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GENERAL PROPERTY VIDEO

Fire Safety Building experts called to join IFSS global coalition

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THE World Bank and United Nations-backed International Fire Safety Standards (IFSS) coalition is calling on building experts from Australia and Asia to nominate and join a global expert panel, to develop landmark global standards in Fire Safety.

The IFSS coalition was created following London’s Grenfell fire and it is backed by the World Bank, the United Nations, the United Kingdom government, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and more than 30 international organisations.

Australian Property Institute Life Fellow and IFSS coalition member Robert Hecek is urging experts in Australia and Asia to nominate and join the Standards Setting Committee (SSC).

The SSC will draft rules to classify and define fire safety standards at international levels by uncovering and interpreting best practice standards and guidance which already exist.

Hecek said Australia is already a world leader in the field with two states, New South Wales and Victoria introducing legislation prohibiting the use of  Aluminium composite panels with a core of more than 30% polyethylene on any residential buildings over two storeys and commercial over three storeys.

Experts applying to join the SSC must have standards setting experience, code writing, technical research, insurance and valuation as well as having experience of working globally across jurisdictions.

They must have design expertise in fire safety in specific areas including architects, engineers, surveyors, project managers, fire engineers, just to name a few.

The SSC is also looking for fire safety expertise across different asset classes, including industrial, commercial, residential, education, healthcare, infrastructure, nuclear stations etc.

Hecek said the world needs to set minimum levels of fire safety because inconsistency not only causes uncertainty in investment, more importantly it is a risk to the people working or living in these buildings.

He added that it comes to accounting, the world adopted the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which is backed by IVSC.

However, when it comes to fire safety, there is no uniform standard around the world.

“Property has to be valued on a consistent basis. the fire standards are so inconsistent that the valuations would vary, and there would be uncertainty on how it’s based,” Hecek said.

London’s Grenfell was not an isolated incident, there have been cladding fires in South Korea, France, United Arab Emirates, Shanghai in China, Israel, Jakarta in Indonesia, Sao Paolo in Brazil and the Lacrosse building in Melbourne, Australia.

Dubai’s 86-storey Torch Tower has caught on fire twice, the first time in 2015 and the building was repaired using the same combustible cladding products. A fire broke out again last year.

Hecek said these cases highlight the inconsistent standards around the world. He added that even in Australia, standards are inconsistent across states and territories.

Expert applicants can find out more information and are encouraged to contact Robert Hecek at rhecek@api.org.au

Australian Property Journal

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