Frame Protection Systems Now Required

A New Requirement for Verifying Compliance for Cladding Systems

A ‘frame protection system’ is the collection of components that are used to provide reliable protection of the framing and wall insulation from wind and wind-driven rain over time.

Typically a ‘frame protection system’ will consist of:

a)     Wall underlay (building wrap)

b)     Tape for sealing the overlaps and edges of the underlay

c)      Flashings used to seal between windows and doors and the underlay wrapped inside the openings
of the framing

d)     Proprietary ‘boots’ used to seal between the pipe (penetration) and the underlay

The prevention of wind entering the framing through laps and edges of the underlay / building wrap is necessary in order to ensure continuous performance of any fibre based insulation used in walls. Currently the Acceptable Solution overlooks this requirement; therefore the Acceptable Solution cannot be relied upon.

The prevention of wind driven rain entering the framing where there are pipe penetrations of an underlay / building wrap is essential for the provision of long term durability as well as performance of the framing and insulation. Currently the Acceptable solution relies of methods that are risky compared with the use of proprietary boots, and should not be relied upon.

The prevention of wind driven rain through an underlay / building wrap is essential for the provision of long term durability as well as performance of the framing and insulation. Currently the Acceptable Solution relies on water entering a cavity to not come into contact with the underlay / wall wrap which defeats the primary purpose of the use of these; what is needed is a means of demonstrating that the underlay / wall wrap meets essential performances including the ability to prevent moisture being transferred from the exposed side to the other side, where dry timber can assist with wicking through the underlay / wall wrap.

For the above reasons, a new set of performance requirements has been developed by BEAL to enable testing to be carried out that verifies continuous compliance with performance clauses B2.3.1 (b) and E2.3.2 of the New Zealand Building Code. The collection of components that are used to provide protection of the framing and wall insulation, is called a ‘frame protection system’.

In order for a cladding system to meet the relevant performance requirements of the New Zealand Building Code, and able to withstand challenges from the Court, it is necessary to show that a cladding system incorporates a frame protection system.

For this reason all cladding system designs shall incorporate such a frame protection system that meets the required performance criteria.