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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Building changes are in the wind

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    Building changes are in the wind

    Damage from the massive storm cell that ripped through western Brisbane last year is the catalyst behind the State Government’s decision to push for new storm-proofing measures to be included in new buildings.

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchcliffe said it was proposed that from May 1, 2011, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) be amended to require all tiled roofs on new buildings be sarked.

    This is a waterproofing measure that involves laying sheet material under the tiles to prevent wind-blown rain from entering the roof space.

    “One year ago today a storm cell unleashed winds of up to 150km/h at The Gap, Keperra and Enoggera, resulting in significant damage to many homes and structures,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “Following the storm, the James Cook University Cyclone Testing Station carried out a study of the damage to identify its causes and to see what building safety issues needed to be addressed.

    “While much of the damage was caused by the freak winds bringing down whole trees and boughs, the study also found that water entering buildings through undamaged, unsarked tiled roofs was a major cause of damage, and one we could do something about.

    “The BCA currently requires a waterproof sarking membrane to be placed under some tiled roofs, depending on their pitch.

    “The university study found that there was merit in amending the building code to require all new tiled roofs to be sarked.

    “BCA already recognises that sarking is a cost-effective way of insulating buildings to meet energy efficiency requirements, so there should not be significant extra costs involved in requiring all new roofed tiles to be sarked for water-damage purposes.’’

    The department will discuss the amendment with the Australian Building Codes Board at its next meeting in March, to see if will be adopted nationally or as a Queensland variation.

    Contact: Mr Hinchliffe’s office: 3227 8425