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BIA Report Raises Environmental Issues

BIA Report Raises Environmental Issues

Environmental and health and safety issues raised by the call from the Building Industry Authority for fully treated timber to be used in all new home construction will need close attention says the Construction Industry Council of New Zealand.

Council chairman John Pfahlert said today that issues arising from the BIA recommendations following its probe of the leaky buildings situation included a need for high standards of chemical run-off control and disposal at treatment sites.

“The country already faces expensive, complicated and difficult clean-up tasks arising from historic problems at treatment sites. An inherent factor in these recommendations is that we can expect a great deal more pressure on existing treatment facilities and potentially new plant to come on stream.

“We have come a long way but we will need to remain vigilant that we meet world best standards of site practice. Tightened health and safety codes are likely to add further costs which will inevitably pass through to consumers.

“While we support the recommendations for use of treated timber in high risk situations, question marks do hang over the comprehensive need for treated timber in low risk situations, particularly when codes for external moisture management are being tightened.

“Overall, however, we welcome the review and recommendations as an opportunity to restore public confidence in the housing industry and tighten up our own standards in line with consumer expectations.

“The opportunity for consulation will be useful in ensuring that both industry and the BIA itself understand fully the implications of what is proposed and the full cost factors that will impact on new home buyers.

“Proposals that by the BIA’s own analyses will add some $4000 to $5000 to the cost of new housing ($1800 to $2500 in the case of apartment units) need to be fully evaluated in partnership with industry, not least because of the implications for new home affordability and the Government’s housing policies.”

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