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Say Goodbye to Flexible Underlay with Ecoply Plywood Rigid Air Barrier

During a building’s lifetime there could possibly be some moisture penetration. Therefore the envelope must not only be effective at limiting water penetration, but also be able to cope with unexpected water entry.

New Zealand lies across the path of the prevailing westerlies known as the ‘Roaring Forties’, so rain is often accompanied by wind. Most of our settlements are concentrated near the coast with changeable weather patterns, high levels of humidity and strong winds, often accompanied by rain.

A specified full rigid air-barrier system such as Ecoply Barrier provides a more robust cavity and prevents the insulation bulging, which would increase the chance of moisture bridging from the cladding to the framing line.

The Ecoply Barrier system is a 7mm thick structural plywood panel that is coated on the face and edges using an advanced polyester powder-coating process. It provides a weathertight rigid air-barrier for drained and vented cavity systems outside the building frame, effectively replacing traditional building wrap in the cavity while providing structural bracing and forming a strong secondary line of defence against moisture penetration into the building envelope – the primary line of defence being the exterior wall cladding.

Ecoply Barrier is installed quickly – just fasten the panels and tape the seams – and could save two to four weeks off the total house-build time by allowing a faster building close-in.

Builders no longer have to worry about installing traditional wall underlay or building paper on a windy day or having to return for re-work due to unforeseen rips or tears. Ecoply Barrier lets you say goodbye to flexible underlay forever.


  • A rigid air-barrier provides a more robust cavity and prevents the insulation bulging, which would increase the chance of moisture bridging from the cladding to the framing line.
  • Reduced builder liability - better secondary line of defence than building wrap with a solid material for sealing penetrations.
  • Movement in wind and earthquake - New Zealand landmasses can be subject to frequent low levels of earth tremor, with an occasional severe shaking from larger earthquakes. Ecoply Barrier provides increased structure support. Structural bracing is achieved when installed as per Ecoply bracing specifications. Bracing benefits may result in cost savings by reducing internal bracing elements.
  • Schedule your subcontractors sooner - resulting in dollar savings. Reducing the building time for new homes will result in increased cashflow and reduced working capital.
  • No call-backs for rips, tears or wrap that has blown off.
  • Easy to work light material, simple and easy to install.
  • Optimal system permanence – allows the wall system to dry while holding out external moisture.
  • 180-day exposure during construction cycle. No hold-ups while the cladding has to be installed e.g. bricklayers etc.
  • Onsite visibility, secure site.
  • Immediate close-in of structure, allowing interior and exterior work to be completed in parallel.
View more information on Carter Holt Harvey, including contact details.
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