Industry Update: Installing ply brace correctly
Monday, 2 May 2016
The VBA's Proactive Inspections Program has identified sites where sheet ply wall bracing has been:
- over-nailed to the point where the edges of the ply brace are damaged
- not nailed to intermediate studs
- not nailed at horizontal butt joins in the sheet ply
In many instances, the nails have been found to have been completely punched through the ply brace. Sheet ply bracing not installed correctly will have an effect on the structural stability of the building structure
What should be done?
Carpenters should reduce the pressure in their nail gun to a point where the nails do not punch through the sheet brace. Where necessary, they can finish the nails home afterwards with their hammer.
Carpenters should also ensure the sheet brace is nailed off completely and where there are horizontal joins, ensure a nogging is installed behind this join and nailed off at 50mm centres.
Builders and site supervisors should refuse to accept poor quality work where sheet bracing does not comply with the timber framing standard, and should look over the frame for issues such as this prior to booking the frame inspection with the Building Surveyor.
Builders and site supervisors should also ensure that damage to the ply brace is rectified; eg, where external scaffolding is installed or where building services pass through the sheet ply.
What can a Practitioner do?
- reduce the pressure in their nail guns
- finish the nails home afterwards with their hammer
- ensure the sheet brace is nailed off completely, including horizontal sheet ply joins and intermediate studs
Builders and site supervisors should:
- check over the frame prior to arranging the frame inspection
- not accept work that does not comply with the timber framing standard
- be mindful of damage by other trades to the ply bracing (or other framing members)
Building Surveyors/Building Inspectors should:direct the person who is in charge of carrying out the building work to the rectify damaged or incorrectly installed sheet ply brace to comply with the National Construction Code and relevant timber framing standard.