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New guide for designing weathertight buildings

25 August 2006 Media Statement

New guide for designing weathertight buildings

A new guide to help ensure that buildings and homes are built weathertight has been launched today by the Building Issues Minister Clayton Cosgrove.

The guide, entitled 'External Moisture – An introduction to weathertightness design principles' sets out the core principles for constructing buildings that are able to withstand New Zealand's weather conditions.

The document outlines the main physical influences that affect buildings' joints and claddings, including the wind and rain, temperature changes, earthquakes, sea air, and ultraviolet light. It also explains design techniques that can provide effective weather resistance systems for buildings and homes.

Mr Cosgrove said the new guide is part of the Government's commitment to help ensure that homes are built right the first time. The guide can also assist owners to assess how weathertight their home is, and to help solve non-weathertight problems.

“While we are making strong progress towards achieving faster and fairer outcomes for owners of leaky homes through the shake-up of the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service (WHRS), the other crucial part of the equation is prevention," he said. "This guide adds to the support and guidance provided to the building industry."

Mr Cogrove said the guide is a useful tool for designers and architects, builders, and building officials and inspectors, as well as educators, manufacturers, researchers, and insurers. A companion publication entitled, 'Constructing cavities for wall claddings', an easy-to-follow ‘how to’ guide for builders and designers, was also recently released.

Mr Cosgrove said industry and consumer education is part of the Government's suite of measures to transform the building and construction sector and raise standards. Earlier this week he introduced the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Amendment Bill to Parliament, to speed up the dispute resolution process for leaky homes claims, make liable parties accountable and get homes fixed faster.

"Other measures include the licensing of building practitioners while protecting the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tradition, the review of the Building Code, the auditing and accrediting of Building Consent Authorities, the investigation of a home warranty insurance scheme, building product certification and the development of a pilot loans programme for those worst affected by leaky homes issues,” said Mr Cosgrove.

The weathertightness guide has been distributed to building sector professionals nationwide and is downloadable from the Department’s website www.dbh.govt.nz.


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