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Don't Impose E2/AS1 On Constructions Underway

June 23, 2004


PlaceMakers has signalled its support of the new Acceptable Solution for External Moisture (E2/AS1) released by the Building Industry Association (BIA) today, provided that councils carefully manage the transition process.

"We believe the building and construction industry will welcome the certainty that these changes bring because at the moment every council has its own rules about how it deals with cladding materials. PlaceMakers wholeheartedly supports lifting building and construction standards in New Zealand," said David Worley, Chief Executive of PlaceMakers.

"The transition needs to be carefully managed so that homeowners and builders are not disadvantaged. We are entering a major period of change in the building industry and it's vital that these changes are implemented in a logical and practical way."

E2/AS1 becomes effective from February 1, 2005 for new consents. Buildings currently under construction have until 31January 2006 to complete and apply for a code of compliance certificate using the current limited E2/AS1. However, some Councils may implement the changes earlier due to liability concerns around Alternative Solutions.

"PlaceMakers urges local councils not to impose these changes on buildings that have already gone through the consent process. This will result in significant cost increases both in terms of money and time for homeowners and builders," said Mr Worley.

"This increases the potential for disputes between builders and homeowners arising from changes that neither party could have realistically foreseen. This will add stress to homeowners and could reflect poorly on the building industry as a whole," he added.

The ES/AS1 covers requirements for roofing and cladding materials. A new 'risk matrix' will determine whether a cavity is required behind the cladding.

"Suppliers too will need adequate time to ensure their products and processes meet the requirements under the new regime."

PlaceMakers will address the changes to E2/AS1 in its LIFT Education roadshow scheduled for September 2004. Past PlaceMakers roadshows have attracted up to 2,000 builders which signals the industry's commitment to raising building standards.

The changes will apply to timber framed buildings up to three storeys or 10 metres high (this includes most standard houses and low rise apartment buildings). Key elements of the change are:

- The introduction of a risk management approach to weathertightness protection. That is, the more at risk a building is of leaking (based on a range of factors like complexity of design and exposure to wind), the greater the protection required to stop water getting in

- Much more detail around the design of water protection features like flashings and cappings for parapets

- The inclusion of more cladding types than under the old requirements

- The need for drained cavities in a wider range of building situations

- More detail around designing problematic areas like decks, balustrades and balconies.

The BIA has also introduced a testing method to allow cladding manufacturers to prove the weathertightness performance of their products when used as part of an overall cladding system that includes a cavity.

- ENDS -

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