Over the last six months, HERA have worked closely with SCNZ and MBIE to get value from the significant investment made in developing the new composite design standard (AS/NZS 2327) and durability technical specification (NZS TS 3404) by having them referenced in B1/VM1 and B2/AS1 of the New Zealand Building Code.

It’s important that you have your say in these changes as they’ll affect our industry.

They intend to:

  • Amend Verification Method B1/VM1, as follows:
    • AS/NZS 2327: 2017 will replace Section 13 of NZS 3404.1 as the cited standard for the design of steel-concrete composite structures.
    • Introduce NZS TS 3404: 2018, which will provide an approved compliance pathway for durability and avoid the need to justify alternative systems.
  • Amend Acceptable Solution B2/AS1, as follows:
    • Add NZS TS 3404 as an acceptable solution for meeting the durability requirements of steel elements.


It’s proposed the above changes will come into effect on 30 November 2018. However, the existing B1/VM1 (Amendment 16) and B2/AS1 (Amendment 9) will remain in force until 31 March 2019.

The introduction of AS/NZS 2327 expands on the information currently in NZS 3404.1 and provides design information on a wider range of composite structures.

A Preliminary Impact Analysis undertaken by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) indicates that the use of this new standard will result in more economical, higher quality buildings using fewer building materials. Overall, reducing cost and environmental impact. ABCB have also signalled that AS/NZS 2327 will be referenced in the 2019 edition of their NCC. And, may be considered for use as part of a Performance Solution in the interim. As a consequence, it’s important our members currently considering exporting composite products or services to Australia, comply with this standard.

Currently there’s no means of compliance with Building Code clause B2 Durability for steel construction. Most often, compliance is demonstrated using Appendix C of NZS 3404.1 (which references AS/NZS 2312). This Standard is difficult for designers to interpret and generally requires specialist expertise. NZS TS 3404 clarifies the application of AS/NZS 2312, meaning that more designers can specify corrosion protection systems. Meaning, this proposed addition to B2/AS1 will provide an approved compliance pathway, avoiding the need to justify alternative solutions.


What does this mean for you?

From 1 April 2019 building consent and territorial authorities must take these changes into account when deciding whether a building consent application applies with the building code. So it’s important that you have our say.

To do this, MBIE has released a consultation document on the proposals. The deadline to supply written comments is before 5:00pm, Friday 21 September 2018.

Update shared by our General Manager Structural Systems Dr Stephen Hicks