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04 Oct 2019

Portion of external building cladding to be replaced

Adventist HealthCare

MEDIA RELEASE                                                        SYDNEY ADVENTIST HOSPITAL                                                           4TH OCTOBER 2019 (updated from 25th September release)

 

Portion of external building cladding to be replaced. (updated statement)

Despite the clear details below there have been inaccurate suggestions that warrant clarification.

To reaffirm:

In February 2018, there was a NSW state-wide approach by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to many facilities to conduct an audit to identify if buildings were impacted by non-compliant cladding.

The Hospital was surprised at the suggestion since the Clark Tower had been certified as compliant in 2014 but responded proactively to investigate the possibility.

As a result, a June 2018 report submitted to the Department identified the presence of a portion of non-compliant cladding which necessitated further investigations. This was followed by the implementation of additional interim fire safety measures.

Those extensive investigations which confirmed the existence and extent of the portion of non-compliant cladding were completed in May 2019.

This led to the Hospital submission of a final remediation plan in July 2019.

These report submissions met all required timelines.

On 27th September 2019 the Hospital was asked to review the Department’s soon to be released remediation plan confirmation.
The removal and replacement works are expected to commence later this year and complete by end of 2020.

The Hospital has been proactive about this matter and reported on it as soon as comprehensive and accurate details were available.

This measured response was done in consultation with the authorities and to ensure accurate information, and to prevent misinformation and unnecessary concern.

Following the public release of information on the 25th September, we are thankful for the positive and understanding response of our patients, staff, doctors and community.

Here are the details that were shared:

Sydney Adventist Hospital is to replace a portion of cladding on the Clark Tower as it has been found to be non-compliant.

The cladding panels do not increase the risk of a fire starting but do have a low fire retardant rating.

The Hospital has adopted additional interim fire safety measures to minimise any risk whilst remediation works are completed. The likelihood of a fire affecting the external surface of the building has been assessed as very low.
Unlike apartment buildings where, according to media reports, fire spread from internal to external surfaces via openings (windows/ balconies) or from activities on balconies to the external façade, the Clark Tower is a modern building with no balconies or windows that can be opened. In addition the portion of cladding to be replaced commences well above ground level, at level 6 of the building.

The hospital has been working with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment, who have responsibility for all matters related to non-compliant cladding on the many hundreds of affected buildings throughout NSW. The NSW Ministry of Health has also been advised.

A detailed audit requested by the Department revealed that one of three cladding materials used on the Clark Tower would need to be replaced.

The audit was conducted by independent experts who have also documented the required remediation.

“The audit results were completely unexpected by Sydney Adventist Hospital, as the building had been certified as fully compliant prior to occupation in 2014” says Adventist HealthCare CEO Brett Goods.

“The fact that many hundreds of other building owners including several hospitals are similarly affected was equally surprising.

As our paramount concern is always the safety of our patients and our staff we have welcomed the opportunity to work with the authorities to plan and expedite the remediation works.

“The remediation works, which include securing supply of the approved replacement material, are due to commence in November 2019.

The Clark Tower has state-of-the-art fire prevention, detection, containment and fire-fighting equipment. Fire and Rescue NSW has established precautionary rapid-response plans for buildings affected across NSW.

The remediation works will be completed without interruption to the delivery of quality health care. We appreciate the community’s ongoing support.

ends.


Contact: Leisa O’Connor Adventist HealthCare Corporate Communications Manager on 94879416 or at leisa.oconnor@sah.org.au
 


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