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Industry voices concern over timber treatment

Industry group voices concern over timber treatment

There is sufficient industry concern over the performance of “T1.2” Boron surface spray-treated timber for authorities to review both its Appraisal certification and approval for use by the former Building Industry Association (BIA), and indeed suspend its use pending any such review, says a building industry leader, Certified Builders Association chief executive Garry Shuttleworth.

At the heart of the issue is that fact that T1.2 treated timber does not meet the same performance standards of H1.2 treated timber and compounding this is a high level of industry confusion between two similarly identified timber products, says Shuttleworth.

T1.2 is a surface sprayed treatment, while H1.2 is a full boron treatment performance- proven in application and considered the minimum standard required for exterior wall and cavity applications,” he says.

“They are certainly not the same. Whilst T1.2 is approved as an alternative solution it still does not meet the H1.2 Standard. At the moment it appears builders, even though specifying the higher standard, are receiving timber for exterior framing purposes that does not meet that standard.

He says it appears original approval of the product was based on a premise that T1.2 treated timber was more durable than untreated framing timber. “That could well be so, but we believe it still falls dramatically short of H1.2 performance standards which are considered the minimum standards.”

“This should sound loud warning bells to all in the industry and particularly those responsible for product approvals and setting building standards.

“It is this Association’s view that if H1.2 is the minimum treatment standard for exterior framing applications, anything that falls below that, simply should not be used.”


Interview key message sound bite:

The bottom line here is that we have a product being either specified or supplied for situations where it is simply not fit for purpose.

The last time we had this situation we ended up with a billion-dollar Leaky Building problem.

Urgent action is needed, first to make clear what this product can and can not be used for and in what circumstances, and then for it to be reviewed in context of the building code and the lessons that should have already been learned from inadequate performance and durability testing in situ.

Failure to do this can only bring a dire consequence – for both the building industry and the consumer.

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