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ADHERO: The Weathertight Solution for Multi-Storey Buildings

Dominating the skyline in the West Auckland suburb of Glen Eden is the new Westlight Apartments project currently being built by CMP Construction. The building is comprised of two 10-storey tower blocks above a large podium area, which offer awesome views of the Waitakere Ranges and surrounding areas, and is conveniently located close to the Glen Eden railway station and shops.

Developed by the Ted Manson Foundation, the project aims to provide safe, warm and healthy homes at a more affordable price to the market and differs from most developments of its type as it includes a mix of community housing managed units as well as freehold apartments.

Designed by the team at MC2 Architects, the exterior of the building envelope is covered with Pro Clima SOLITEX EXTASANA ADHERO self-adhesive membrane/underlay, which provides a continuous water and wind-tight WRB (weather-resistive barrier) behind the outer cladding/rain-screen layer. Ensuring the WRB is wind/airtight is more critical on taller buildings for pressure equalisation of the cladding cavity, to ensure moisture is not sucked into the structure. So while the membrane is one of the lowest cost parts of the building's thermal envelope, it is the last line of defence against moisture ingress and plays a major role in guaranteeing its long term performance.

Being so close to public transport will be a big bonus for those living in the apartments, but it also placed more onus on good acoustic design of the facade. On this project, the ADHERO is installed over two layers of 9mm Shera fibre cement sheet (from Pacbuild) over thermally broken steel framing, which along with the joinery systems assists in providing separation between what's going on outside and the interior spaces.

Continuity is key to the performance of the WRB. All penetrations made through the ADHERO from cladding and joinery screw fixings are well sealed with TESCON NAIDECK screw sealing tape. NAIDECK is a butyl rubber tape which is sticky on both sides with a release paper, so is able to be pre applied to brackets prior to their installation on site, to ensure all screw penetrations are sealed. The six months UV exposure resistance of the ADHERO membrane is beneficial on this type of project as well. Due to the logistical challenge of building over many levels, the WRB is often not able to be covered as quick as on a single level build of less complexity. Once protected from the UV light long term, the ADHERO will function as a vapour permeable, water and wind-tight membrane for at least the life of the cladding itself.

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