The NZBC sets the performance standards that all engineers must comply with, ensuring that all structures in New Zealand are safe, healthy and durable.
Historically, there has been confusion surrounding the B2 clause of the NZBC, Durability of Building Compliance; and structural steel. The criteria of the B2 clause was argued as being ‘difficult to comply with’ – which, in turn, led to apprehension around project sign-off.
With last year’s revision, Amendment 10, it was hoped there would be less banging of heads between councils and engineers, and a better steer towards an agreed understanding of project compliance.
Suggestions made in Raed’s whitepaper The New Zealand Building Code B2 (Durability), issues, solutions and where to go from here, were included in this revision.
A technical solution
Raed identified the challenges being experienced by design engineers and architects in meeting the expectations and requirements of the Building Control Authorities (BCA).
He believed that a clearer pathway was required, not only from demonstrating compliance with the B2 Durability Clause, but also for practitioners to prove their competency to be able to sign off producer statements.
He, proposes pathways and solutions to address these limitations, including:
- Inclusion of references in the B2 Clause for demonstrating compliance for structural steel.
- Outlining the recommended minimum requirements for coating applicators, coating inspectors and the coating itself to ensure that the expected potential performance of modern protective coatings is realised.
- Reviewing the pathways to achieving a Chartered Professional Durability Practitioner qualification for material specialists to allow BCA’s to have confidence in accepting Producer Statements claiming compliance with B2
So, did it work?
A year on from the release of Amendment 10 the industry is keen for feedback. Raed, Engineering New Zealand and Steel Construction New Zealand want to hear from those who have used the updated NZBC, B2 Clause.
“It’s important that we keep reviewing and updating national standards and technical documents, to include solutions to current problems. This allows us to meet and comply with BCA requirements, but also ensures the construction and use of safe and durable structures for this and future generations,” says Raed.
What do you think?
If you’ve recently used the amended NZBC, please vote for whether it’s been a hinder or help within your profession. Responses will be considered for the new amended review, early next year.
Raed El Sarraf has gained a wide range of knowledge and practical experience, in regards to corrosion engineering and asset integrity management of structural steel (and other metallic) structures. This includes durability assessments, specifying protective coatings systems and detailing the correct use of corrosion resistant materials, such as weathering and stainless steels.
The views expressed are the opinions of subject matter experts and do not necessarily reflect those of WSP.