How do you know if your building products are safe and fit for purpose?
By Alex Wood
17 April 2018
Apartment fires in the Lacrosse Building in Melbourne in 2014 and particularly in Grenfell Tower in London last year, have provided stark and horrific evidence of the risks of using non-compliant building products. So how do you know if the building products you’re using are safe and fit for purpose?
Building products may not perform as expected in two ways:
- they may be “non-conforming” and potentially unsafe products that do not meet the relevant standards, or
- they may be “non-compliant” and installed incorrectly or in a way they’re not designed for.
Everyone in the product supply chain has a responsibility to ensure as far as possible that conforming and compliant building products are used; this includes designers, manufacturers, suppliers, installers, builders and building surveyors. Usually, the technical information accompanying a building product states the standards that the product meets, confirms its suitability for its intended application and use, and specifies how it should (and shouldn’t) be installed so it performs appropriately.
If you’re buying an off-the-shelf building product, you need to make sure it’s accompanied with this technical information and install it in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If your product doesn’t have any such technical information, this is a red flag and you should raise it with the supplier, your builder, or us. We can provide advice on what information you should expect to see with your off-the-shelf product to assure yourself it will be fit for purpose, or you can also contact Consumer Building and Occupational Services.