New angles on timber cladding in NCC change

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New angles on timber cladding in recent changes to the National Construction Code to benefit architects and designers

While horizontal timber cladding, in the form of weatherboards, has long been a feature of the Australian built environment, recent trends have led to architects and designers increasingly specifying vertical and diagonal installation. However, prior to the change, the National Construction Code (NCC) required that profiled timber boards, with a tongue and groove, had to be fixed with the tongue edge up and did not recognise a practice of installing profiled timber boards vertically or diagonally.

To remedy this situation Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) submitted a Proposal for Change (PFC) that sought a modification of the NCC to permit the installation of vertical and diagonal timber cladding as DTS solutions. The change came into effect on 1st May 2016.

In practice, vertical and diagonal installation of timber cladding has been used in Australia for many decades and has performed well as a weather protection element when installed as recommended by industry guidelines.

Developed in consultation with industry, the PFC incorporated details of current best practice methodologies to enable building surveyors and certifiers to refer to the modified NCC Vol.2 to demonstrate regulatory compliance, thereby removing any uncertainty around the installation of vertical and horizontal cladding.

Boris Iskra, FWPA’s manager of codes and standards, said “the provision of a DTS solution has clarified the acceptable installation of external non-horizontal timber cladding and ensured the proven traditional installation methods are undertaken in a sound, technical manner to achieve the required performance for external timber cladding.”

This PFC is part of FWPA’s broader strategy that aims to encourage the use of wood and wood products in the built environment, with benefits to the design and construction sectors as well as the forest and wood products industry and the broader community.

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