Case Study - Barricade WD

North Waikato

Case Study Description

New Zealand is subject to extreme weather conditions year-round, with high wind speeds and rainfall putting our buildings under considerable strain. After the ‘leaky homes crisis’ of the late 1990s and early 2000s, weathertightness has become a significant focus for the industry.

A key factor in leaky homes was the boom of international building design trends and materials, and the rise of complex, multi-storey apartment and commercial buildings that were unsuitable for New Zealand sites and conditions. As a result, the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) states site-appropriate design as one of the fundamental considerations for weathertight building design.

According to the BRANZ weathertight guide: “Buildings must be specifically designed to take into account the physical surroundings and local climate of a site. A building that is inappropriate for the site is more likely to be a weathertightness failure.”

This means assessing site topography and exposure to harsh weather conditions, as well as potential corrosion due to salt and sulphur. Of particular concern is wind speed, as high winds can drive rain through a building’s exterior cladding.

For homes and commercial buildings built in high wind zones, a weather resistant or rigid air barrier, like Masons Barricade Weather Defense, provides the bracing capacity, breathability, and air resistance needed to meet weathertightness requirements.

“Rigid wall underlay or air barriers are very good at resisting wind pressure, both pushing onto the building, and, in extreme events, pulling the material off the frame,” says Masons Technical Support Manager Arthur Whitfield.

“One of the biggest problems, aside from the pressure of the wind blowing on the building, is when the wind changes direction and tries to suck the underlay off the building. Rigid air barriers can also help prevent the building wracking or twisting in the wind, providing that added bracing.”