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Fairview-FVA Group hits back at 'fake' claims against Vitracore G2 ACM

FVA Group says it is 'dismayed by repeat lies and misinformation' being spread in a tabloid newspaper story, concerning the fire-retardant properties of its Vitracore G2 Aluminium Composite Materials used in contruction, facades and signage.

 FVA Liverpool fire
 The 2017 fire at the now completed Liverpool, NSW building where Vitracore actually inhibited the spread of the fire

The key points that FVA Group wishes to re-assure the cladding market straight away are simply that:

  • Vitracore remains a safe and compliant cladding Australia-wide, independently validated by the CSIRO and ABCB’s codemark schemes
  • G2 has never been involved in any serious or fatal incident and, in the real world, inhibits fire
  • The key source/competitor for the fake claims represents a competitor cladding, and regularly attacks Vitracore, while purporting to be a non-vested interest

FVA Group corrected multiple falsehoods fed to the journalist at the tabloid in question, but is seeking legal counsel because several errors – which were pointed out prior to the story running – were still published, including:

  • Vitracore G2 is effectively being banned in QLD. FALSE; Vitracore G2 is permitted for use in all states and territories of Australia.
  • The product was rejected due to Queensland’s Non-Conforming Building Products legislation. FALSE; Vitracore G2 is permitted for use in all states and territories of Australia.
  • The product was rejected on a QLD project due to fire concerns. FALSE; it was due to a media scare the same competitor drummed up to fuel his anti-Vitracore campaign.
  • If the Queensland laws existed across the country the product would not be used anywhere in the country. FALSE; it is permitted for use in all states and territories of Australia, including many cladding rectification projects.
  • Victorian regulators are investigating concerns… FVA is not aware of any Victorian regulator investigation into G2.
  • The article is accompanied by an image of a building fire and implies that Vitracore G2 was involved in the fire. This is FALSE and misleading,  the FACTS about this fire can be read here.

(Note: the fire referred to was at a residential development under construction next to Georges River, Liverpool, NSW on the former site of Australia's first Paper Mill, established 1868. The Vitracore G2 cladding actually prevented the spread of fire, and was acknowledged by NSW Fire Brigade who were 'relieved' it was being clad in Vitracore G2.)

Fairview challenged the journalist concerning if the blatant biased vested interest agenda and provable falsehoods raised and readily corrected (ahead of publishing) did not alarm news professionals; it seems they did not.

FVA 'laments' that an obviously biased party can readily dupe influential media to generate misinformation and attack  safe, compliant and verified cladding products such as Vitracore G2.

FVA says: "If anyone concerned by unwarranted fears this fake news may have stoked, they are welcome to contact FVA Group (formerly Fairview Architectural), both for technical insight and support on 1800 007 175 or via email." helpdesk@fv.com.au

Commentary by Publisher Andy McCourt

It seems the cladding issue just won't go away. There have already been Court allegations of 'rigged tests' we have reported on. With the Australian ACM PE replacement market estimated at around four million square metres  - the stakes are high and some vested parties appear to have resorted to dirty tricks.

Not so FVA Group, formerly known as Fairview Architectural, who has its main operation in Lithgow, NSW. Faced with expensive opportunistic lawyer-funded class actions, they were forced into administration but emerged having paid all debts and retained all 52 employees. FV Group has also re-clad some buildings at risk of fire, at its own cost.

Additionally, FVA Group is actively taking responsibility for ACM cladding waste, having formed a division called Ecoloop.

Ecoloop is a recycling solution for recladding waste and was designed by Fairview in close collaboration with waste management experts. The initiative was established in response to the State Government’s mandated removal of polyethylene (PE) cladding, as part of comprehensive rectification initiatives across the country.

Ecoloop sees the diversion of ‘non-compliant cladding’ waste from rectification projects recycled and repurposed, avoiding up to 100% of non-compliant ACP cladding material ending up as landfill. Presumably, redundant sign-application ACM can be included in this.

With these real-life credentials rather than mud-slinging, it makes the misinformation blurted out about Vitracore G2 and FVA seem biased, untruthful and not without a small smattering of malevolence. It is sad that a popular newspaper has swallowed the fake spin, not fact-checked sufficiently and, worst of all, ignored independent and reputable tests, reports and facts when presented to them.

The ACM industry, building inspectors and specifiers certainly fouled-up bigtime over allowing flammable PE-cored ACM to end up on tall buildings and this has caused a great deal of heartache for apartment owners and others affected by the need to remediate their properties to compliance. However, what is clear above all of the unsubstantiated and/or vested-interest brouhaha is that FVA Group is demonstrably part of the solution and doing some great work.