Learning from the past

By - , Build 183


WHAT A DIFFERENCE a year can make. This autumn, instead of 2 months of lockdown, I’m planning on finally walking the Tongariro Crossing and exploring Stewart Island. Of course, nothing is certain when alert levels can change quickly.

A year of living with COVID-19 has brought challenges for us all, not least of which are empty shelves and supply chain issues – more on this in the next Build. It has reminded me how life can change suddenly and unexpectedly. Unfortunately, as in the past, we have found we are not always prepared.

This Build, we look back on the weathertightness crisis of the late 1990s and early 2000s and ask some of those on the frontline if weathertightness issues are behind us. Changes introduced in response to recommendations in the 2002 landmark Hunn report tackled some problems, but are new issues surfacing?

We have learned from the leaky building failures how to build better. BRANZ research identified the moisture management benefits of building with a 20 mm drained cavity, and this is now standard practice. Understanding how a cavity works is a great start to ensuring you build them correctly every time, adding resilience to buildings. Research continues at BRANZ, and a new testing method has recently been finalised to assess the weathertightness of window to wall joints.

Our other feature focuses on wellbeing, which is now a key government policy. We explore what is meant by wellbeing and in particular building for wellbeing. One thing is clear – wellbeing is people focused. It reminds us that great buildings support not only the physical health of people but also their mental, emotional, social and spiritual health.

In the rush to design, build and hand over your next project, let’s not forget these are for people and your work will impact the wellbeing of the occupants for many years to come.

Ngā mihi.

Annemarie Crampton
Build Editor

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Articles are correct at the time of publication but may have since become outdated.