Spontaneous Glass Breakages – Laminate and Film Solutions

A frightening series of “spontaneous” glass balcony explosions at Melbourne apartment buildings has highlighted the dangers of cheap and faulty construction products flooding into Australia.

Video footage obtained by Fairfax Media has captured two extraordinary explosions in recent months, where glass panels on the outside of an inner-city tower suddenly shattered.

The falling shards missed passing pedestrians by just a few metres.

The failures are suspected to be cases of spontaneous glass breakage linked to poor manufacturing. It is thought the balcony balustrades contain nickel sulfide, which can cause glass to fail when exposed to extreme temperature change, wind or other stresses.

Ms Gramlick said the prevalence of building products that did not meet Australian standards, combined with poor workmanship and installation, meant many buildings would have to undergo repairs in years to come.

Balconies in this Melbourne apartment building have been patched up with wood following multiple glass explosions.

Balconies in this Melbourne apartment building have been patched up with wood following multiple glass explosions. Photo: Joe Armao

Other products, including materials laced with asbestos, are arriving with fraudulent compliance certificates.

While spontaneous glass breakage is thought to be rare, Fairfax Media has been made aware of at least three buildings in Melbourne where a number of explosions have occurred.

Construction law expert, Andrew Whitelaw, said a builder was recently forced to replace a number of glass balustrades on a residential tower in Melbourne’s CBD due to the discovery of nickel sulfide impurities.

“If there is too much nickel sulfide in the mix, then extreme changes in temperature can cause the glass to have a pressure point and fail,” said Mr Whitelaw, a partner at TressCox Lawyers.

There have also been two separate explosions in recent months at an inner-city apartment tower. Both incidents were caught on camera and show that if the glass had shattered just a few seconds later, pedestrians would have been walking directly underneath.

The company investigating the cause of the explosions, Roscon, believe the builder may have been given certificates by the manufacturer falsely claiming the glass underwent a heat soaking process to remove the nickel sulfide.

The result of a suspected balcony explosion.

The result of a suspected balcony explosion.

Roscon’s national general manager, Sahil Bhasin, said a heating process is meant to break any glass with nickel sulfide it in before it is sent out to the marketplace.

“That’s the preferred option – to bust in an oven in China – rather than to be put up on building facades,” Mr Bhasin said.

“But sometimes we are finding these processes are being cut out, maybe to save money.”

Mr Bhasin said there were also three separate glass balcony explosions at a multi-storey apartment in Malvern late last year, and in that case the builder could not provide any documents showing compliance with Australian standards.

He said when he approached glass manufacturers for testing data they often provided certificates that appeared to be falsified, because the date on the document was the date they asked for the data, months or years after the glass was actually manufactured.

“They are just issuing certificates willy nilly,” Mr Bhasin said.

Missing glass following a balcony collapse in central Melbourne.

Missing glass following a balcony collapse in central Melbourne.

 

There is evidence substandard building products are rife throughout the construction industry. A 2015 survey of 739 builders and trade contractors by the Housing Industry Association found more than 30 per cent had to replace building products used in their projects because they had failed.

Consumer Affairs Victoria received 771 complaints and enquiries about “major failures” of or defects in building goods in the last six months of 2016.

The Housing Industry Association said fraudulent certification had been discovered with plumbing, electrical fittings, window, engineered wood and steel products. But building products were rarely tested by customs when entering the country, the association said.

The Housing Industry Association’s chief executive of industry policy, Kristin Brookfield, said she advised her members to check for spelling mistakes and “photocopies of photocopies” as signs compliance certificates may have been falsified.

A new concern is the presence of asbestos in construction materials, including plasterboard, that has been declared “asbestos free” by manufacturers in China.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection said it did not have “a legislated role” to check imported building products conform to standards.

However Border Force has been proactively targeting the importation of asbestos and has made four discoveries of asbestos in building products.

The continued rise in imported building products, some purchased online, has seen growing calls for a mandatory or voluntary certification scheme, where building products are tested before being declared safe for use in Australian buildings for certain uses.

There are also demands for the existing regulations to be more rigorously policed, with Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne calling for more inspections to be conducted on building materials coming into Australia.

“The federal government needs to play a more active role in preventing suspect materials from turning up on our construction sites,” Mr Wynne said.

Mr Whitelaw said builders would always seek to maximise their profits. “There certainly is an issue about the quality of product being used at the moment,” he said.

“I think you can’t put a cost on life, health and safety.”

  • This was orginally published in, The Age – Melbounre 

Cooltone have solutions which can be implemented as a retofit to existing glass which may be suspected of being susceptible to Spontaneous glass breakage. Our range of Safety Glass Window Films  can be fitted to contain the glass within the window film in the event of Spontaneous Glass Breakage.

If you would like to get in touch with our office to discuss a custom solution, contact our consultants on 1300 688 474 or fill in our contact form and one of our consultants will get back to you. NuVision Solutions 

WHY WINDOW TINT YOUR HOME – 6 REASONS WHY RESIDENTIAL WINDOW TINTING IS A GREAT CHOICE

NUVISION SOLUTIONS RESIDENTIAL FILMS

WHY WINDOW TINT YOUR HOME - 6 REASONS WHY RESIDENTIAL WINDOW TINTING IS A GREAT CHOICE

More and more, glass is becoming a fundamental part of design and architecture in Australian homes, and why would it not.. Its hard to top an amazing view in the morning as you get ready for the day or a beautiful city skyline to admire in the evening. But as amazing as glass is, it does come with some of it’s own unique flaws. Minimizing privacy, heat, glare and UV rays to name are few this can all contribute towards decreasing your in home comfort.

Here at NuVision Solutions we thought we should share some of the benefits of having a premium residential window tint on the glass windows and doors throughout your home.  

STOP HARMFUL UV RAYS 

YOUR SKIN AND EYES

Australia is a beautiful country but as a lot of us all know the sun can be extremely damaging to your skin. Most of us may not even realize that even while indoors the suns UV rays are still capable of damaging your skin. A premium window tint for your home can reduce UV but 80% protecting your skin and eyes from these damaging UV rays.

FURNISHINGS AND FLOORS 

UV rays from the sun can cause furniture and carpet to fade and deteriorate rapidly. You may have experienced this by putting a chair near a window and noticing how much faster it fades compared to chairs in rooms away from direct sunlight. A premium window tint blocks UV rays and is a great way to increase the life of your furniture and flooring.

WORKS OF ART AND TREASURED POSESSIONS

As Australians we love to keep a nice home with some of our most precious possessions, this could include that amazing canvass of the family at the beach or that fine art work you bought while on holiday, UV Rays over time can damage and fade these belongings, a premium residential window tint will minimize fading and damage from UV to these irreplaceable possessions.

STAY COOL IN SUMMER AND WARM IN WINTER

SUMMER

A premium residential window tint helps to minimize the amount of heat absorbed through your window in the warmer months. This improves the comfort in that hot summer heat and also reduces the amount of electricity used from air conditioning, saving you money

WINTER

In winter, tinted windows can act as insulation—trapping warm air inside your house. This will reduce your heating costs and save you money on your power bills.

REDUCE GLARE IN YOUR HOME

PROTECT YOUR EYES

Glare in your home may not be the first priority however if you have not experienced this at length it can be a genuine problem. Excess glare causes strain to the eyes and cause migraines and headaches. A premium window tint reduces glare.

TELEVISION AND COMPUTER SCREENS 

Glare on your computer or Television screen can be a major problem, completely distorting the view of the screen premium residential window tint can reduce the effects on your TV and computer screens.

IMPROVED PRIVACY

Feels as though you might be letting people see a bit to much into your home? Window Tinting is a great solution. Stop sticky beaks, peeping toms and anyone else that simply wants to have a look into your home with a premium window tint.

SAFETY AND SECURITY 

Premium Window Tints are a genuine deterrent against break ins. Its much harder to peek inside and see what is going on and if they do try and break the glass some films have the ability to stop thieves from breaking the glass. Residential Window Tinting also minimizes breakage keeping you family safe from glass shards in the event of a breakage.

EXCEPTIONAL LOOK AND FEEL 

Lets be honest here a great quality tint on a window looks far better than one without. As mush as there are genuine practical reasons to purchase a premium window tint, they also look amazing.

Window tints also have the abiltiy to add value to your property, reduce energy, costs, look amazing and help to keep your family safe, in short they are a must have for your home.

NEED  RESIDENTIAL WINDOW TINTING IN MELBOURNE

NuVision Solutions are expert installers and stock only the best 3M Premium Residential Window Tinting Products. Call our consultant Josh today on 0417 327 166

We can arrange a free measure at quote at your home and show you a range of window tinting options.