Weathertightness remediation

This programme addresses state school buildings that have been subject to destructive testing reports as part of the Ministry’s national survey of buildings with weathertightness issues, but are yet to have remedial work completed.

Keeping school buildings weathertight

We want all schools to have quality learning environments, and one of the Ministry’s priority work areas is to ensure that schools are safe and in good physical condition.

Work to keep buildings weathertight will normally be funded through a school’s Property Maintenance Grant or more significant projects scheduled as part of a school’s 5 Year Agreement (5YA).

For buildings either built or modified from 1994 onwards the Ministry’s remediation programme will address any occurrences of weathertightness failure. However, all buildings will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

If a school building is involved in a current legal claim, any specific queries can be forwarded to the Ministry’s project manager for claims and assessments at eis.legal@education.govt.nz.

What is weathertightness failure?

Weathertightness failure happens when water gets past the external cladding of a building. The failure is often a localised matter as a result of either workmanship and/or design issues, such as:

  • defective or missing flashings,
  • wall and roof cladding penetrations poorly formed,
  • inadequate clearance between the base of cladding and adjacent gardens or ground (paved or unpaved).

If left unaddressed, the resulting moisture levels can create further problems and lead to damage and possible health and safety risks.

Ministry's approach to weathertightness remediation

The Ministry’s general objectives in relation to weathertightness remediation are to:

  • address all urgent health and safety issues as a priority,
  • repair weathertightness failures and consequential damage,
  • complete the work with the least disruption to schools as possible, and
  • ensure all remediation work complies with the NZ Building Code.

Our approach includes an initial desktop exercise to review all existing information the Ministry has available. The information may include:

  • advice from the school,
  • previous building survey reports,
  • information gathered during the annual school visits, and
  • any other building condition assessments.

Once the existing information has been reviewed, the Ministry will usually organise a remediation inspection by an appropriately briefed Registered Building Surveyor.

Getting the work done

The Remediation Inspection report is an important part of getting the work done. It is designed to accelerate the process of remediation and identifies the most effective solution for repair. Where weathertightness failures and consequential damage are found to be localised, this approach can help reduce potential disruption to the school.

The Ministry will provide technical support. This includes arranging for a registered building surveyor to:

  • meet with the principal, caretaker or other staff members with knowledge of the weathertightness issues,
  • review any previous survey reports,
  • undertake onsite inspections, and
  • identify the proposed remediation solution.

A Weathertightness Review Panel (WRP) provides technical assistance around weathertightness remediation works and also undertakes independent reviews of project specific documentation at the following key stages:

  • Remediation Inspection Report,
  • Preliminary Design, and
  • Detailed Design.

Remediation Strategy

The Ministry’s Weathertightness Remediation and Regulatory Strategy has key policies to help ensure that weathertightness issues will not arise from current and future remediation works. These are summarised as follows:

  1. All consultants engaged on the basis of competency and experience.
  2. Remediation Inspection Reports to provide evidence that the weathertightness failures identified are responsible for the observed damage.
  3. Documentation shall include sufficient specification, construction detailing and referencing of manufacturer’s technical literature for code compliant construction.
  4. Documentation will be subject to review, normally at two stages, Preliminary and Detailed Design.
  5. Contractors are to be selected on the basis of competency and experience.
  6. The consultants engaged to document the works are also required to undertake construction observation.
  7. Quality Assurance processes to be implemented so that the proposed and completed remedial works are code compliant and appropriate to the weathertightness failures and consequential damage.
  8. Completion documentation added to the Ministry’s property file.

For architects, designers, building surveyors and other property professionals involved with remediation, the full document can be accessed in the table below.

Toolbox

The Ministry’s current set of templates, forms and guidance documents for weathertightness remediation can be accessed below.

Key policy documents (for all property professionals)
DownloadNotes
Ministry’s Weathertightness Remediation and Regulatory Strategy [PDF, 849 KB] [PDF, 186 KB] The Ministry’s overarching document that sets out the strategy for remedial works
Templates, forms and guide sheets (for architects, designers, building surveyors and property professionals)
DownloadNotes
Process Map [PDF, 201 KB] Provides a visual summary of the weathertightness remediation process
Weathertightness Review Panel (WRP) Guide Sheet #1 [PDF, 186 KB] Refer to this guide for an overview on the weathertightness remediation process
WRP Guide Sheet #2 [PDF, 116 KB] Refer to this guide for the information required to facilitate a Remediation Inspection Report 
Weathertightness Documentation Review Form [XLSM, 1.8 MB] Use this form for submissions to the WRP, including remediation inspection reports and design packages
Weathertightness Remediation Inspection Report Template [DOCX, 793 KB] Use this template for preparing a Remediation Inspection Report
Technical Briefing Note to support the Weathertightness Remediation Inspection Report Template [PDF, 63 KB] Refer to these notes when completing the template for a Remediation Inspection Report

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