BIA decision flawed

23 Dec 2003

"The Building Industry Authority's decision on the use of timber in house framing is one step forward, but is still flawed in several respects," says Rob McLagan, chief executive of the NZ Forest Owners Association.

"The authority has persisted with its original kneejerk reaction to the leaky building phenomenon, a problem which occurs in relatively few buildings," he says.

"The logical solution to this sorry saga would be for the authority to tackle the root causes of the problem, which is to prevent moisture entering and remaining in dwellings in the first place.

"This has been obvious since the problem first became apparent. But it inexplicably seems to continue to escape the BIA."

Mr McLagan says the authority should have moved quickly to revise codes on building design, demanded higher standards of building workmanship, and insisted that local councils fulfill their obligations to rigorously inspect all buildings before approving them.

"While the authority has shown some commonsense in allowing untreated timber to be used in low-risk areas, treated timber will not solve the problem if lax design, building and inspection practices are allowed to continue. This is likely to be the outcome of the authority's decisions."