Archive | Certification

Support grows for steel fabricators’ certification scheme

Steel Construction NZ says local structural steel fabricators are showing strong support for the quality assurance scheme the industry launched a year ago, steel fabricator certification.

Manager Alistair Fussell said yesterday 16 firms had achieved certification and 17 more were lining up to go through the process.

Industry bodies Steel Construction NZ & the Heavy Engineering Research Association developed the certification scheme, based on the European system, to distinguish the work of local members from imported prefabricated steelwork.

Mr Fussell said: “As with many construction materials, the current compliance regime for structural steelwork relies, for the most part, on self-inspection & self-certification. This approach is dependent on the expertise, ethics & quality systems of the fabricator, and on the knowledge & expertise of engineers & welding inspectors to assess if the steel supplied is compliant.

“The steel fabricator certification scheme provides independent expert certification of New Zealand fabrication companies to ensure they have the appropriate personnel & procedures to consistently produce work of the required quality.

“Booming construction activity, particularly in Christchurch & Auckland, has led to rising demand for all materials, including structural steel. However, there have been cases of imported steelwork with missing paperwork, or where the steelwork does not meet the required specification, leading to costly project delays.

“Steel fabricator certification, on the other hand, provides procurers & specifiers such as engineers, architects & contractors with more certainty of product quality and significantly reduces compliance risk.”

The latest additions to the ranks of certified fabricators were awarded their certificates at the Steel Innovations conference in Auckland yesterday: Calder Steward Steel, Milton; Culham Engineering Company, Whangarei; George Grant Engineering, Papakura; Grayson Engineering, Wiri; Integrated Maintenance Group, Waiuku; Pegasus Engineering, Rolleston, Christchurch; Pinnacle Steel, Dunedin; and Waikato Steel Fabricators, Hamilton.

Link: Steel Construction NZ

Earlier story:
30 September 2014: Steel fabricators create certification to distinguish local work

Attribution: Company release.

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Ranui building practitioner loses licence – and MBIE disclosure is pathetic

Bankrupt Ranui carpenter David Gillanders has had his building practitioner licence cancelled after the Building Practitioners Board upheld 2 complaints heard in October.

The board’s decision came to light through the Codewords newsletter of the Ministry of Building, Innovation & Employment’s building & housing section this month.

The newsletter said the complaints revolved around negligent or incompetent work, the responsibilities of a practitioner who becomes licences part-way through a project, and failure to complete projects through personal financial difficulties which led to failure to pay sub-trades, and ultimately insolvency.

The board cancelled Mr Gillanders’ licence and directed that he may not apply to be relicensed for 3 years. He was also ordered to pay fines & costs.

The Codewords newsletter directed inquiries to the board’s decisions page, but the website listed neither of the Gillanders complaints. According to the newsletter, the board ordered publication of Mr Gillanders’ name, though it seems to have done this only through its own newsletter.

The newsletter said the board found Mr Gillanders demanded payments when he had no intention of completing the work and honouring the responsibilities of a building practitioner who becomes licensed part-way through a project.

A further check of the ministry website – entering the name of the builder in an online register search – discloses nothing on Mr Gillanders. The website offers the search facility to find a licensed building practitioner, check that a person is licensed, to view a person’s licence history or to find out if a licensed building practitioner has been disciplined in the last 3 years.

Mr Gillanders’ name was ordered to be removed from the register. As a person who’s no longer licensed, neither he, nor his penalty nor the reason for the decision appears on the register despite the search pointers.

Mr Gillanders put Complete Building Solutions (Auckland) Ltd (as corporate trustee of the CBS Trust) into voluntary liquidation in May 2012, and 2 other companies in which he had an interest went into voluntary liquidation in July 2012.

They were D&N Trustee Ltd (Nichole Gillanders & Stuart Wards directors, Mr Gillanders the shareholder and a former director) & Lake Road Electrical Ltd (Mr Wards the director, D&N Trustee the shareholder).

D&N Trustee owed $195,000 at liquidation. The only asset realised, $4000 of gst refunds, went to liquidators’ fees & disbursements.

Mr Gillanders was director and a shareholder of Pinnacle Construction Auckland Ltd, incorporated in May 2012 and removed from the register on 20 October 2014.

He was adjudicated bankrupt on 20 June 2013.

He was a director & shareholder of family company Nu Look Aluminium Kumeu Ltd (later named Huia Holdings Ltd), but resigned in 2004.

Attribution: Ministry newsletter, ministry web pages, Companies Register, U column.

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Auckland Council passes consent authority audit

Published 6 November 2014
International Accreditation NZ has recommended that Auckland Council continue to be accredited as a registered building consent authority without raising any corrective action requests.

Auditors from the accreditation authority, acting for the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, made their recommendation after the scheduled 2-yearly audit of council consenting, inspection & certification functions.

The council’s building control manager, Ian McCormick, said on Tuesday the huge steps the building control team had taken over the last 2 years to improve its service had impressed the auditors. They noted much improved processes, systems & record keeping.

Mr McCormick said one of the significant challenges the team faced was upskilling many technical staff to match new ministry requirements for tertiary level technical qualifications.

“This achievement is the result of a great team effort, with people working hard to support their colleagues, leading training sessions and staff studying after hours to obtain the qualifications required.”

He said the department had managed a 13% increase in residential building consent applications, as well as providing support to the Christchurch recovery effort.

Attribution: Council release.

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Steel fabricators create certification to distinguish local work

New Zealand structural steel fabricators have created a certification scheme to distinguish themselves from imported prefabricated steelwork.

It’s based on the package the locals can offer, of fabrication, appropriate personnel & quality management systems.

Steel Construction NZ manager Alistair Fussell said yesterday the steel fabricator certification scheme, launched last week, would ensure participating fabricators not only manufacture product to the specified quality standard, but that they have the rest of the package – staff & management systems – in place & demonstrating international best practice.

Mr Fussell said structural steel fabrication in New Zealand “is pretty much a value-add industry because we don’t have steel-making”, but some fabricated steelwork – drilled, punched & cut to length – had appeared on some Christchurch projects.

“As with other construction materials, the current compliance regime for structural steelwork relies, for the most part, on self-inspection & self-certification. We’re saying we’ll give our clients a mark of quality. This new scheme raises the bar by providing independent, expert certification of New Zealand fabrication companies.

“The recent boom in construction activity, centred on Christchurch & Auckland, has seen an increase in the amount of imported prefabricated steelwork entering New Zealand. However, there have been cases where paperwork has been missing or the steelwork does not meet the required specification, leading to costly project delays.

“The certification scheme, on the other hand, provides procurers & specifiers such as engineers, architects & contractors with certainty of product quality and significantly reduced compliance risk.”

Steel Construction NZ and the Heavy Engineering Research Association developed the scheme. They based it on the European system, which is part of the CE marking regulatory environment for products sold in the European economic area and represents international best practice.

The initial group of steel fabricators certified under the scheme are: Chapman Engineering, Christchurch; D&H Steel Construction, Auckland; Eastbridge, Napier; Jensen Steel Fabricators, Mt Maunganui; John Jones Steel, Christchurch; MJH Engineering, Lower Hutt; Red Steel, Napier; and Whakatiki Engineering, Upper Hutt.

Attribution: Steel Construction NZ release, phone interview.

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New disclosure rules written for builders

Builders will be subjected to a new set of disclosure rules from 1 January 2015.

The new rules will require them to have written contracts, provide information on their relevant skills, experience & qualifications and disclose their insurance & warranty cover for residential building work valued at over $30,000.

Building & Construction Minister Nick Smith, announcing the rules yesterday, said: “We need to improve how building work is contracted in New Zealand to ensure better quality work, improved affordability & fewer disputes.

“We need to replace a ‘she’ll be right’ with a ‘doing it right’ culture, with increased professionalism, open disclosure & clear expectations about what work is to be done, at what price and in what timeframe.

“It is very encouraging to see the huge growth in building activity to reach their highest rates in a decade, but it is in these buoyant times when the risks are greatest for cutting corners and compromising quality. These requirements will reinforce the good practice of many building repairers while constraining cowboys only interested in making a quick buck.

“The new requirements were approved by Cabinet on Monday and were made under part 4A of the Building Act amendments made in 2013.”

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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Waitakere gets consent authority status

Published 17 March 2008

Waitakere City Council has been accredited as a building consent authority.

 

Planning & regulatory committee chairman Vanessa Neeson said: “As every council in New Zealand knows, being a consent authority brings with it the responsibility of maintaining standards as we continue to monitor, review & improve our performance. This project was achieved by the team while continuing ‘business as usual’.

 

“The thorough work by the council last year to gear up for BCA status has established even better systems of record-keeping & information-storage practices to give a clear audit trail of how we, as a BCA, have dealt with consent applications, inspections & issue code compliance.

 

“In terms of customer relationships we know we are getting better when we hear the range of compliments from clients who are impressed with the higher standard of service from our very professional, hardworking staff.

 

“We will continue to refine our BCA practice through smarter use of electronic & business processes.”

 

As an accredited authority, the council can deliver assurances regarding the robustness of the building consent process to ratepayers. Cllr Neeson said it was meeting the 20-day statutory consent timeframe in 89% of cases.

 

The Government established the Building (Accreditation of Building Consent Authorities) Regulations 2006 as a result of the leaky buildings issue. Cllr Neeson said these regulations were very strict and councils wanting to continue issuing building consents had to massively restructure their consent processing procedures & requirements.

 

“Obtaining BCA status is a terrific achievement. Staff have worked extremely hard to establish better practice in design, regulatory control & construction of buildings in Waitakere.

 

“It means people wanting building consents need to pay very close attention to the detail of their plans. However, those that prepare well will find it delivers a better quality of service to the builder and a better protection to the buyer & other ratepayers.”

 

Want to comment? Email [email protected].

 

Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for The Bob Dey Property Report.

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Shore council registered as consent authority

Published 29 January 2008

North Shore City Council is the eleventh council to be registered by the Department of Building & Housing as a building consent authority.

 

All 85 councils around the country have to be accredited & registered by June, or to have transferred their building control functions to an accredited & registered building consent authority.

 

Want to comment? Click on The new BD Central Forum or email [email protected].

 

Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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More councils register to process consents

Published 20 January 2008

The Department of Building & Housing has registered 6 more councils as building consent authorities after accreditation by International Accreditation NZ, taking the total registered to 13.

 

The latest batch includes North Shore & Auckland City Councils. Papakura District Council has been accredited, registration to come, and more accreditations are immiment.

 

The Building Consent Authority accreditation & registration scheme is among Building Act 2004 reforms aimed at ensuring buildings are built right first time. It focuses on strengthening the building process at the consent processing, inspection & approval stages.

 

All the country’s 85 councils must be accredited & registered as building consent authorities by 30 June 2008 or have transferred their building control functions to an accredited & registered building consent authority, which 9 currently intend doing.

Website: Register of building consent authorities

 

Earlier story:

26 October 2007: Rodney first in region to get new consent accreditation

 

Want to comment? Click on The new BD Central Forum or email [email protected].

 

Attribution: DBH release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Rodney first in region to get new consent accreditation

Published 26 October 2007Rodney District Council says it’s leading the way in the Auckland region by being the first council to be accredited as a building consent authority.

Council customer services director Geoff Mears said the purpose of the accreditation was to ensure buildings are designed, built & inspected correctly the first time. It follows the leaky building issue and is designed to lift the standards & performance of building control functions in local government.

“The accreditation means Rodney District Council has demonstrated its policies, processes, systems & staff resources meet the high standards set by the Department of Building & Housing. Achieving the accreditation was the result of several months of intensive work by the building control team.

“This very time-consuming & specialist project was achieved by the team while delivering ‘business as usual’, so it was an excellent effort all round…..

“In today’s world with new technologies, it’s unfair to rely on the builder to have all the skills & knowledge to ensure the integrity of the building.”

Want to comment? Click on The new BD Central Forum or email [email protected].

Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Rules for first building practitioner licences released

Published 1 August 2007

Building & Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove has announced the rules for the licensing of building practitioners – a new regime aimed at raising building quality standards and ensuring that people working in the sector are competent & accountable.

 

The licensed building practitioner (LBP) scheme will start being rolled out from 1 November, initially on a voluntary basis.

 

Mr Cosgrove said: “Licensing will promote & recognise professional skills & behaviour in the building industry. The writing is now on the wall for the cowboy operators.

 

“The public will have increased confidence in the building sector, knowing that the LBPs either doing or supervising the work on homes & buildings will do a professional job. In time this will translate to an overall raising of quality standards, as we rebuild a world-class building & construction sector in this country.”

 

7 categories of licence take effect from November on a voluntary basis – carpentry; site 1, 2 & 3; and design 1, 2 & 3. The levels of licence are linked to the complexity of the building work or the role being undertaken. People who can apply for these licences include designers, builders, site supervisors, construction managers & carpenters.

 

6 more categories of licence will be added next year. These licences will apply to external plasterers, roofers, bricklayers & blocklayers and specialists in concrete structure, steel structure & building services.

 

Schedules to the rules detail minimum standards or competencies for each licence class and describe the skills, knowledge & experience people will have to demonstrate to become licensed. For example, to get a carpentry licence, carpenters will need to show skills ranging from planning & scheduling their work, through to demonstrating that they can set out & construct floors, walls & roof frames and install, finish & make weathertight exterior joinery.

 

Assessors will determine if applicants meet the required standard of competency by examining their documentation and through face-to-face interviews and other interactive methods.

 

Mr Cosgrove said having a formal qualification was not mandatory for obtaining a licence, and skilled people with a good track record should not have any trouble meeting the criteria. He said licensing meant people in the building sector were going to have their expertise formally recognised, in many cases for the first time.

 

“Professions such as plumbers, electricians, architects & engineers, and those with trade certificates already had formal qualifications through their occupational groupings. But many others who are responsible for important aspects of building design & construction had not had the opportunity to have their skills formally recognised. Licensing means they can finally get the recognition they deserve.”

 

People without licences will still be able to work in the building industry, but from November 2010 some specific restricted work will need to be supervised or done by a licensed person.

 

Mr Cosgrove said he wanted again to reassure home-handymen that the do-it-yourself tradition would be protected under the licensing scheme, and they would still be able to do DIY work, including building a standard, straightforward house from scratch or adding on a room. Options to ensure future house buyers know if a house was built by an LBP or a DIYer are being looked at.

Application packs will be available from 1 October for the first licences and processing of them will begin on 1 November.

 

The Department of Building & Housing website has a copy of the 49-page Licensed Building Practitioners Rules 2007 document.

 

Website: Department of Building & Housing

 

Want to comment? Click on The new BD Central Forum or email [email protected].

 

Attribution: Ministerial release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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