Navigating the GIB shortage, we're here to help

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Published: 07 Jul 2022

While the GIB shortage is causing a headache for builders throughout the District, council is here to help people use the right alternatives, says Timaru District Council Building Control Manager Jayson Ellis.

The supply issues and shortages of certain building materials, particularly Gib plaster board, has been having an effect on local businesses, their work flow and what they can deliver to their customers.

Ellis says that one of the issues identified is the perceived difficulty in using a different product if ‘Gib’ is specified on the building consent, but many of the issues can be resolved by getting expert advice.

“Gib plaster board is a very common product used in New Zealand for internal wall linings in buildings because of its ease of installation and finishing,” he said.

“However there are also many other options (alternatives) for internal linings especially when there are no specific requirements to be met, such as in bracing elements, this can be a fairly straightforward substitution.

“It’s a bit more complex when “Gib” plaster board has been specified and approved for internal bracing elements. To change to another product/system requires the approval process to be undertaken.

“However there are many wall bracing alternatives to the common Gib system, these include other brands of plaster board (including international products), plywood, fibre cement boards, ridged air barriers (RAB), medium density fibre board (MDF) and certain prefabricated metal components, to name but a few.

“All of these products have the technical data, appraisals and or some form of certification that, when provided to council for approval, can demonstrate they are fit for purpose and will achieve compliance with the building code.

“The substitution process is ultimately very simple and straightforward, and our building team is always happy to provide advice.

This process, when relating to building consents, can be made in one of two ways. These are known as “Minor Variations” or “Amendments”.

The key considerations are firstly to engage an industry professional that understands this process to ensure they specify products that are fit for purpose, designed and tested for that particular use and meet the requirements of the building code.

Therefore engaging these suitably qualified people that sufficiently research the alternatives, will significantly assist the substitution and compliance pathway and will help to mitigate issues at the end of your project when you are wanting to get it signed off (code compliance certificate, CCC) by council.

It’s also vitally important that any alterative products are suitable for the job.

“It’s important to remember if the manufacturer, retailer or the person you are purchasing your product from, can’t provide you with the necessary product verification or certification, do not use it,” said Jayson.

“Changing or substituting building products and systems does not need to be difficult and may not necessarily have a negative impact on your project, either at the design or construction phase.

“For expert advice on the consent process please contact the council’s building team or come in and talk to us to discuss your proposed change.

“The sooner you are aware a change is required, engaging industry professionals and contacting the council’s building team will help in achieving a positive outcome for everyone and ensure we can keep building through these current supply issues.”

Please contact the building team 03 687 7236 or email for advice.

Last updated: 07 Jul 2022