The subject of façade compliancy within the industry has certainly been a contentious subject over the past year and a half. Whilst traditional ACP will continue to have its place within the industry, the concerns resulting from the 2014 Lacrosse fire highlighted not only the need for technical clarity around what circumstances in which combustible materials or products may be used in the construction of external walls of certain types of buildings, but also the lack of non-combustible products that are not only compliant with the BCA, but also offer the same aesthetic benefits as traditional ACP that exist in the market.
It has been through an extensive collaboration with various governing bodies and industry experts, that Fairview developed a range of DtS, BCA compliant non-combustible aluminium composite solutions. Leading the portfolio; Vitracore G2 is a Deemed to Satisfy, non-combustible composite panel, with a profiled aluminium core; tested to AS1530.1 and AS1530.3. Visually, Vitracore G2 is the same as traditional composite panel; but what makes it different is the technology of the core, which is constructed from an 100% aluminium structure, rather than combustible material. It is the same to fabricate and install as traditional ACP, and utilises the PPG coating system; thus is available in the same extensive colour range as Fairview’s traditional ACP product; Vitrabond.
Designed to complement Vitracore G2, Fairview also developed Vitradual; a durable, high impact resistant, 3mm solid panel which can be curved, rolled and perforated. Vitradual also features the same PPG PVDF coating system as Vitrabond; well proven for its superior quality, extensive colour range and integrity; unlike traditional 3mm powder coated aluminium.
Supply of both products has commenced to projects across QLD, NT, NSW, ACT and VIC; with the products also being used to replace non-compliant panels on a number of completed buildings in Australia. Feedback received by the company thus far has also been exceptionally pleasing, suggesting that Vitracore G2 can be machined perfectly, is far lighter and easier to install than FR ACP and that it is swiftly becoming the go-to product for many installers, builders and architects within the industry. Vitracore G2 is also proving to provide substantial cost savings for builders and developers, given G2 can be used as ‘part of the wall’, which eliminates the need for an additional non-combustible layer (unlike traditional FR aluminium composite panel which requires the non-combustible layer, so that it is considered as an ‘attachment’ for compliance).
But Fairview’s motivation regarding façade compliancy extends beyond just providing non-combustible solutions. The company wanted to lead the industry in addressing the issue of combustible facades; resulting in the development of a state-by-state campaign; linking in with industry experts to provide clarification around façade compliancy, specific to what constitutes an external wall or an attachment to an external wall through a series of events and documentation.
The company will also soon be providing formal continuing professional development (CPD) presentations, which will not only continue to educate key decision makers within the industry around the subject of façade compliancy; but provide architects with the required CPD points as part of their annual Australian Institute of Architects membership.
Comprehensive test reports and assessments for both Vitracore G2 and Vitradual are available by contacting the team at Fairview.