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More assurance your home is built right

14 September 2006

More assurance your home is built right

More changes to the building industry which are designed to help ensure houses are built right were announced today

The Department of Building and Housing said that two important amendments to New Zealand Standards relating to framing timber will come into force on 1 April 2007.

“These amendments are about ensuring the framing timber we use for building our houses does the job properly and doesn’t result in springy floors and doors and windows that jam,” the General Manager, Building Controls, John Kay said.

“Industry has raised concerns that the traditional framing timber used in New Zealand homes (Number 1 framing) may no longer meet the performance requirements of the New Zealand Building Code. Changed timber growing patterns have led to concerns that timber has become springier, and therefore may not meet the performance requirements of the Code. This is an issue of meeting the performance requirements of the Code performance, not of potential failure,” Mr Kay said.

“Standards New Zealand therefore reviewed the Standards and developed the amendments. The Department of Building and Housing has reviewed the amendments to ensure they meet the performance requirements of the Building Code, and has decided they should come into force in April next year,” he said.

Amendment 4 to NZS 3603:
 introduces, and provides the engineering properties for, new verified timber, namely VSG (visual stress grading) and MSG (machine stress grading) grades
 down-rates the properties of unverified, visually graded timber (No. 1 Framing).
 requires that VSG and MSG timber be verified in accordance with the provisions of NZS 3622:2004 ‘Verification of timber properties’.

Amendment 2 to NZS 3604 is a direct consequence of Amendment 4 to NZS 3603. It amends the tables and design information in NZS 3604 to account for the new VSG and MSG grades and the revised properties of No.1 Framing.

“These changes are an important element in ensuring that people building homes should have confidence that their homes are strong and will meet the performance requirements of the New Zealand Building Code,” Mr Kay said.

“The amendments give homeowners this confidence, and we’re holding their final implementation until April next year to allow the sawmilling industry to change their processes and to allow the design and building industry to fully understand them.

Mr Kay said these changes are part of the Government's suite of measures to transform the building and construction sector and raise standards.
"Other measures include the licensing of building practitioners while protecting the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tradition, the review of the New Zealand Building Code, the auditing and accrediting of Building Consent Authorities, the investigation of a home warranty insurance scheme, and the development of a financial assistance scheme pilot for those worst affected by leaky homes issues - all measures designed to ensure that New Zealanders' homes are built right the first time” said Mr Kay.


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