Work continues on 3 sites despite the weather with UNI PLUS


Case Study Description

With multiple Kāinga Ora construction projects in progress around Gisborne, TW Construction has turned to Masons’ UNI PLUS Flexible Air Barrier to keep all sites moving ahead.

‘At the moment, I'm running three different developments around town,’ says Scott Muncaster, TW Construction’s Project Manager for Gisborne. ‘I've got a two-home, a five-home and a six-home development, all wrapped in UNI PLUS.’

After years of using traditional building paper on his projects, Scott was recommended Masons’ UNI PLUS by a colleague as a way of dramatically improving construction efficiencies. A fire-retardant flexible wall underlay, UNI PLUS gives early enclosure to builds, allowing work to continue on the inside for up to 90 days, without waiting for the cladding to be in place. It’s rigid and sturdy, keeping the weather out while work continues inside.

‘Our Hawkes Bay division had been using UNI PLUS for a while,’ says Scott. ‘In talking with the project managers down there, they suggested it as a way of getting the subcontractors inside earlier to start work without having to wait for the cladding.’

Construction doesn’t stop

UNI PLUS Flexible Air Barrier is thicker and stronger than conventional building wrap. UNI’s multiple-ply structure is a barrier to both air and water, while still allowing water vapour to diffuse creating a drier, more comfortable environment inside and a more effective cladding system.

‘We’d always used a traditional building wrap, and this is the first product I've used that allows you to protect the inside and carry on with construction,’ says Scott. ‘Previously we would wrap the building, then have to wait for completion of the cladding to carry on working inside. This slowed down the process by weeks, and sometimes months.’

Interior and exterior teams working in parallel

For Scott and TW Construction, running an uninterrupted workflow across multiple sites creates huge operational advantages. It keeps construction teams and trades moving, saving time and money. It streamlines project planning, as materials ordering and delivery can carry on. And it speeds up the whole project timeline to get residents into housing weeks if not months earlier compared to using a traditional building wrap.

‘We probably won’t look back to our previous way of doing things,’ notes Scott. ‘The cost of UNI PLUS isn’t actually that much more, and you have to weigh everything up against the advantages of saving time. With these developments, it's helping us really push things along rather than waiting.’ 

Simple to install

Using UNI PLUS for the first time, Scott’s crew found the application process to be straightforward, using Masons’ proprietary UNI Fasteners for wood framing, a plastic-capped galvanised or stainless-steel nail for use with a hammer.

‘You can install these manually one by one, or we’ve got a collated nail gun with a compressor. You can put a roll of a hundred on there and just go through and shoot them all into the framing. The other wraps are pretty flimsy, so you get a lot of crinkles and folds, but being thicker, UNI stays rigid, making it easy to install.

‘The Masons rep came on site with some muffins and coffees for us, and he looked over the work. He had nothing to pull us up on, just double-checked everything and gave us a couple of pointers. We were pretty much on track, so he was happy.’

Secure weather and sun protection

Offering up to 90 days protection against rain, wind and UV, the UNI PLUS Flexible Air Barrier is especially beneficial for project managers like Scott who are handling multiple builds.

‘At the moment we’ve got the guys following on behind with the cladding, so we’re looking at around 20 to 30 days before we’re closed in. If you have a large development where you can race ahead and do this, you've got 90 days of leeway where the framing is covered, watertight and secure. There have been some pretty wet days down here on-site, and I’ve gone inside just to check. Feeling the inside of the wrap, there’s no wet spots and no damp framing, which is great.’ 

So, when asked whether he would recommend UNI PLUS to other project managers, Scott’s answer is simple. ’Yeah. Get onto it, and I don’t think you’ll look back.’

To learn more about the Masons UNI Flexible Air Barrier System visit the Masons Website: Alternatively, call 0800 522 533 to be put through to your local Masons Rep.


Product: UNI PLUS Flexible Air Barrier

Architect: Sol Atkinson – Atkinson Harwood Architecture

Builder: TW Construction, Gisborne

Writer: Folio