INDEPENDENT NEWS

Leaky Building Weathertightness Report Released

Published: Tue 17 Sep 2002 10:37 AM
Weathertightness Report Released
The Building Industry Authority said it would begin immediately acting on recommendations of an independent report into the weathertightness of New Zealand buildings, and would work with the building industry to do so.
Issued today, the report by the Overview Group on the Weathertightness of Buildings was commissioned by the Authority following increasing concern about the so-called “leaky buildings problem.”
Authority chief executive Bill Porteous said the report was the first substantial analysis of the “leaky building syndrome” and was an important step in developing solutions to the problem.
“The Overview Group makes 20 sets of recommendations. We are already acting on some of them such as a review of the relevant parts of the Building Code and we have issued a public warning on unsafe balconies.
“Others we will begin implementing immediately. One of these will be a public information campaign explaining the risk factors around leaky buildings and what to do if you think you might have a problem.”
Dr Porteous said a number of the recommendations would require further analysis and the input of a wide range of industry groups, but the Authority would undertake that work with as much speed as possible.
“An important aspect of the report is that it confirms the problem of leaky buildings is widespread and substantial - although the Overview Group makes it clear that it is still very difficult to assess the full extent and impact of the problem.
“However, the Authority would like to stress that, while this problem is affecting a large number of homes built in recent years, many more are free from it.
“We stress that if people are concerned about their home because it has some of the features listed in the report they should get it checked immediately. Delay could be unsafe, and the problem will only get worse.”
Dr Porteous said the report also supported the view of a number of commentators that the causes of the problem were multiple and complex.
“They are wide ranging – no one factor can be blamed. There are causes that relate specifically to industry standards or the way the industry operates. Others are to do with changing social and economic factors.
“Given this, there is no easy answer to resolving the problem. However, the report does give us a number of very clear action points to begin working on immediately.”
A full copy of the Overview Group’s report is available on the Building Industry Authority’s website – http://www.bia.govt.nz.

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