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James Hardie's RAB Board Protects Against the Elements

Project Overview

Built by Build NZ Quality, this three-storey, 33 room boarding house in Otahuhu, South Auckland, is a steel frame building which utilises RAB Board as a robust, cost-effective pre-cladding solution. RAB Board was specified as part of a fire rating system and contributes to speed of construction by facilitating early building lock up.

The Challenge

As with any multi-storeyed construction, safe transfer and access of materials was a key consideration.

The James Hardie Solution

James Hardie's RAB Board – a fibre cement sheet used as a rigid air barrier in medium to high-rise construction – was fixed to the steel frame structure in a total of 1,200 m2.

Its composition makes it lightweight and easy to handle at height and under wind pressure – a key advantage for this build.

"The RAB Board had to be lifted and manoeuvred through scaffolding and loaded onto the levels for access, which was quite challenging," says Vaughan Wharton, Director of Build NZ.

This challenge was mitigated through forward planning and an inspired choice of material.

"One of the advantages of RAB Board is its manoeuvrability – it can be carried by two people and manoeuvred by three," explains Wharton.

Once planned, the rest of the installation was straight forward.

"RAB Board went up pretty quickly, even in the upper levels, which were exposed to fairly high winds," says Wharton.

RAB Board is an important part of the cladding and structural system, providing increased protection and general rigidity and security to the entire project.

"It does its job well – it provides an effective base for external cladding and protects the building from the elements before the final cladding is installed," adds Wharton.

"All contractors, including electricians, were willing to work inside before the external cladding was installed, which helped keep the project on time."

Project details

Location: 21 Park Ave, Otahuhu, Auckland

Project Size: 1,000 m2

Project Type: Commercial Building

Site Context: Urban

Builder: Vaughan Wharton, Build NZ Quality

View more information on James Hardie, including contact details.
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