Archive | Building code

38 building compliance changes coming in a fortnight

28 acceptable solutions and 10 verification methods for complying with the Building Code have been amended and will take effect from 1 January.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment said 92 people submitted feedback during the consultation on the 28 amendments & 2 new acceptable solutions during July & August.

Which version of an acceptable solution or verification method to use when submitting a complete application for a building consent, and when:

  • Until 31 December 2016: use the existing version
  • 1 January-30 May 2017: use either the existing version or the newly published version; but D2/AS1 is extended to 6 August; from 7 August, only the amendment 7 version of D2/AS1 can be used as an acceptable solution
  • From 31 May 2017: use the newly published version (the existing version is no longer an acceptable solution or verification method); but D2/AS1 is extended to 6 August; from 7 August, only the amendment 7 version of D2/AS1 can be used as an acceptable solution.

Amendments have been made to the following documents:

B1 Structure: B1/AS1, B1/VM1, B1/VM4
B2 Durability: B2/AS1
C1-C6 Protection from fire: C/AS1 to C/AS7
D1 Access routes: D1/AS1, D1/VM1
D2 Mechanical installations for access: D2/AS1
E1 Surface water: E1/VM1
E2 External moisture: E2/AS3
E3 Internal moisture: E3/AS1
F2 Hazardous building materials: F2/AS1
F4 Safety from falling: F4/AS1
F6 Visibility in escape routes: F6/AS1
F8 Signs: F8/AS1
G2 Laundering: G2/AS1
G3 Food preparation and prevention of contamination: G3/AS1
G4 Ventilation: G4/AS1, G4/VM1
G10 Piped services: G10/AS1, G10/VM1
G11 Gas as an energy source: G11/AS1
G12 Water supplies: G12/AS1, G12/AS2, G12/VM1
G13 Foul water: G13/AS1, G13/AS2, G13/AS3, G13/VM2
G14 Industrial liquid waste: G14/VM1
H1 Energy efficiency: H1/AS1, H1/VM1.

The ministry has 2 more proposed acceptable solutions to publish, E2/AS4 torch-on membrane systems for roofs & decks and E3/AS2 internal wet area membranes, but said they require further development and won’t be published yet.

Attribution: Ministry release.

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2 new acceptable solutions & 32 Building Code changes proposed

The Government announced proposed changes to 32 Building Code compliance documents & 2 new acceptable solutions last week, which Building & Housing Minister Nick Smith said were intended to ensure standards keep pace with industry developments, best practice & new research.

Public consultation closes on Wednesday 31 August.

The 2 new acceptable solutions on waterproofing are for torch-on membrane systems for roofs & decks and for internal wet area membranes. The 32 amendments to existing acceptable solutions & verification methods include changes to the requirements for glass barriers, safety glass, foil insulation & slip resistance of walking surfaces.

Amendments are proposed to these documents:

B1 Structure: referenced standards, B1/AS1, B1/VM1, B1/VM4
B2 Durability: referenced standards, B2/AS1
C1-C6 Protection from fire: referenced standards, C/AS1-C/AS7
D1 Access routes: referenced standards, D1/AS1, D1/VM1
D2 Mechanical installations for access: referenced standards, D2/AS1
E1 Surface water: referenced standards, E1/VM1
E2 External moisture: referenced standards, introduce E2/AS4
E3 Internal moisture: referenced standards, E3/AS1, introduce E3/AS2
F2 Hazardous building materials: referenced standards, F2/AS1
F4 Safety from falling: F4/AS1
F6 Visibility in escape routes: F6/AS1
F8 Signs: referenced standards, F8/AS1
G2 Laundering: referenced standards, G2/AS1
G3 Food preparation & prevention of contamination: G3/AS1
G4 Ventilation: referenced standards, G4/AS1, G4/VM1
G10 Piped services: referenced standards, G10/AS1
G11 Gas as an energy source: referenced standards
G12 Water supplies: referenced standards, G12/AS1, G12/AS2
G13 Foul water: referenced standards, G13/AS1, G13/AS2, G13/AS3
G14 Industrial liquid waste: referenced standards
H1 Energy efficiency: referenced standards, H1/AS1, H1/VM1

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment has proposed that the amendments will be published on, and have an effective date of, 31 October. Existing acceptable solutions & verification methods would remain in force until 28 February 2017.

Dr Smith said: “The construction sector is growing at a phenomenal rate and building activity is at record levels. We need to ensure we maintain the standards of building work through this boom. These new & updated standards are part of our plan for addressing New Zealand’s housing challenges.”

“We need input from the public, particularly those in the building industry, so we can be sure the proposed revisions are workable & effective,” Dr Smith says.

“This is part of wider government work to bring about greater efficiencies in the building industry, including investing in a single website to improve access to, and compliance with, building regulations. The new website is expected to be ready early next year.

“We are lifting our investment in New Zealand’s building standards. We are also ensuring they are more accessible for those in the building industry, with the development of the ministry’s new building code website.”

Link: MBIE consultation, Amending acceptable solutions & verification methods

Attribution: Ministry & ministerial releases.

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Jennian executive pushes for WOF extensions

Published 17 October 2014
Jennian Homes Ltd business development manager Dave Wilson issued 2 challenges today: First, he said homeowners should have to upgrade their house to the current building code before being able to sell. Second, he said the Government should extend its warrant of fitness trial on state housing rentals to all New Zealand homes, again preventing compliance before sale.

Mr Wilson, Jennian’s Tauranga-based business development manager for 6 years, said: “Jennian has nothing to gain or profit from this. We see it as our social responsibility to drive any initiative that will result in New Zealanders living in safer, healthier homes.

“This is not about forcing rents up for the most needy – this is a requirement for landlords & homeowners wishing to sell, to invest in their houses. It will actually increase their value. The flow-on effect is that New Zealanders will have houses that are more healthy and far cheaper to run.

“As an industry we are building safer homes, protecting Kiwis. But new-build companies cannot protect people in older houses. It worries me houses as little as 15 years old now wouldn’t pass the code. That’s putting families at risk.”

Mr Wilson pointed to the high number of asthma sufferers in New Zealand, and the Enmergy Efficiency & Conservation Authority estimated that as many as 600,000 New Zealand houses had insufficient insulation.

The Government trialled a 49-point checklist this year on 500 state houses for a 3-year warrant of fitness. If the incoming government deems the trial a success, it will be extended to the entire housing stock. It’s estimated that would require about $9 million to achieve.

Attribution: Company release.

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Ministry proposes fire acceptable solutions changes

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment is seeking comment on 3 changes to acceptable solutions & the verification method for protection from fire and for backcountry huts.

The ministry said it had developed the changes to the acceptable solutions (C/AS1–7) & verification method (C/VM2) for protection from fire to provide practical solutions to remedy compliance issues that designers & councils were finding when they applied these documents to building designs.

Minor changes are proposed to the backcountry hut acceptable solution (BCH/AS1) to reflect changes made to the fire provisions of the Building Code in 2013.

This consultation closes on Friday 9 May.

Link: Acceptable solutions consultation

Attribution: Ministry release.

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Terms set for disabled building access review

Terms of reference & timeframes have been set for a review of building access for disabled people.

Building & Construction Minister Maurice Williamson and Disability Issues Minister Tariana Turia said on Monday the review would look at how the Building Act & Building Code’s provisions relating to access for people with disabilities were being implemented when buildings were first constructed or altered.

Mrs Turia said disabled people were saying buildings were still being built that weren’t accessible to them, which limited their opportunities for education, employment and other ways to contribute to, and participate in, the community.

Link: Review terms of reference

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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Guide on code requirements for retrofitting insulation

Published 31 August 2011

The Department of Building & Housing has published a guide on building code requirements for retrofitting insulation in external walls. It’s not a guide to retrofitting – NZ Standard 4246 covers the practical aspects of doing that.

The guide points out that retrofitting wall insulation requires a building consent, unless a council specifically exempts it: “The guide will help building consent authorities to decide whether wall insulation projects should be exempt from a building consent or to approve or decline applications for retrofitting wall insulation.”

Links: Retrofitting guidance

EECA, Standard for installing insulation

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Attribution: Departmental release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Building code change means stronger foundations in Canterbury

Published 20 May 2011

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said yesterday building code documents would be changed to increase the seismic hazard factor for Canterbury and to require stronger building foundations.

The Department of Building & Housing has decided to increase the seismic hazard factor for the design of all buildings by 35%, from 0.22 to 0.3, which it said was based on the best scientific & structural engineering advice available.

In addition, concrete floor foundations for housing will need to be tied & reinforced. This change was signalled in guidance on foundation repairs provided to the construction sector after the 4 September earthquake.

“These changes are likely to increase costs for new residential building work in the order of $2-9000/property, depending on the size of the house, the foundation option chosen and the state of the ground.

"Homes built in Christchurch will be required to have increased bracing & foundations and be more resistant to bowing or cracking. These changes will mean new buildings are constructed better to withstand any future severe earthquakes.”

The changes took effect yesterday in the 3 local body areas in greater Christchurch – Christchurch City, Waimakariri & Selwyn districts – but Mr Brownlee said the seismic hazard factor for buildings in much of Selwyn, closer to the Alpine fault, was already greater than 0.3.

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Attribution: Ministerial release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Timber treatment classification simplified

Published 16 March 2011

The Department of Building & Housing will introduce a simpler classification system for timber treatment on Monday 4 April, through amendment of acceptable solution B2/AS1.

The department said the new system retained the current level of consumer protection, improved some aspects and might reduce costs. The changes follow public consultation last September & October. It said submissions were overall strongly supportive of the proposals, which were adopted with little change but some clarification.

                             

The changes allow a single treatment class, H1.2, to be used for nearly all enclosed framing. The current system has as many as 4 classes of timber, including untreated timber, used to frame a house.

The H1.2 treatment class has a boron treatment: “Recent scientific research has shown that, for framing timber, H1.2 boron provides comparable protection against fungal decay to LOSP H3.1. In some parts of buildings, such as internal walls, the level of protection will increase. The changes apply only to radiata pine and Douglas fir, not to other species.”

There are 2 exceptions to the single treatment class:

Cantilevered deck joists & framing require a higher treatment class, H3.2, as cantilevered decks depend more critically on the strength of the timber to prevent collapse, andUntreated Douglas fir can be used for houses of a defined low-risk design. Douglas fir is more resistant to decay than untreated radiata pine, but not as resistant as treated radiata pine.

The department said a transition period of about 3 months would give industry time to adjust to the changes.  Both the current & new versions will apply as acceptable solutions for consenting purposes until 30 June.

Building & Construction Minister Maurice Williamson said this was the first of a number of changes to the building code & associated documents likely to be rolled out this year.

Link: Summary of key issues

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Attribution: Department & ministerial releases, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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