Project M Phase I: Monitor 1000 houses

Project M Phase I: Monitor 1000 houses

The Step Up Philosophy is informed through its deep involvement in Project M’s first objective: “to monitor 1000 houses”. It has become the largest and most successful weathertightness performance research into in-situ homes in the world, incorporating members from every corner of the building industry. A number of key outcomes from the first phase of research has informed the Step Up Groups’ approach to building remediation.

Phase 1 Scope: to Monitor 1000 houses

Project M is a research initiative to integrate the Mdu Probe and associated technlogies and systems into the existing building investigation, maintenance, consent and repair infrastructure in the most mutually beneficial way to all stakeholders. This will be achieved through the introduction of Mdu PROBE Systems to 1000 houses as well as facilitating education, information sharing and regular meetings between Project M associates and interested parties.

Phase 1 Outcomes

  • Non-invasive moisture scanning, thermo-imaging cameras and point in time assessments DO NOT give an accurate picture of a building’s overall condition.
  • A thorough and highly accurate invasive weathertightness and structural analysis can be performed WITHOUT DAMAGE to either internal lining or external cladding.
  • Using monitoring technologies derived from Project M, owners can easily find and fix leaks before damage is caused even if there are no visible signs of moisture ingress.
  • Structural timber can be post-treated without the removal of either internal lining or external cladding.
  • WHRS investigations and DBH determinations processes use and benefit from technologies and approaches derived from Project M.
  • The average building has only isolated and localised structural and moisture problems.
  • 20mm battened cavity houses, supposedly ‘safe’ cladding types and reclad buildings are still leaking.
  • Building remediation is best done in stages over a number of months or years, not all at once or as quickly as possible.
  • It is simple and easy to determine the structural integrity of buildings without removing the majority of the cladding.
  • Once adequately post-treated, most fungi affected structural timber members have retained adequate structural integrity and can stay in the building.
  • The strength of structural timber can usually be restored in-situ, and not need replacement.
  • It is simple and easy to retro-fit deflection, drainage and drying aspects to most existing cladding systems without the need for re-cladding.
  • All building stakeholders can better manage weathertightness risk with Project M derived Quality Management Systems (QMS) run and paid for by building owners.


Project M thank the valuable contriubutions of the following: MNZIBS Members: David Medricky, William Hursthouse, Pat O’Hagan, Alan Light, Mark Hazlehurst Auckland City Council: Mark Millar, Rob Woodger, Bob deLeur, Bob Tidd Hamilton City Council: Phil Saunders Waitakere City Council: Alan Forster Other Greater Auckland Councils; DBH UoA: Prof Geoff Duffy, Paul Beezley, Rory Anderson, Wei en Chong, Chris Banks, Charles Afford, Daniel Leong, Bryan Holyoake, Prof Geoff Austen, Glenn Manley, Karl Wette NIWA: Steve McNeil BRANZ: Mark Basset, Malcom Cunningham Canada: Dr John Straube, Joe Lstiburik, IRC SCION: Mick Hedley Osmose: Terry Smith Master Builders: Pieter Burgout LandCare Research: Dr Nick Waipara Dawsons & Partners: Bill Endean LHAG: John Gray Hitex Building Systems: Ian Holyoake, Ken Holyoake Moisture Detection Company Ltd: Arun Mandapati, Brian Hsu, Helen Carter Lumleys; QBE; NZTE; SCENZ; Ahead Lumber; Hon. Lionne Dalziel; Jeanette Drysdale; Stu Nicholson

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