The increasing intensity of extreme weather events seem to be making headlines with greater frequency each year. Across Australia recent storms have seen many towns & cities receive months’ worth of rain in a single day.
The regularity of these recent weather events has prompted the industry to be mindful with the built environment. With insurance claims due to extreme weather events on the rise over the last 40 years (Insurance Council of Australia website), building owners, occupants and insurers face a bleak future unless buildings are designed and constructed to withstand these freak storms.
Australians don’t live in a vacuum and it’s important that we learn lessons other countries have learnt in recent times. When construction systems permit water penetration into the building envelope, internal living conditions and health can be compromised with dampness, mould & deterioration of building structures making many buildings uninhabitable as experienced in New Zealand in the 1990’s and 2000’s.
With a rapid increase in external cladding products available to the Australian construction market, we potentially faced a similar fate to New Zealand. We have even experienced the beginnings of our own form of “Leaky Building Syndrome” in Tasmania, Victoria & parts of NSW however on a much smaller scale.
While the repair bill in Australia is a fraction of New Zealand’s $11 billion problems, in 2015 the Australian Building Codes Board acted to ensure Australian buildings are resilient and durable for future generations.
External wall cladding systems are required to be verified for Weather Tightness under verification methods FV1 (for BCA Vol 1) or V2.2.1 (for BCA Vol 2). Architects & builders should therefore demand evidence of compliance when considering different external wall construction systems.
Developers: Payce and Sekisui House Australia; Architects: Stanisic Architects; Builder: Dasco Australia.
Compliant Solutions with Hebel
Hebel PowerPanel residential external wall systems have not only stood the test of time in Australia since 1987, Hebel systems are engineered, tested and documented to ensure the highest quality standards on site.
The Hebel external wall systems consist of Hebel PowerPanels – Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) panels – that contain steel-reinforcement for added strength and is available in a range of standard lengths up to 3300mm and custom lengths up to 4650mm for faster construction and reduced onsite wastage.
Upon announcement of the verification methods, in 2014 Hebel took the initiative to prove the weathertightness of the Hebel PowerPanel residential external wall system well ahead of the NCC amendments. Testing was conducted at the CSIRO using the proposed NCC Verification Methods FV1 and V.2 2.1.
A two-storey Hebel PowerPanel external wall system prototype, categorised as a Unique Wall System, was tested. Testing was conducted under water penetration by static and cyclic pressures test procedure, as defined in AS/NZS4284:2008 – Testing of Building Facades.
The sample wall tested included vertical and horizontal control joints, external & internal wall corner junctions, a window, door, electrical meter box, balcony drainage and parapet flashing, the wall base at a slab junction and top of the wall to both eaves and parapet junction. All details included in the sample wall are standardised details as documented in Hebel’s Design & Installation guide for PowerPanel residential external wall systems.
Design and built by Sunland Group. Installers, Empower Construction.
Building Professionals can confidently specify, document & construct building façades with Hebel PowerPanelXL external wall systems, knowing that the construction has been validated by testing under the NCC Verification Methods.
Designers can rest easy with the knowledge the risk assessment assists in their decision making, builders & trades can provide their guarantees and warranties with greater confidence. Owners and occupants will be happy you chose a Hebel PowerPanelXL external wall system.
The Hebel PowerPanelXL external wall system is a reliable, high performing solution for weather tight external walls. For a quality, lightweight and speedy construction for your next project Hebel is the safer choice.