstrate to Hansen Yuncken that they've got the capacity, and the absolute assurance that they will take the material and recycle it. The work will be done in Australia. So we won't be dissembling material here and, or sorry, we won't be dissembling material overseas, but it may be that some of the uptake of that material may be then sold into a market where people in other places could take it to its next purpose.
- But what we're really focused on here is as little as possible goes to landfill and as maximum amount of possible material is collected and appropriately repurposed. And we will be running a public score of what that's running at. So, it won't be something that will be invisible. We won't require Hansen Yuncken to publish the success rate and the volume of recycling.
- Yeah. I know that we're running short on time. I've got some really interesting questions coming through. But I guess David, actually, I think you're really well-placed to answer this one. Which was around defects and what happens in the process when we actually would go through the remediation approach, we pull off the material and we find that there's some other kind of building defect or latent condition that we notice in that facade area, or even further back into the building. Can you explain the different approaches that we're going to take in those circumstances?
- So thank you, Tanya. Project Remediate is very much focused on that piece of the building, which is the facade. So, it could be everything from the outside of the skin to a point inside the building where the facade system can be assumed to be at an end, but that's the focus of Project Remediate. Now in that zone, if we find things that need to be attended to, to actually come up with a proper facade solution, then that will form part of Project Remediate and it will be attended to. Project Remediate is not going to then follow all the way back into the building and pick up other elements. And the arrangements that we will come to with local government is that we will split orders and the orders will be facade systems and other. So hopefully that's clear, but we're seeing a few instances where there might be some practical things that need to be addressed at the edges. And we'll look at those on a case-by-case basis.
- Okay. I know we've only got a few minutes, but they might be this one tiny little one that we could answer really quickly, which is in regards to what are the elements of remediation that are included in the loan for the owner's co-op. David, did you want to jump in there really quickly on that one?
- Yes, Tanya. We've designed Project Remediate to ensure that the cost to the owners will be as close to what it would cost them if they were running it themselves, but complying with the requirements of Project Remediate. So, the cleared designs, et cetera. So, the overlay that we're putting across the top of this with managing contractors, global facade consultants, cladding product safety panels, the assurance layer with Fire and Rescue New South Wales, all of that is to be funded by the New South Wales government under the Project Remediate banner. Of course, in addition to that, the government is also funding the interest on the loan. So, the owner's corporations will all get a interest free loan that's repayable up to 10 years after the work has been finished. So, the cost of all of that will be borne by the government. Such that really, we're trying to get a net cost to the owners' corporation for the design, the specific design for their building, not the global design piece, but the specific design piece, the cost of the contractor's work, the cost of superintendents and the cost of certification.
- Also in the global expense, is any testing. We expect that we'll be able to undertake testing that will be performed where we think it's necessary and that some of that testing wouldn't necessarily be affordable on a case-by-case basis. So we're going to do as many things globally and benefit the owner's corporation with global things, to the extent that we can leverage that back to their benefits. So, it's a really good balance in my view between what we can do on a global basis, and then how do we really get it down to a point where we get the best value for money and the best high quality solution onto the face of the buildings that are affected.
- Fantastic. We are so spoiled for a whole range of questions, but I think we're pretty much running out of time. Yvette, I might hand back to you, if that's okay.
- Okay. Thank you, Tanya, and our panel. So we've reached the end of our briefing today. We hope you got a lot out of it and it answered many of the questions that you had about the programme. Thank you to our speakers and presenters, and to everyone that submitted questions. We'll be publishing a recording of today's event, along with a list of Q and A's on our website soon. Now, your feedback is very important to us. So we'd love it if you could complete a very short survey to tell us what you thought of today, and if you found it useful in answering your questions about the programme. For those on Slido, you'll see a survey appear to the right of your screen. It's a quick one, just five questions that will take you about a minute or so to complete. Now, if you need more information about Project Remediate, please visit our web page where you'll find information about the programme, that's nsw.gov.au/project-remediate. Thank you to everyone for watching and participating today. Goodbye
- NSW Building Commissioner (PDF, 551.65 KB)
- Hansen Yuncken (PDF, 1.51 MB)
- Office of Project Remediate (PDF, 680.07 KB)
- Building Assurance Solution (PDF, 374.95 KB)
- Cladding Product Safety Panel (Mark Hoffman) (PDF, 320.94 KB)
- Cladding Product Safety Panel (Allan Harriman) (PDF, 1.38 MB)
- SafeWork NSW - Securing safe remediation workplaces (PDF, 1.23 MB)
Questions from the industry briefing
This is an overview of the questions asked by the audience at the briefing.
Cladding Product Safety Panel
Where can I find the Cladding Product Safety Panel (CPSP) Report 1?
The CPSP Report 1 is available on the Cladding Product Safety Panel page of our website.
Which AS5113 criteria will the Cladding Product Safety Panel apply to assess and compare cladding products used for Project Remediate?
In consultation with industry, the Cladding Product Safety Panel will develop 'reference' testing methods that may apply to materials proposed for use in Project Remediate.
Cladding products and materials and systems used for Project Remediate
What products have been approved to use as cladding replacement products?
The Cladding Product Safety Panel (CPSP) advises on the appropriate materials, products and systems for the Project Remediate. CPSP’s Report 1 endorsed four materials:
- Fibre cement sheets
- Solid aluminium
- Solid metal sheets
- Cement render
Additional materials are under consideration and the CPSP will issue its findings in future reports.
Is there any scope for redesign of the appearance and performance of the facades (e.g. more energy and carbon efficient) as part of Project Remediate?
Project Remediate will facilitate the removal of combustible cladding and materials within the façade of high-risk Class 2 buildings. All aspects of the façade’s performance will be considered when designing replacement solutions - wind loading, weatherproofing, condensation, durability, acoustics, aesthetics, etc. Producing guidelines for assessing these factors will be a key function of the global façade consultant.
The design teams for each project will consult with the building owners about their material and design preferences and provide them with different options to consider, where such options are available.
Remediation designs also need to comply with consent authority requirements and the designers will also consult with these authorities when preparing the design options.
Ultimately the owners will make an informed choice about which of the available, safe options they prefer.
A small number of class 2 buildings have been installed with foam combustible insulation. The foam insulation provides thermal and acoustic benefits to the building. How are such buildings accounted for Project Remediate?
Project Remediate will facilitate the removal of combustible cladding and other combustible materials such as insulation within the façade of high-risk Class 2 buildings.
All aspects of the façade’s performance will be considered when designing replacement solutions - wind loading, weatherproofing, condensation, durability, acoustics, aesthetics, etc. Producing guidelines for assessing these factors will be a key function of the global façade consultant.
The design teams for each project will consult with the building owners about their material and design preferences and provide them with different options to consider, where such options are available.
Is rendering the facade an approved method of remediation?
There may be scenarios where either there is not space for a replacement cladding system to be installed on a building, or where the current combustible cladding product is performing an aesthetic function only.
In this case a simple painted non-combustible cement render solution may be the simplest, most cost effective or most practical solution. This material has been endorsed by the Cladding Product Safety Panel for use within Project Remediate.
It is mandatory to add a cavity barrier in the gap between the cladding and the building?
Cavity barriers form part of the design requirements under the Project Remediate. Cavity barriers represent physical barriers to seal off compartments and are to be installed in appropriate locations, such as around windows and between storeys of a building, to prevent the spread of flame and smoke. These barriers prevent the spread of flame and smoke and will be used on all Project Remediate projects.
Why does combustible cladding have to be removed from 3 storey class 2 buildings where timber framing is allowed under the Building Code of Australia / National Construction Code?
Timber framed external wall framing is usually load-bearing and therefore requires a fire resistance level (FRL). The FRL is usually achieved by fire grade plasterboard installed as an internal and external lining to the wall studs, thereby encapsulating the combustible timber.
Cladding materials installed as part of the external wall e.g. as the external weatherproof barrier can be directly exposed to fire between compartments of the building by the external façade.
Who is responsible for checking if the existing cladding material on a building is compliant, and whether it needs to be replaced?
The consent authority for the building (usually the local council) is responsible under NSW planning legislation to assess the fire safety of buildings and, where necessary, issue orders or take action to ensure that building owners address any non-compliant or unsafe cladding.
The consent authority may rely on expert reports and other evidence in order to determine if remediation is required. Once it has made a decision, the consent authority will inform the building owners of the cladding that requires remediation.
Under Project Remediate, a building investigation contractor will be engaged to assess the building's existing facade, and a remediation design will be prepared in line with the advice of the Cladding Product Safety Panel (CPSP).
Project Remediate will work with the consent authority to ensure that the remediation design is aligned to any orders or development approval in place for the building.
The allocated design team and Hansen Yuncken will ensure that the requirements of the consent authority have been met as the design and construction process is completed.
Providing services and materials for Project Remediate
If a service provider submitted an expression of interest to the Office of Project Remediate, do they need to resubmit another expression of interest to Hansen Yuncken?
All companies that registered via the Project Remediate web page have had their registration of interest forwarded to Hansen Yuncken for consideration. Hansen Yuncken is currently evaluating the expressions of interest received through the online expression of interest form.
Interested service providers can continue to express their interest for roles by emailing email@example.com.
As a cladding material supplier, do I need to register with the NSW Government and the Managing Contractor?
Cladding material suppliers can make an online submission to propose cladding materials and systems for use in Project Remediate.
The submissions we receive through this process will be evaluated by the Cladding Product Safety Panel.
The materials that are currently approved for use within Project Remediate are outlined within Cladding Product Safety Panel (CPSP) Report 1 (PDF, 389.13 KB).
Roles and responsibilities of service providers selected for Project Remediate
What is the extent of liability of the certifier when the construction supervision can only be carried out in selected construction milestones?
Because most remediation work is done under fire safety orders, and as such the work does not result in an occupation certificate and does not require sign off by a principal certifying authority.
Instead, Project Remediate will engage independent assurers to perform a similar function to that usually performed by certifiers. The role of the assurer will require adequate inspections of the installation work as well as review of documentation.
Sufficient access for remediation inspections will be provided to the Independent Assurers to enable them to fulfil their assurance obligations.
What are the key critical skills required/valued by potential consultant participants in Project Remediate?
Project Remediate will use panels of qualified and experienced contractors and consultants who can provide professional services for the program. Hansen Yuncken is responsible for procuring the services of consultants and service providers.
An explanation of the building investigator and design teams is available on the Project Remediate web page.
Service providers can express their interest in Project Remediate roles by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are client-side superintendents engaged by the Strata Committee or is the role going to be managed via the program or Hansen Yuncken?
Superintendents will oversee building works, verify that work is completed in accordance with the contract, designs and plans and provide advice on progress payment claims and practical completion. The superintendent will also assist in dealing with lower value issues between contracting parties.
Hansen Yuncken will use a panel procurement process to identify suitably qualified and experienced superintendents who may be appointed to individual projects. Superintendents and all other contractors have a direct contract with the owners corporation.
What level of site investigations during the pre-construction phase will be carried out to facilitate a construct only (e.g. no design) contract?
There are a range of strategies implemented to support the pre-triage, inspection, design, remediation and certification process. In addition to reviewing relevant documentation, investigation or triage consultants will be engaged to inspect the façade in detail to ascertain not only the nature of the cladding but the build up of the façade and attachment methods, at critical points of the building (e.g. wall and slab ends, window encasements and balconies).
The Global Façade Consultant will provide detailed technical and engineering guidance to support the approach to building investigation and ensure that all relevant information is gathered up front to enable the design teams to create comprehensive designs for the façade remediation.
Pattern book of cladding designs used for Project Remediate
Will the 'pattern book' of designs by the Global Facade Consultant be made available to Class 2 buildings that don't fall under the risk profile covered by Project Remediate?
Once developed, the pattern book will be made available on the Project Remediate web page. It will be a living document and may be updated from time to time.
Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020
How do professionals declare the rectification works design on the NSW Planning Portal if the works are not approved under Development Approval or Construction Certificate and are progressing under a fire safety order?
All cladding remediation work of Class 2 Residential buildings must be undertaken in accordance with full declared designs under the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020.
Design declarations are to be made by registered design practitioners via the NSW Planning Portal. This is undertaken via the "Building Work Commencement Date Capture & ITSOC" application type.
The Office of Project Remediate is working with The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) ePlanning team to update the NSW Planning portal to capture the declared designs and declarations. We anticipate this work to be complete by November 2021.
Does all cladding replacement work require a Development Approval (DA) consent?
There are multiple approval pathways that cladding remediation is able to follow, including Fire Safety Orders or development consent. Most often, the remediation will progress under a Fire Safety Order issued by the authority (Council or NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment). In other cases, a development consent (Development Application and Construction Certificate) may be the approval mechanism.
Recycling of materials
What is your plan for dealing with removed Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP) and other waste recycling?
Waste management is an important part of the Project Remediate and Hansen Yuncken will arrange a program-wide waste disposal and recycling arrangement to minimise the adverse impact on the environment and provide value for building owners.
Hansen Yuncken will engage with the recycling industry to procure these services.
Strata communities and councils briefing
Wednesday 1 September
2:30pm - 5:30pm
|Time||Agenda item||Video time marker|
Opening and introduction
Yvette Laurence, Office of Project Remediate
Welcome from the NSW Building Commissioner
David Chandler OAM
|NSW Building Commissioner strata briefing|
Keynote address from the Minister for Better Regulation & Innovation
The Hon. Kevin Anderson, MP
Meet the Project Remediate Managing Contractor
Nick Luzar and Nick Jacobs, Hansen Yuncken
|Managing contractor - Hansen Yuncken strata briefing|
Why sign up? The practical perspective of Project Remediate
Chris Duggan, President, Strata Community Association
|Chris Duggan, Strata Community Association strata briefing|
An update from the Office of Project Remediate
A presentation from the Project Remediate team featuring the NSW Cladding Taskforce Chair, John Tansey
|Office of Project Remediate - strata briefing|
Presentation from Fire and Rescue NSW
Wayne Phillips, Chief Superintendent, Fire Safety Branch, Fire and Rescue NSW
|Fire and Rescue NSW strata briefing|
Securing safe remediation workplaces
Meagan McCool, Director, Construction Services Group Metropolitan, SafeWork NSW
|SafeWork NSW strata briefing|
Panel discussion with live Q&A session
Facilitated by Tanya O'Brien, Office of Project Remediate, with:
|Panel discussion strata briefing|
Yvette Laurence, Office of Product Remediate
|Conclusion strata briefing|
- NSW Building Commissioner
- The Hon Kevin Anderson, Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation
- Managing contractor - Hansen Yuncken
- Strata Community Association
- Office of Project Remediate
- Fire and Rescue NSW
- SafeWork NSW
- Panel discussion
- Good afternoon, everyone. And welcome to our Project Remediate briefing for the strata community and councils. My name is Yvette Laurence and I'm a member of the Project Remediate team. And I'm your MC for this afternoon. I want to say a very warm welcome to the over 600 of you that registered for today's event. It's great to have so many people here with us today. I'd like to start by acknowledging that I am coming to you from the land of the Gadigal people and pay my respects to elders past, present, and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are watching today. Today's event is hosted in Slido. If you have any issues viewing the briefing today, we have provided an alternative link in the email we sent you yesterday.
- Now on the right of your screen, you'll see two tabs. One is for you to submit questions for our panel discussion that's taking place later in the briefing and the other is a poll. At the end of today, we're going to ask you to click on the poll tab to complete a short survey, to tell us what you thought of today and if you found it useful in answering your questions about the programme. I want to thank those of you who also submitted questions at the time you registered. Many of those questions will be answered by our speakers and presenters today and during our panel discussion. But we acknowledged that we may not get to answer all of your questions during the course of today. So we're going to publish a list of Q and A's on our website after the briefing. Now today you're going to hear from everyone involved in Project Remediate. We know that many of you are here to find out more about the programme to help you make a considered decision about joining.
- And as for our council representatives, we hope that this answers all the questions that you might have about the programme and what Project Remediate offers in terms of support for you. And we've got a big agenda for you. So first up, you're going to hear from the New South Wales building commissioner, who will welcome you and speak of his role and why you should register for Project Remediate. You will then hear a message from the Minister for Better Regulation and innovation, the honourable Kevin Anderson, who will give you an update on the programme. And then you'll meet the recently appointed managing contractor Hansen Yuncken who will speak about their role, their plans for the programme and the role they play to guide strata communities through the process of remediation. And then we'll take our first break of the day. And when we return, you're going to hear from the president of the Strata Community Association, Chris Duggan, about the practical perspective of Project Remediate and why as corporations should register.
- And then you'll get an update from the Project Remediate team and with them is the chair of the New South Wales cladding task force. And following that Chief Superintendent Wayne Phillips from fire and rescue New South Wales is going to speak to you about their involvement in project remediation and the work they're doing to make people who live in residential apartments, safer in their homes. And then you'll hear from SafeWork New South Wales about securing safe remediation workplaces. Then we'll take another break and at this point returned with the final segment of the day, our panel discussion. You'll hear from our subject matter experts and it's your chance to get as many of your questions answered as we can get through. And as I mentioned earlier, we'll post a list of Q and A's on our website after the briefing. So let's get started. So first up to deliver his opening address and welcome is the New South Wales building commissioner David Chandler over to you, David.
Go to video: NSW Building Commissioner strata briefing
- Thank you, Yvette for your introduction. And let me also welcome all of you to this presentation, it's a very important presentation. I also want to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and I'm down at central station in the McKell building today, so I'm on Gadigal land and we want to pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging. I want to also make a special call out because this project wouldn't have really been possible for the many people who have helped us get to this point and in particular, Karen Styles, from honest corporation network, because she has been the advocate of consumers ever since I took up my role as building commissioner. So I want to call out Karen Styles for your positive and constant pressure on making sure that we deliver better outcomes in New South Wales for building owners. And Chris Duggan is the New South Wales president of the Strata Communities Australia organisation. And they've played an enormous role in getting this project to this point. So thank you. Thank you very much indeed, everyone.
- You'll hear from the minister shortly and he will talk about just how many people were brought together today. So I'm not going to try and steal some of the things that he's got to say, but today is designed to give you a very ... of information that really you should have moving forward.
- I'm here to talk about the Project Remediate, but I must do that in the context of my role as New South Wales building commissioner, because it's terribly important that you understand that context. I also want to talk to you today, acknowledging and empathising with the fact that this is a very stressful situation, that a lot of you didn't see coming, and we're making it very clear in the office of fair trading and the reform programme in New South Wales that we expect to see far more trustworthy buildings in future, buildings that physically harm their occupants, buildings that emotionally and economically don't harm them. And we also are looking for the industry to take a much more responsible view on the way that projects are, sorry, let me go back to one, that projects are far more environmentally sensitive than they have in the past.
- Let me just move to the next point that I want to share with you because quite a lot of you don't understand, or haven't really heard from me about what we want the market to look like by the end of next year. What does a restored industry look like? Our mission is to win back the customers to this industry. We've lost a lot of their trust. So we want New South Wales to be the preferred place where people are minded to buy an apartment building and actually invest in building their home and their family. We've also got to make this transformation piece one where we make New South Wales the preferred market for insurers and financiers is to come back and participate on.
- We need to have a market as well, where developers can be branded and identified as which are trustworthy and which aren't. So we're making a very big push on making sure that developers who want to play in this space in the future, understand what their credentials again, need to be like and what your and our expectations of them will be. We want to restore the number of apartments being committed to in the next year by 20,000 apartment stats from 2023. And importantly, what we want to do is to create a situation where this industry is far more attractive to those people who are considering a career going forward. So the message that we've been confined to everybody in the industry is, do it properly because the cost of doing it again is very, very expensive and the price of cutting corners is no longer acceptable.
- You would have heard much of this on the reports around my work as building commissioner. But moved to just talk to you about legislation that is now going to affect the industry. You would have heard of the Design of Building Practitioners Act. It relates to class to buildings. And they involve obviously multi-unit residential apartments that you can see described here. That legislation applies to remediation. So anybody who's anticipating undertaking cladding remediation is going to have to do it in accordance with the Design of Building Practitioners Act, which means that it's going to require declared design.
- So some of the projects that we've seen being committed at the moment are simply being committed almost with the manufacturers brushes as the sole guideline for a construction contract. We won't be tolerating that going forward. So this information is available and will be shared with you. But it's terribly important to understand that we're looking to have the designs probably developed for each project, that those designs are declared before the work starts on site, and that the designs are uploaded on the New South Wales planning portal.
- So let me talk to you a little bit about Project Remediate, but you're going to find that this amount of detail that I'm going to share with you now is going to be expanded quite considerably by the team of people that you'll hear from today. Essentially, Project Remediate is a three-year programme to help remove the combustible cladding of high risk class two buildings in New South Wales. You'll hear that we have made you as the strata owners of these buildings, the centrepiece of everything we are going to do. Everybody who is coming on to this project to help get this done clearly understands that unless they make each of the strata communities, the centrepiece of this work, there will be trouble.
- So the programme offers those apartment buildings opt in to have access to an interest free loan for up to 10 years, it offers them a government funded assurance overlay where we pay for the managing contractor, any testing cladding product safety panel, and others that you'll hear about today.
- But what we want to do is to achieve an engineering solution. We want to make sure that we deliver value for money, we want to do it in a timely and risk-based response so that we can protect community safety, and we want to make sure that the buildings when they're finished are not subject to having any particular carve outs in their insurance policy going forward. Our mission is to get this project completed within 36 months from the date that the government announced the programme, which was in March, April this year. So we will get this done. We're on schedule. Our stock will be a little bit delayed with COVID impact, but we believe that we'll pull this project up on time.
- So to date we've had 80 registrations from people who are eligible to come in, and there's a further 63 projects that have indicated interest that we're currently assessing their participation in the project.
- You've got until the 30th of September to opt in and I really asking you to make sure that you do this because this is the only way that you can really be confident that the quality of the work that you need to be done on your building is in fact at the standard that we feel you ought to expect, and future owners and purchases of your apartments will also expect to have. So interest rate reliance, no obligation to sign up for the programme until you've got all of the information that you need, all the details of the designs, the costings, an acceptable contractor, all of that will be presented to you before you are asked to sign up.
- The overall programme will provide programme management of design, assurance, certification, all done by reputable experts. So you'll see here that we really built this programme around making sure that there's really no legacy issues that are going to be in your building, that you have to worry about in the future when it comes to cladding. Now, what we have seen is that people who are not using a Project Remediate type approach and what we would call a business as usual type approach, is that the variations of the standard of the work and the performance of the work are quite concerning to us, particularly in the area of safety. And so we will be talking to you today about the importance of safety in the way that our team will be approaching that going forward.
- You can see here examples of poorly fixed scaffolding, and you can see other examples of areas that would cause us great concern if your interests were adequately managed on behalf of this project. So the benefits of pro to strata communities is that we'll probably provide you with an overall programme management approach, the cost of replacing the cladding is being shared by the government, albeit that owners corporations will pay the cost of the work, but all the other areas of service that we'll provide will be at the government's expenses.
- There will be a provision for hardship, and you'll hear more about that, so that people who are not able to make their contribution by way of levees and repayments in the early stages of the project, may be able to get some relief. So we urge you to have a look at that because we've built almost all of the considerations into this project that you will really need to understand to bring your presence into the job.
- I'm not going to spend much more time on, on, on really outlining this because we'll deal with this in the Q and A sessions at the end of the session today. You're going to now hear from Minister Anderson, who's going to give you a broad introduction and invite your participation. But please make sure that you get your questions in so that we can make sure that today we can leave you knowing what you need to know about the programme. So over to you Kevin Anderson, we'll take his slide now.
The Hon Kevin Anderson, Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation
Go to video: The Hon Minister Kevin Anderson strata briefing
- Thank you for your time today, and the opportunity to update you on where we're up to with Project Remediate. This is one of my top priorities as Minister for Better Regulation and I'm happy to see that we're making real progress. There are 239 eligible buildings across New South Wales. And out of the government's programme we're able to offer them all a 10 year interest free loan, expert assurance, and free professional project management to oversee the remediation as efficiently as possible. To date over 60 strata communities have registered their interest in Project Remediate. And we hope to see that number continue to grow in the coming weeks as we move towards our September deadline. Now about the event, today we've bought together everyone involved in Project Remediate to speak to you about the programme.
- If your building hasn't already registered, today's briefing is designed to give you the information you need to make an informed decision about joining this programme. You'll hear from experts in the fire safety and cladding remediation components and the team who will guide you through the process from registration right through to completion. Remediating combustible cladding is a complex process that needs expert advice and services. For owners and volunteer owners, committees who have no building expertise I know this is a daunting experience. Project Remediate has been designed to take the worry out of the process for you and make the process as easy as possible. I'd encourage you to ask our experts any questions you may have and make sure you use this opportunity to raise any concerns you might have about joining the remediation programme.
- In the six months, since I launched Project Remediate we've made real progress, despite the pandemic and the lockdowns impacting New South Wales. The Project Remediate team was consulted widely as it scoped out the design for the programme and identified the skillsets and the providers necessary to lead that remediation work. They've been working to set up the systems to deliver the outcomes we all want, remediated safe buildings.
- We've also recently announced the managing contractor, Hansen Yuncken who will oversee the remediation works. The managing contractor is fully funded by the New South Wales government to provide the complete programme management for each affected building, that will make life much easier for strata communities. Flammable cladding remediation isn't a simple process and Hansen Yuncken will do that work on every owner's benefit to ensure only safe compliant design solutions are applied to every building. Under Project Remediate owners will get an insurable, durable and long lasting solution for their building and benefit from the economies of scale and managing contractor can deliver.
- Hansen Yuncken will be your main point of contact on this journey and will consult with you on all decisions affecting the building, including design preferences, safety, works, scheduling, building access and amenity. You'll have the opportunity today to ask any questions you may have.
- We all know that part of the problem with combustible cladding is insurance. That's why we've worked with insurers to make sure that they're on board with what we're doing. Under this programme we guarantee the availability of insurance that is free of cladding exclusions, or premium loadings once your building is remediated under Project Remediate. As the Minister for Better Regulation, the area of work health and safety falls within my portfolio and it's something I'm very serious about. That's why we're taking the lowest possible risk when it comes to fire safety. There's been a lot of commentary about what products should and shouldn't be used to replace dangerous cladding.
- Let me be very clear. It's not just about the cladding product. It's also about ensuring the entire system complies, including fixings, fittings and brackets. Every component of the systems we use and are recommending in the first trench will have to meet the highest fire safety requirements under the building code of Australia, ensuring non-combustibility.
- And whilst the work is being completed, we also need to ensure the safety of both workers and residents within this programme. The contractors and consultants, these buildings need to be operated as a safe work site, a place of work and while residents, they will still be living in these buildings, that's their home and during the pandemic potentially workplaces in classrooms as well. This project will be run safely and in accordance with the legislation and regulations governing workplace safety. That expectation of a culture of safety and compliance has been conveyed to Hansen Yuncken and I'm sure they will be just as insistent about it as I am.
- I know that many of you are still considering if this is the right option for your building, and perhaps you may even be investigating other options. When it comes to remediating cladding, it's a very complex process. Every building will be subject to the requirements of the Design and Building Practitioners Act, irrespective of how the need for remediation has come about, or if they participate in Project Remediate. This means that designs must be prepared, lodged, and declared so that they are compliant with the building codes of Australia.
- So if you're considering remediation options outside of Project Remediate, this strict compliance and audit process will still need to be met. My strong advice is to entrust the Project Remediate team, to do these complicated programme management work for you lock, stock and barrel and register for our solution to remediating unsafe cladding. If you're still considering whether to register, I encourage you to discuss this with your owners corporation or strata committee, and act quickly to register your interest online.
- Once you register that opens the door, we can then begin the process of expertly investigating and assessing your building. When registering there's no obligation to proceed with the programme. You get to see everything upfront, including all costs involved before you decide whether to sign. The remediation and loan contracts, it's all there. I know that dealing with combustible cladding has been a challenging process for all effected owners, and I know you want a resolution that allows you to make your buildings safe. Under Project Remediate, you will get an insurable safe and long lasting solution for your building. We have real momentum now, and we're on track to commence assessment and project design for the first batch of 30 buildings this month.
- Thank you for your time today, I really appreciate it. Again, please put your hand up and ask any questions that you may have, get engaged in the sessions ahead, and finally register for Project Remediate. Thank you very much for your time.
Go to video: Managing contractor - Hansen Yuncken strata briefing
- Thank you commissioner for your welcome and to Minister Anderson for that message. And now it's time to meet our managing contractor Hansen Yuncken. Representing Hansen Yuncken and our managing contractor team is Nick Lazar, the New South Wales and ACT State Manager. And with him is Hanson Yuncken's programme director, Nick Jacobs. They are here to talk to you about the role of the managing contractor and how they work with owners corporations, and strata managers over to you, Nick Lazar.
- Thank you very much Yvette. Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for finding the time to join us this afternoon, to listen about Project Remediate and how it can help move the flammable cladding issue forward. I'm going to be talking a little bit about the overall managing contractor process and a little bit about Hansen Yuncken, and then Nick Jacobs is going to talk in a little bit more detail around the project itself and how you can actually get involved and how it can help you.
- The first thing I'd like to do is acknowledge the traditional custodians of the Thermomerical land, which is the land in which I live and work at the moment anyway, while COVID stopping me from going to the office. We pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging.
- So our role, we were ultimately appointed in July, 2021 to manage the replacement of combustible cladding on class two residential buildings with a fully designed compliant facade system. The role is ultimately worked very closely with owners industry and government to deliver safe, compliant, and insurable solutions for affected owners. But our role actually goes much further than that. We see our role in the programme is to actually bring all of the different pieces together. And I've got a slide to show you shortly, which actually gives a sense of the structure that we have in place for the project, but it's to pull all of those different pieces together and make sure that each individual building has its own bespoke solution, to make sure that it gets the right answer going forward.
- We'll be working with all of the owners corporations, and body corporates, and bringing in individual design teams to make sure that the solution that's come forward is something that you can see in a completely transparent fashion as will be the pricing mechanism that goes forward in terms of the contractors who would be looking to do the work.
- Ultimately, we want to make sure that everyone gets home safe, we want to ensure that the project is done right, and it can be signed off by the Insurance Council of Australia and Fire and Rescue New South Wales. And as David mentioned, what we also really want to do is rebuild the confidence in New South Wales building construction industry, because over the last couple of years there has been some issues that we're trying to address.
- This structure that you can see on the screen now, it gives you a sense of just how large the process actually is to get each of the projects through for the 200 plus buildings. But I think there's a couple of elements here that I wanted to talk about specifically.
- So we are the managing contractor for the project and our contract is actually with the state government, New South Wales in particular, the office of the building commissioner, but ultimately our clients, the building owners corporations for each of the individual buildings. And our team has been structured to make sure that they understand that they're actually working for you. The contract might be with the government, but ultimately our metric is to make sure that we're providing solutions for each of the buildings that do what they need to do. There's two other very specific parts of this group that I just want to talk about quickly.
- One's the cladding product safety panel and the safety panel is there to help provide advice on what products are acceptable and meet the required standards to be able to be put onto buildings at the moment. And they have already been identified as a number of products that can be used, and we'll be doing more work to see if there are others that can be added to it.
- The other key role in this team that they wanted to quickly talk about is the global facade consultant. The global facade consultant is again, a consultant who is meant to help assist in that process of identifying not only products, but standardised designs that we can use in a pattern book framework to be rolled out on individual projects. So while each building will have its own designer to come up with a solution that's bespoke and meets the needs of that individual project, they'll be taking information out of the pattern book that the global facade consultant has put together to help us get there. The reason for doing this so that every individual project isn't reinventing the wheel, we want to make sure that we have a series of patterns and products and designs that we know work, that we can then take to apply to the individual buildings as we need to.
- There's a number of other elements in this that Nick will be talking about shortly. So I'll leave those for him to go forward in a little bit more detail.
- Our vision for the project is relatively simple. We want to rebuild confidence in the class two residential buildings in New South Wales, as I've talked about before. We want to make sure that everyone gets home safe. And when I talk about safety, a big part of it is about the people that are working on the projects, but there's also a larger part, which is actually people who are living and residing in these projects and the people that own them. These projects ultimately have to be delivered on active and live projects and that's a place where we spend most of our time in that delivery work at the moment as an organisation. So it's not just about the people working on the job, it's making sure that people living there are safe as well.
- We're very focused around customer satisfaction. And one of the metrics we'll be measuring is satisfaction in terms of how you feel you're being addressed throughout the process of the project and that includes not just home as a residence, but also the government. And we're also engaging with industry to make sure that they are part of the solution, because ultimately we need to bring everyone along the journey. It's not just about fixing the problem for now, it's about making sure that the challenge doesn't happen again in five or six years time. And we really want industry to be the best it can be.
- David talked briefly about the insurance layer. So I just want to talk about that in a little bit more detail because it picks up a number of elements across the programme. The first one is really around stakeholder engagement and management and making sure that it's an element that we do about pulling all of the different pieces together and making sure everyone feels like they're heard. We've then got the global facade consultant who will be putting together pattern book designs, which pick up solutions across all of the projects. They'll also be undertaking and supporting us through different product tests so that if there are additional products that want to be used or if you've got partway through a design and you think you've got a solution you want to use we're to test that product to make sure it actually does what it needs to do.
- There's a panel procurement process in place. So every single project will be tended and it'll be tended on a panel of pre-qualified companies that are engaged to work on the project. So we are going through a pre-qualification process at the moment and shortlisting individual organisations, whether it's for design or superintendents or to physically do the work and then every individual project will be tended from that point.
- There's a direct payment mechanism in there to make sure people are getting paid on time. And we also have a compliance certificate at the end of the project, which again, will be signed off by the Insurance Council of Australia. So there's multiple layers of assurance to make sure that the project on completion is absolutely fit for purpose in terms of what it needs to.
- David also talked briefly about the loan scheme. And I think just again, to reiterate, this is a 10 year interest free loan with quarterly payments, but most importantly, there are hardship provisions in place for owners or occupiers who are struggling to come up with payments at a particular time. Having said that the project still needs to be done, so the building can be rectified. So there's a series of provisions in there.
- The other thing that sits on top of all of this is that the project is done in a very collaborative and a very open book fashion, so that all of the things that are coming forward and we're giving to you are done in a very transparent fashion.
- A little bit about Hansen Yuncken because you may or may not have heard of who we are. Our business was established in 1918, so we're a little bit over a hundred years old operating consistently for that time. And over that period of time, we've delivered over 5,000 buildings since our founding. Some significant projects that you may or may not be aware of is Sydney Colosseum Theatre in Sydney and Inner City High School. But I think the two projects that probably jump out the most in terms of relevance for this particular programme are Building Education Revolution and the Sydney Ferry Wall upgrade package.
- So we've been delivering Ferry Walls across Sydney Harbour for over 12 years in a managing contractor fashion. And we would have done the largest proportion of work across the state and building the Revolution, again in the managing contractor fashion, coming up with bespoke solutions for each of the individual schools to make sure it meets their needs. We're a national business with offices all over the country, but ultimately we've been around for a long time and we understand how to stand behind our product to make sure the product is what it needs to be at the end.
- Some of our values, and some of the ones I really wanted to talk about in particular here are the customer orientation and our innovation journey. And I'll talk a little bit more about our innovation journey shortly, just in terms of how it affects this particular programme. But we see the customer as the centre of everything that we do in terms of our organisation. All of our business development is focused towards delivering projects well, and we believe wholeheartedly that the best way to move forward as an organisation is to do it with happy clients.
- Our organisation has always been driven by challenge and built with pride and pride is something that our people bring to all of our projects. But ultimately we also operate in a very respectful fashion, we adhere to best practise and corporate standards along the way, and we're very focused around continuing to improve safety, quality, environmental outcomes on all of our projects. And Nick Jacobs will talk a little bit more about education further on as we go into the slide deck.
- From an innovation perspective, one of the things that helped us secure the managing contract with the government was actually the process in which we do with data, because there is an enormous amount of information on these buildings that sits around already and there'll be a significant amount more that still needs to be done in terms of the process. And ultimately to give you, the owners corporations, and the body corporates information about the buildings when they're done, so you can demonstrate to the insurers that the assurance process we've talked about is in place. A digital platform and gnocchi is essentially a platform designed to manage data. We're not software developers and that's not what our business does, what we do is we take external third-party platforms and we make sure we drag the best data out of all of those, so that we can collect information around products, around design, around safety performance of projects around the environmental performance of projects.
- And the picture you can actually see on the right-hand side of the screen is actually all of the individual projects sitting in a Project Remediated environment, laid out across essentially greater Sydney. There are more obviously outside of the greater Sydney area. But the system enables us to basically identify where buildings are from a location perspective, have a sense of the value and then collect all the data around it. And this is a platform that owners corporations will be-
- They collect all of the data around it. And this is a platform that owner's corporations will be given access to as well. So you can see information about how your projects being progressed as time moves on. The key focus is around delivering improved management and customer service, because ultimately that's what this is all about at the end of the day. And it's designed there to collect all of the information from the different places.
- Well, ultimately, what are we trying to achieve at the end of remediation? And I know I've talked about some of these, but I think it's worth coming back to them. We want to rebuild confidence in class 2 residential buildings. There has been a challenge in the industry for some time and David's already spoken about it. We want New South Wales class 2 buildings to be the place where people are prepared to invest their money, because they understand the quality of the product that they're investing their life savings into.
- We want to provide safe, compliant, and high quality outcomes for all of our communities and make sure that the solution for each of the projects, not only meets that but is bespoke as well. We want to make sure that everyone gets home safe, whether they're working on the project or living in the project. And we want to also improve industry education, training, and performance. And there are a number of benchmarks that the organisations that will be working for you on this project will need to pass in terms of those things to make sure they're available and ready to work.
- We won't be accepting anyone off the street. It's just not how it works. We want to make sure we're working with people who understand not only how to design appropriate facade solutions, but how to deliver appropriate facade solutions. And again, through the tender framework, we'll provide value for money for the owners and ultimately come back with a customer satisfaction outcome, which is hopefully the best you can see in the country in terms of delivering the style of work.
- So that's a quick summary of the programme from our perspective and a little bit about Hansen Yuncken. what I'd like to do now is pass over to Nick Jacobs who's going to talk in a little bit more detail about the project itself.
- Yeah. Thank you very much, Nick. And thank you to everyone who's attended today. Thank you for the opportunity to present to you. I want to start by outlining the key objectives of Project Remediate. And this is in the context of the support that the managing contractor is offering to owners corporations, and strata managers throughout their entire remediation journey. So many of these objectives you can see on this slide are common to the outcomes that Nicholas Lazar are just discussed in his previous slide. So what does that mean? So our ultimate goal is to remediate all buildings to a best practise standard. And with everyone home safe. We want to do this by delivering a customer focus remediation pathway, and we want to provide support to owners and strata managers to navigate through the process at every step of the way. It's very important that we deliver value for money to owners and this includes the interest free loans and hardship provisions that David Chandler referred to earlier.
- And ultimately from an owner's perspective, they have assurance at the end of the day you can go and obtain building insurance with no cladding carve-outs or cost premiums. And we're going to do this by pointing qualified expert service providers and contractors to perform all the investigative design, construction, and assurance work. We're going to coordinate all those activities to deliver a safe, compliant and durable solution for each and every building that enters the programme. And we want to leave a positive legacy in our communities and our industry for our efforts over the next three years. Next slide please.
- So I just want to talk a little bit about the remediation pathway and what it looks like. And I've used a typical building as an example. So you heard earlier that the overall programme timeline is approximately three years and buildings are being prioritised at the moment based on their risk, complexity, and readiness. Now we certainly want to achieve all buildings remediated in the shortest possible time frame, but I do want to stress that we're not going to cut corners to do that. This is absolutely not the programme to cut corners. Now with respect to risk complexity and readiness, the risk and complexity considerations include the size and the scale of the remediation work. Things like extent and configuration of your cladding and the operational risks of your building as assessed by fire rescue in New South Wales.
- Readiness refers to the affairs of owners corporations in preparing for remediation works. Now this includes procurement of fire orders or development consents to enable the works to proceed. And typically triaged design and construction will take about 12 months for the average building. Although some buildings will have longer or shorter durations depending on their risk and complexity and readiness levels. The basic pathway from registration through to remediation completion follows the diagram that you can see on the screen now. So it begins with triage and building investigative work. And this is to understand the nature and extent of the existing facade on your building. And that forms an input to the design work that will be done to design a compliant facade solution. The design will be presented to you at the 30% milestone, including an estimated of the works and wherever possible. We will look to provide you with more than one option to choose from once your choices being made.
- With respect to that design, we will then continue that design and develop it to a fully documented, ready to construct standard. And we will also procure a remediation contractor, a superintendent, and an independent assurer for you to engage into contracts with if you decide to proceed with the remediation work. And that's the sign-off point that you can see on the diagram. We then move into the build and construct phase, which typically will be a 180 day period for the average building. And once the works are complete, there's a defect liability period, and then a statutory warranty, which applies thereafter.
- Next slide please. So why register? Well, the six extremely good reasons why you should register if you haven't done so already, the assurance layers already been discussed by David Chandler and Nick Lazar earlier. And I just want to underscore the fact that the assurance layer consists of experts right throughout the process to ensure that documentation, materials and construction standards meet the high requirements of Project Remediate and the insurance industry. And that's part of how we will deliver a safe, compliant and insurable outcome for your building.
- Your building will be investigated and triaged by experienced professionals that have been selected based upon their industry credentials and their experience. We will also assist you with navigating local authorities and fire orders and close out those issues with the local authorities upon completion of the works. We're going to be able to offer a very efficient and cost-effective design approach using the pattern book of design solutions developed by the global facade consultant. We will build up a substantial body of knowledge, will be shared publicly in due course, but this is something that we believe will really add significant value to owners through Project Remediate.
- We'll also procure fully documented lump sum contracts for the works and we'll competitively tender those on your behalf by pre-qualified remediation contractors that we will have previously selected. And we'll also dedicate case managers to supporting you through every step of your remediation journey. So you'll never feel that you're trying to do this alone in what is a very complicated space. Next slide please.
- So if you've already registered, what happens next? Well, our team is currently reviewing all of the available documentation that you provided to the office of Project Remediate. And we're beginning to allocate those buildings into the programme based on their risks, complexity, and readiness. The first step is that we're going to contact you to seek permission to come and investigate and triage your building. And depending on where you are in your remediation journey, we'll also assist you where necessary with navigating the local government authorities for fire orders or development consents necessary to undertake the work. As I mentioned previously, we'll develop design options and cost estimates and present those to you at 30% and again at a hundred percent with a lump sum tendered price and a contract, which is ready to go. We'll also oversee the remediation works during construction, and we'll ensure that best practise safety, quality and technical standards apply at all times while work is being carried out by us on your building.
- We're going to manage the recycling of demolished colliding materials through one or more global recycling contracts. This will ensure value for money for owners. It will also enable us to ensure that we retain control over where those materials go once they've left your site. And the intent is to ensure that the majority of those materials do not end up in landfill, but are recycled and repurposed for use elsewhere in the industry in a safe manner. And finally, we will verify the works and provide you with an assurance certificate, which is going to enable you to contact your insurer and obtain an insurance policy without combustible cladding premiums.
- Now, David Chandler mentioned early on that there are interest-free loans available and hardship provisions to eligible owners, and we would encourage you to explore those options and opportunities initially via the Project Remediate website and with the office of Project Remediate itself. Now owners have no obligation up to the 100% design presentation milestone. So there's really nothing to lose. You can exit project at that time if you decide to go your own way. We believe that if you join, you'll enjoy the process. You'll enjoy the support that you'll get from us every step of the way. We're here to guide you and hold your hands through the process and deliver lasting durable outcomes. Next slide please.
- So what contracts will I need to sign as an owner's corporation? Well, this diagram here attempts to demonstrate that to you. Now, initially the suppliers and contractors will be engaged by the managing contractor. This is for triage and building assessment and design. Now, when we reach construction, we will present remediation superintendent and assurer contracts to the owners corporations to enter into. And they will all have been competitively tendered to ensure value for money.
- The design contracts at that point in time would be novated to the owners corporations. So essentially you have design contracts, a remediation contract, a superintendent contract and an assurer contract. Next slide, please. Everyone home safe. That's not the first time you've heard that today. And this is extremely important to all of us, the safety of everyone involved in the programme. Residents and visitors, general public, workers. We want to ensure that nobody is harmed in the conduct of our activities over the next three years. Now, all workers will need to complete mandatory training and they will have to have a Project Remediate passport to work on your property. And we commit to your safety and privacy at all times.
- Next slide, please. How will communication be managed? Well, how can you contact us? Firstly, we've established a 24 hour hotline that you can ring at any time of the day or night if you have any questions or concerns and that number is available now. Once we introduce you to our customer service managers, you may prefer to liaise directly with them and their details will be provided to registered owners in due course ahead of the triage and investigation work being carried out. For those who prefer to write. We've also got a project email address, which is monitored and that's remediateoc@ hansenyuncken.com.au.
- And in terms of how we will contact you, we're going to issue you with information packs before triage at 30% design and again at 100% design. But at all other times we will liaise with you ... nominated representative, and we'll also use your preferred means of communication. And we will always assist owners with any questions or issues that arise while the building is in the programme. And additionally, we will have dialogue with the statutory authorities, such as councils and fire rescue New South Wales as necessary to assist owners obtain their fire orders or development consents. Next slide, please.
- For further information, to register, you can go to the New South Wales government website, newsouthwales.gov.edu/ projectremediate. You can also visit the Project Remediate website if you haven't already. And there's a wealth of information set out on that website for you. And I would encourage you to read what is published there. You can speak with us on our number 1-800-730-102 at any time of the day or night. And if you prefer to write to us remediateoc@ hansenyuncken.com.edu. That ends my slide presentation for today. I would like to thank all of you for your attention this afternoon. Thank you very much.
- Thank you, Nick Jacobs and Nick Lasar, I've noticed in the chat a few of you are asking about whether or not we're recording today's briefing. I just wanted to let you know yes we are. And we're going to put that on our website soon after the briefing. Okay. So now it's time for a quick break. We'll be back in a few minutes with Chris Duggan from the Strata Community Association. We'll see you back here shortly.
- Welcome back everyone. I hope you got the chance to get up and stretch your legs. Have a cuppa and take a quick break. our next presenter is Chris Duggan. Chris is the president of the Strata Community Association, New South Wales, the peak body for strata in New South Wales and the group managing director of the Bright Duggan property group. Chris is going to talk to you about the practical perspective of Project Remediate and owner's corporations should sign up. Over to you, Chris.
- Thank you so much, Yvette, and welcome ladies and gentlemen. I'm here today to fill in the gaps for you and particularly to speak to my strata management colleagues out there, and also strata communities represented by hopefully you on owner's corporation committees and also interested owners to try and fill in the gaps and give you a perspective around the benefits and the significant benefits of signing up to Project Remediate. And I can say that with a huge degree of confidence and that confidence comes from the fact that SCA and our volunteer directors have been involved extensively in consultation with the Project Remediate team to try and make sure that all of the questions you may have, have been pressure tested and also that the nuances of strata and owner's corporations are best understood by the project team and the longer that's gone on, the more competence I have that his project is right, but we need to make sure that that business case is well understood.
- And again, I appeal to strata managers to make sure that you spend the time upskilling yourself and getting the knowledge is critically important to help you educate your communities. So I'm going to talk today briefly, but importantly about the business case for registration and why you must, in my opinion, register now and not miss this opportunity, which is critically important for your communities. I'll also address some of the concerns that I believe had been raised from the discussions that we've had with strata communities across New South Wales. And then at the end, I'm going to underscore that point. Make sure you register now to ensure that your community and that your clients don't miss out. So one of the major benefits that we find from a strata perspective is the consistency of the managing contractor. And you've heard from Hansen Yuncken about the experience that's going to be scaled.
- From a real practical approach, strata management businesses, strata managers, and owners corporations deal with things in piecemeal isolation. So the benefit of having the scaled experience, the buying power, the bulk leverage pricing and the expertise that's going to come from the IP buildup by Hansen Yuncken is invaluable. So that's one thing that you just cannot get elsewhere. And we're talking to strata communities to make sure that they don't miss the opportunity to leverage that managing contractor experience. Secondly, is the guaranteed outcomes. And we heard the minister talk about that guarantee. The planning product safety panel is going to be overseeing this process and you'll have the best in the industry, making sure that the building products, the processes and the certainty you get at the end of Project Remediate are unrivalled, and you can't buy those sorts of outcomes. In the current environment of uncertainty and focus around the quality of buildings that guarantee coming from the programme is immeasurable.
- Secondly, the prevention or thirdly, the prevention of scope creep. We've seen this in experiences we have with our members. We've seen buildings where on completion of cladding or works, there's been significant overruns. There's been significant variations. And it's because there wasn't proper site analysis and detailed design done. So the work done and the benefit owners corporations get as a result of this process, again, is going to prevent that scope creep.
- Turning to the the critical question on insurance. Anyone who's dealing with insurance knows that it's a challenging environment. The consultation that the Project Remediate team have done with the insurance industry and the insurance council of Australia means that that guarantee the minister talked about can be delivered upon. And that means upon registration, automatically your building is viewed differently in the eyes of the insurance sector. And more importantly, on completion, you'll have the guarantee around the fact that there will be no additional premium loadings on your building in relation to the cladding.
- Again, the significance of that from a financial perspective and assurance perspective is significant. The financial support packages being offered is very, very, very appealing. The no interest loan, which is 10 years and was talked to by Hansen Yuncken earlier, again, it means that there's no cost to the owner's corporation for the loan impact, but more importantly, the managing contractor, the project assurance overlay and supporting the owner's corporation's cost for strata managers have all been built in. These are things that have never existed before and will significantly soften the financial cost of doing the work.
- So again, it's a major reason why, but I guess the overriding reason is it's critically important to make your community safe and to get the guaranteed assurance of this programme. That should be the number one driver, and it should be the reason that you're all leaning in to making sure that you find out more and register your buildings.
- Talking to some of the concerns that have been raised in the conversations and dialogue that we've had with members and with strata communities. One is the design is already underway. Well, I can tell you right now, make sure you register so that the Project Remediate design team and the managing contractor can engage with you to discuss where you're up to and the suitability for your scheme. Don't let the opportunity and the timing go by. You have to the 30th of September to ensure that you register your building.
- As we've heard, there are reasons and opportunities to opt out as the project goes along, but you need to be in it to win it. And this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to have cladding overseen and removed from your building underwritten by the government. The second concern we hear is that a contractor has already appointed, or there's very advanced discussion around the works. Again, you need to be having that conversation now with your strata manager, with your strata community and with your design teams to make sure they sign up and they get the oversight and they can begin dialogue with the Project Remediate teams.
- We need to ensure that we have no one left behind because they didn't think they were suitable for this project. Concerns have been raised about the Project Remediate works and the cost of a loan. Well, obviously the costs of an interest free loan are going to be nill in terms of the interest component. But our view and we've pressure tested this with some work scenarios is that substantial financial support and the comprehensive design overlay, as well as all the other elements with the global facade engineer and the other assurance layers, particularly the scope of works will be developed beforehand is likely to reduce costs in the long run. Overlay that with the fact that insurance has now become such a hot topic issue, we have practical examples of buildings that have registered for the scheme and now are able to get 12 months insurance renewal terms when previously they haven't.
- And this underscores the confidence that the industry has in this project to deliver. But it also talks to the broader discussions that's occurred with the industry, the insurance sector, and with councils to make sure they understand the buildings that have committed to this programme are going to have their cladding remediated. One of the most critical elements, and again, I'm talking to all of my strata manager colleagues here is where litigation is currently underway. We don't want to miss buildings that could be applicable under this scheme because there is concurrent litigation underway, or because they may be advised not to go down this path. You are obligated to ensure that you have a look what's in the best interest of your clients and Project Remediate is that very best interest of your client. So please ensure regardless of whether your litigation is underway or whether you're getting advice to the contrary that you register your scheme, please don't miss this opportunity.
- Finally, if there's any uncertainty as to suitability or applicability in the scheme, don't guess, make sure you understand what is available to you, participate by registering and opting in. As I said at the outset, we have been engaged with the office of Project Remediate around consultation to ensure this fits strata plans, to make sure that it suits the composition of owners corporations. And we're very confident and we have huge trust in this system, and we want you to too. And at the end of this programme, hopefully you've got more comfort and more confidence to be able to sign up. So my one takeaway to any strata community out there or any strata manager is please reach out to SCA for more information to office of Project Remediate for more information, but make sure you don't miss this critical opportunity by 30th of September to sign up. Thank you.
Go to video: Office of Project Remediate - strata briefing
- Thank you very much for your presentation, Chris. So next up, we're going to give you an update on Project Remediate. To speak with you today is the Director Tanya O'Brien and executive officer Matt Beatty from the office of Project Remediate. And with Tanya and Matt, we have John Tansey. John is the Executive Director of Policy and Strategy in the Better Regulation Division of the Department of Customer Service and the Chair of the New South Wales Cladding Task Force. Over to you, Tanya.
- Thanks so much, Yvette. And what a tough act to follow, Chris. Thank you so much for that messaging. The thing that you've done actually is answer so many of the questions that are were the chat, so I'm hoping that everyone was paying lots of attention to your messaging there. It was fantastic. So what we're going to do in the next session is just give you a quick update as to the outcomes that the office of Project Remediate is striving for in regards to the programme.
- And we're also going, like Yvette said, we have John Tansey here with us from the New South Wales Cladding Task Force. And to begin with John will give us a bit of a message around how did we get to this point and a little bit of the backstory, I guess, as to why we are where we are and the decisions that have been put in place to actually get us here. From there, we'll give you a bit more of an update around what Project Remediate is delivering and hopefully answer a few more of those questions that are coming through. So, John, I might pop over to you please.
- Thanks very much, Tanya. Yeah, look, and I wanted to recap some of the key developments over time-related to combustible cladding and how they've led to the establishment of Project Remediate. So if I can take you back a little bit in November, 2014, a fire occurred at the lacrosse building in Melbourne and the fire began from a balcony and spread via the building's cladding to the top of the 21 story building within 10 to 15 minutes. And that event really kick-started the Australian focus on combustible cladding. And following that in 2015, the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment issued a planning circular to New South Wales councils, certifiers to builders, architects, building designers, range of industry practitioners and other stakeholders about the requirements in the building code of Australia for external walls of certain buildings to be non-combustible. And the department of that stage also wrote to all local councils, asking them to consider buildings in their local areas that may be affected by combustible cladding.
- And highlighting the complexity in this area even back then in 2016, the Australian building codes board issued an advisory note providing guidance on interpreting the existing national construction code provisions relating to the fire performance of external walls to assist practitioners with product selection, installation, and certification. As we all know, the international game-changer though, was the Grenfell tower fire that occurred in London in June, 2017. That fire started in an apartment on the fourth floor and spread in all directions to soon involve the entire facade and tragically led to multiple deaths and injuries. Within days of that incident, the New South Wales government established the cladding Task Force and the Task Force has been led since that time and up to now by the department of customer service and includes representatives from the Department of Planning Industry and Environment, the Office of Local Government, Fire and Rescue New South Wales, Treasury, and the Department of Premier and Cabinet. And the Task Force was charged with leading the coordination and delivery of all of the elements of the New South Wales government's 10 point plan.
- But the number one task from day one was to coordinate the government to work to identify and make safe any buildings in New South Wales that may be affected by combustible cladding. And the challenge from day one was that there was no available dataset identifying the types of cladding products that were installed on buildings across New South Wales. So the Task Force then set out on a hunt. And the challenge from working with the New South Wales data analytics centre, the Task Force conducted data audits of a range of government records and a commercial building data set totaling 185,000 records to going back as far as 1985. And through that initial audit, we identified 1100 buildings and sites, but that initial audit was then combined with the local knowledge and reviews by local councils. And in 2018, the department of planning industry environment made changes to the environmental planning and assessment regulation that required owners of class two and three and nine buildings to register their buildings if they thought or they knew they had a range of metal composite cladding products or insulated cladding on them.
- All of those efforts led to a total of over 4,000 properties across New South Wales being identified. So on behalf of the Task Force, our colleagues at Fire and Rescue in New South Wales, the offices of Fire and Rescue visually inspected every one of those buildings to assess whether or not they had potentially combustible cladding installed. And as part of those inspections, buildings were categorised as high risk. If they appeared to have cladding of a type and an amount, or in a configuration that increased the risk of fire spread to occupants or the firefighters. Now sure many of you would recognise too that from a visual inspection, it's often not possible to distinguish a combustible cladding product from a non-combustible product. And so to manage this risk, Fire and Rescue categorised buildings as potentially high risk if there was any uncertainty about the material. And the all identified buildings were then formerly referred to councils using powers under the environmental planning assessment act that were referred by Fire and Rescue and which required councils to investigate and report back on the buildings fire safety provisions.
- And since that time and right up to the present, the Task Force, Fire and Rescue and Project Remediate now have monitored those investigations by councils. The other important development was that in 2018, the commission for fair trading called for submissions on a possible ban of aluminium composite panels, polystyrene, and similar cladding products. And that call for submissions received then input from a range of providers in industry across community as well.
- The commissioner subsequently issued a prohibition on certain types of aluminium composite panels with a core comprised of greater than 30% polyethylene by mass, unless the product or its used on a proposed wall system, past specified fire tests. And I want to emphasise, however, that that ban was not and is not the single measure used to assess building safety or eligibility for Project Remediate. As I said earlier, that eligibility is based on a whole building assessment. Importantly, across the time the Task Force has used mainstream media, a statewide advertising campaign, continuous social media, direct letter writing to owners, and letter box drops to residents as well as Fire and Rescue inspections to directly inform and engage with building owners and residents.
- And that outreach has provided information about the risks of cladding, the steps being taken to identify effected buildings and the expertise needed to assess and determine whether buildings needed rectification. Throughout the work of the Task Force, local governments have been a critical partner in understanding and identifying risks and responses. The roles and powers granted to councils in New South Wales planning legislation make them a critical element in working with fire authorities, the Task Force and the construction industry and owners and communities, and both the Task Force and council faced similar challenges...
- -and both the taskforce and counsel face similar challenges in responding to the risks and issues associated with the assessment of cladding products and usage. In August 2019, we established the cladding support unit to provide a one stop shop for coordination, collaboration and information sharing between the council and taskforce. And that cladding support unit also established a direct and secure platform for sharing information between the taskforce and councils to ensure that there was a single source of truth on affected buildings, drawing on all the sources we'd pulled together and that were available to counsels and the taskforce. And that collaboration really underpins the higher degree of certainty and confidence that the taskforce has about the process of identifying, triaging and assessing affected buildings.
- Again, across all that time from 2017 till today, the taskforce has heard from local councils and building owners that assessing building fire safety and cladding product is challenging. Cladding remediation often poses both a financial and a technical challenge, particularly to the owners of residential apartment buildings who don't necessarily have deep expertise in these issues. And councils and building owners have sought independent guidance on product and systems that are suitable to use in remediation because the reliability of information from supplies and proponents is not always guaranteed. Similarly, we're aware that consultant reports reporting to justify the rectification of combustible cladding on buildings have found to be a variable quality over time.
- All of these insights and findings have directly informed the drive to establish Project Remediate to address these challenges, bringing expertise and informed approach to all aspects of rectification assessment and design, providing a building assurance programme to oversee all aspects of the project and to provide financial support to owners to assist in meeting the cost of the rectification works. And that's why I'm delighted to be here today with all of you to talk about delivering this important Project Remediate. Thank you and back to you, Tanya.
- Thanks so much, John. Now what we're going to move onto is a little bit of information about Project Remediate and how obviously, to start with, how do we know if your building is an eligible building? Thank you. Obviously the first thing that we're dealing with is the criteria for eligibility, which is that the buildings need to be class two so they need to have that class two component ... My goodness, the slides are mucking up. Sorry, does someone mind just going back to the first slide, please? In terms of building eligibility, it needs to be class two residential buildings. They can be either low rise, medium rise, high rise, they can be mixed use, it can be any of the different formats as long as there's a class two component within that.
- The second test for eligibility is really around whether or not the buildings have been tested and confirmed by the Cladding Taskforce and Fire and Rescue in New South Wales as to the risk category that they sit within. At the moment, we've had over 143 buildings register their initial interest in this programme and so, out of that, we've got 80 buildings that we can confirm are eligible and we have a further 63 who are being considered by the Cladding Taskforce to confirm their eligibility. What I would say as the takeaway message for all of those Strada organisations out there who are listening along to this and finding it a little bit interesting, I encourage you to take this next couple of days to come into the programme, to register.
- At this point, it's no obligation. You're able to make your registration, come into the programme, get evaluated, and we can at least start to evaluate your building, look at the circumstances that are relevant to your case and see whether or not we can support you through this programme and it's an opt in programme so you do have opportunities to learn about the programme and the support that you'd be able to gather through this system.
- The next slide is actually the geographic spread of buildings slide, which is about showing that most of our buildings that we have within the programme are spread within the part of the eastern seaboard, mostly between Newcastle and Wollongong. Again, the bulk of those buildings is within the city of Sydney and the sort of geographical area of Sydney. And all of those buildings have been confirmed to be eligible and they are known to both Project Remediate, to Fire and Rescue, to the Cladding Taskforce and the councils are very well aware of the eligibility of these buildings.
- The next thing I might talk about, just quickly, is about the next slide, please, which is around one of the critical questions we've been asked a lot about by our owners who have registered already and one that we can see is still of particular interest of our Strada communities, is that what happens if my remediation is already under way? If you wouldn't mind just jumping to the next slide, please? Thank you. If you've come across a situation where you may have already started responding to council orders or you've already started to investigate your building, you may have done a number of things. You may have started to get quotes, you may have had design work done, your investigation works, you may have even signed a contractor to do the remediation work.
- The question that's sort of coming into people is sort of saying, "Well, I'm only part way down this track of remediation and now Project Remediate is available. Should I change into the Project Remediate Programme or should I continue to go alone in this system?" You've heard from the managing contractor, you've heard from Chris, you've heard from all of us, hopefully, today, we want to make sure that you hear the message that we have a very well placed and very experienced team to oversee this remediation process and we encourage you to avail yourself of the expertise that is available through this programme to get this done and get it done the most efficient way that you can.
- I guess the message is that once you've registered into the programme, the first thing we do is start to have a look at the materials, the designs, the plans that we have access to, the fire rulers that you're probably facing, and we go through that triage process that Nick was talking about a little bit earlier. We go through that and then it's only once we go through those initial design sort of stages that you'll be asked to actually confirm that you want to participate further and finish the remediation journey in this programme. We wanted to just encourage that you take this opportunity. You do have up until the 30th of September to register and we do have all of that information at the links, etc, are all available on our website. The next slide, please.
- Thank you. The other thing to note is that if you don't know that you're an eligible building and there's some buildings out there that haven't been assessed at this point, we still encourage you to register your interest. It means that then we can refer those buildings through to the Cladding Taskforce and through to Fire and Rescue New South Wales for their review. If they say, "Yes, it looks like this building is eligible", we will notify you yourself, as in the owners corporation and the relevant local government area and, if eligible, you'll be included into the programme and you'll be able to benefit form the whole oversight programme, the funding, etc. Again, there's a link there just showing where you can go to register your buildings and, just a reminder, obviously the 30th of September will come around before we know it. We might just go onto the next slide, please, again. Thank you. Just one more, please. Thank you so much.
- You've heard this said to us already on this afternoon's programme but this programme is all about demonstrating for people the best that our industry can be. We've put in place a very experienced managing contractor and we are holding that managing contractor and all of the consulting teams that we'll be working on the programme to a very high set of standards and expectations and these expectations are around a number of different elements including safety and value and efficiency and compliance and there's a whole bunch of different criteria that we will be putting into play for each of the people who are consultants to our programme. And that means that we can deliver the right standards and mean that we can deliver a very customer centric approach. I might just jump to the next one, please.
- In terms of customer centric, we are trying to make sure that the customer is the central point of the design of their programme so in terms of the work that is being planned for your buildings, what we want to make sure that, as part of that, in terms of the delivery of materials, in terms of the way that we do the placement of the scaffolding, the way that we stage works, etc, that we consider the impact on the community and the Strada body as it stands. We want to make sure that not only the people who live in these buildings and their visitors and the workers who are on these sites have the utmost safety and that everyone knows how to work together through the remediation process. Very mindful about amenity to these buildings, we are very mindful that we're working with buildings that are occupied and, as a result, we want to be able to provide the communities within these buildings with access to real time reporting and access to real time information about what's going on with their buildings as the remediation goes through.
- You heard earlier, Nick talking about certain ways that there's the hotlines and there's different ways to get in contact with the managing contractor. We'll be monitoring all of that and making sure that, as much as possible, the building owners feel very supported through this programme and feel that they understand exactly what's happening. Just jump to the next slide, please, which is around ensuring that everyone gets home safe. I feel that you're hearing a lot of these messages over and over but everyone home safe is critical to our delivery methodology. We are trying to make sure that the safety of every single one of these buildings is central to what we do. We have gone onto sites and we've seen sites where private remediation is occurring on some of these buildings at the moment. The unfortunate thing around some of that is that we've seen examples where fire safety equipment hasn't been provided, that the scaffold safety hasn't been the top quality that we would want, that even people from inside the apartments are able to access the balconies and access the scaffolding causing potential issues with scaffold safety generally but also worker safety.
- And what we're looking to do is to make sure that all of our programme has a set of site protocols that means that everyone who works on one of these sites knows exactly how to behave, how their remediation will be programmed and how it will run and that everyone's on the same page in terms of training and standards and all of those outcomes. I think I might hand over here to Matt at this point. Matt?
- Thanks, Tanya. A very important role under Project Remediate, in addition to the managing contractor, is an organisation we are calling a Global Façade Consultant. This will be an organisation that has expertise in façade engineering and Hanson Yuncken is currently assessing applications from organisations in order to appoint the selected company to that role. The reason that role is important for our programme is it will provide the essential advice to guide the remediation work and the design of the remediation solution for each building that is remediated under the programme.
- They will provide guidance as well to the building investigators, who are the consultants who investigate each building, to scope the cladding, identify the way the cladding is installed on the building, and the build up of the wall and the façade and gather all that information to provide to the design teams. The Global Façade Consultant will provide advice and guidelines as well to those design teams about the design elements that they need to consider and make sure have been addressed in the design to ensure that the remediated façade is a high quality façade system.
- This organisation will also review potential façade materials and will make recommendations for materials to be considered by the cladding product safety panel. In addition, the Global Façade Consultant will be responsible for maintaining what we're calling a pattern book. This is a repository of all of that information that's gathered by the building investigators and all of the designs that are prepared by the design teams so that knowledge that is learned on each project can be reused and deliver a better value for the buildings that are participating. This pattern book will avoid the need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to designs for each individual building. We'll also make the information gathered by the Global Façade Consultant available more widely to the industry so that the industry and that other building owners can benefit from it.
- Moving onto some of the programme outcomes that will be delivered through Project Remediate. All cladding remediation work in New South Wales, in residential apartment buildings, must not comply with the Design and Building Practitioners Act so that applies to remediation under Project Remediate or done independently. It means that designs and declarations must be lodged on the New South Wales Planning Portal by a registered design practitioner and declarations must be lodged as well, that the work has been built in accordance with the designs by a registered building practitioner. And those designs are subject to audit by the building regulator in New South Wales. I should say, under Project Remediate, the compliance with that act and those provisions and those necessary declarations would be overseen by our managing contractor and by our qualified design teams and building practitioners on behalf of the owners to make sure that the work is fully compliant.
- There are going to be some significant differences in the way remediation work is done under Project Remediate and how it maybe done by owners or contractors independently. Some of the key features of remediation under Project Remediate, I detailed here, that includes the detailed early investigation that I mentioned to precisely confirm the cladding on the façade and how the façade is constructed. The remediation under Project Remediate will use materials that are endorsed by the Cladding Product Safety Panel to ensure that there's that highest degree so safety as well as insurability. We work with the Insurance Council of Australia to ensure that those endorsed products can be fully insured so owners will not be burdened with increased insurance premiums or exclusions. There'll be a remediation assurance certificate issued at the completion of each project and projects will benefit from support and oversight through our programme including the liaison with local government, the programme of the work by the managing contractor and the customer service also delivered by Hanson Yuncken.
- There are some risks that might apply to owners corporations when they're organising cladding remediation work so we want to make sure that the people listening to us now are aware of those risks that they may need to consider and that they can avoid through signing up to Project Remediate. We've noticed that there's a high potential for scope creep when there's not an upfront investigation into the façade and there can be unanticipated issues that crop up during the work that result in cost increases. There can also be ongoing implications for owners, depending on their remediation solution adopted but if there's a remediation solution that involve a performance solution, that can mean ongoing maintenance requirements, ongoing costs for owners, which are required under a fire safety schedule and enforced on an ongoing basis by the council. There may be higher insurance to pay if certain types of cladding are retained. There's a lack of the remediation certificate, and I'll go into what that certificate covers in a moment, and, of course, it's necessary for owners to directly manage the work, which can be very complex. It's not an easy type of project for owners corporations to manage.
- This Remediation Assurance Certificate is issued by an independent assurer that will be appointed to each project. That assurer will be responsible for carrying out inspections of the work, certifying that the work is compliant, and that it meets the requirements of Project Remediate. That certificate can be presented then to the council or the consent authority as a way of satisfying any fire safety audits that have been issued for the building and it will also be useful to present to the building's insurer in order to demonstrate that this façade solution is now endorsed by Project Remediate and should therefore not be subject to any higher insurance premiums.
- Now, we know that there's some interest in what will happen if your building has some other issues with the façade or with the wall system. This is how we will deal with those defects where they exist under Project Remediate. If there are any defects in the façade system, they'll be fixed as part of our programme. If there are other defects in the wall system, those will be documented for the awareness of the owners and other parties. If there are other fire safety defects that Fire and Rescue observe during their inspections of the buildings, they will also be reported so that they can be addressed and made safe. If the defects demonstrate any misconduct by building practitioners involved in the construction of the building, those will also be documented and referred to New South Wales Fair Trading to take any appropriate compliance action.
- Now, the other part of the programme obviously is the interest free. To tell you how that part of the programme will work, firstly, it's a package so the interest free loan and the assurance services come together and so it is necessary that the owners corporation sign up for both but when they do sign up, those loans are for 10 years, they're interest free and the repayments will begin once the work is complete. The loan will fund, entirely, the cost of the remediation work as well as the superintendent and the independent assurer. Repayments will be quarterly, which is in line with your typical Strada levy payments. They start 30 days after the completion of the work and, importantly, there are also some hardship provisions to protect owners who may struggle to meet the increased levies to make these repayments. Anyone in that situation will be fully protected, there'll be an independent assessment process they can access to assess their circumstances and those are owners who are eligible and demonstrate hardship will be able to defer those payments until their situation improves or, if necessary, for the entire loan period of 10 years.
- Now, we recognise as well that to administer this will mean that Strada managers have to perform some additional services for owners corporations. To assist with that, the buildings that sign up for the scheme, we will make a contribution to assist with those increased costs that will be involved in getting buildings signed up so educating the owners about the programme, arranging the votes to get the loan established, consideration of the remediation designs and getting that organised and the consultation as well as facilitating the levy repayments over the loan period. That payment of $10,000 will be available, depending on the size of the building, it will vary up and down, but that will be for an average size building to support owners corporations with those costs. We're also supporting local councils for the work that is involved in them investigating these buildings and working with the programme regarding fire safety orders and the remediation proposals and, again, the payment of $10,000 per building, we'll assist the councils with those, or some of those, costs.
- We have been working with local councils who are the consent authorities for the majority of the buildings and this demonstrates the different touchpoints that we expect throughout our remediation process. We've already been involved and so has Hanson Yuncken in the initial review of buildings and the triage of where those buildings are up to. We've been in contact with councils to gather documentation through that process and to also ascertain exactly the status of the fire safety orders. We will liaise with the councils with where there are fire safety orders to make sure that the timing of the order is appropriate as well as the scope of the order. If any buildings out there have a fire safety order that's due in the next few months, we will take on those discussions with council to make sure that the order has an appropriate timeframe for the remediation work. There'll be ongoing contact with the council throughout the process of developing the designs for remediation, the commencement of the work, inspections of the work, and then, as I said earlier, the Remediation Assurance Certificate that confirms that work has been complete and that it complies with the fire safety order.
- Now, we have a few resources that you may have accessed but, if not, these are some really helpful sources of information for building owners, committee members, and for Strada managing agents. There are videos available on the Project Remediate website that provide overviews of different aspects of the programme. There's a detailed information guide that can also be accessed on that website and that's a good source of information for committee members or Strada managers and there'll be another guide coming soon, tailoring more to residents as they become involved, as a building has registered interest and things start to affect the residents more directly.
- We also have training courses so you may have seen there's a two hour online course available now called Understanding Project Remediate. You can access that course at no cost up until the end of September and there's a course coming soon, Possession of Site and Induction, that will cover everything that the contractors involved in this programme need to know. That's it for me. Our website address is on the screen now, as is our email address for any inquiries and I will hand back to Yvette.
- Great. Thank you so much, Tanya, John and Matt, and that URL web address there, it's nsw.gov.au/project-remediate. Okay. Our next presentation is from Fire and Rescue New South Wales. Everyday, Fire and Rescue New South Wales respond to structural fires and emergencies, as they see examples of best and worst practise when it comes to building safety. You're going to hear about their involvement in Project Remediate today and the work they're doing to make people who live in residential apartments safer in their homes. To speak to you today from Fire and Rescue New South Wales is Wayne Phillips, chief superintendent of their fire safety branch. I'll hand over to you now, Wayne.
Go to video: Fire and Rescue NSW strata briefing
- Thanks, Yvette. I'm speaking to everyone here today from Darug land and I want to acknowledge any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people online today. I want to say thank you to David Chandler and the team for the opportunity for Fire and Rescue New South Wales to talk about our involvement in Project Remediate. For us, it's about making residents safer in their homes and ensuring that firefighters are safe when responding to emergencies. I've been a firefighter for over 31 years in an organisation that is approaching 140 years of service to the people of New South Wales. I am part of that proud history of saving life and property. We are traditionally known as fire fighters. That is respond to fire and emergencies, most typically to fires in buildings, we rescue those in need and extinguish the fire. I have worked most of my career as a firefighter in this city and I've attended many building fires from high rise units, inner city terraces, large factories and warehouses, have seen it firsthand the devastation a fire can cause people and their families.
- In an average year, our firefighters tend nearly 7000 residential structure fire, they see an average of 500 injuries and, unfortunately, more than 20 deaths a year caused by residential fires. Today, I want to tell you how we do more than fighting fires and why we are supporters of Project Remediate. We are more than just responders. As your modern fire and emergency service, our core focus is on prevention and education. We are the experts in the built environment when it comes to fire and other emergencies. Fire and Rescue New South Wales is recognised across jurisdictions nationally and internationally as subject matter experts for fire brigade intervention and fires expertise in the built environment. As a chief superintendent of the Fire Safety Branch, I am proud to lead a team of professionals dedicated to fire prevention in building design and certification.
- We believe our involvement in the early stages in design and throughout the design and construction process is critical in the prevention of fire or, in the event of a fire, the safe egress for residents and the safe and effective fire safety systems for our firefighters to use. With many years of experience in witnessing failures in building design and materials and many years of experience in fighting these fires, we can make no apology in our conservative approach to making buildings as safe as possible. We are an independent regulatory authority, we're the guardians of safety for the community and our firefighters in the event of a fire. We work in the possibility of what if and plan for the worst so we can prepare and respond and thus we continually demonstrate our critical role in the regulatory process. We strive to instil trust and confidence in the fire safety systems, particularly in buildings where people eat, live and sleep. We strive to ensure that our firefighters are confident and safe when entering a building to fight a fire so they can use the both active and passive fire safety systems to rescue those in need.
- Why are we here? Well, as a result of the tragic Grenfell high rise residential fire and domestic fires, such as Lacrosse in Melbourne, we have reviewed our own capability in responding to such a scenario. As a key stakeholder, we have become involved in a whole government response to non compliant combustible cladding, particularly the class two residential buildings and, as I've said already, where people eat, sleep and live. We note that Australia firefighting responses are very different to that in the UK and that the equivalent buildings here are required to be sprinklered. However, we still strongly advocate for the removal of flammable cladding products from high risk residential buildings. As experts in responding to fires in buildings, we have seen fires expand due to poor design and/or construction materials, inadequate or lacking fire safety systems, poor or no maintenance of existing fire safety systems.
- We have serious concerns about the potential life safety risks posed by non compliant combustible cladding in New South Wales and we have fully supported the New South Wales government commitment to the Cladding Taskforce and Project Remediate. We are proud to be working with the Officer Building Commissioner and other government stakeholders to help bring back trust to the built environment and to improve safety for residents and our firefighters. From the initiation of the Cladding Taskforce, our firefighters have conducted over 7,300 building inspections at over 4100 sites. These sites, these visits, were completed by local firefighting crews from local fire stations with our fire safety branch officers who are focused on an operational firefighter assessment of a building identified as being a high risk due to combustible cladding.
- ... identified as being a higher risk due to the combustible cladding. Our pre-incident planning on these buildings means that we have planned for the worst case scenario in the event of a cladding fire. Reviewed the type of response that will be required, determined and planned the number and types of fire trucks required and planned for the number of firefighters needed to respond to, respond safely and effectively. We've also planned the tactics and strategies to fight a high-rise cladding fire and the rescue people within a combustible cladded building. We are training our firefighters, especially designed cladded fires training facility at our emergency service academy at Orchard Hills. And we have allocated more resources to further support the identification assessment of noncompliant combustible cladded buildings.
- We are working closely with the New South Wales building commissioner, Officer Project Remediate, the apartment of customer service and New South Wales Cladding Taskforce to provide a holistic integrated approach to delivering this important community safety for the New South Wales community. We have been involved in numerous committees and partnered with government and agencies to set minimum standards for cladding, advice on remediation, a planning portal, construct New South Wales single view of building, advising on policy legislation and qualification and certifiers and recently in construct New South Wales partnering on a digital learning platform for education initiatives to improve the knowledge of applicants and expectations the regulator. We believe all buildings containing that noncompliant combustible cladding should be identified and appropriately assessed as quickly and rigorously as possible. This includes supporting yourself or the government and guiding task force to take the strongest possible prior to identifying, rectifying, or potentially dangerous buildings.
- These buildings pose an unacceptable risk to our community and an unacceptable risk to our firefighters. We're working linked closely to provide guidance oversight in a remediation works to ensure operational excellence and residential safety. We will continually review our response model, factoring risks such as current fire safety systems and human behaviour. If a fire occurs, we have the right resources, right fire trucks, and the right number of firefighters to suppress any fire. We are providing two senior buildings surveyors with extensive experience in our fire safety branch to audit and ensure buildings comply with fire safety standards before and throughout the remediation works. We'll be advising and recommending strategies on the remediation of the identified buildings and have all other risks controls managed to the highest standards. We are advising that all controllable risks are managed to reduce the overall risk that residents are facing or noncompliances exist in their buildings.
- While these buildings are being rectified, people will be living, eating, and sleeping. This means all stakeholders must remain vigilant that fire and life safety systems are always maintained to the high possible standard. Stakeholders must ensure that site access for firefighters and our trucks at all times. Ensure all exits are clear to ensure safe egress for residents. Manage any risks from fire alarm oscillations. Manage any hot works. Continually communicate residents about their part in this process. No smoking on balconies. No barbecues on balconies. Keeping one square metre of any object away from air conditioning units on balconies. These residents in these buildings should have all the confidence information they need to sleep well at night and feel safe as possible. I want to highlight that these controls need to be managed as regularly as possible until these noncompliances are adequately resolved and life safety can be restored.
- We are contributing to various New South Wales government working groups to review and clarify role in the certification process. In line with various legislative improvements implemented by the New South Wales government in recent times, we believe that the outcomes of these working groups will result in further enhancements and improvements. As I said at the start, we believe in enhancing our role in the regulatory process. My team at fire safety branch have reviewed our resourcing model, and we are currently implementing a model that will improve application processing times and responsiveness to industry. A reduction of this important regulatory role would be in consist with unique experience and expertise that we offer that would further reduce community confidence in the building industry in New South Wales. Certain elements of the building industry have proven themselves to be untrustworthy with this level of responsibility for community safety. We support the New South Wales governments and has prioritised the restoration and safety and confidence in the building environment.
- Fire and Rescue New South Wales has welcomed the opportunity to work with David Chandler as the building commissioner and Tanya O'Brien at Project Remediate, industry, community, and other regulators and legislators to further improve the safety and confidence in the New South Wales building environment. As I said in the beginning, we play an important role in the community safety and efficacy. And as our role, we have proudly held for almost 140 years. We also have particular interest in the safety of buildings, given that our firefighters are the last line of defence when it comes to responding to fires and other emergencies. And again, I want to thank you all for the opportunity for Fire and Rescue to present today. Thank you.
Go to video: SafeWork NSW strata briefing
- Thank you very much, Wayne. And now we're moving onto the topic of workplace safety. I'd like to introduce you to Meagan McCool. Meagan is director of the Construction Services Group Metropolitan of SafeWork New South Wales. Meagan is going to speak to you about the role of SafeWork New South Wales, and how they are working with Project Remediate, and securing safe remediation workplaces. Thank you again for joining us today, Meagan,
- My name is Megan McCool. I'm from SafeWork New South Wales. I'm just going to talk to you about our involvement in the project, both with the building commissioner and Project Remediate and just in terms of how we fit into the overall safety of the programme. So just one moment. The slides just clicked. Okay. So SafeWork is the actual state's workplace health and safety regulator. So we look after safety in all workplaces, other than mines and petroleum sites. So in doing that, we're obviously focused on harm prevention and from a proactive approach and improving the safety culture of workplaces that we visit. So when we're doing that, we're offering advice. We are obviously do that through licencing and registration with certain things such as scaffolders need a high risk work licence. We provide testing services. But when things go wrong, for example, an incident or a fatality, we obviously investigate that incident, and we can enforce or prosecute using the work health and safety laws.
- How we do that and stay focused on eliminating those harms is we have a five-year sector plan. We're coming to the end of the five years, but in terms of where we're at and where we're seeing the issues, they remain largely the same. So there has been some improvement, but the size of the industry has grown quite significantly. It's outperformed in terms of what its targets were in terms of the number of workers about two years earlier than expected. And also during the COVID situation, the industry, other than the two week pause, has continued to work where other industries haven't. So as a result with extra workers and the work continuing on through these interesting times with COVID, we haven't actually seen much of a change in the harms. We have seen some good things happening, but the harms remained largely the same.
- In terms of how we work with the building commissioner office at the moment and soon to be with the Project Remediate team, obviously, we worked through collaborative compliance. We've committed to the anytime anywhere visits, and we've already doing some work with the building commissioner's office with over 300 sites with the occupation certificate programme. So we attend the sites with fair trading and looking at the work health and safety harms. And soon, as I said, we will be commencing the Project Remediate visits, where we'll be looking at over 200 sites. So essentially, those two programmes work hand in hand with our aspect, obviously, in the work health and safety space. And, obviously, as soon as, as I said, of those staff and some of the project is more involved with the better regulation division where fair trading and SafeWork already exists, those relationships and collaboration will continue to grow.
- In terms of how we're going to be looking at the Project Remediate programme, essentially all those sites. So 220 yard. We'll all be registered in our system, and we'll receive a category four letter. So that category four letter will introduce who we are, what our involvement is in the project, and what we will be doing in terms of our role. So the sites will then be assessed in terms of a risk profile. So you could call that a risk based approach where you could call it that way. Our intervention is proportionate to the level of the risk, depending on what wording you're more familiar with. And so from that, we will then determine, well, what is that going to look like on-site. So obviously, the higher the building, the more dense the population. Obviously, being an occupied site is going to be slightly different site to site. So essentially, and the things that we will look at will obviously be measured based on that profile.
- We'll also explain what happens when things are not to standard or things are not to our laws. And they include things like improvement, notices, prohibition notices, penalties, and where it's a serious concern or an incident. It could relate to us a full investigation. So there's a whole tier of various things which could result as a result of the visit. In terms of that information, we'll be obviously providing that to the project team on performance of each of those sites as a result of our visit, but we'll also be providing a full report at the end of our interventions. So that gives you an idea of what our involvement will look like.
- In terms of the specific things, the harms that, as I said, that not only in the project plan that I mentioned, but specifically related to this project is working at heights. So we're looking at what controls are in place to manage the risks, being scaffolding, swinging stages, abseiling, and the systems for managing that. We'll be looking at falling objects, what controls are in place to manage this risk as well. So what are the exclusion zones, the catch decks, the nets, the tool lanyards. We'll be looking at traffic management and the controls such as the traffic control plan, exclusion zones, fencing, hoarding, and traffic and pedestrian control. And then we'll be looking at site security, particularly as this is as the site are occupied. Making sure the balconies are secured, windows openings are secured, fencing and hoarding. So where I mentioned that you received, the sites we received a letter to say that the work's commencing. What we will look at will be based on the risk profile for the site. And these are the key areas that we will audit when we're there.
- To give you an idea also why working at heights is such an issue for SafeWork. And while these project, as I said, we're targeting those heights. Essentially, as I said, the statistics are around 61% of the, I guess, accidents and fatalities, particularly in the construction industry, relate to falls from heights. Where they, as I said are more concern is when it's from four metres or below, whether that's because complacency setting in or in the stripping down on the scaffolding or packing up site that height doesn't look too high, that's where we're seeing the fall. And unfortunately in these cases, the fall is to concrete, and we're getting some poor results. So I'm just going to play one of our advertisement campaigns. There also, you will see this, if you're filling up for some petrol and you see the digital screens, you'll actually see this advertisement as well, as well as some social media that's just about to go out. And some of these stills that you'll see in the market. So we'll just play this for you.
- Hello? Yes, that's me. What? When? Oh, no. Is he breathing?
- When you're working at heights in construction, remember, it's not only your life you're protecting, even falls from under four metres can be devastating. Not only for you, but for the ones you love most.
- Okay. Okay. I'm leaving right now.
- When you fall, they fall work. Work safely at any height. Visit safework.nsw.gov.au.
- Okay. And we'll just go to the second ad, which is more a tradie giving some information.
- Good day, guys. Norm here for SafeWork. Now when we think about building and construction sites, we think about multistory buildings, but the reality is most serious falls occur from less than four metres or about one story, that's high enough to cause serious damage or even death, but not quite high enough to scare us tradies. But it's just not worth taking the risk. Just think about all the people who rely on you, your family, your mates, the list goes on and on. If you're working for many hearts, make sure you stay safe. For more information about working safely from any height, head to safework.nsw.gov.au.
- Okay. So some other things that are available for those working on the sites, there's our pocket guide for construction safety, and there's also a code of practise. So they're all the things, as I said, that we're educating the industry. We're targeting the working at heights, and there's information available for those tradies that are working on the sites in order to comply with our requirements. And there's also a site supervisor, virtual workshop series that's available for them for any additional education and training.
- So how we're actually looking at the sites, it's probably a little bit small to see, but essentially as the level, the amount of colliding goes up and the number of levels go up. And then looking at, as I said, what the access looks like for residents. There's also some commercial operations happening with that building. There's where the profile goes up slightly more in terms of what kind of intervention, the things we'll be looking at, and how much time we spend there. So that just gives you a little bit of an ID that is proportionate to the level of risk. And that essentially, all sites will go through this assessment process.
- How to get in touch with us. So whether or not you're a resident, strata manager, builder, whoever's working in this project. We have a number of ways to contact us. Obviously, the easiest one is to call 13 10 50. You can call that through to us or visit our website. But we also have an app called Speak Up. So if you see something unsafe, you can take a photo. You can upload that and send that to safe work. You can remain anonymous. But that essentially as a way to get in contact with us if you require us for any information to check something out or to have a chat with us. But the other means are also available by simply calling us on that number. So other than that, we are looking forward to working with the project in making sure these sites are safe and that there is a successful programme to remediate this cladding. Thank you.
- Thank you very much, Meagan, for your presentation. And now it's time for another quick break. So we'll be back in a few minutes with our panel discussion. And if you haven't already done so, you can submit your questions for our Q&A session by selecting the Q&A tab at the top right of your screen. And we'll see you back in shortly.
Go to video: Panel discussion strata briefing
- Welcome back everyone. And it's time for our panel discussion. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions today for our Q&A. Throughout the briefing, there's been so many coming in. They've been coming in thick and fast. So now I'm going to hand you over to Tanya O'Brien. Again, the director of the office of Project Remediate. And Tanya is facilitating our panel discussion today. So over to you, Tanya,
- Thanks, Yvette. Like Yvette said, we've got over 118 questions sitting here that have been registered throughout the process of today's session. In addition, we have also received about a hundred questions during the registration process. So, of course, we're going to try to get through as many of those as we can. There's been a particularly popular question that's come through in about three different formats, but overall there's probably about 70 people who want to answer the, have an answer to this question. So we're just going to fly straight into this one. And I'll just read it out. It's basically in regards to why the New South Wales government is not following the Victorian example and paying for the removal of combustible cladding, and why are we putting the cost on homeowners? So John Tansey, if you wouldn't mind, I'm just going to throw that question to you, and we'll jump straight into it.
- Thanks, Tanya. You look happy to, I respond to that question, understand why it's such an important one for people. When the government made us decisions about initiating Project Remediate and providing the funding that it has, it was done in the context of many other demands on the budget as well. And at the time the government made the decision, we'd only recently recovered the merge variously from the previous seasons, bush fires and floods. And we're in what we now know was just the first stage of COVID. So the commitment was made to make a very significant financial contribution to this project to assist homeowners, but it was also made against the backdrop of many, many other demands on the budget. And so that's the way why the government has gone with the approach to the programme that it has. Thanks, Tanya.
- No worries. I'm just going to get this one out of the way as well. We choose will this session be recorded, and what we're going to do about it. Like. I've said a little bit earlier, we will be taking recordings. We also will be putting a whole bunch of frequently asked questions onto our website after this event. So please go onto the Project Remediate website and follow up for further clarifications or confirmations that way as well. The question I might pop through to Nick will be in regards to costings for these remediation approaches. So the question is how will Project Remediate ensure the cost is reasonable, and what is the process for cost control?
- Yes. Thank you, Tanya. So with respect to the costings, one of the ways that we're going to ensure that the owners receive value for money is through a competitive tender process, not just for the works, but also for the consultants. That's the design consultants, the independent insurers and the superintendent who will be overseeing the construction work on the site. With respect to cost control, John Tansey said earlier, the database of information on remediation has been growing over a period of time but from a very low starting point. Now, we have benchmark costs available to us now for typical cladding replacement. However, until we undertake the triage and investigation work and begin to define the products that are... excuse me, acceptable for use under Project Remediate, providing definitive costs at this point is not really feasible. We certainly got guide figures to work to, and I'm satisfied.
- But once we begin our procurement process and start to call tenders where we able to build up a proper database and benchmark of costs, again, is which other costs can then be compared and tested for value for money. But the competitive nature of the tender process is what underscores competitive pricing and ultimately value for money for owners, corporations. And I did make the point earlier today that successfully being shortlisted onto a panel is not an automatic guarantee that any service provider will be given work. So we're retaining a competitive element beyond the panel creation, and all works will be competitively tended. So I think owners can be reassured, but the competitive nature of that process will ensure that fair market rates are paid. Thank you, Tanya,
- No worries. No, please.
- [crosstalk 02:04:39] additional comment there as well. And just following on from John Tansey's comment on just the economic realities of the time is that the other piece that supported this project was that it was to be a project directed to small and medium size enterprises. So the reason why the government is paying for what we call it tier one contractor to provide the managing contractor service. We have been specifically tasked with making sure that this work is accessed by small and medium size enterprises. And we did that mindful of the fact that these are the people who normally work in this remediation space. So we want to make sure that we've got the right contractors doing the work and that we've got small to medium sized enterprises pricing to do it. Because our commitment is to really deliver you value for money. You'll always see at least two tenders, and you, as owners will have a choice to say you want another price or in fact, to get us to do a bit more work. But we're there to make sure you feel as though, acting your behalf, we're getting you value for money.
- Yeah, I think David, I might pick you up there and just also reiterate the fact that this programme is going to be triage work and design work, which is going to mean that upfront, we're going to know what the owner's corporation is looking at in terms of building remediation, how long it should take, and those kinds of, we've got a lot more certainty through that approach than you would under a design and contract, for instance.
- Thanks, Tanya. Well, we also have consulted widely with people who do this work. So we've spoken to contractors who are regularly doing this remediation. And one of their complaints is that in fact, they get to tender on projects that have had virtually no real investigation, and the scope of works is very unknown. And that's causing them a high degree of cost in tendering. And they've got to simply guess some of it. What we are aiming to do is to invest upfront with getting the right amount of effort put into defining the scope of works so that the designers can design the appropriate design solution for each building. And then we can do something which is very fair. And that's ask contractors to price the job that they're going to do and not have to guess what was left out. So all of those things working together is certainly part of our strategy to deliver value for money.
- Fantastic. I might just introduce Mark Hoffman, who is the only person on our panel this afternoon who hasn't been speaking during this event this afternoon. Mark Hoffman is the, he's the chair of the Cladding Product Safety Panel and is, which is one of the panels that has been appointed by government to provide expert advice to us in this process and advice to government generally. Mark, I'm going to give you this one. It's out of the questions that have been raised today, and it's basically in regards to some of the materials. So I'll just launch in. Some of the C10 engineers recommendations recommend removing only parts of the ACP and not all of it. What would you say in response to that kind of approach?
- Yes, Tanya, I did see that question. It was a very, very interesting one. The Cladding Product Safety Panel has representation from a broad range of stakeholders, including the Insurance Council of Australia. And one of its briefs is to make sure that the rectifications that are recommended or the products and the systems actually do, are actually fully insurable and don't provide problems down the track for owners. So what that means is that by taking the input from the Insurance Council of Australia, our recommendations that are made by the panel for Project Remediate should be avoiding the issues that are being raised by that question now.
- No worries. Sorry. I'm just flicking between two different spots where I could see questions. So who would like to jump in on this one? It's basically saying for those of us, as in strata organisations who have already appointed a project manager and builder for cladding replacement but have not yet commenced construction, what is the next step for them? What are the benefits of jumping into Project Remediate? Maybe Chris...
- I think I want to-
- ... do you have a go at that one or David?
- Yeah. I think I like to just pick that up because look...
- ... we've called in the documents for some of these projects and seen the work that some project managers have been leading here. Now, what we've seen is very, very light investigation. And then what we've seen is very, very light documentation following the scope of the works. And then we've seen these scopes turn into design and construct contracts. Quite often, what we've seen is that the investigation works have been undertaken by the designer construct contractor that ultimately gets the work. Now there's quite a lot of conflicts in all of that. We've also seen some disproportionate fee pricing where project managers have put very, very low fees in to do the initial engagement piece of work, and then put in very, very high fees to provide the supervisory role during the course of construction. We are very not, we're not very comfortable with any of that.
- So those owners who are sort of caught in between that, I would urge you to allow us to have a look at your project, to provide you our opinion, and to give you some guidance as to how we think you can get to the other side and be more assured than you might be, having gone down the path you've gone. So I know for some, there's been good intent to get to where you are, but we're just simply just asking you take a pause, put it onto the project, remediate microscope, and just make sure you get set before you go. Chris, do you want to add anything to that?
- Ah, look, David, that's exactly the advice that we've been given. And underscoring it is make sure that you don't miss the opportunity to have your community register, so they can determine the suitability of what's been done today. So the technical side obviously, there's all of the lead contractor who will assess that and determine where you're up to and hopefully give you some value there. But I think we need to underscore don't miss this opportunity. There's no obligation to move to this next point. And we probably didn't further develop some of the other support packages, which have been provided to soften the cost for the owner's corporation, including $10,000 per scheme to support some of the strata manager costs that would ordinarily be charged to an owner's corporation, which had been paid for as part of Project Remediate. So again, without labouring the point, but it's an important point to labour. Make sure you don't miss that opportunity regardless of how far progressed you are, because you just don't know, and you don't want to miss out on this important market.
- I think Chris, just the segue that that gives is that we have been talking with your team for over a year on this project. And what we've been able to see through material that you've shared with us is that the costings and the prices that some owners corporations have been given is from the lowest price to the highest price, the price range is three times. And of course, it's always tempting to accept the lowest price. Now we would urge you getting this done properly is absolutely critical to the building that you live and own. So please don't be tempted by what might be an attractive, cheap price. We will deliver value for money, the right price to do the right job. So it's very... when I see that potentially owners corporations are being confronted with a low price and a high price and three times is the difference between them.
- Yeah, absolutely. So the next one sort of is the next step along that process. So after owners corp has registered their interest for the programme, obviously, the next thing that happens is that they're evaluated and triaged. The question is how long does triage and assessment process typically take? And if the registration is at the end of the month, which it is, how many building owners and depending on how many people opt into the programme, can we make sure that everyone that ops in will have their eligibility assessed? So probably two questions. If everyone on this call registers, will they all become eligible? And that the second one is after they've registered and they have been confirmed to be eligible, how long does triage take?
- Can we try that to Nick?
- Yeah. Thank you, Tanya. Okay. In terms of how long triage takes, typically the activities is not a long activity. Estimates, depending on size and complexity of building, we're working on an average of a few days to triage an individual building and reinstate that building back to its former condition before we leave the site. Now this is based on doing a tremendous amount of pre-planning activity and coordination with the owner's corporation before we arrive on site. So that when we arrive on site, we have a very clear and specific plan to execute. And that is the way that we will minimise the impact to the inconvenience on the owners of having the triage work undertaken. There clearly, buildings that are more complex, larger buildings, where we may need to remove more panels in different locations may take longer than that average and lower complexity, lower rise buildings may take less time. But the key to this doing this efficiently is the pre-planning before we arrive on site, so they're very clear understanding both from our triage contractor's perspective, but also a clear understanding on the part of the owner's corporation and residents.
- Standing on the part of the owners corporation and residents as to what they can expect during that activity. The broader question that I think was asked here was, "If I register, when will I get triaged?" And I can't answer that question here and now, because it really depends on the individual building and the level of risk that that building presents. What we are doing is prioritising high-risk buildings earlier into the programme to address those high risks as soon as we possibly can, with lower-risk buildings potentially being done later in the programme. But specifics around individual buildings, and when those buildings can be triaged, that would have to form part of our overall logistics and programme management. And I simply don't have that information available to me yet to be able to provide that kind of answer here and now. Thank you, Tanya.
- So the simple answer, Tanya, is register early and get onto the programme as early as you can. And in a question earlier today, Nick provided a view that we have an appetite, that in the event that we can start more buildings earlier, we will certainly look to get more buildings started earlier. At the moment we're looking at roughly five bundles of about 30 to 40 buildings starting in an orderly manner over the period of time so that we can get this finished within the three-year window from the start of this year. But in the event that we can see buildings that really could say, "well, here's an opportunity for an earlier bundle," we've put it to the managing contractor that we'd like to see those buildings brought forward, if they're ready to get into the go row. So Nick, I think that's pretty much the view you're sharing, isn't it?
- Yeah, absolutely. David, absolutely. We've got capacity to upscale. So the issue for us will be, can we keep up with the owners corporations? The answer to that is absolutely, yes, we can. But owners need to register so that we can begin that work.
- Fantastic. I might throw this one to Matt Beattie. It's around the council engagement that has happened throughout this process. What if council has already issued a fire order demanding that we're ex-commenced immediately?
- Well, it's not surprising councils have been doing that, because they have been diligent in their investigations of these buildings, as they should have been. And their buildings need to be remediated. But that being said, for the buildings that register interest, we'll work closely with the relevant councils. And we'll talk to them. As I was saying in the earlier presentation, we'll talk to them about the timing of orders, and we will work with them to make sure the timing is appropriate for the scheduling of remediation that was under our programme. So in short, don't let that be a barrier to your registering interest at all.
- Fantastic. So I think we all know that as part of this triage and remediation process, we're going to be taking materials off the sides of buildings. And we're going to be exposing, I guess, the soft underbelly of a lot of these buildings. The question is what happens in the situation where building defects are found in that process? David, did you want to jump in?
- We've anticipated that, in Project Remediate, those things that are within what we call the facade zone. So if we find defects in that facade zone, that's from the skin side just to a small way back into the building, but if it's a structural issue there, or it's some other form of constraint on putting back a proper facade solution, then we will be fixing that as part of Project Remediate. We're Project Remediate. We'll stop. We'll be beyond that zone of interest that we're talking about back into the building, where we might be going back into the building to undertake further ... Project Remediate is very focused on getting that facade zone fixed. But anything in it, moisture barriers, window heads, any of those things that would make up a proper resolution of your facade, all of that will be included in the scope of the works for funding for Project Remediate.
- Fantastic. The questions keep coming in. A really interesting one that's just popped up. Sorry. I'm just scrolling to it and that's through my fault. Is a Strata Committee resolution required to register for Project Remediate? Chris, maybe you would want to jump in on this?
- Look. Absolutely. I mean, there is a process for getting approval and we would encourage the owners corporations have conversations. Because there's no commitment around this, there's no real legal requirement around the resolutions. We would advocate best practise to get a Strata Committee resolution at a minimum. Clearly there could be owners, corporations, resolutions, which may be required. But I think obviously when it comes time to enter it into the commitments under the programme, there's a full suite of requirements for entering into that level of engagement. But the exploratory work and the commitment upfront, I would suggest that is done at a Strata Committee level. Obviously noting that the date for registration is 30th of this month. You need to make sure that that happens quickly. What I wouldn't like to see happen is a building missed that deadline because they haven't gone through the process of having the meetings. We'd like to see them register and then potentially go afterwards and ratify that lodgement. David, you've obviously been speaking with some legal departments around the proper process. Is that understanding correct?
- Yes, it is. And right now, because it's a non-binding opt-in opportunity, get your building registered, get the process started. It would really be good to have your executive committee to make that decision to register so that the minutes of that committee, that executive meeting could be shared with all the other owners. But there will be no commitment for the owners corporation to sign up and enter the project, until such time as there's been a full and proper meeting, which authorises that sort of a commitment to be made. But get in.
- Yeah. Great advice. So this one's talking about where the owners corps have been proactive. They've been responding to orders that they may have to, to remediate. And I may have already gone through the process of appointing independent consultants, and having evaluations done, and actually starting the process of putting together their own consultant team to do the remediation work. The question says, will HY be open to evaluate those people, or to bring those people into the programme? Nick, do you want to explain the way that we're onboarding our consultants?
- Thank you, Tanya. I think the question, if I understood it correctly, relates to owners corporations, who've already commenced their journey and may already have identified consultants or contractors that they wish to work with. From our perspective, we are absolutely willing to work with owners corporations to assess exactly where they have arrived in terms of their own progress. Particularly, I think this is the important point: as far as eligibility is concerned, the tests that we will make in this regard relate to whether the Project Remediate standards that we've set for all buildings are capable of being satisfied by those arrangements that the owners corporations have made. And if we find that all of those requirements are satisfied, then there's absolutely no reason why an owners corporation could not continue under the Project Remediate programme and enjoy the benefits of that programme.
- I think, Tanya, just to reinforce, that would be the meeting we had earlier this week with an owners corporation who had got to a point where they were looking to appoint a contractor. We were able to outline to them that, in fact, that maybe they hadn't done the work that was needed to satisfy a building contract under Project Remediate. And to avoid going into one where they had less knowledge with a design and construct contract, we said to them, we didn't want to disrupt the relationship they have with a potential contractor to do the work. We would be happy to have a look at that contract as eligibility to be an acceptable contractor to perform the remediation works under Project Remediate. And where we landed was that we would do exactly what Nick has just described.
- But they were very interested, once we explained the process of getting a proper set of documentation done, a proper tender perform. They were quite open to having a situation where their contractor was preferred, but not necessarily nominated, so that they can see that contractor price the actually resolved work that our proper design that's required for this project would yield.
- Everyone should also be very mindful that it's not possible under the Design and Building Practitioners Act now not to have declared design. So if you are at a point that you haven't yet started, if you haven't got a declared design, you can't stop. It would be a pity for your project to be interrupted if you have actually gone ahead and you're not working in accordance with the Design and Building Practitioners Act.
- One of the questions, David, actually similar. It got raised within that same meeting that we're talking about with that owners corp, what we were talking about earlier. What will happen if the building is looking to have similar work that requires scaffolding done at the same time? Is there a way that those two pieces of work can be combined? As in, replacement of the cladding in say, for instance, faulty windows that might need to be replaced?
- Is this the same party that we were talking to earlier in the week?
- It seems exactly the same question, but maybe there's more than one building in that position.
- We have given Hansen Yuncken a mandate that says we are not going to be slavishly bloody-minded to just simply say, "no, we're doing that." And we're not going to do stuff that would require the scaffolding. The scaffolding is almost the most expensive single element of remediation. But if there is a need to do something else that would be convenient to the owners corporation while that scaffolding is up, they'll have a look at how we can separate that work and how it could be paid for. But if there's an opportunity to enjoy the presence of the scaffolding that we've got on the building, we are not going to make it difficult for you to have to come back and re-scaffold your building. So, please, Hansen Yuncken are practical contractors, and they're prepared to look at these things on a case-by-case basis. I'm not going to mandate. That's a system-wide decision. I've told Hansen Yuncken that we will look at these things on a case-by-case basis. And of course, we're not going to be bloody-minded when it just makes sense to do something that says, "use the scaffold for that as well."
- Absolutely. This is one of the questions that came from the pre-registered questions, and it's in regards to the materials types that we're using to replace or remediate these buildings. I guess, Mark, you might be in the best spot to answer this, but will there be testing of the different types of materials that are available to remediate these buildings? What is the process for safe, bonded laminates, particularly? What is the process for picking different materials that might be available to remediate these buildings?
- Thanks very much, Tanya. We've just released on the Project Remediate website a form for people to submit the products they are proposing to have considered. And in that, we actually request that they provide certain testing, and this has to be done by registered approved testing authorities. What we've also done is we've set ourselves up so that if we want to have other aspects tested, the cladding product safety panel can also request some testing to be done, which will be organised by the managing contractor. So we do have a very robust process of assessing these materials. We also take a very low-risk approach, which is why our Trench One materials, which we recommended, were essentially all noncombustible materials.
- I think, Mark, let me just add to this, because I want to be very firm about this. There's quite a lot of good public relations effort being done by some vendors of materials that have yet to be decided, that we've yet to consider that might be appropriate or may not be appropriate.
- The testing for some of these materials has been done for a certain set of conditions. And we have decided as a team to now commence a set of what we would call reference testing, which would test some of these previously tested materials in various situations such as, what are they like at the joints? What are they like where there's a penetration that might go through the particular material? So we believe that some of the testing that's been done has been done for a very limited application. And so what we want to be satisfied is that if we're going to bring additional materials into the programme, that we can be satisfied that in the various conditions of installation that we've got in mind, they're also going to pass muster there. So we're not going to be pushed into any particular type of material. We will take the precautionary principle because we're dealing with your building.
- I'm very mindful of that time. And this really quick one that I might try to shoot through. Matt Beattie, do you want to answer this one? Can an owners corporation choose a payback period that's less than 10 years?
- Yes. And you just have a quick answer, yes. They can repay the work if that's convenient for them.
- I'm sorry. They can repay it the very next day after the remediation's finished, if they wish. We've had one group who is saying, "we've got most of the money in the go row, could we have the benefit of Project Remediate and pay you back within the first 12 months?" Very happy with that.
- Absolutely. And the interesting one, how is Project Remediate ensuring that owners corps are made aware of the project? Maybe, Chris, do you want to talk about the engagement with strata organisations?
- Absolutely, Tanya. I mean, this particular event is clearly one of those, but there's been significant correspondence that's gone out from both the state government, from David in his very public role as the Office of Building Commissioner, from strata managers, from OCN, from every available authority about advertising this product. So I would be very surprised if owners aren't aware of it. What I would say is that there have been really valid questions that have been posed both today and earlier. And I think it underscores the complexity, which is why the programme is so necessary for the assurance and the trust that comes from having all of these experts brought together in the one place.
- I think what I've been certainly very happy with based on our engagement with the office has been the flexibility around this programme. David's just talked to the ability to pay back a loan immediately on completion. We've talked to having buildings that are already commenced, their design work being looked at by Hansen Yuncken. I think this is a very flexible programme. I think there's an incredible amount of questions out there, because every building is different, but hopefully that information is now out there. And I would encourage anyone that does have further information to reach out with your strata manager or contact your office, Tanya.
- Yeah, absolutely. Fantastic. We're trying to get the message out there, that's for sure. We definitely have contacted every single owners corp directly with direct comms. So hopefully there's not anyone that can say they've not seen something about the programme. The next one is about in the situation where a Strata Committee is looking to respond to a local government and the local government is putting pressure to start remediation work. What should the Strata Committee do and say in that situation to the local government? Matt, do you want to jump in?
- This is in a situation where they've registered in the programme?
- So yeah, they've registered and local government's putting a bit of pressure onto them. Or even if they haven't registered, local government is putting a bit of pressure on, saying you need to really start remediating this material of your building, what should an owners corporation say?
- Thank you. So if you have registered, you'll have an email from us with that confirmation. That's a really good thing to provide to the council so they can see exactly what is underway. And the council can talk to the office of Hansen Yuncken to verify any of that as well. If the owners corporation hasn't registered yet, then obviously strongly recommend that they consider registering, because that will make everything a lot easier. But if they're just not in a position to do that, then I would suggest let the council know and keep the council informed as they do go about that registration process.
- I think even you might've just covered it just then, but just to be super clear, the question, Matt, is, has every building that is registered so far been contacted?
- With the exception of those that are coming in in the most recent kind of days, yes. We're responding to confirm the eligibility or the status of those buildings as they come to us.
- Fantastic. Here's an interesting question. I might pop it to Nick. What's the situation where the owners corporation is facing orders that have been issued by a particular council? How do you...how does the programme ensure that we get sign-off by the local government, and that the design meets their standards and requirements?
- The design tenure will be a regulated design. So it will meet legislative requirements. Beyond that, people have been designed by professionals selected and shortlisted to our designer panel. So we'll be using the best facade experience that the Australian industry has. We also have the benefit of the global facade consultant to produce the pattern book of designs. And we can drive design efficiency and compliance across the entire programme through the use of that pattern book over the three years. The issue, with respect to compliance, we will also have our own assurers looking at the designs with respect to compliance with the overall assurance programme. And this is before we even get to construction. I think owners can have the utmost confidence that the standards that Project Remediate is setting with respect to designs, specifications, and documentation of those designs will be the best that industry's capable of delivering, and certainly better than what we've seen from industry in the past.
- Excellent. We've got some people who have said that they're working already with certain designers, or they're talking to certain people who might be builders, or constructors, and even superintendent type people to do this piece, their work on their own buildings. Nick. What would you say? How would they be able to put themselves forward, those types of consultants or contractors? How would they be able to put themselves forward for consideration and take up a contract within this programme?
- Right. Thank you, Tanya. Well, we've already opened a registration of interest process. We've have advertisements on the Hansen Yuncken LinkedIn site, the Hansen Yuncken Instagram site, and we're also currently advertising in NBA newsletters. And we will be broadening the advertisement channels in the coming weeks to ensure that we permeate every corner of industry. Now, any owners corporation that has been in an arrangement with a superintendent, or a remediation contractor, or a designer, or anybody else providing a service, we will also consider those entities if an owners corporation is particularly wedded to using one or more of their existing service providers, as we stated in an earlier question and response. So, absolutely willing to work with, with owners, corporations in that sense, but those service providers, if they are interested in being a part of the programme in a broader sense, and working on more buildings, then I would encourage them to access our advertisements and register their interest accordingly.
- Fantastic. I might pop this one to Matt again. So once you've registered, once your building is registered as being on this, on the high-risk list, you get put on the register, obviously. How do you get taken off the register once the works have been completed? Or maybe that's a question for John?
- Yeah. The remediation insurance certificate will play a part that will be your guarantee that this work has been completed to Project Remediate standards, as well as to the standards of the consent ... by a safety order. And once you've satisfied ... safety audit, that will be part of the building's record with the local council. It'd be evidence of that that's available to the owners, current and future, that confirms that the property is fully satisfied and address that fire safety risk.
- Obviously, at the end of that process, the local government will be notified. And any orders, I guess, that have been issued by local government in that space will be able to be lifted. Gosh, I don't...I've actually been told, and this is my stressful point, I've been told I've got one more question. I've only got time for one more question. I'm trying to work out, what is the most important question on this list that I should, it's just so many of them. Here's one for you. Is the ten-year loan facility available without using HY? Maybe David, do you want to do this one?
- The answer is simply no, because what we are signing up is that we are borrowing money on behalf of the state and we have to provide the lender an assurance that the quality of the debt is in fact, at the level that Project Remediate will offer. So I'm afraid that there's no opportunity to borrow money that's outside of the risk profile that we've established for the borrowing of the funds to support this job. So the answer simply is no.
- That's very clear. Do you know what, I'm going to squeeze one more in if that's okay, because I've just found one that probably should be answered. I'm so sorry of it. I'm going to throw it to David. I've gone rogue. I've gone rogue. What happens..are there any cost to the owners corp if they nominate into the programme and they get partway down the track and decide that they don't want to proceed, is there any cost to the owners corp in that circumstance?
- The answer to that is the same as the last one. No.
- Thank you so much to the panel. I think that that has been a really enlightening set of questions. I'm hoping that we've gotten through a whole bunch of the matters that have been raised, both in advance of this session today and also in response to actually what has been raised through our slider table. At that point, thank you so much. And I'll hand you back to Yvette.
Go to video: Conclusion strata briefing
- Thank you, Tanya, and our panel. So we've reached the end of our briefing. We hope you got a lot out of today and it answered the questions that you had about the programme. Thank you to our speakers and our presenters, and everyone that submitted questions. And I also wanted to thank our online interpreters who are with us today. We'll be publishing a recording of today's event along with a list of Q and A's on our website soon.
- Now your feedback is very important to us. So we'd love it if you could stick around and just answer a very short survey to tell us what you thought of today and if you found it useful in answering your questions about the programme. You'll see a survey at the top right of your screen, under the tab named poll, and select that tab to take the survey. It's just a quick one, just five questions. It'll take you about a minute or so to complete. Now, if you need more information about Project Remediate after today, please visit our web page. You're going to find information there about the programme, useful resources, including our apartment owners guide, our TAFE course and more. So again, our web address is nsw.gov.au forward slash project dash remediate. Thank you to everyone for watching and participating today. Bye bye.
- NSW Building Commissioner briefing to strata communities and councils (PDF, 379.19 KB)
- Hansen Yuncken briefing to strata communities and councils (PDF, 1.06 MB)
- Office of Project Remediate briefing to strata and councils (PDF, 962.51 KB)
- Strata Community Association briefing to strata communities and councils (PDF, 1.37 MB)
- Fire and Rescue NSW briefing to strata communities and councils (PDF, 1.05 MB)
- SafeWork NSW - Securing safe remediation workplaces (PDF, 1.23 MB)
Questions from the strata communities and councils briefing
This is an overview of the questions asked by the audience at the briefing.
Building eligibility for Project Remediate
Which buildings are eligible and what does ‘high-risk’ mean?
A building is eligible for Project Remediate if it:
- is a residential apartment building (Class 2), including mixed-use buildings with a residential component
- has been confirmed by the NSW Cladding Taskforce to have a high-risk combustible cladding façade that requires remediation.
To determine if a building is ‘high risk’, the Cladding Taskforce arranges for a Fire and Rescue NSW officer to conduct an operational assessment of the building’s cladding.
Fire and Rescue NSW will classify the building as potentially high risk if it appears to have cladding of a type, amount and configuration that potentially increases the risk to occupants and/or firefighters in the event of a fire. Because this initial assessment is generally visual only, potentially high-risk buildings are referred to the relevant consent authority (usually the local council) for further investigation and confirmation of whether the cladding requires remediation.
If you are unsure if your building has been assessed by the Cladding Taskforce you can contact us or register interest to confirm your building’s eligibility.
How do I know if my building requires remediation, will every Class 2 building in NSW be remediated?
Not all buildings with cladding are high-risk and not all cladding requires remediation. The NSW Cladding Taskforce was established to identify buildings with potentially combustible cladding and support local councils to address the use of non-compliant cladding materials. Local councils are responsible for investigating the fire safety of most buildings in NSW and have powers to order remediation if they determine that the building’s cladding poses a fire safety risk
The local council or consent authority will be able to inform the owners corporation about its assessment of the building and whether remediation is required. Alternatively, if the owners corporation registers interest in Project Remediate we will assess the building’s eligibility and consult with the Cladding Taskforce to determine if the building is high risk and requires remediation.
What is the process for those schemes that have already scoped/tendered the replacement of cladding in line with council orders. How do they now access these services?
We encourage you to register interest for Project Remediate.
The documents that you provide with your online registration will be reviewed by the Managing Contractor. They will contact building owners about any tender process that is underway and advise owners about how they can work together.
Project Remediate will use a pre-qualified panel arrangement to select the remediation contractor and other consultants for each project. Any suppliers can approach Hansen Yuncken to apply to be on one of the pre-qualified panels.
Our building conformed to the necessary specifications when it was built. Is there some form of Government assistance to help us meet the new requirements?
The NSW Government acknowledges that apartment owners face a difficult technical and financial challenge to remediate unsafe cladding. Project Remediate was established to help owners corporations in this situation by providing access to interest-free loans and technical oversight and assurance services to support the safe replacement of combustible cladding. Affected owners corporations are encouraged to register their interest for Project Remediate.
The Office of Project Remediate will assess the building’s eligibility and consult the NSW Cladding Taskforce if necessary to determine if the building is high risk.
Are buildings that were considered to be compliant with the Building Code of Australia in 2018 encouraged to make an application to Project Remediate?
If you are unsure whether your building’s cladding has been assessed by the local council or consent authority we encourage you to register interest in Project Remediate. We will assess the building’s eligibility and consult with the Cladding Taskforce to determine if the building is high risk and requires remediation.
Registering interest for Project Remediate
Are the strata managers and owners corporations that are eligible for Project Remediate being notified of their eligibility and how to join?
The Office of Project Remediate is communicating with eligible owners corporations and strata managers about their eligibility and how to register.
Resources have been shared with owners corporations to help them make a considered decision about joining Project Remediate including a comprehensive information guide, a free 2-hour online course, videos and case studies.
Will the information that I provide when I register interest be kept confidential?
The information provided by the strata manager or owners corporation that registers for Project Remediate will not be made publicly available. The information that is provided will be supplied to the Project Remediate Managing Contractor for the purpose of conducting the relevant building assessment and investigation work, and to facilitate the steps required to draw up and execute contracts.
If I have a claim as an owner against the builder or developer, will I have to cancel the claim or can I remain in the Project Remediate program?
Any eligible building can participate in Project Remediate if the owners require the assistance of the interest-free loan and/or assurance services. If the cladding forms part of the claim against the builder or developer, but the owners corporation would like to participate in Project Remediate, we encourage the owners corporation or strata managing agent to discuss this further on a confidential basis with the Office of Project Remediate.
What recommendations do you have for managers struggling with an Owners Corporation not wanting to take any action on the rectification of non-compliant cladding?
If the cladding has been identified as high risk, owners will have to take action in accordance with the fire safety orders issued by the relevant consent authority.
All high-risk buildings are referred by the NSW Cladding Taskforce to consent authorities who will require owners to take action by issuing Fire Safety Orders. Building insurers are also likely to charge significantly higher premiums on buildings with high-risk cladding until the cladding is remediated.
Buildings with high-risk combustible cladding expose owners, residents, first responders and members of the public to an unacceptable risk of serious injury or death.
The interest-free loan and financial support
Do you have to join project remediate to get the interest free loan?
Project Remediate is a package, and it is available to Owners Corporations with buildings that have registered interest and are identified and considered eligible to participate.
I understand that if an owner is unable to afford the remediation works, they are able to receive some assistance. How will this work?
An interest-free loan is available to eligible strata schemes participating in Project Remediate. This loan is issued to the collective owners corporation, not individual unit owners. Unit owners need to pay their share of levies to allow the owners corporation to repay the loan. Hardship provisions are available to assist owner occupiers. If the increased levies needed to repay the loan cause an owner-occupier hardship, as assessed by an independent hardship assessor, the levies can be deferred until hardship ends or the unit is sold, but no longer than until the final payment is due on the 10-year owners corporation loan. The owners corporation will not suffer any penalty for these deferred payments.
More information about hardship provisions will be provided to owners before the owners corporation enters into the loan agreement.
Is the $10,000 payment for strata managers part of the interest-free loan available through this program?
There is no direct payment to strata managers under Project Remediate.
There is a time and administrative investment needed on the part of Owners Corporations and Strata Managers in preparing for and participating in the program. Project Remediate will make a financial contribution to participating owners corporations and this will help to compensate for:
- supporting the owners corporation to consider remediation options and the remediation package and loan proposal
- consultation with owners corporations and facilitation of necessary resolutions to enable participation in Project Remediate
- facilitating the disbursement of loan funds and repayments
- facilitating hardship accommodations including adjustments to levies where eligible unit owners defer payments.
The support payments will be based on the size of the strata scheme, with the average-sized scheme receiving $10,000. Details of the payment scheme including how the funds are distributed will be available soon.
Will our owners corporation be eligible for a retrospective loan given we have satisfied Council's order requirements?
We recommend that you register interest for Project Remediate, and tell us in your registration that the remediation work has been completed. Retrospective assistance will be considered on a case-by-case basis only for buildings that commenced remediation work before Project Remediate was available.
How are the unintended consequences of the additional costs to owner occupiers on fixed incomes and tenants without long term leases being alleviated?
Owner occupiers at the time the owners corporation enters into a Project Remediate loan are protected by generous hardship provisions built-in to these unique loans.
Owner occupiers who experience hardship as a result of increased strata levies needed for the loan repayments have the option to defer levy payments until their financial situation improves or they sell their unit or refinance at the end of the loan period.
Tenants have protections and rights under NSW residential tenancies legislation and can access assistance from NSW Fair Trading.
If an Owners Corporation doesn’t need financial support to remediate, can they still access the assurance services under this program and not take up the interest-free loan?
The loan and assurance services are a package. There would be no issue if the owners corporation wanted to repay the loan early, even as soon as the work is complete.
This will enable them to benefit from the oversight of the Managing Contractor, associated pre-approved contractors and the Remediation Assurance Certificate, but without ongoing loan requirements.
Cladding materials and systems
Who decides what cladding materials can be used for buildings that join Project Remediate, and how can the material my builder wants to use get on the list of approved materials?
The Cladding Product Safety Panel (CPSP) advises on the appropriate materials, products and systems for the Project Remediate.
All products and systems submitted through this application process will be reviewed by the Global Façade Consultant appointed under Project Remediate, and the Cladding Product Safety Panel (CPSP) as suitable cladding replacement products and external wall assembly methods. Only cladding materials endorsed by the Cladding Product Safety Panel (CPSP) will be used under this program.
What is the suitable replacement material? Who can provide such professional advice?
Fibre cement sheets
Solid metal sheets
Additional materials are under consideration and the CPSP will issue its findings in future reports.
What is a 'pattern book' of designs of cladding materials and systems?
The Project Remediate Global Facade Consultant will develop and maintain a ‘pattern book’ of common remediation solutions. Design teams will be able to draw on these solutions when designing remediation plans for each individual building.
The pattern book will address common cladding replacement situations and will act as a shared body of knowledge to assist designers.
The GFC will issue program-wide design guidelines drawing on the advice of the Cladding Product Safety Panel and panel designers, to ensure consistency of design approach and quality across the program.
What advice do you have for those Strata Plans that are on the cusp of registering, or require an interpretation on their level of compliance? There is some uncertainty around whether specific materials are compliant despite having CSIRO certification.
All Strata Plans that are eligible should register interest for Project Remediate.
We will assess the building’s eligibility and consult with the Cladding Taskforce if necessary to determine if the building is high risk.
For eligible high-risk buildings, the Managing Contractor will fully assess the building’s cladding and any existing remediation plans, and advise on what is necessary to remediate the cladding under Project Remediate.
Will the cladding products being considered for Project Remediate undergo façade system testing, and if so, will the results be made publicly available?
The Office of Project Remediate, Hansen Yuncken and the Cladding Product Safety Panel (CPSP) are currently making arrangements for material testing.
In consultation with industry, the Cladding Product Safety Panel will define 'reference' testing methods that may apply to materials proposed for use in Project Remediate.
The Global Façade Consultant (GFC) will work closely with the CPSP to review information provided by suppliers who submit cladding materials for consideration.
A product submission form allows suppliers to submit specific product data such as testing reports to enable detailed consideration by the GFC and CPSP. Additional materials are under consideration and the CPSP will issue its findings in future reports.
The Office of Project Remediate will conduct our own independent testing of cladding materials where the CPSP decides this is necessary to assess the materials’ suitability for Project Remediate..
Will the NSW Government consider reducing the combustible percentage allowed under the Building Code of Australia from 30% to 0%?
The NSW Government’s building product use ban prohibits the use of certain products with over 30% combustible material in any building work after the ban commenced on 15 August 2018.
For materials installed before the ban, an individual building assessment needs to be carried out to determine how to make the building safe.
The Cladding Taskforce has confirmed there are are no plans to change the building product use ban.
Is there any scope for redesign of the appearance or performance (e.g. more energy and carbon efficient) as part of Project Remediate?
Project Remediate will facilitate the removal of combustible cladding and materials within the façade of high-risk Class 2 buildings. All aspects of the façade’s performance will be considered when designing replacement solutions - wind loading, weatherproofing, condensation, durability, acoustics, aesthetics, etc. Producing guidelines for assessing these factors will be a key function of the global façade consultant.
The design teams for each project will consult with the building owners about their material and design preferences and provide them with different options to consider, where such options are available.
Remediation designs also need to comply with consent authority requirements and the designers will also consult with these authorities when preparing the design options.
Ultimately the owners will make an informed choice about which of the available, safe options they prefer.
Building investigation and assessment process
How long does the triage and assessment process typically take?
The triage and assessment processing times are site specific and will vary depending on the size, scale, accessibility and the complexity of the facade system to be remediated, as well as any work already undertaken by the owners corporation. On average we anticipate that the complete process of investigation, assessment and design will take approximately 180 days to complete.
Joining Project Remediate
Will the owners have to pay any fees should they decide not to proceed with Project Remediate, and if a contract is not signed?
The owners corporation will not be liable for any costs unless and until they sign a contract to proceed with the program.
Council order requirements
Some Strata owners are struggling to meet Council order timelines and are forced to make financial commitment to meet Council order requirements. Can Council orders be modified to meet Project Remediate requirements and timeline?
Project Remediate will operate in partnership with local government and will use the orders process to expedite remediation approval where possible. Without an order, a development application would be required to be lodged for each remediation project.
For buildings that are participating in the program, the Office of Project Remediate and the Managing Contractor will liaise with councils to ensure the timelines for Fire Safety Orders are aligned with the Project Remediate timeline, including seeking extensions where this is appropriate and justified.
How can you assure owners that the price to remediate will not be inflated due to demand?
Remediation work under Project Remediate will be staggered over the three-year program. This will be coordinated by the Managing Contractor who has extensive experience in construction procurement and management. All appointments of contractors and consultants will be on the basis of a pre-qualified panel and competitive tender process to achieve value for money.
Owners corporations will also benefit from program-wide sourcing where appropriate and the global façade consultant will maintain a ‘pattern book’ of design solutions that can be referenced by designers for each project. The services provided by the Managing Contractor and global façade consultant are fully funded by government and represent a significant saving to the owners corporation.
Once remediation works commence under Project Remediate, are we permitted to simultaneously carry out work with other contractors?
Other concurrent remedial works that require scaffolding can be considered, subject to the approval of the Managing Contractor which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. These works must be arranged and fully funded by the owners corporation, as only the cladding remedial works component will be funded by the Project Remediate interest-free loan.
Other remedial work which does not require scaffolding may be undertaken simultaneously with other contractors, however the specifics of this should be discussed with the Managing Contractor before proceeding. If these works will impact or interfere with the cladding remediation work then this should not occur simultaneously.
What happens if we discover building defects or poor workmanship that requires remediation after our cladding has been removed? Can we negotiate to increase the scope of work of Project Remediate to rectify these unforeseen matters at the same time?
Our up-front investment in building assessment and investigation should reveal such issues through an 'investigation report' prior to remediation work commencing. Where such defects are found in buildings under 10 years old, the investigation report will be provided to authorised officers under the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 (NSW) (the RAB Act) who may consider options to help owners through the issuing of a Building Work Rectification Order (BWRO) under section 33 of the RAB Act to require the responsible developer to rectify any serious defects identified. This may include the combustible cladding as well as any other defects.
Where this option is not available, remedial works that require scaffolding may be carried out concurrently with the cladding remediation work. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Only the cladding remedial works component will be funded through the interest-free loan. Other works that do not require scaffolding will need to be addressed by the owners corporation independent of the cladding remediation work.
Will Project Remediate be willing to work with remedial builders appointed by Owners Corporations? If so, will all the benefits still be provided, including the interest free loan?
Yes. Builders already engaged by owners corporations can participate as long as they meet the requirements for pre-qualification. Hansen Yuncken, the Managing Contractor, will engage with these contractors to ensure that they meet Project Remediate requirements, have adequately scoped the work and have the capability of completing the remediation work in accordance with Project Remediate standards.
Organisations can express their interest in providing services for Project Remediate by emailing Hansen Yuncken at email@example.com.
The builders may be required to re-scope or re-price their work in order to meet Project Remediate requirements and will also need to enter into a Project Remediate standard AS4000 contract.
Hansen Yuncken will discuss the proposed pricing with the owners corporation. We generally recommend that a tender is conducted so that owners corporations have the benefit of comparative and competitive pricing before deciding which contractor to appoint.
How will buildings built with links to the previous builder (e.g. in last 5 years) be treated to those buildings that do not have a builder/developer to go back to remediate?
Building owners who can claim under statutory warranties for building work are encouraged to do so. These protections allow owners to seek redress from the original builder, avoiding the need for owners to pay for remediation work or take out a loan.
However, all eligible buildings can participate in Project Remediate and receive the assistance of the interest-free loan and assurance services. We have contacted the owners of some buildings directly where we know the building is within the statutory warranty period. If your owners corporation has not been contacted and your building is within the statutory warranty period we encourage an authorised representative to contact the Office of Project Remediate for further information about how the program will interact with any statutory warranty claim.
Recycling of materials
How does the NSW Government ensure the materials that are removed during the remediation works do not end up in landfill?
Waste management is an important part of the Project Remediate and Hansen Yuncken will arrange a program-wide waste disposal and recycling arrangement to minimise the adverse impact on the environment and provide value for building owners.
Hansen Yuncken will engage with the recycling industry to procure these services.
Proof of remediation
How can I verify that the apartment I want to buy has been fixed through Project Remediate?
At the completion of the remediation work, the owners corporation will receive a compliance certificate, known as a 'Remediation Assurance Certificate'.
The assurance consultant may also provide this certificate to the local council or consent authority. This will take account of the initial Fire Safety Order or approval and the requirements of Fire and Rescue NSW. A defects liability period of six months and statutory warranty of six years will also apply to the remediation work.
Where remediation work is underway and yet to be completed, please contact the strata manager or the Office of Project Remediate for verification.
Assistance for local councils for Project Remediate
Will expert technical advice and assistance be available for local councils if they require it to implement and manage their role under the program?
Councils will be eligible for a payment of $10,000 per building which is remediated under the Project Remediate. This contribution by the NSW Government will support councils to undertake the tasks necessary to support project remediate including:
research and review and issuance of fire orders
review of remediation designs, and oversight of building work.
The details of the payment scheme including how the funds are distributed will be available soon. Councils will also be able to contact the Office of Project Remediate and will be able to access the advice of the CPSP, Hansen Yuncken or the Global Façade Consultant.