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Noarlunga South Australia
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Cladding Risk Mitigation Framework released: How will this affect your building?

Updated: Mar 27

On the 21st of September 2023, the Minister for Planning for the Victorian State Government released Minister's Guideline 15, pursuant to section 188(1)(c) of the Building Act 1993. To support this statement, the new Cladding Risk Mitigation Framework was introduced.

This new guideline applies to the following buildings:

  • Buildings that are classified as Class 2 or Class 3, or part of buildings that are classified as Class 2 or Class 3;

  • Buildings constructed prior to, or have an Occupancy Permit or Certificate of final inspection issued prior to February 1st 2021; and

  • Buildings which have combustible external cladding.

Ministerial Guideline 15 asserts that when issuing a building notice, or where a building notice has been issued, the relevant building surveyor must have regard to the Cladding Risk Mitigation Framework.

What is the Cladding Risk Mitigation Framework?

The Cladding Risk Mitigation Framework adopts a risk-based approach to combustible cladding rectification that prioritises alternative risk-reduction methods as opposed to the complete removal of high-risk combustible cladding where possible, to achieve an acceptable risk rating.

The Cladding Risk Mitigation Framework separates buildings into three risk categories:

Cladding risk rating category

Sprinkler protected

Not sprinkler protected


Risk of fire spread across the Combustible External Cladding of ≥ 4 Sole Occupancy Units (SOU)

Risk of fire spread across the Combustible External Cladding of ≥ 3 SOU


Risk of fire spread across the Combustible External Cladding of 3 SOU

Risk of fire spread across the Combustible External Cladding of 2 SOU


Risk of fire spread across the Combustible External Cladding of ≤ 2 SOU

Risk of fire spread across the Combustible External Cladding of ≤ 1 SOU

Achieving an acceptable risk rating:

​An acceptable Risk Rating is defined as either:

  • Classed as low risk in accordance with the framework's rating system; or

  • Presents an overall level of risk to life that is reasonably similar to, or less than the risk if the same building had no combustible cladding present.

Where possible, the framework suggests that the following rectification measures should be prioritised to achieve an acceptable risk rating:

  • Removal of combustible external cladding proximate to ignition sources;

  • Prevention of fires reaching combustible external cladding;

  • Prevention of fires already alight in the cladding façade from reaching residences; and

  • Providing early warning regarding the presence of fire to early and safe evacuation of the building.

How is this different from previous guidelines?

Shift from zero tolerance approach to a risk-based management approach

This would include the identification of ignition sources and the removal of combustible cladding from those ignition sources or the protection of ignition sources

Some ignition sources might include:

  • Air conditioning compressors;

  • Lighting;

  • External heaters (gas);

  • Barbeques (gas); and

  • Balconies due to the potential for smokers.

What does this mean going forward?

When inspecting a property for flammable cladding, ignition sources should be recorded as part of the report in order to provide advice that is in line with Ministerial Guideline 15.

For example, if a building that is cladded in EPS has balconies, the guideline would consider removing the cladding from around the balcony, which would be considered an ignition source, and retaining other areas of EPS as there would not be an ignition source in those areas.

Learn More:

AESG's knowledge and experience in the building and compliance industry give us the unique skillset and resources to provide National solutions to your building compliance issues. AESG can draw on its team of specialist Architects, Engineers, Compliance Consultants and Building Practitioners. 

Contact us via 1300 336 339,, or visit our cladding page for further information.

Links & Resources:

Ministers Guideline 15 (Victoria State Government)

Cladding Risk Mitigation Framework (Victoria State Government)

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