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Bulletins

BRANZ bulletins contain easy-to-read good practice guidelines on a wide range of topics related to building and building performance.

BU665 Residential greywater systems

Certain types of wastewater from households (greywater from baths, showers and bathroom basins and sometimes from laundry tubs and washing machines) can be reused for subsurface garden irrigation and flushing toilets.

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BU664 Residential rainwater systems

Rainwater systems can provide water suitable for drinking and food preparation if it is filtered and/or treated adequately and can also be used for garden irrigation, swimming pools, toilet flushing, baths and showers.

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BU663 Universal design for access into homes by vehicle

This bulletin provides a range of universal design considerations for ensuring new and existing homes are accessible by vehicle.

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BU662 Universal design for access into homes

This bulletin provides a range of universal design considerations for ensuring the routes to new and existing homes are accessible.

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BU661 Residential roofs with high thermal performance

This bulletin describes five highperformance residential roof details that give significantly better thermal performance than traditional construction.

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BU660 Residential walls with high thermal performance

This bulletin describes five highperformance residential wall details that give significantly better thermal performance than traditional construction.

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BU659 Upgrading the thermal performance of timber windows

This bulletin describes approaches for upgrading thermal performance including reducing air infiltration, replacing ordinary single glazing and retrofitting insulating glass units (IGUs).

(This bulletin updates and replaces Bulletin 507).

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BU658 Timber Windows

Timber window installation is outside the scope of Acceptable Solution E2/ AS1, so building consent must be applied for as an alternative method

(This bulletin updates and replaces Bulletin 481).

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BU657 Designing water-efficient houses

The primary concern for water supply design in a house will always be the health and safety of the occupants, but beyond that, there are opportunities to reduce consumption of reticulated water through efficient design.

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BU656 Designing to avoid houses overheating

This bulletin gives an overview of passive design options for reducing overheating. It does not consider active (mechanical) ventilation systems.

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BU655 Building blocks for new-build-net-zero carbon houses

Greenhouse gas emissions from new building work must be reduced for New Zealand to meet its commitment to a net-zero carbon economy. 

This bulletin gives an overview of the decisions that designers, builders and clients can take to reduce the carbon footprints of new houses.

This is the second of two bulletins on net-zero carbon building. It follows Bulletin 651 Climate change, net-zero carbon and the building industry.

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BU654 Installation and maintenance of solid fuel appliances

This bulletin outlines considerations for installation, use and maintenance of solid fuel appliances. Solid fuel-burning appliances can be free standing or built in. Terms used for built-in appliances include inbuilt heaters, fireplace heaters, inset or insert fires, slow combustion solid fuel stoves and solid fuel space heaters, which may be installed in an existing fireplace and/or chimney or in a new construction.

Solid fuel appliances, including flue pipes and chimneys, must be regularly cleaned and maintained.

This bulletin replaces Bulletin 306 Inspection procedures for chimneys, fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances.

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BU653 Damp-proof membranes to concrete slabs

Damp-proof membranes (DPMs) or concrete underlays are necessary under on-ground concrete floor slabs to prevent moisture from the ground passing through the slab and damaging the interior finishes, fittings and contents.

The use of a DPM is mandatory under slabs on ground for all habitable spaces and under slabs for garages or ancillary buildings that may be used as habitable spaces in the future.

This bulletin outlines the selection, design and installation requirements for DPMs. It updates and replaces Bulletin 469 of the same name.

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BU652 Amendments to Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods for B1 and E2

Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods provide a means of demonstrating compliance with the relevant clauses of the New Zealand Building Code (NZBC). It is not mandatory to use Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods, but if used, building consent authorities (BCAs) and territorial authorities must accept them as providing compliance.

This bulletin highlights some of the key changes to New Zealand Building Code Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods for clauses B1 Structure and E2 External moisture that have come into effect since 2012. It highlights the amendments introduced in 2019.

This bulletin replaces Bulletin 545 Key changes to B1/AS1 and E2/AS1.

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BU651 Climate change, net-zero carbon and the building industry

Recent calculations suggest that the built environment accounts for up to 20% of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions. Both new and existing buildings will need to produce fewer emissions to help meet net-zero carbon targets set in law. 

This bulletin provides an introduction to the impacts of climate change and the move to a net-zero carbon economy on the New Zealand building industry.

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BU650 Building beyond Code minimums

The New Zealand Building Code sets out performance criteria that all building work must comply with. Minimum requirements in the Code, in Acceptable Solutions and referenced standards cover areas from thermal insulation to ventilation levels.

Many new houses are constructed to just meet the minimum requirements of the New Zealand Building Code. Better-performing houses may cost more to build but are much more comfortable to live in and have reduced running costs to offset the upfront cost.

Our houses will need to perform considerably better to help meet long-term national net-zero carbon targets.

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BU649 Corrosion of metals in New Zealand buildings

Corrosion is a chemical or electrochemical reaction between a material and aggressive substances in its surrounding environment. The interaction normally leads to the material being consumed and a reduction of performance, durability and/or visual attractiveness. A common example of corrosion is the rusting of steel, which converts the metal into compounds such as oxides, hydroxides or sulphides.

The economic cost of corrosion is enormous. One New Zealand estimate put it at the equivalent of 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) or around NZ$7.5 billion, while another put it at NZ$9 billion. International studies have estimated the annual cost of corrosion as the equivalent of 2-6% of GDP. 

This bulletin gives an overview of the corrosion of metals in New Zealand buildings and explains how corrosion can be reduced and managed. BRANZ scientists have researched corrosion for over 40 years, and much of the content in this bulletin reflects their findings.

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BU648 Timber shingle and shake roofing

Timber shingles and shakes have been used as a lightweight roof cladding in New Zealand for around 200 years. They are mentioned in current design guides for many heritage areas, but they are also found in contemporary styles of housing.

Shingles are sawn, have relatively smooth faces and usually have random widths and taper in thickness. Shakes are usually hand split (although some are also sawn) and usually have a rougher textured surface on at least one side. Widths are generally random. 

Shingles and shakes are usually manufactured from residual timber left over from the main forest log production. They have a relatively small carbon footprint compared to some other roofing materials.

This bulletin outlines the selection, design and installation of timber shingle and shake roof cladding. It updates and replaces BRANZ Bulletin 443 Timber shingles and shakes.

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BU647 Recessed downlights (luminaires)

LED technology has undergone significant changes in the past few years, making them an energy-efficient and cost-effective form of lighting as recessed luminaires. Retrofitting LED lamps into existing fittings can be done, but a better option may be to replace the luminaire.

This bulletin describes the classifications of recessed luminaires, their legislative and installation requirements and the range of lamps available. It replaces Bulletin 539 Recessed downlights.

This bulletin covers:

  • legislation
  • recessed luminaire classifications
  • installation requirements generally
  • lamps
  • replacing lamps
  • transformers.
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BU646 Floor levelling compounds

Floor levelling compounds are used to correct minor imperfections and variations in strip and sheet flooring and concrete floors. This bulletin outlines the generic types of floor levelling compounds available, the substrates they can be applied to and guidance on preparing and applying them.

This bulletin updates and replaces BRANZ Bulletin 360 of the same name.

This bulletin covers:

  • specifying floor levelling compounds
  • product types
  • preparation
  • compound application
  • topping slabs.

 

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