Is timber cladding a fire risk?

The construction industry has felt the heat in recent times after several fires erupted due to the use of combustible materials. Incidents including the Grenfell Tower in London and the Lacrosse building in Melbourne sparked a change in the National Construction Code (NCC). The code exists to outline the minimum safety requirements in the design and construction of new buildings.

The construction industry has felt the heat in recent times after several fires erupted due to the use of combustible materials.

Incidents including the Grenfell Tower in London and the Lacrosse building in Melbourne sparked a change in the National Construction Code (NCC). The code exists to outline the minimum safety requirements in the design and construction of new buildings. Both the Melbourne and London tragedies were caused by non-compliant materials used for high-rise apartments. For this reason, the recent changes to the NCC apply to high-rise buildings only. Despite the bad publicity and changes to policy, we shouldn’t expect timber’s popularity to go down in flames. Australians looking to build with timber can rest assured!

Timber burns in a slow and measureable way, allowing designers to construct strong, fire resistant cladding. Timber used for construction can be tested to determine its fire rating, and this should be guaranteed by architectural and construction companies. Is timber cladding a fire risk? While many are quick to jump to conclusions about timber, it does in fact have strong fire-resistant qualities, alongside its natural beauty and workability.

Is timber cladding safe to use?

Fire resistant timber cladding is safe, and does not pose a fire risk to low rise buildings (classified up to 3-storeys). However, this doesn’t mean all is lost for high-rises and large commercial buildings. Non-combustible cladding options exist and they maintain a stylish timber-like appearance. Urbanline timber cladding undergoes certified testing to classify its fire resistance.

It is measured on:

  • Ignitability
  • Spread of flames
  • Level of heat evolved
  • Amount of smoke developed

Your safety and peace of mind come first, and you can obtain a product evaluation report for all Urbanline timber cladding, which provides details on the fire certification and rating.

You can rely on Urbanline for the safeguarding of your building from fire damage. We take testing seriously, and our fire ratings exceed compliance expectations.

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