August 2015 update for Precast NZ Inc

by precastnz on August 21, 2015 · 0 comments

August 2015 update from Precast NZ Inc

This is to provide readers with a quick overview of our recent activities. You are welcome to contact us by email at or phone Executive Director Rod Fulford on 0274 987 990 for any further information.



Our meetings at the University of Canterbury were well attended and covered a lot of items of interest.

THE AGM was a short meeting to approve the budget, approve subscriptions for the July 2015 – June 2016 year, and to appoint auditors. Election of officers is normally held every second year and will next take place at the 2016 AGM.


CCANZ Rob Gaimster gave an update of CCANZ activities and how they impact on precast and the wider construction industry.

CCANZ and Precast NZ work closely together with CCANZ providing administration services for PCNZ and carrying out some projects on our behalf.

Standards is an area undergoing transition, and as it moved to become a part of MBIE it was obvious that industry was going to have to take a more active role in updating standards.

CCANZ is involved in a number of Standards. NZS3101 amendment 3 was one that both CCANZ and PCNZ were represented on. That is ready for publication but waiting for some issues with NZ/AS1170 loadings code to be resolved.

Promotional activities were very much to the fore.


INDUSTRY GUIDE on Handling Transportation and Erection of Precast Concrete was ready for final editing, with publication on our web site expected at the beginning of September. A separate notice will be sent out when this is available. A decision was made to publish this as an industry guide because the revision and update to the Approved Code of Practice that was finalized in 2008 had not been published and there was a need for updated information.

There is a huge range of precast components and handling situations and this guide can not cover all. As it will be an industry document, it will be much easier to update than a government publication. The guide is the result of considerable input by many different parties involved in the industry, and collaboration will be sought for future updates.


CODE OF PRACTICE Since the decision by Precast NZ to publish an industry guide and update information in the last published version of the Code of Practice, Worksafe NZ have committed to revising the 2002 version. A meeting is scheduled for 10 Sept 2015 to progress this. Although there may appear to be considerable overlap in the first draft, the focus of Worksafe NZ is on safety in the workplace, whereas the Industry Guide is trying to capture and retain much useful information that may not be solely safety related and possibly outside the scope of the Code of Practice.

The Code of Practice will not be published until the new Health & Safety legislation is in force. It may then be appropriate to review the role and content of each document.


UNIVERSITY OF CANTERBURY Paven Kumar Aninthaneni gave a presentation on a research project “Sustainable, Low Loss and Demountable Precast Frame Building System in Seismic Regions” including results of testing to date.

John Marshall of Stahlton is associate supervisor for this research project.

Cheque presentation

A cheque for $5,000 was presented as industry support towards the university’s research projects involving precast concrete.


A tour of the university testing laboratory followed to view various programs underway, many of which have been supported by PCNZ members with supply of components for research and testing.

Beam:col connection



A demountable beam/column connection for testing at University of Canterbury



UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND has been offered access to a 1990’s building that is scheduled for demolition to carry out testing. This building incorporates rib and infill floors and is an opportunity to test construction that has been in service for over 20 years instead of freshly made test specimens.

Testing programs on panels and connections are continuing with test specimens set up at Wilco for University of Auckland testing continuing in August and beyond.


RESEARCH SUPPORT it was estimated that the total value of support by the precast industry towards research and testing over the past 4 years would be around $250,000. This included products and services as well as supply of facilities and direct financial contributions.

Precast bridge pier



A precast bridge pier assembly for testing at University of Canterbury


SALES DATA Quarterly sales data for the precast industry was presented. Pretty flat for the last 12 months. Although the last 12 months had seen a much needed pick up, sales were still below the June 2007 level, even before the effects of inflation were considered.

There was much misinformation in the market place suggesting there was a supply problem with precast. A survey of members at the meeting showed that while some individual companies may have 2 or 3 months of commitments that would preclude them taking on additional large contracts for supply during that time, in every region there were precasters with much shorter supply lead times. Housing or smaller commercial jobs were no problem for any member surveyed to supply with shorter lead times.

The major delay identified for supply of precast for major projects was in obtaining final and complete working drawings from the consultant with sufficient lead time to get shop drawings done, approved, and moulds modified before even commencing manufacture.


CURING The requirements of NZS3101 in respect of curing are very simplistic and prescriptive. They make little allowance for variations in the manufacturing environment, accelerated curing commonly used, and the realities of end use. NZS3101 does not recognize the benefits of common curing practice for factory precast using high strength concrete, accelerated curing in an indoor environment. The problems for precasters are compounded by inappropriate specification clauses being applied quite differently by consultants.

PCNZ Sponsored a University of Canterbury engineering undergraduate to undertake a web search of research on curing as applied to precast concrete. This showed NZS3101 and common New Zealand specifications were out of step with best international practice. The paper will be published on our web site during September, and PCNZ will develop suggested guidelines for curing.


PRECAST SEMINAR The NZ Concrete Society seminar on “Detailing of Precast Cladding, Flooring Systems & Stairs for Multistory Buildings” is being held in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland 8 – 16 September 2015.

Details at


PRODUCER STATEMENTS Auckland Council made a presentation to the Auckland branch of IPENZ on their producer statement policy and released their 33 page policy document. PCNZ will work with Auckland Council to develop appropriate policy for precast concrete elements, and this is expected to recognize the status of certified plants.


PROTECTION OF RETENTIONS by legislation through the Construction Contracts Bill is still a matter being pursued by PCNZ through their representation on the Specialist Trade Contractors Federation. PCNZ Executive Director Rod Fulford appeared before the parliamentary select committee considering this.


OTHER ITEMS including Health & Safety, Lifting and Rigging diagrams, Shop Drawings, FiB Precast Handbook, Plant Certification, BCITO Training, BIM were covered.


CONCRETE CONFERENCE This year’s Concrete Conference will be held at Rotorua from 8 to 10 October. The Precast NZ meeting there will be from 11am to 12.30pm on Thursday 8 October. All members and Associate Members are welcome to attend. The President will give an update on our activities and it will be a chance for all to have an input into our activities and question our Executive.

Conference details at




PCNZ Executive meetings are held 4 times per year 3 in Auckland and 1 in the South Island. We typically have a 30 – 45 minute presentation from an Associate Member highlighting products or services that are of interest to the precast industry. Our next meetings are scheduled for 19 November 2015 and 25 February 2016 in Auckland. We welcome expressions of interest from Associate Members who may like to utilize these opportunities. Please contact Rod Fulford Executive Director by email


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Previous post:

Next post: