Product assurance gathers steam

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The Department launched its product assurance guide last April and then teamed up with BRANZ to run nationwide seminars for Building Consent Authorities (BCAs), manufacturers, suppliers and residential designers.

The key to product assurance is providing more certainty around the use of building products and construction methods.
It starts by helping manufacturers and suppliers make the best, most cost-effective business decisions about getting their products code-compliant for use in the New Zealand market.
It also helps BCAs, designers, building practitioners and consumers make better informed decisions on building products — whether that is to issue a building consent or more confidently specify or use a product on the basis of better technical information.

The overall goal is to lower compliance costs without compromising building quality or discouraging innovation.
How product assurance works for manufacturers and suppliers
If the building product you make or supply needs to comply with the Building Code, the product assurance framework helps you decide how far to go in getting it tested, appraised or even certified to gain Building Code compliance.

The main options are shown above. Which ones you choose and how far you move up the triangle is a business decision.
The options at the base of the triangle will apply to most building products and methods — they may have been used here for some time, have already achieved code compliance and have proven performance.

The options near the apex of triangle generally take more money and time, but should provide more certainty for those specifying, using or approving a product.
These options will be more applicable if you want greater market acceptance, a marketing advantage or have new or innovative products.
The ultimate product assurance option is CodeMark certification, a voluntary scheme set up under the Building Act 2004 and administered by the Department.

A CodeMark-certified product or construction method must be accepted by any building consent authority as complying with the Building Code (when used as specified).
The first CodeMark product certificate was issued late last year to James Hardie’s Linea Weatherboards. About a dozen more manufacturers and suppliers are now considering CodeMark for their products.