Sparking change

By - , Build 171

Annemarie Crampton 21
Annemarie Crampton 21

WE PROBABLY ALL saw images of the tragic 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in West London that caused 72 deaths. This sparked reviews of similar claddings around the world and served as a reminder of the importance of building material choice, construction methods and quality in the fire safety of buildings.

It has been nearly 2 years since Build focused on fire safety, but we certainly make up for it with an extensive array of interesting articles in this issue. There is a lot going on in New Zealand, particularly in the passive fire protection area with a concerted effort to improve quality and Building Code compliance.

A review of passive fire installation work at the Canterbury District Health Board raised quality concerns and provides some great ideas on improved processes, including tracking openings from cradle to grave and tracking the work and training of each installer. BRANZ is active on many fronts, such as:

  • replicating poor firestopping practices and putting them to the test in order to provide advice on how to remediate problems in existing buildings
  • analysing how much fire resistance is actually needed in the external walls of industrial buildings
  • investigating the fire risk of lithium batteries
  • establishing the toxicity of combustible building contents.

The Fire Protection Association of NZ is busy with new qualifications and initiatives. The New Zealand chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers is developing a new industry guide covering fire engineering construction monitoring. Choosing an appropriate contract format to enhance the standard and compliance of passive fire work can be a challenge, and some options are discussed.

Our second feature on building information modelling (BIM) covers different aspects of BIM and is timely as BIMinNZ is being held in Wellington on 8 May.

Enjoy your latest Build, and remember, you can always find previous articles on Build online at

Annemarie Crampton
Build Editor

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Articles are correct at the time of publication but may have since become outdated.

Annemarie Crampton 21
Annemarie Crampton 21