Last week NSW set itself a three year deadline to remove flammable cladding from affected buildings and appointed construction company Hansen Yuncken to oversee each removal job.

“Project Remediate” is the NSW government’s response to the fire-risk posed by certain cladding products exposed by the UK’s Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 and the Melbourne’s Lacrosse Building fire in 2014.

The government was criticised earlier in the year by the Greens and Labor for the delay in addressing the problem. 

Under the scheme, eligible owners’ corporations have been asked to foot the bill but will be able to secure a 10-year, interest free loan from the government to fund the necessary work. The government will pick up the tab for the interest, the design work and the procurement, which is estimated to cost $260 million.

The approach differs to the Victorian government’s approach where $600 million was handed to Cladding Safety Victoria to address the most dangerous cases. However, funding has not increased to match the growing list of at-risk buildings. As such, funding has been retracted from some buildings that initially qualified for the program.

The government aims to knock over work on the 225 worst-affected buildings by the end of this year. In 2019, around 440 building facades were identified to contain some kind of flammable material.   

The NSW government’s program is to make the process as easy as possible for strata communities. Hansen Yuncken will be allocating resources and specialist teams to individual projects under Project Remediate and conducting oversight.

Design teams will need to be approved for the work and will come up with a strategy to remove and replace the cladding under the guidance of a façade expert and a NSW product safety panel.

Each project will be tracked using digital systems so that owner’s corporations can keep track of its progress.

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