NZ Brick Distributors launched their Designer Series panel in late 2014. Use of the Designer Series range of pre-finished, cement-bonded fibrous wood particle panels has really gained some steam, with it being used on an ever growing number of projects around New Zealand.
Since the launch, NZ Brick Distributors have been working with the suppliers in Japan as well as the installers in New Zealand to make some changes to the system to speed up installation and give a better finished look, while still complying with all relevant code requirements in New Zealand. All changes to the system have gone through a thorough review process and a new CodeMark certification has been issued. This gives architects, builders and homeowners the assurance that the product will meet the requirements of the NZ Building Code, and that it will be accepted by councils nationwide.
The key change is the starter strip detail for the Designer Series system. Previously this relied on a flashing to ensure the cladding system extended 50mm below the bottom plate of the building. Working with the technical teams in Australia and Japan, NZ Brick Distributors created a new starter strip design which eliminates the need for this flashing. The key results of this change are that the finished wall has cleaner lines, there are no issues with the flashing not matching joinery or other colours on the wall, and installation is drastically improved. Talking to installers in New Zealand, they estimate that this change could save up to a day's labour over an entire house, which is not an insignificant saving for the home owner. The new starter strip still provides drainage to the wall cavity as well as supporting the first row of panels and acting as a vermin strip.
Other changes that have been made by NZ Brick Distributors include adding additional Eaves Trim accessories, which will provide a cleaner finish to all jobs, as well as the Eaves Trim accessories now being available in white to match most soffits in New Zealand. Extra High Wind Zones is now included in the CodeMark certification, and clip / stud spacings for this are included in the updated technical manual.
The technical manual has been updated, and is available for download from the NZ Brick Distributors website and from EBOSS. NZ Brick Distributors have also provided all of the updated detail drawings in the Technical manual in both PDF and DWG formats on the website and EBOSS for download.
This won't be the last innovation from NZ Brick Distributors in 2016 either. Work is underway on additional changes to make the system easier to use for architects, installers and the clients as well as working on an extended range to be launched later in the year.