Being one of the schools identified by the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) as a priority for rectification of their external wall cladding, the Melbourne Girls College had a combination of external wall panels that needed to be removed and replaced with a non-combustible solution.
With the primary focus on reducing the risk of fire propagation around the building, it was paramount that the expanded polystyrene and aluminium composite panels with the polyethylene (PE) core were to be replaced with a NCC Deemed to satisfy compliant system. In this instance, the ASKIN Volcore® Panel compromising a mineral wool core was used along with a 3mm solid aluminium material.
Building Engineering Pty Ltd were responsible for the project with ASKIN commissioned as the head contractor to manufacture and install a compliant solution in accordance with the requirements of the NCC.
Challenges and Solutions
ASKIN was initially approached to provide solutions that could fulfil the requirements of the NCC 2019 for non-combustibility. In this instance, the ASKIN Volcore® Panel was the obvious choice as it met the VSBA requirements for a Deemed to Satisfy (DTS) solution per AS1530.1. This, combined with the ability to manufacture product locally, offered assurance to meet the critical deadlines for completion.
In addition, ASKIN’S experience in the rectification of other façade types provided a level of comfort to all stakeholders involved.
Scheduled to be completed over the school holidays to minimise disruption, the project experienced some delays involving permits which meant the project overlapped the term four period. This disruption was to clarify the Deem to Satisfy requirements as required by the VSBA and its certifying representative. ASKIN’S experience comes into play by assisting Building Engineering Pty Ltd with additional fire testing to give the building surveyor and façade engineer assurance above and beyond the requirements of the NCC which enabled the project to begin without any further delay.
Building Engineering Pty Ltd Construction Manager Steve Sweeney says that there is much emotion in all of this and it was essential to use the right products to achieve 100% compliance.
“In terms of what the ASKIN team did to help us, they assisted throughout the testing stage, supplied extra labour and staged the program in a manner to make up for the delays”.
Construction, in general, can have its challenges, and in this instance, having to operate within a fully operational school, there were a number of factors to be taken into consideration. School drop off and pick up, recess and lunch, noise and the general transient nature of the facility all had to be taken on board. Safety was an absolute priority.
Melbourne Girls College Facilities Manager Glen Holland, says his experience with ASKIN was a positive one describing ASKIN as efficient, neat and tidy on site, and always professional.
Back in full operation, Melbourne Girls College ‘Block A’ is now fully compliant in accordance with the requirements of the NCC 2019, and as such satisfying the desired outcome for the Victorian School Building Authority.
The school is delighted with the result and has described the building as “it’s like brand new!”. ASKIN is proud to deliver a compliant façade solution with exceptional turnaround times for completion, all with a minimal amount of disruption to building operations and the safety of its occupants.
Construction Manager Steve Sweeney added that he’s happy to have a contractor that’s committed to getting the job done!
“The school is quite happy with our work and wants us to come back to do some unrelated work. This is due to the fact ASKIN made us look good!”