Linea Weatherboard performance in surf club fire

High performing Linea


“I was aware of Linea Weatherboard’s high fire resistance rating and the way it performed has reinforced this.”

Built in 1930, the Maranui Surf Life Saving Club in Wellington is a much loved local landmark. But in August 2009 it was nearly destroyed by fire. Fortunately, the prompt response of the local fire service, and the use of some well-chosen materials, helped save this historic building.

While Maranui Surf Life Saving Club lost many irreplaceable pieces of memorabilia, it was saved by the quick arrival of the fire service and the high fire rating of Linea Weatherboard, which stopped the flames from taking hold and completely destroying the building.

The building was partly re-clad four years before the fire in response to the nail-rust problems and the constant repainting requirements of the original timber weatherboards. Builder and long-time Maranui Surf Club member Steve Roberts suggested the use of Linea Weatherboard by James Hardie for its durability in coastal conditions.

Linea Weatherboard fire rated systems

As the building maintenance manager, Roberts knew that the building needed frequent repainting, particularly on the seaward side. He believed the Art Deco character of the original building could be faithfully recreated using Linea Weatherboard, and that stainless steel nails would eliminate rust problems, and the building would only require repainting every 15 years. Roberts’ company, South Coast Construction, completely re-clad the seaward face of the building and about 60% of the two sides in Linea Weatherboard.

The timber was gradually being replaced with Linea Weatherboard when the fire struck. “I was aware of Linea Weatherboard’s high fire resistance rating, and the way it performed right alongside timber boards has reinforced this in my mind,” says Roberts. The photos show the charred timber weatherboard right next to undamaged Linea Weatherboard and 7.5mm James Hardie Weatherboards.

The best direct comparison is where the fire was less intense – the heat transference has caused the paint to bubble and crack on the timber weatherboards, while the Linea Weatherboard is as good as new. The whole seaward side, which was completely re-clad in Linea Weatherboard, shows almost no sign of damage, even though there was complete loss of 20% of the interior.

The Linea Weatherboard wall systems achieve up to a 90-minute fire resistance rating when used as part of a fire rated system, as tested and verified by the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ).

Lyall Bay, Wellington. New Zealand
Project Type
Industry Professionals

Designed by Nick Balara and built by South Coast Construction


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