Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Weathertightness of Houses

1 June 2001

Weathertightness of Houses

BRANZ (the Building Research Association of New Zealand) has expressed concern at some of the recent media statements on the weathertightness of New Zealand houses.

“Over recent days there have been many stories in the press stating that New Zealand houses leak. It is appropriate to provide a more balanced view of the actual situation,” said Dr Graham Rowe, BRANZ Marketing Manager. “Leaks can occur in all climates and with all types of cladding systems if buildings are not designed, built or maintained correctly.

“What causes a leak can vary, from poor detailing at the design stage, shortcuts being taken in the construction process, manufacturers’ recommendations not being followed or materials used not being those originally specified, to critical elements of the building – such as flashings -- being omitted. Design fashion – elements such as horizontal parapet caps, pipes penetrating the exterior cladding, cantilevered decks and lack of or inadequate eaves, for example – can also increase the risk of leaks. It is very rare for properly maintained cladding materials themselves to be at fault.

“The consequences of a leak vary widely, but common problems can include decayed framing, wet insulation materials, deterioration of interior linings and damaged flooring, as well as the formation of moulds which can be damaging to health.

“The building industry agrees that better training is required, and has already responded with new training schemes for builders and for specialist applicators and fixers of some proprietary cladding systems. Manufacturers, be they of cladding products, windows, roofing or other key construction elements, are increasing their efforts to ensure they comply with appropriate Standards and the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code, and to provide more product information. Many continually review their products and have them Appraised by BRANZ – a process that ensures that they are fit for their intended purpose. All building work is subject to a building consent and a sign-off at the completion of the job through a code compliance certificate, to ensure it meets the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code.

“The industry has recently set up a national working group to deal with the issue of leaking buildings, led by BRANZ Materials Manager Adrian Bennett. The group includes designers, builders, manufacturers, building regulation experts, educators and industry associations. It aims to coordinate the range of activities already under way across the industry and to identify the additional work that needs to be done to ensure that buildings in the future do not leak as some do now.

“An initial focus will be on education and training, both for new entrants into the industry and those already working in it. Increased research into what makes effective cladding systems for New Zealand conditions is also being investigated,” Dr Rowe said.

BRANZ says that anyone who is concerned about the design or construction of a house they are currently planning, or the materials being used, should ensure they clarify with their designer, builder, manufacturers and local authorities how the weathertightness of the building is being addressed, or talk to a local building consultant for advice.

The BRANZ internet site at includes a current list of all BRANZ Appraised products as well as contact details for all building consultants who are BRANZ Accredited Advisers.

- ends -

For more information contact:
Graham Rowe,
Marketing Manager,
Tel: (04) 235 7600

Adrian Bennett
Co-ordinator, Weathertightness Steering Group,
Tel: (04) 235 7600

The Building Research Association of New Zealand
Moonshine Road, Judgeford
Private Bag 50 908, Porirua City, New Zealand
Telephone (04) 235 7600, Fax (04) 235 6070

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

Statistics: Butter At Record $5.67/Block; High Vegetable Prices

Rising dairy prices have pushed food prices up 2.7 percent in the year to October 2017, Stats NZ said today. This followed a 3.0 percent increase in the year to September 2017. More>>


Science: New Research Finds Herbicides Cause Antibiotic Resistance

New University of Canterbury research confirms that the active ingredients of the commonly used herbicides, RoundUp, Kamba and 2,4-D (glyphosate, dicamba and 2,4-D, respectively), each alone cause antibiotic resistance at concentrations well below label application rates. More>>


CO2 And Water: Fonterra's Environment Plans

Federated Farmers support Fonterra’s bold push to get to zero emissions of CO2 on the manufacturing side of the Co-operative, both in New Zealand and across its global network. More>>


Fisheries: Decision To Delay Monitoring ‘Fatally Flawed’

Conservation group representatives say a decision by the new Minister of Fisheries, Stuart Nash, to delay implementation of camera monitoring of fishing efforts in New Zealand is ‘fatally flawed’. More>>


Kaikōura Quakes: One Year On

State Highway One and the railway were blocked by damage and slips and the Inland Road suffered significant damage. Farms, homes and businesses suffered building and land damage. Power and internet went down, drinking water systems, sewage systems and local roads were all badly affected... More>>