From Building networks
We might be some years down the line, but the leaky homes crisis is far from a distant memory. In fact the issue of weather tightness has not gone away.
Despite all the money spent on plans, weather tightness tribunals, payouts and research there are still some fundamental problems.
I suspect if you asked any member of the public how long they thought a roof or external wall should last, their answer would be far in excess of the stipulated 15 years. It’s true that with regular maintenance these should last a lot longer, but the reality is some of the systems we use have very specific maintenance criteria; these are unfortunately far too easy to compromise by using the wrong silicon filler!
Building techniques and craftsmanship are still lacking, and the speed of construction does nothing to help.
I am still surprised that some products are not banned. Ironically we can still build with some materials that were used in the 1990s that contributed to the problems in the first place.
So have we got better at using and applying cladding products?
The answer is likely no, as we are now seeing some second-generation failures.
The Code’s objectives have always been the same:
E2.1 The objective of this provision is to safeguard people from illness or injury that could result from external moisture entering the building.
(ref: extract from E2 External Moisture)
The scope of the acceptable solution has its limits too. If a building is more than three storeys high, then a specifically designed solution is required. In such cases the cladding is heavily reliant on the skills of the designer to prove compliance within the Code.
The solution also generically describes claddings, but any cladding relies heavily on the manufacturer’s installation instructions and verification of the product through testing and/or appraisals. For example: Wall claddings are described as
There is always a risk in using products that are not fit for purpose; or mixing and matching products that might go with a specific system.
You may find this article from our blog archive useful on products.
If your customer wants something funky and different on the outside of their building please beware… This creates challenges both for designers, installers and inspectors, so don’t expect to be given an easy run through the consent process.
Would you like more advice? Join our online community – BuildNet – where we talk about these issues and how to handle them.
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I have recently had a few queries regarding the proposed changes to the fencing of home swimming pools.
Yes, there are changes a foot but these are NOT LAW YET.
The proposed bill is called Building Pools Amendment Bill. Grab a copy HERE.
It is stuck in the Parliamentary process for now.
As soon as it is made law we will:
Two proposed features of the Bill are:
Tip: It all starts with knowing how many pools would fit the criteria.
How up to date is your pool register? Time to get that sorted first. With all the modern technology and consents approved over the past two decades there should be information at the ready for you to be able to complete this task.
By the way, the CURRENT law is HERE. Fencing of Swimming Pools Act from way back in 1987. Yep it’s still alive and kicking
Check out this old, but still valid, guidance around immediate pool area definitions HERE.
Did you know that there is no mandatory control on building products in New Zealand? It’s a bold claim but it’s true… We might be fierce on fruit, (with good reason), but there's nobody at border control stopping sub-standard products entering our shores.
So how do you know that the products you use are measuring up? Well you could check the Product Certificate Register, but if you do remember that Codemark is a voluntary product certification scheme with only 120 products listed.You might also check out product appraisals, but again be aware that appraisals are voluntary. BRANZ has the most appraised products, at 321.
So what about the thousands of products, systems and items used on your building sites? Be they tapes, glues, screws, nails or larger items.
How do you know you’re using the right products? Here are 5 tips to help you stay up to scratch.
At Building Networks we have an e-learning segment on the dangers of product substitution. If you haven't invested in our e-learning package as yet and would like to try before you buy, click here to view a general demo.