Melbourne Girls College was one of many schools identified by The Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) audit that required upgrading of non-compliant building materials.
The project's focus was on reducing the fire safety risk of buildings found to have combustible cladding, such as expanded polystyrene or aluminium composite panels with a Polyethylene core. In this instance, Melbourne Girls College School Block A and Administration as a Class 9 building (with two or more storeys), was one of three buildings (two sites) in Package 4, to be upgraded with non-combustible cladding.
Building Engineering Pty Ltd was commissioned as the builder, and ASKIN Performance Panels were contracted to manufacture and install the compliant cladding products.
Challenges and Solutions
ASKIN installed two replacement panel components; Volcore Panel manufactured by ASKIN and a solid aluminium panel. The Volcore Panel was Flat profile and made from COLORBOND® Metallic steel in the colour Citi®. Both panel products are non-combustible and compliant façade products.
ASKIN is one of the few suppliers who have a deemed compliant façade panel product manufactured in Australia.
Unfortunately, minor delays occurred before commencing on-site due to building permits and compliance where some non-ASKIN materials weren't recognised. ASKIN worked with the building surveyor, the builder and the Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) to provide solutions and organise additional testing to ensure the building was 100% complaint with today's building codes.
AWTA is a NATA accredited testing lab and conducted AS1530.3 Test on a small amount of tape used on the solid steel panel to minimise flexing and bowing to achieve a Flammability Index of less than 5.
Building Engineering Pty Ltd Construction Manager Steve Sweeney said that there's much emotion in all this and it's essential to use the right products and achieve 100% compliance.
"In terms of what the ASKIN team did to help us, they helped throughout the testing stage and supplied extra men and staged the projects to help make up for the delays," said Steve.
Construction in an operating school had its challenges working around the school community, with tools down during peak periods such as drop off and pick up times to ensure the safety of the school community.
Melbourne Girls College Facilities Manager Glen Holland said his experience with ASKIN was a positive one describing ASKIN as efficient, neat and tidy on-site, and always professional.
"It was important to be able to work amongst an operating school, and to be able to coordinate their works with the day to day need of a what a school does," said Glen. "Yes, I would recommend ASKIN, they were efficient, courteous of their surroundings and our school programs and they helped us by working within timelines and during school holidays."
Melbourne Girls College School Block A and Administration is now compliant meeting the non-combustibility requirements of the VSBA.
The school is delighted with the result and described the building as "it’s like brand new". ASKIN was able to help deliver a compliant building solution with exceptional turnaround times for completion, and minimal disruption to building operations and its occupants.
Steve Sweeny added that he's been happy to have a sub-contractor that is committed to getting the job done. "The school is quite happy with our work and want us to come back to do some unrelated work. This is due to the fact ASKIN made us look good."
- COLORBOND® Metallic steel colour Citi® is part of BlueScope's secondary colour range and is subject to enquiry.