ALL building cladding materials will have to be permanently marked with an Australian Standard in future to help prevent tragedies like the Grenfell Tower blaze in London.

Queensland Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni has won support for the move from colleagues at the national Building Ministers Forum.

Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni.
Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni.

"Any tradie installing a piece of cladding will have the information right in front of them, to reassure them that the product they're using is the product they're supposed to be putting on the building - it's not something which looks similar but could be unfit for purpose," he said.

Queensland, like other states, is going through the process of identifying and rectifying dodgy cladding products.

It follows the June 2017 disaster which left 72 people dead when fire swept quickly up external cladding - aluminium sheets bonded to a central polyethylene core - on a 23-storey residential building in London.

But the checking process is onerous because cladding already on buildings here often has to be tested to establish is it is fire-resistant.

"One of the biggest challenges our Non-Conforming Building Products Taskforce has come up against is the issue of product substitution," Mr de Brenni said.

The Princess Alexandra Hospital has non-conforming building cladding. Picture Mark Cranitch
The Princess Alexandra Hospital has non-conforming building cladding. Picture Mark Cranitch

"Once this stuff is installed on a building, there's no way of knowing if it's of the type specified in the building's design without taking a piece off and testing it."

Mr de Brenni says authorities can change that for the future with a mandatory labelling system.

"I propose that a new Australian Standard will require a permanent marking on aluminium composite cladding products that will provide information about what the product is, where it was made, and the date of manufacture," Mr de Brenni said.

"Each panel will be etched or printed with a mark that identifies exactly what the panel is."

The Minister says there is already a precedent for glazing, with each panel of "grade A" safety glass requiring a permanent label or mark showing it with an Australian Standard "so that everyone in the construction chain, including consumers, can be confident".

Queensland had been prepared to go it alone with permanent labelling for cladding if necessary, but a national approach makes it much more efficient.

The move is expected to be mandated through an update to the National Construction Code.



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