B.C.Update 176: Further Guidance Relating to Building Product Substitution
Work by MBIE to assist BCAs concerned about inferior building products has highlighted ongoing issues relating to product substitution.
In some cases, products substituted after building consent has been granted have been unauthorised, have no evidence of compliance with the relevant Building Code requirements, and invalidate various contract conditions and warranties.
MBIE has published a quick guide to product substitution to complement existing guidance on minor variations. This guide is aimed at designers, contractors and building owners considering product substitution (i.e. using building products other than those originally specified or requested). However, it may also be useful for BCAs and others needing to explain to clients and stakeholders what is involved.
Read or download the Product Substitution Guide in full.
Additional product assurance resources and tools for manufacturers and suppliers have also been developed.
B.C.Update 177: Safety and Suitability of External Claddings
Recent overseas experience, including some multi-level building fires, has highlighted the importance of ensuring that external claddings meet their Building Code obligations and are correctly used and specified.
A number of these fires have occurred in the United Arab Emirates, including two in 2015. A similar fire at a Melbourne apartment block in 2014 prompted the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to audit other inner city high-rises.
External wall claddings must meet a number of Building Code provisions including, but not limited to, those relating to their ‘reaction to fire’ performance. The fire performance requirements are contained in Building Code clauses C3.5 and C3.7 for fire affecting areas beyond the fire source.
In terms of fire performance,acceptable properties of external walls depend on several factors: the building’s height, its particular risk group classification, the presence of sprinklers, and the distance from the relevant boundary.