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Structural testing

BRANZ structural tests demonstrate how building products and systems perform when subjected to external forces. Our in-depth tests help ensure that your products are fit for purpose and align with relevant international and domestic standards.

BRANZ structural engineering laboratory

What we do

BRANZ structural tests provide reliable, consistent test data and evaluate the specimen’s suitability for a specific application. Tests may cover whole building systems or the capacity of individual structural elements to withstand expected loads. Our in-depth tests help ensure that your products are fit for purpose for their application and align with relevant international and domestic standards.

Our new purpose-built structural engineering laboratory is capable of testing complex structures such as 3-storey high buildings or heavy-duty connections. This allows our engineers to evaluate the performance of building products and systems at scale and in controlled conditions.

We provide cost-effective testing services with the ability to design and deliver custom test arrangements specific to your needs. We provide clients with data and information needed for product and system development or consent purposes.

Our services help to:

  • strengthen quality control systems
  • support BRANZ Appraisal or CodeMark certification
  • demonstrate compliance with international or New Zealand Building Code requirements
  • evaluate product performance, including strength and stiffness
  • assess whether products are fit for purpose.

BRANZ is accredited by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) to the ISO/IEC 17025 laboratory standard for both fire resistance and reaction-to-fire testing.

We are also a registered testing authority under the provisions of the Building Code of New Zealand and Australia and operate to a management system conforming to AS/NZS ISO 9001.

Our testing services

Structural element and connection testing

We conduct economical small-scale tests (such as load-slip testing of panel fixings) to determine the mechanical properties of fixings (nails, screws and bolts), adhesives, structural members and a wide array of connections.

Large-scale testing

Our new laboratory includes an 8 metre high strong wall with a large return section. This allows us to test large and complex structures at scale as well as exerting simultaneous forces upon the structure in two orthogonal directions.

Our hydraulic pump unit and ram can apply 50 t of tension/compression loads and can displace specimens by as much as 500 mm.

Non-structural components testing

We provide tests on the statical performance of suspended ceilings and other non-structural building elements, including mechanical plant and components, partition systems and claddings in buildings when subjected to internal and external forces.

Wind pressure testing

Our pressure chamber can test the resistance of building envelopes (wall and roof cladding systems) to differential pressures of up to 7 kPa. Most systems can be tested in the 2.4 m square pressure chamber. Larger specimens such as roofing can be tested using bespoke chambers fixed to the laboratory strong floor.

Impact resistance

By conducting soft-body and hard-body impact testing of wall linings, glazing, claddings, doors (including lift shaft landing doors) and security grates, we can determine their resilience and indentation characteristics when they are subjected to different impact loads.

Fast-response field testing

We carry out field testing of structures, structural elements and in situ connections to evaluate their strength and stiffness earthquake resistance. We can also assess the serviceability of buildings and floor systems impacted by forces associated with normal use (such as occupancy, external vibrations or high wind settings).

Dynamic system response

Our shake table can generate single degree of freedom sinusoidal motions to replicate and monitor the real-time response of building systems to seismic forces as specified under the New Zealand Building Code. This allows us to replicate and monitor real-time response of building systems subjected to simulated earthquakes.

Prototype testing

We test new or innovative structural systems in our prototype lab (or in the field) to demonstrate New Zealand Building Code compliance of walls, floors, roofs and cladding.

More information about structural testing

Get in touch to discuss how we can assist you with your structural testing requirements by emailing or calling the team on +64 4 237 1170.