As advised in December 2008, NZS 3604:1999, the key Standard for building timber-framed houses in New Zealand, is being revised. The draft revised Standard is planned for release in late 2009, and the new NZS 3604 is planned for publication by late 2010/early 2011.
NZS 3604 is an important Standard in the building and construction industry, setting a minimum standard for the design and construction of timber framed houses in New Zealand. About 90% of timber-framed houses in New Zealand feature elements of NZS 3604 in their design and construction.
Architects, designers, builders, engineers, the building industry, and regulators use NZS 3604 for practical guidance on how to design and build houses to meet New Zealand Building Code requirements, without the need for specific engineering design. Timber-framed houses designed to NZS 3604 give consumers assurance that their house will meet legislative requirements.
Introducing the revision leadership group
Many different stakeholders are involved in the NZS 3604 revision process. Standards New Zealand has formed a leadership group of senior people in the building industry to maintain an overview of the entire review process for NZS 3604. As at April 2009, the group has met twice.
'The leadership group is needed to provide guidance from all relevant industry sectors,' says Derek Baxter, Chair. 'This means the technical committee can focus entirely on technical issues surrounding the revision of the Standard.'
Representatives on the leadership group are:
- Derek Baxter (Chair), Chief Executive Officer, Certified Builders' Association
- Don Bunting (Chair P3604 Technical Committee), Chief Executive Officer, Masterspec
- Pieter Burghout, Chief Executive Officer, Building Research Association of New Zealand
- Debbie Chin, Chief Executive, Standards New Zealand
- Len Clapham, Chief Executive Officer, Building Officials' Institute of New Zealand
- Irene Clarke, Manager Environment and Regulation, Local Government New Zealand
- John Gibbs, Board of Directors, Architectural Designers’ New Zealand
- Ralph Hill, Chief Executive, Designers' Association New Zealand
- Ruma Karaitiana, Chief Executive Officer, Building Construction Industry Training Organisation
- David Kelly, Deputy Chief Executive Building Quality, Department of Building and Housing
- Beverley McRae, Chief Executive Officer, New Zealand Institute of Architects
- David Middleton, Chief Executive Officer, Earthquake Commission
- Warwick Quinn, Chief Executive Officer, Registered Master Builders' Federation.
A technical committee has also been formed to review the Standard, and specific working groups have been set up to review specific sections of the Standard – loadings, bracing, durability, roof framing, and design appearance, and clarity. We will profile the technical committee and working group members in coming issues of Touchstone and Standards Magazine.
Technical review of NZS 3604
There is wide acknowledgement and agreement that building practices have moved on significantly in the last 10 years and NZS 3604 needs to be updated. The Department of Building and Housing and the Earthquake Commission have sponsored the revision of NZS 3604 and it has been agreed the revision of the document will proceed as a 'limited technical review'.
The 'limited technical review' will reflect the needs of industry, changes in materials and industry practice, and changes in related Standards including those setting requirements for loadings. It will also incorporate content on bracings and durability.
Standards New Zealand notified key stakeholders about the revision in 2008 and sought feedback. Many comments have been received to date and the technical committee has begun reviewing these comments.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 04 495 0934.