Pilot Study on Leaking Buildings
By Philip O’Sullivan
Prendos, in conjunction with other industry partners, is developing risk analysis tools for weather-tightness. This pilot study involved 250 residential units on 50 sites. The median value of the units is $450,000?not a cheap housing problem. The average age is 4.3 years confirming this is an emerging issue. Building height is significant with the average being 2.4 storeys but wind load is suspected to be less important than many in the industry thought. Wall leaks dominate but roof edge and balcony leaks are major contributors. As can be seen, window-related leaks are the main contributor to wall leaks. All 39 sites that had balconies experienced balcony leaks with handrails being the major contributor. This study helps to confirm the need for the whole industry to tackle this problem as stated in the recent preliminary findings of the Building Industry Authority overview group. Prendos assisted this group on its recent visit to Auckland and will continue to co-operate with industry to find solutions to this problem.
Water Sources and Frequency
Roof Leaks
Balcony Leaks
Wall Leaks
Capillary Leaks
PhilipPhilip O’Sullivan is now a Director of Prendos Ltd. His experience and knowledge in eathertightness and timber decay have put him to the forefront in this difficult and vexing area. Philip is currently President of the Claddings Institute and is their representative with the Weathertight Building Steering Group. He regularly writes articles for the industry, the most well known being Dr Rot in Progressive Building. He has served on the Building Industry Authority’s committee for the revision of E2/AS1 and is currently developing a risk profile for weathertightness design.

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