Hundreds of Australia’s apartment buildings may be at risk from the use of unsafe imported building materials.
Strata Community Australia (SCA) has urged owners’ corporations nationwide to carry out building inspections immediately as concerns rise over the possibility of widespread use of unsafe building materials.
Its comments follow the investigation of a fire at a Melbourne apartment block, where a commonly used aluminium cladding product was found to be the main cause.
SCA said more than 100 residents and owners of the Docklands building are now reportedly considering a class action against the builders.
The product at the centre of concern is Alucobest, a cheaper, Chinese-made alternative to the Australian-made Alucobond, which has greater fire-retardant properties.
Alucobest has been a popular choice for high-rise apartment builders over the past 10 years, SCA said.
Chief executive Kim Henshaw said it is imperative that owners’ corporations take immediate steps to assess building safety.
“This is a concerning discovery for construction in Australia and it bears direct impact on the strata sector,” he said.
“The only way to find out whether a building is at risk is via a building inspection, so strata managers should also be recommending this action to their clients.”
Strata Community Australia said there have been other instances recently of faulty materials being used in Australian construction.
“The focus here is very much on the fire risk associated with unsafe cladding products,” Mr Henshaw said.
“However, we have seen worrying cases about other materials hat also deserve attention through these recommended inspections.”