Restrictions On Aluminium Cladding

Inspection committees will carry out inspections targeting residential, commercial and industrial buildings

Buildings in Sharjah with a height of more than 23 metres or equivalent of seven floors should not have aluminium cladding, a forum was heard on Tuesday.

The Sharjah Municipality organised the forum to find appropriate solutions to prevent the spread of fires in buildings with aluminum facades.

The authorities urged contractors, consultants and owners of buildings to implement a decision of the Sharjah Civil Defence issued in 2016, which calls for non-approval of the use of aluminium cladding for buildings with a height of more than 23 metres.

Inspection committees comprising representatives of departments concerned will carry out inspections targeting residential, commercial and industrial building in the emirate to ensure they are being obliged by the 2016 safety regulation.

At the forum, the official discussed the risks of using flammable aluminum cladding in the facades of buildings, their impact on increasing the spread of the fire incidents and examined appropriate preventive solutions.

Khalifa bin Hada Al Suwaidi, assistant general director of engineering building sector at the municipality, said that the civic body has conducted a comprehensive survey of existing buildings with aluminium facades in all commercial, residential and industrial areas in the city. He added that the municipality is considering a programme for owners of buildings to change the façade.

Al Suwaidi said: “The municipality would facilitate procedures and requirements in coordination with concerned departments for the building owners to help them replacing aluminium sheets or re-finishing the façades with non-flammable materials while preserving the distinctive aesthetic form of Sharjah City.”

He stressed that the safety of buildings remains the top priority of the engineering and building sector in the municipality.

The forum aimed mainly to involve consulting offices, contracting companies, suppliers and specialised expertise houses. “Involving the companies would encourage them to adopt safer methods and systems other than “cladding” used in the facades of buildings, which entails a heavy financial burdens on real estate,” he added.

Ahmed bin Abdurrahman Al Jarwan, director of inspection in the buildings department at the municipality, said that the use of aluminium cladding system causes many risks. He highlighted the ability of the insulating layer amid the aluminium sheets to ignite, and the method of installing the aluminium cladding system, which constitutes a rapid passage of the spread of flames caused by fire.

He stressed that the municipality will continue to raise awareness of the dangers of using aluminium facades through various means of media and direct communication with owners, contractors and consultants to enhance the safety requirements of buildings.

The forum was attended by officials from the Sharjah Municipality, civil defence, departments of planning and surveying, housing and public works and a number of specialised engineers in the emirate.