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BIA treated timber proposals unfair to homeowners

BIA’s proposals on treated timber unfair to homeowners

New Zealanders will pay will around 3% more for an average new home and use unnecessary chemicals in their homes if the BIA pushes ahead with its proposed changes on treated timber says Carter Holt Harvey.

Devon McLean, CHH Chief Operating Officer says the BIA’s proposal for blanket treatment of all framing timber to H1.2 level will cost all homeowners more for something most do not need.

The extra costs come on top of an earlier 3% increase stemming fr0m proposed changes to the Building Act announced last month.

“If the Building Industry Authority insist on this ‘one size fits all’ proposal every home owner will have to pay extra when nearly all the problems have been caused by certain design and claddings combinations and workmanship that has failed to keep buildings weathertight,” says Mr McLean.

Mr McLean said the BIA’s proposal to use blanket timber treatment as a second line of defence showed a lack of confidence in its other measures to keep water from getting into buildings in the first place.

“The BIA seems to have overlooked the body of evidence built up by all the other learned groups that have looked at this problem. The earlier Weathertightness Steering Group, the Hunn Report and the Parliamentary Select Committee all pointed towards restricting compulsory preservative treatment to high-risk designs and claddings and higher risk situations such as external walls, balconies and decks where there is a greater potential for leaks. ” says Mr McLean.

“Our concern is that this proposal is too simplistic, rather than a positive long-term answer for New Zealand homeowners. Homeowners should understand that this proposal has the potential to affect the perceived value of every dwelling built since 1991 or some 230,000 homes nationwide, when the very concerning issue of weathertightness affects less than 1% of these homes.”

“Carter Holt Harvey disagrees with the BIA’s proposal and will make these points known through the eight week public consultation process. However, our company does have contingency planning in place and the production flexibility to meet the market demand for H1.2 treated timber if this proposal is eventually adopted.”

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