Weathertightness Print

Desi​gn Checklist

  1. ​​The house is weathertight, dry and easy to maintain

Building weathertightness will generally be addressed by complying with the Building Code​. It also depends on suitably skilled and experienced design and construction teams. 
However, some forms and materials carry a higher risk than others, and may be linked with greater cost in order to meet Building Code standards. 

The design of the house should consider weathertightness, durability and maintenance at the start of the design process as good decisions made at the beginning can save cost later. Two main areas of increased risk are:​
  • Complicated building envelopes which have a high number of complex wall junctions and a range of materials. 
  • The inclusion of upper level decks, particularly if they are within the building footprint of the floor below, and internal gutters. 
Designing for weathertightness is not about stifling innovation or creating boring buildings. It is about being aware of weathertightness and either keeping it simple or understanding the risk and employing recognised designers and builders to resolve it.​

Better Design Practice

Keep it simple - simpler building forms will be easier to weatherproof than complex ones. Minimising the amount of material changes, complex junctions, joins and flashings will also make the house easier to make weathertight.

Simple roof forms are cheaper to build, and because of their lack of complexity, provide fewer opportunities for things to go wrong in the future. Inversely, complex roofs require skilled designing and building to work. 

Protect from the weather – the easiest way to keep the water out is to stop it from getting in. Eaves are a simple and effective way of protecting the walls and roof junctions. When combined with appropriate window placement, they also provide shade and protect the inside of the house from overheating. 

Choose materials so that the outside of the building is easy to maintain. Some cladding systems rely on more onerous and potentially costly maintenance regimes to ensure they stay weathertight. A cladding system that is easy to maintain will look better over time, do a better job of protecting the house, and cost less.
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