THE USE OF TWO KEY PRODUCTS ON A BOUTIQUE RESIDENTIAL SCHEME HAS DEMONSTRATED HOW DEVELOPERS AND BUILDERS CAN DELIVER BUILDINGS THAT ARE CODE COMPLIANT FOR NON-COMBUSTIBLE FACADE ELEMENTS, WHILE PROVIDING HIGHLY EFFECTIVE WEATHER RESISTANCE.
Located in Chatswood, Sydney, 18 at Chatswood is a seven storey building designed by Mayoh Architects and built by Novati Constructions, comprising one and two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom penthouses. Situated in a gully, the building and landscaping were conceived to relate to the neighbourhood’s bushland environment, while offering both privacy and amenity to neighbouring properties. The project also incorporates solar access and accommodates stormwater and overland flow prevalent on the site.
James Hardie’s newly released RAB Board was selected for the scheme for use on the durable and resilient facade design. A proven solution in line with the building industry’s changing requirements for high-performance weather barriers, RAB Board is a fully-certified system characterised by superior defence against wind and moisture with high levels of water resistance, long-term durability and strength. The result of James Hardie’s considerable investment in innovation and research, it creates a rigid air barrier installed beneath external cladding or ventilated facades. RAB Board is made from James Hardie’s premium fibre cement and sealed with the company’s trademarked CoreShield penetrating sealer technology, keeping water, air and wind out, while allowing moisture vapour to easily escape, enabling a building’s framing cavity to drain and dry. The panel based system is also suitable for use in non-combustible construction.
RAB Board integrates with James Hardie’s newly launched ExoTecfacade system, a pre-finished cladding product also chosen for 18 at Chatswood for its easy and quick installation, low maintenance requirements and an aesthetic finish that resembles in-situ concrete. Worth noting is that RAB Board also integrates with a range of other commercial cladding systems, to provide an ‘all-in-one’ weather barrier in the construction of apartments, institutional buildings, commercial applications and energy-efficient homes.
Novati Constructions Project Manager Anthony Melia says the lightweight nature and unique benefits of RAB Board make it quick and easy for sub-contractors to work with. “The time savings for the RAB Board are not found at the beginning of the job but prior to installing the fullycertified ExoTec Vero as there is no going back to patch torn sarking,” he says. “Once the ExoTec board has been installed its job is finished.”
With the eastern facade’s large surfaces requiring a design that would reduce the bulk scale of the building while providing contrast, Novati Constructions utilised a mix of white render, charcoal grey render and metal teamed with ExoTec Vero concrete-look cladding and natural timber.
“The results of using ExoTec Vero have been outstanding. Not only was it an easy installation, but the concrete colour has minimised ongoing maintenance costs. ExoTec Vero makes the building visually appealing for residents and visitors of the local community,” says Melia. “The combination of ExoTec Vero and RAB Board is a great system that is Building Code Australia (BCA) compliant for non-combustible facade elements and provides excellent weather resistance.”
According to Melia and his team, 18 at Chatswood is an example of the use of prefabricated elements to overcome challenges for architects, developers and builders in protecting a building from weather and
providing water and condensation management, airtightness and non-combustibility.
Timothy Elliot, Product Manager, James Hardie, adds that good facade design is increasingly a focus for developers and builders. “Smart facade design is key to compliance and performance, ensuring a building is fit for purpose and protected from the elements. A facade solution that includes RAB Board offers protection and peace of mind by improving building performance and the comfort levels for occupants.”
“The results of using ExoTec Vero have been outstanding. Not only was it an easy installation, but the concrete colour has minimised ongoing maintenance costs. ExoTec Vero makes the building visually appealing for residents and visitors of the local community. The combination of ExoTec Vero and RAB Board is a great system that is Building Code Australia (BCA) compliant for non-combustible facade elements and provides excellent weather resistance.” Anthony Melia, Project Manager, Novati Constructions. ■