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Do I really NEED a Contract? And what are Conditions of Contract?

Do I really NEED a Contract? And what are Conditions of Contract?

Whether you are building a new home or simply adding a deck, the easiest way to reduce the likelihood of there being any problems between yourself and the building Contractor is to have a signed contract.

The reason for this is simple: when parties have considered their respective rights and obligations and recorded their agreement in writing, the possible areas of dispute or difference are reduced considerably. For example, one of the most common areas of dispute between parties relates to the price. The Contractor claims payment for items of work and the Owner/Principal disputes their liability to pay for this work on the basis that it was included in the Contract Price. If there is nothing in writing, the parties are left to argue backwards and forwards as to what was included and what was not. However, if the parties have a written contract that includes a breakdown of the works and the costs, there is an accurate record to refer back to and the dispute is more likely to resolve itself.

LBP Fees: GST Increase from 1 October

Written by building4u  on Friday, 26 August 2011 15:44  in LBP Scheme
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LBP Fees: GST Increase from 1 October

LBP Fees: GST Increase from 1 October

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is due to increase from 12.5% to 15% from 1 October 2010. This means the GST payable on all LBP fees, including the one-off LBP application and assessment fees, and the annual relicensing and Board levy fees, will increase from that time.

The new GST rate of 15% will apply to LBP fees that are received on or after 1 October 2010. Until 30 September, GST remains at 12.5%. You might want to get your form and payment in before the GST increase takes effect.

Do I have to get new application forms?

You can use the old application forms, but you need to pay the correct fees. Updated forms will be available from 1 October.

Simplified Building Categories

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 16:03  in LBP Scheme
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Simplified Building Categories

Simplified Building Categories

New building categories have been defined following feedback from the building sector indicating that the old building categories were too complex, and insufficiently aligned with business practice.

Category 1: Single household dwellings with low- or medium-risk envelope design.

Category 2: Single household dwellings with high-risk envelope design, or other buildings with a building height* less than 10m.

Category 3: Buildings 10 m or greater in building height*, except single household dwellings.

More information and examples are available here

 

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Local authorities invited to sign up for the Weathertight Homes Financial Assistance Package

Local authorities invited to sign up for the Weathertight Homes Financial Assistance Package

The financial assistance package for owners of leaky homes has moved closer with formal agreement by key local authorities to participate in the Government's Weathertight Homes Financial Assistance Package.

Following formal invitation in September 2010, the majority of the most-affected local authorities have agreed to participate. These represent an estimated 90% of likely weathertight claims.

The package centres on the Government and local authorities each contributing 25% of the agreed repair costs and homeowners funding the remaining 50%. Home owners who choose to apply for the package must agree not to bring proceedings against the local authority and the Government at the Weathertight Homes Tribunal or in court.

Building near Public Sewers

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:42  in Building Consents
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Building near Public Sewers

Building near Public Sewers

Approval to work near a sewer is obtained by following the normal building consent process and applying for an Engineering Works Approval (EWA) from your council before the work starts. This is in addition to the building consent required to carry out the rest of the building project.

Building or other work is not generally allowed within 1m (horizontal) of local or trunk sewers or associated structures, or within a 1.2m radius from a manhole lid centre. Building over trunk sewers is not permitted under any circumstances. Generally approval is required to carry out work within:

1. 5.0m of a local sewer (less than 300mm in diameter)

2. 10.0m of a trunk sewer (more than 300mm in diameter)

Keep reading to find out other important regulations and considerations when building near public sewers.

Unauthorised works

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:42  in Building Consents
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Anauthorised Works

Anauthorised Works

What are unauthorised works?

 

Unauthorised works are any works carried out prior to 1 July 1992 without the appropriate building consents from your council. These works are often discovered by prospective purchasers who note that the approved plans held by council, differ from what is actually on site.

Your building consent authority cannot issue retrospective building consents. The unauthorised works application has been implemented to reassure property owners/purchasers and council that any building work carried out without a building consent/permit is safe and sanitary. It is important to realise that an unauthorised works application is not a building consent.

 

Building owners, managers and developers responsibilities

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:42  in Technical Info
Building owners, managers and developers responsibilities

Building owners, managers and developers responsibilities

The Building Act 2004 sets out rules for sales by residential property developers, and duties for building owners and managers. This is particularly so if you are the owner of a communal, commercial or industrial building. (Changes were made to some of these processes on 31 March 2005.)

It is the owner’s responsibility to:

apply for a building consent for any proposed building work (this includes construction, alteration, demolition and siteworks)

provide the necessary information with the building consent application to confirm compliance with the Building Code

from 30 November 2009, notify the building consent authority of the names of licensed building practitioners engaged in work restricted under the licensing regime.

notify the territorial authority when a change of use is proposed

apply for a code compliance certificate on completion of building work

ensure that their building has a compliance schedule where this is a requirement of the Building Act

ensure that inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures are carried out where required by any compliance schedule for specified systems, including ensuring that:

  1. all necessary inspections, maintenance and reporting are done by an appropriately qualified person
  2. the compliance schedule is readily available for inspection by authorised persons
  3. a current building warrant of fitness is prepared and displayed

maintain the building in a safe and sanitary condition at all times. (This includes measures regarding building work and premises intended for public use and ensuring testing for legionella bacteria takes place on a regular basis.)

The Building Act introduced provisions for earthquake-prone buildings to improve the likelihood of existing buildings withstanding earthquakes. Territorial authorities are also developing policies on dangerous and insanitary buildings within their districts.

Consumer protection measures in the Act also set out certain warranties that are implied in all residential building contracts, and other consumer protection measures around the sale and occupancy of residential buildings.

The Act sets out penalties if the building owner fails to meet their responsibilities.

Tenants and the building owner

The building owner’s responsibilities are clear, whether or not the building is tenanted by others. The owner, however, can delegate those responsibilities to an employee of the owner or to someone else under a contract or a lease. Tenants could also be liable where they breach the Act. An owner, and anyone acting on the owner’s behalf in signing a building warrant of fitness, is liable for making any false statement in the warrant.

Employees of the building owner

In most instances, the owner will engage specialists for the design and construction of all or part of any proposed building work. Such specialists can be architects, engineers, design drafting agencies, builders, plumbers and electricians. For compliance schedule procedures, typical specialists can be building maintenance companies, lift engineers and electricians who are appropriately qualified.

The owner can choose who to employ to do the work or give advice. If, however, the Act is breached, the owner is likely to be fully liable, but any agents of the owner do not necessarily escape liability.

 

For further information and advice, you may call the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 116 926 from 8.30am to 5pm weekdays, or email  info@dbh.govt.nz

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Consents for Rainwater Tanks

Consents for Rainwater Tanks

Stormwater can cause flooding, erosion and long-term environmental damage. We are upgrading our public stormwater systems, building stormwater ponds and improving the quality of stormwater that flows onto our streams and beaches. To make a real difference though everyone needs to take responsibility for stormwater on their property.

Building consent for freestanding and inbuilt fires

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:40  in Building Consents
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Building consent for freestanding and inbuilt fires

Building consent for freestanding and inbuilt fires

A building consent for a fire is required by law under the Building Act. It is important to be aware that your household insurance may be invalid if an incorrectly installed fire causes damage to your property.

How do I obtain a building consent?

 

Building consent application forms are available from any building consent authority office or they can be posted to you if requested.

Building consent for private sewage pumping stations

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:40  in Building Consents

Set out below are the general requirements for two types of pumping systems, i.e. storage type pumping systems in ground and dry mounted pump systems above ground.

Storage type pumping systems in ground

The following information must be supplied with your building consent application:

What is illegal (un-consented) work?

Building work carried out without the required building consent is regarded as illegal work. It is often costly to set right and may put people’s safety or property at risk. Illegal building works are also likely to impact on your insurance cover or house sale negotiations. These works are often discovered by prospective purchasers who note that the approved plans held by your building consent authority differ from what is actually on site. Your building consent authority may prosecute the property owner for any illegal work. Please note that your building consent authority cannot issue retrospective building consents for building work carried out without a building consent.

How can I remedy un-consented work?

For un-consented building work carried out before 1 July 1992, an application for unauthorised work accompanied by a Safe and Sanitary report from an approved consultant, must be submitted to your building consent authority.
 

What is a Compliance Schedule and when do I need one?

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:38  in Building Consents

What is a Compliance Schedule?

A Compliance Schedule (CS) is a document issued by your building consent authority for a public and commercial building if it contains any specified systems. If appropriate, a single household unit will require a compliance schedule, if it contains a cable car or is serviced by a cable car (As from 31 March 2008).

The Compliance Schedule will contain the systems and features including the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures needed to keep them in good working order. A Compliance Schedule must be kept on-site and made available to your building consent authority officers, Independently Qualified Persons, Licensed Building Practitioners and authorised agents.

I have my Building Consent so what do I do now?

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:36  in Building Consents

What about building inspections?

Inspections are required at various stages of your building project to ensure compliance with the approved building plans and the Building Code. The inspections required will be listed in the conditions document that accompanies your building consent. It is your responsibility to contact your building consent authority to book inspections. It should be noted that your building consent authority does not act as a clerk of works and therefore does not guarantee the workmanship on your project.

Which inspections do I need?

What happens after I have submitted my application?

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:32  in Building Consents

How will my building consent application be processed?

Several different disciplines may assess your building consent application, for example building planners, development engineers, plumbing and drainage officers, building processing officers, and structural engineers. Your building consent authority may also involve consultants to assist them with processing building consent applications. Once all the disciplines involved in the process are satisfied that your proposed building work complies with the Building Act and the Building Code, a final check is made to ensure that all work has been assessed and signed off before the building consent is issued.

All about building consents

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:24  in Building Consents
All about building consents

All about building consents

Building consents

The building consent provisions of the Act came into force on 31 March 2005.

A building consent is the formal approval, under section 49 of the Act, for an applicant to undertake building work. Building work includes work in connection with the construction, alteration, demolition or removal of a building.

A person cannot carry out building work except in accordance with a building consent. There are some exceptions to when a building consent is required (see section 41 of the Act), but section 17 still requires building work to be carried out in accordance with the building code even if no building consent is required.

The building consent provisions in the Act are similar to those under the Building Act 1991.

Building and Construction Outlook Quarterly Report

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:16  in Building Code Updates
Building and Construction Outlook Quarterly Report

Building and Construction Outlook Quarterly Report

When will the building recovery pick up speed?

Key themes - June quarter 2010

1. The key trends identified in our previous quarterly report were confirmed in the March quarter. Housing consents rose tentatively from a low base and non-residential consents continued to weaken. Recent data showing a rise in residential activity in the December 2009 quarter supported the view that we have passed the bottom in the homebuilding cycle. 

How long does it take to get a building consent?

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:10  in Building Consents

A building consent authority must grant or refuse a building consent application within 10 working days of the application includes plans and specifications in relation to which a multiple-use approval has been issued, or in all other cases, within 20 working days of receipt of the application.

However, the length of time a building consent takes to approve depends on the complexity of the project and whether or not you have provided all the necessary information in your application.

Processing your application may involve several different disciplines including building planning, development engineering, plumbing and drainage, building and/or structural engineering. If your information is incomplete, the processing clock may be stopped more than once. If your application is suspended a letter will be sent to you advising what additional information is required.

How much will it cost and how long will it take?

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:08  in Building Consents

The cost of a building consent varies according to the complexity and dollar value of the project.

The base fee that you pay when you lodge your application includes government levies, a processing and inspection deposit and may also include a bond. After your building consent application is processed, you will be invoiced for the actual processing charges (minus the processing deposit paid). There is also a requirement for certain applications (usually commercial and industrial building consent applications) to be sent to the Design Review Unit (DRU) of the New Zealand Fire Services Commission. When this happens, additional fees will be included with the actual processing charges.

Construction Contracts Act 2002 Consultation

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:03  in Building Code Updates
Construction Contracts Act 2002 Consultation

Construction Contracts Act 2002 Consultation

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson has released a discussion document on the Construction Contracts Act 2002 today.

The Act regulates progress payments under construction contracts and provides an adjudication process for people with building disputes.

The Act is being reviewed in response to feedback received through the Building Act review.

"The submissions we received were very supportive of the Act's adjudication process but feedback suggests there is some confusion about the types of disputes that can be heard."

The Act currently excludes residential construction contracts from the clauses relating to progress payments and the enforcement of adjudication orders. This can expose residential consumers and contractors to more risk and can make it difficult for them to resolve disputes and obtain financial redress.

The discussion document asks if this exclusion is still relevant and if it should be removed.

"While the Act works reasonably well for people with commercial construction contracts, there is room for improvement.  The application of the Act to residential constructions needs amending to increase and improve consumer protection so people carrying out residential building work are better equipped to use the Act to hold builders to account."

"We want to hear from people who have used the Act's adjudication process to resolve building disputes. This will help us to identify what's working well and to address those areas of the Act that require improvement."

Construction Contracts Act 2002 Consultation

The Construction Contracts Act 2002 (the Act) provides a legal framework for regulating progress payments under construction contracts and provides an adjudication process for people with building disputes.

The Department of Building and Housing invites you to share your experiences of the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (the Act). The purpose of this consultation is to find out how well the Act is working and to identify what parts of the Act are working well and to address those areas of the Act that require improvement.

Please note that this consultation closes on 16 December 2010.

Construction Contracts Act 2002 Discussion Document

The Construction Contracts Act 2002 Discussion Document asks you to:

  • share your experiences of the Act
  • provide feedback on the issues raised
  • tell DBH what you think the solutions to those issues might be

Download the Construction Contracts Act 2002 Discussion Document [PDF 385 KB, 34 pages]

How to make a submission

To provide feedback on the discussion document download and complete this submission form [RTF 974 KB, 9 pages]

Email to: constructioncontracts@dbh.govt.nz

Fax to: (04) 494 0290 (please put “Construction Contracts Act Review” in the subject line).

Post or courier to:
Department of Building and Housing
Level 6, 86 Customhouse Quay
PO Box 10-729
Wellington 6143

Attn: Construction Contracts Act Review Team

 

What Is A Building Consent And Why Do I Need One?

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 12:24  in Building Consents

A building consent is approval from your building consent authority to carry out building works at a specific site. It ensures proposed building, plumbing, drainage and fire safety requirements comply with the Building Code, i.e. that the building is safe, sanitary and suitable for the purpose intended. Work carried out without the required building consent is regarded as illegal and may place people’s safety or property at risk.

What is a Project Information Memorandum (PIM)?

A PIM is issued by your building consent authority and it details any information your building consent authority may be aware of that could affect your proposed project such as potential erosion, subsidence, slippage and flooding. For all larger projects, new houses, large alterations and new commercial or industrial buildings, a PIM may be very useful in establishing the feasibility and design practicality of the project. We strongly recommend that you obtain your PIM early and use it as input into your detailed design. If you do not apply for a PIM before lodging a building consent application, your building consent authority is required by the Building Act, to issue one with your consent.

Building basics

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 12:15  in Technical Info
Building basics

Building basics

The Building Act 2004

The Act affects the construction, alteration, demolition and maintenance of new and existing buildings throughout New Zealand.

It sets standards and procedures for people involved in building work to ensure buildings are built right first time. It covers how work can be done, who can do it, and when it needs to be inspected.

Parts of the Act first came into effect on 30 November 2004, and the rules around building consents and inspections explained in this guide came into force on 31 March 2005.

If you have been involved in a building project before this time, you will find there have been some changes to strengthen the system and ensure building work is right first time.

If your building project was consented before 31 March 2005, most of the provisions in this guide apply to you. The only exception is around issuing your code compliance certificate (CCC), which will follow a slightly different process. If your project received its building consent before 31 March 2005, your final inspection will be considered against the Building Code in place at the time the consent was issued. Find out more ».

The Building Act covers building work, but there are other laws that could affect your project. These include council bylaws, the Resource Management Act, and the laws specifying that certain plumbing, gas and electrical work must be done by qualified professionals.

Find out more about the Building Act.

The Building Code

The Building Code is an important document.

It is a set of regulations that define the performance standards buildings must meet, for example how strong an earthquake they must be able to withstand, or how much natural light there must be in a bedroom.

The Building Code sets minimum standards. You may decide to exceed those standards, but you cannot do less than the Building Code requires.

To ensure your project goes smoothly, it is important the person who draws your project plans understands the Building Code requirements and how to meet them, and that the builder builds the building outlined in the approved plans.

Councils have powers to require that property owners fix work not complying with the Building Code.

Find out more about the Building Code.

Who's who?

Building consent authorities


Your day-to-day dealings about building matters are likely to be with your builder, architect or project manager. You or they, depending on how much involvement you have chosen to have, will also work with your building consent authority (BCA) on the project. Most city and district councils are BCAs.

BCAs issue building consents, undertake inspections during construction and issue code compliance certificates, certifying that the finished work complies with the Building Code. They also issue notices to fix and compliance schedules.

BCAs charge a fee for these services. The fee depends on the BCA and the amount of work involved, but is generally set for the recovery of reasonable costs. It will be a small proportion of the cost of the whole building project and will provide assurance that the job has been done properly.

District and city councils


In addition to providing a BCA service (issuing building consents and undertaking inspections), councils have a range of other building-related responsibilities.

They keep records about all the properties in their area, issue project information memoranda and certificates of acceptance, monitor compliance schedules and follow up notices to fix.

Councils also have powers to address breaches of the Building Act. They can issue infringement notices or, in some circumstances, organise for remedial work to be done.

Department of Building and Housing


The Department of Building and Housing manages the system that regulates building work and monitors its effectiveness.

This includes reviewing the Building Code and producing documents to show how to comply with it. The Department also monitors the performance of district and city councils, and can investigate complaints.

If a dispute arises over compliance with the Building Code, or a decision made by a BCA (for example, about whether a building consent should be granted or not), either party can apply to the Department for a determination, which is a legally binding decision.

 

For further information and advice, you may call the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 116 926 from 8.30am to 5pm weekdays, or email  info@dbh.govt.nz

NZ Building Act and Code

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 08:52  in Technical Info
Department of Building and Housing

Department of Building and Housing

The Building Act 2004

The Building Act covers the construction, alteration, demolition and maintenance of new and existing buildings throughout New Zealand. It sets standards and procedures for building work to ensure buildings are built right first time. It ensures that:

  • people who use buildings can do so safely and without endangering their health
  • buildings have attributes that contribute appropriately to the health, physical independence, and well-being of the people who use them
  • people who use a building can escape from the building if it is on fire
  • buildings are designed, constructed, and able to be used in ways that promote sustainable development.

Glossary of Terms A-B

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 08:50  in Glossary of Terms
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Glossary of Terms A-B

Glossary of Terms A-B

Part 1 of the Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms C-D

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 08:40  in Glossary of Terms
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Glossary of Terms C-D

Glossary of Terms C-D

Part 2 of the Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms E-H

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 08:30  in Glossary of Terms
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Glossary of Terms E-H

Glossary of Terms E-H

Part 3 of our Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms I-N

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 08:20  in Glossary of Terms
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Glossary of Terms I-N

Glossary of Terms I-N

Part 4 of our Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms O-R

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 08:10  in Glossary of Terms
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Glossary of Terms O-R

Glossary of Terms O-R

Part 5 of our Glossary of Terms

O-R

Glossary of Terms S-W

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 08:00  in Glossary of Terms
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Glossary of Terms S-W

Glossary of Terms S-W

Part 6 of our Glossary of Terms -

S-W

Major changes arise from Building Act Review

Written by building4u  on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 12:08  in Building Code Updates
Major changes arise from Building Act Review

Major changes arise from Building Act Review

The Government is planning to make a number of changes to the laws governing building, as a result of the year-long review of the Building Act 2004.

 

The changes include new contracting and information disclosure requirements for residential building work, more exemptions from the need for a building consent, and future changes to the consenting system.

The Minister for Building and Construction Maurice Williamson says the planned changes set the scene for an efficient and productive sector that stands behind the quality of its work.

The changes form part of the Government's better building blue-print and sit alongside other initiatives to drive improvements in building quality, including the licensing of building practitioners and improved education about Building Code requirements and how to meet them.

The Department would like to acknowledge the Sector Reference Group for its input and advice.

Further information about the key changes can be found in the following articles, and on the Building Act review section of our website.

On this page:


New contract requirements for residential building work

 

Building contractors who are building new houses or doing major renovations or other projects in the residential sector will have to be ready to meet new contracting requirements from late next year.

'There are many good people doing good work in the sector, but the behaviour of some, and the weathertightness crisis, has dented confidence,' says Mr Williamson.

He says the planned changes to contracting requirements and supporting information are aimed at rebuilding confidence, by making it clearer to all parties what is expected and how any problems will be fixed. Under the new rules, it will become a legal requirement for building contractors to have a written contract in place with their clients for all residential projects over $20,000.

The building contractor could be an individual or a company, and the contract requirement will apply to work to construct, alter, repair, demolish or remove a building.

Every contract will have to include the already-existing warranties in the Building Act that require building work to be fit for purpose, meet the Building Code and be undertaken with reasonable care and skill (among other requirements).

The building contractor will be expected to fix any defects in their work that are reported within 12 months of completion, on top of the existing obligation to 'put things right' for up to 10 years (provided there has not been misuse or negligent damage by the consumer). At the same time, consumers will get more information about what maintenance they need to carry out and the importance of reporting any defects as quickly as possible.

New information disclosure provisions will also make it easier for consumers to make informed decisions about who they contract to carry out their building work.

The building contractor will have to give the consumer information before the contract is signed about the skills, qualifications and licence status of those who will do the work and any publicly available information about any disputes (for example the results of any court judgments). They will also have to disclose what, if any, surety or insurance backing they have, to cover the cost of fixing any faults.

Mr Williamson says these requirements are not that different from what many responsible contractors already do.

'Both the Certified Builders Association and the Registered Master Builders Federation have standard contracts and offer forms of surety for their members.'

'I would expect to see these changes resulting in any faults being fixed faster, and fewer disputes ending up in court.'

 


Changes to building consent process on horizon

 

The Government is signalling that it wants to make changes to the building consent system once other measures to provide more quality assurance are in place.

It plans to introduce a 'stepped' risk-based approach, where the amount of checking and inspection is directly aligned to the risk and complexity of the work and the skills and capability of the people doing the work.

'We can only do this once we can have confidence quality is being built in,' says Mr Williamson.

This planned approach is more conservative than the suggestions consulted on during the Building Act review.

The first step would be a stream-lined process for some low-risk work (such as a free-standing garage or large rural shed) that simply checks that certain conditions are met (for example the work is undertaken by a licensed building practitioner).

The next step would see a simplified and more prescribed consenting process for certain simple residential building work at the lower-risk end of the spectrum (such as a simple single-storey house built using proven methods and design with low structural and weathertightness risks). Existing consent and inspection requirements would continue for other residential work.

As part of this new risk-based approach, change is also on the cards for consenting for commercial buildings.

This would provide for reliance on third-party (non-building consent authority) review and quality assurance processes as an alternative to the current consenting and inspection requirements, provided certain conditions are met.

Mr Williamson says this new approach would reduce compliance costs by doing away with unnecessary checking and inspection, and would also provide incentives for builders and designers to get licensed and demonstrate their professionalism. However he says the Government is not prepared to compromise building quality and wants to see some pre-conditions in place before changing the consent system in this way.

In practice this means these changes will only come into effect once there is a strong base of licensed building practitioners, who show they understand the performance requirements of the Building Code and how to comply with them (mid-2012 at the earliest). It will also depend on new contracting arrangements for residential work being in place, and the results of monitoring of building quality.

Longer term, the Government is also looking at how it could make the building consent system more nationally consistent and efficient. This could be achieved through nationally consistent back office support and IT systems, in support of efficient local delivery.

An initial assessment found there was scope for significant efficiency gains. The Government now wants to develop a detailed, fully costed plan for how this might be achieved. Local government will be involved and the Government will receive a report by the end of March next year.

 


More work exempt

 

The Government is moving to exempt a broader range of building work from needing a building consent by adding to Schedule 1 of the Building Act.

The exact date depends on regulations being passed, but this is expected to happen later this year.

All exempt work must still meet the Building Code and other relevant regulations, such as the provisions of the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 2006 and the Electricity Act 2002, and district plan requirements.

The planned exemptions include:

  • replacement or alteration of internal wall and floor linings and finishes in a dwelling. This clarifies that linings are exempt but not the entire wall
  • lightweight stalls (eg, used at fairs and exhibitions)
  • fabric shade sails and associated structural supports that do not exceed 50 square metres in area (with limitations on matters such as the level on which the sails are installed and distance from a legal boundary)
  • installation, replacement or alteration of thermal insulation in existing buildings (excluding exterior walls and fire walls). This clarifies that retrofitting ceiling and underfloor insulation will not need a consent
  • penetrations with a maximum diameter of 300 mm (including associated weatherproofing, fireproofing and any other finishings) to enable the passage of pipes, cables, ducts, wires, hoses and the like through any existing building. This clarifies that for example a heat pump can be installed without needing a consent, although the wiring must be done by a registered electrician
  • signs and associated structural supports where the sign is no more than 3 metres high and the face area of the sign does not exceed 6 square metres
  • height restriction gantries (eg, a vehicle height warning in a car park)
  • private playground equipment used in association with a single household where no part of the equipment extends more than 3 metres above the ground.

Exempt if carried out in accordance with the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 2006:

  • replacement (including repositioning) of water heaters, except for systems that are not open-vented, have an uncontrolled heat source or a controlled heat source other than gas or electricity.

Exempt if carried out or designed by a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng):

  • signs and plinths
  • retaining walls in a rural zone that retain not more than 3 metres depth of ground with limitations on matters such as the distance from any legal boundary or any existing building
  • playground equipment installed in a public place for a government department, Crown entity (including a school), licensed early childhood centre or a local authority.

In addition, Schedule 1 will be amended to clarify the following existing exemptions.

  • Additions to clarify that the current exemption relating to internal walls does not include load-bearing or bracing element walls (ie, as originally approved by Cabinet in May 2008) or any part of a wall that is fire-rated or part of a specified system.
  • Increasing the height of exempted fences and hoardings from 2 m to 2.5 m and removing the term 'wall' from the same exemption as this is adequately covered by the term 'fence' and avoids potential for confusion with reference to walls that are part of another building.
  • Adding to the exemption for tanks and pools to allow a wider range of volume-height configurations than are currently provided for.
  • Increasing the size of marquees and tents for public events to 100 square metres (ie, the same as is currently allowed for private events).
  • Increasing the height of exempted decks, other platforms and bridges from 1 m to 1.5 m and adding the term 'boardwalks'.
  • Increasing the floor area of exempted porches and verandahs from 15 square metres to 20 square metres, adding carports to the same exemption and removing the requirement that the structure be over a deck or a patio.
  • Increasing the area of exempted awnings from 15 square metres to 20 square metres and adding the term 'canopies' to the same exemption.
  • adding to the existing exemption allowing alterations to sanitary plumbing the clarification that the exemption excludes water heaters (which are now covered by a separate exemption) and does not permit the total number of sanitary fixtures in a dwelling to be increased. 

 

For further information you may call the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 116 926 from 8.30am to 5pm weekdays, or email info@dbh.govt.nz

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Licenced Building Practitioner Requiremets for all Trades People - What you Need to Know and Do

Licenced Building Practitioner Requiremets for all Trades People - What you Need to Know and Do

The licenced building practitioners (LBP) scheme promotes, recognises and supports professional skill and behaviour in the building construction industry (Department of Building and Housing - Te Tari Kaupapa Whare)

Although voluntary, from March 1, 2012, any trades person wishing to partake in restricted building work (see below for details) needs to be licenced to do so. The scheme relates to competent individuals, not the companies or commercial entities that employ them, and is designed to encourage better practices in design and construction. If you are already licenced under an existing occupational scheme (e.g. engineers), you will automatically be treated as licenced under the corresponsing class in the LBP scheme for the puposes of carrying out restricted building work.