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*ARCHIVE** - Another step to combat weathertightness problems 9 Feb 2004

Information and advice

The Building Code, Acceptable Solution E2/AS1 and building with stucco.

Media release

The Building Industry Authority (BIA) has announced another step in a wider set of actions to address the leaky buildings problem. The BIA has approved an amendment to its Acceptable Solution that sets out the requirements for the way buildings should be constructed to manage external moisture.

The amendment to the Acceptable Solution relates specifically to buildings using solid plaster (stucco) cladding on timber framing. It now requires the use of drained ventilated cavities behind stucco in houses built to the Acceptable Solution.

This means that if moisture penetrates the cladding, it has an opportunity to drain or dry before causing damage to timber framing.

Chief executive John Ryan said the changes were intended to provide a greater level of protection for homeowners, from damage caused by leaking and were another step to combat weathertightness problems.

"The BIA's analysis of information from a wide range of sources has suggested a relatively high level of weathertightness failure for stucco clad buildings.

The amendment is effective immediately.

The BIA recently announced changes to treated timber requirements, a move also aimed at increasing protection against damage caused by leaking.

Its full review of the Acceptable Solution for external moisture management (which will include more prescriptive requirements around the application of cladding systems, and the provision of more detail in the design and use of flashings) is being completed and will be published as early as possible in 2004.

The BIA ran a public consultation process on the full set of changes in 2003.

"The stucco changes announced today were included in that consultation process and were generally supported," said Mr Ryan.

Contact:  Laurie Edwards, Communications Manager. Phone: (04) 495 2773 or 027 258 2849.

Explanation of Acceptable Solutions

The BIA is changing the Acceptable Solution for Clause E2 External Moisture of the New Zealand Building Code (known as E2/AS1). It covers how buildings may be constructed to manage the penetration of external moisture.

Acceptable Solutions provide a prescriptive means of complying with the clauses of the Building Code. They set out a building method which, if followed, means a building is automatically deemed to comply with the relevant part of the Building Code.

Acceptable Solutions are not mandatory.

A building can be designed and constructed in a way that differs partially or totally from an Acceptable Solution but can still comply with the Code. This is known as an Alternative Solution and must be considered on its merits by a council or building certifier when determining code compliance.

- 9 Feb 2004