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23 May 2013
A building materials resilience rating tool being developed by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) is on track to go live to the public around this time next year after its rating methodology was recently piloted by the Sunshine Coast Council.
ICA GM Policy, Risk and Disaster Planning Karl Sullivan says the methodology developed for ICA by environmental science and consulting firm Edge Environment was successfully tested in conjunction with the Sunshine Coast Council, which looked at how the tool could assist in testing buildings’ responses to that region’s flood risk.
Mr Sullivan says ICA recently completed a stakeholder engagement process for the online tool, which will rate the resilience of different building materials to different weather conditions.
He says product manufacturers are excited by the potential of the concept, and ICA has also been in discussions with major property developers – particularly those with developments in high-risk areas – about its potential applications.
While the tool is initially aimed at homeowners and homebuyers to assess the resilience of their current properties and potential property purchases to the major climate risks faced in each region of Australia, Mr Sullivan says several Queensland councils have expressed interest in using the tool in their future assessment of development applications.
Mr Sullivan says the tool is important because the current building stock in Australia is “increasingly brittle” to weather.
“Anything we can do to change the fundamental risk parameters, the better,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au.
The next stage of development will see manufacturers of building materials assess their products using the methodology to determine resilience to different perils.
A web-based wiki system is being developed to facilitate the collection of this information, and it is expected that the ratings will be “signed off” by a panel of experts from the insurance and building materials industries.
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