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FIRE SAFETY


Area with exposed ACP core material


Polymeric core Aluminium sheet


Aluminium sheet


Figure 6. Area with exposed ACP core (left) and a close-up (right) showing aluminium and core layers. subtle but extremely important.3 For


critical infrastructures such as hospital, an ALARP approach may not be appropriate. It is important to note that risk mitigation does not imply compliance with the local building regulations. Additional steps may be necessary to obtain building approval to demonstrate compliance with the local building regulations. In Australia, this is achieved by following the process described in the International Fire Engineering Guidelines4 to demonstrate that the requirements of the National Construction Code are met.5 Often these remediation measures are


massive undertakings and require design, planning and funding. As a result, the remediation process required to lower the risk to an acceptable level often takes time. Therefore, it is recommended that the remediation process be implemented in stages. Table 2 shows a sample list of cases where combustible façade has been


identified and assessed. The average risk level at the of various remediation stages are shown. Stage 0 risk level represents the risk at the time the building was first inspected. The risk levels are determined as a


result of likelihood of an event and its severity. Remediation measures are often carried out to reduce the likelihood of a fire scenario and/or severity as a result of that fire scenario. However, as shown in Cases 1, 2 and 5, remediation measures carried out in stages do not always result in a linear reduction of risk. Remediation measures are often restricted by time and feasibility of the remediation measures. Work is now underway to deal with the recommendations. Urgent works include short-term measures carried out to immediately reduce the risks. Procurement is underway for permanent


replacement of high-risk materials, as well as full-scale façade fire testing.


Table 2. Summary of risk assessment outcomes in various hospital buildings. Case Building use Façade type


Risk level Stage 0 Stage 1


1 Acute care Combustible Extreme High building ACP


2 Acute care Combustible High building ACP


3 Medical EPS insulated High


research sandwich panels


4 Acute care Combustible Low – building ACP


5 Acute care EPS insulated Extreme High


building sandwich panels


6 Ambulatory EPS insulated High care


sandwich panels


IFHE DIGEST 2020 Moderate Low – – – Low – High


Stage 2 High


Stage 3 Low


Moderate Low Moderate Low –


Short-term/temporary remediation measures Case 1 involves an acute care building, which has extensive ACP with combustible core installed extensively on all sides of the building. The building has neonatal intensive care occupants and individuals with infectious diseases, whom are not readily ambulant. A fire involving the façade could have resulted in catastrophic consequence. Due to the size of the building, removal of all the ACP was not feasible in a short amount of time. Therefore, the risk of ignition was reduced through temporary measures such as removal of nearby vehicle parking spaces.


Permanent remediation measures Permanent remediation measures take time to implement as they often require funding, planning and approval. Some remediation measures can be implemented in a relatively shorter time frame than removal of the external façade. Removal of the external façade, if


necessary, can also be done in stages. Since most ignition sources are often found at ground Level, removal of combustible façade from the ground up would progressively increase the separation distances between the combustible façade and ignition sources. The first stage of remediation can


often be carried out in as little as a few weeks. During this time, planning can be carried out for the rest of the remediation measures, which may take several months to implement. Building owners and responsible stakeholders should not wait until the completion of the prior remediation stage before planning the rest of the required works. Permanent remediation can differ


greatly between buildings due to the fire scenarios, risk level and stakeholders’ objectives. For example, removal of combustible façade is not necessary in all situations. In Cases 3 and 5, only the


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