Updating the timber-framed building standard (NZS 3604)

Posted: 11 November 2020

The Building Performance team’s drive for building quality, and focus on the environment and densified housing, has led to us working with Standards NZ to fund an update of New Zealand's main standard for constructing timber-framed buildings.

NZS 3604 is important to many in the industry, as it is a core resource for designers and building consent authorities determining compliance with the Building Code.

It's been more than a decade since NZS 3604 was last revised. The building industry changes rapidly, and a lot has happened during this time, so it’s timely to begin the process of revision. 

There is a very specific scope for the revision, which will be looking at eight or nine key areas. This includes ways NZS 3604 can support better thermal performance to reduce emissions, while making sure homes are being built, warm, safe and dry for New Zealanders. 

Additionally NZS 3604 will be extending its scope to cover buildings of three full storeys. This will support the increasing demand in New Zealand for medium-density dwellings.

The standards development committee responsible for the revision will also look to streamline the construction of several other design features that are commonly consented.

Please see the Touchstone article on the Standards NZ website for a detailed outline of the areas this revision project will address. The article also explains how technical experts can express their interest in participating on working groups responsible for those areas.

It is planned for this revision to be published by Standards NZ in late 2023, and cited in the Building Code in the 2024 update.

We will continue to provide updates on the Building Performance website as the revision progresses.

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