Fire safety issues holding up affordable housing

Last month, we blogged about major fire hazards discovered during repairs of multi-unit leaking buildings. The New Zealand Herald has reported that fire safety issues are now further holding up Auckland’s biggest affordable housing project, Springpark in Mt Wellington.

The Mt Wellington development is intended to have 420 terraced houses and apartments, many of which sold off the plans in 2013. It was originally predicted the first homes would be finished by the end of 2014. The development has already been hit with various delays.

Construction was stopped on the first 20 terraced houses to resolve fire safety design consenting issues. Developer Tony Gapes now says that the fire safety design consenting issues have been resolved after an almost four month period, with the assistance of three fire engineers and a council peer reviewer. Mr Gapes believes that the same fire safety issues have affected a number of terrace house developments around Auckland.

Many issues picked up during remediation work to existing leaky multi-unit buildings have been attributed to shortcuts taken at the time of construction. While the additional delay in construction for this development is no doubt costly, it is a positive sign that developers and councils are now picking up fire safety standard issues early in the construction process.

Featured image an artist’s impression of the Springpark development, included in the NZ Herald article linked above.

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