STUDENT CENTRED RESEARCH INTO BUILDING FABRIC PERFORMANCE
Authors: Murphy, Chris
Whilst much anecdotal evidence exists about alleged construction deficiencies with the external fabric of
residential buildings built in New Zealand since the introduction of the national Building Code in 1992, there
have been few attempts to record systematically and objectively the extent or frequency of such inadequacies.
This paper will outline a research proposal instigated by the author and funded through the New Zealand
Building Industry Authority. The research is designed to ‘test’ or measure the degree of compliance achieved by
the external fabric of residential scaled buildings against the performance objectives outlined in the New Zealand
Building Code relating to Durability (B2) and External Moisture (E2). The research will feature architecture
students as active participants and will use as data ‘pre-purchase’ reports made available to the author by Prendos
Ltd, a major Building Surveying and Consultancy firm.
The first section of the paper will identify the common methods by which building performance deficiencies are
presently brought to the public arena and explore the difficulties facing researchers and research agencies
attempting to source and quantify building performance. The second part of the paper will describe how the
proposed research project hopes to overcome such difficulties. It will outline the extent of student participation in
the research and define the advantages and limitations such participation may bring.