Codewords Issue 71

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24 March 2016

In this issue:

Welcome to the first issue of the new-look Codewords.

Codewords has been rebranded to align with the requirements of the new LBP skills maintenance scheme and published to coincide with the new-look a477.info website.

The website is the authoritative source of MBIE guidelines and operational information on building regulation. Our redevelopments will make it quicker and easier to access up-to-date information and to view on a smartphone or tablet. 

With improved access to advice and guidelines, more New Zealanders will be able to understand their rights and obligations – leading to safer, healthier, more durable buildings for everyone. 

In other Codewords news, LBP Registrar Paul Hobbs focuses on new asbestos regulations that come into force on 4 April 2016; the decision recently made by the Building Practitioners Board affecting all LBPs who issue Records of Work; and on the work that is almost complete on refining the competencies for brick and blocklaying, external plastering and design. We also feature a profile of LBP Harold (Harry) Taylor, who recently assisted with the rebuild in Nepal following the devastating April 2015 earthquake.

Also, the New Zealand Fire Service (NZFS) has developed a design guide for fire stations to meet Building Regulations requirements for fire safety (the C clauses). The NZFS will apply the design guide to develop specific designs (Alternative Solutions) for both new buildings and alterations to existing buildings. The guide is aimed at reducing the time and cost to develop fire designs, and ensuring quality fire designs that comply with the Building Regulations.

The Fire Programme has been tracking well and as we’ve made progress we’ve updated the programme plan, further details of which will be provided in the next Codewords. If you have any questions in the meantime, please email [email protected].

I hope the new-look Codewords and a477.info building website better meet your needs. We will continue to refine and develop the content we offer. If you have feedback on the website, email us at [email protected]

Until next time

Code and technical changes

Building.govt.nz website

We have redeveloped our website with improved content and made it quicker and easier to access information on building controls.

a477.info is the authoritative source of MBIE guidelines and operational information on building regulation.  As part of the redevelopment, we have checked content is up-to-date, improved navigation, enhanced the search capability across the site and regrouped guidance resources by Building Regulations clause or topic.

We have reorganised and revised information to help everyone to understand their rights and obligations within the building system. This will help building owners, designers and tradespeople to be better informed before they enter into contracts for building work or apply for a building consent.

Easier to use on a mobile or tablet device, the enhancements also provide an effective digital platform with more flexibility for us to keep up with changing technology. 

The website redevelopment is part of a wider objective to help people and the sector apply building controls as a matter of course, more accurately and confidently.  With improved access to advice and guidelines, more New Zealanders will be able to understand their rights and obligations – leading to safer, healthier, more durable buildings for everyone.

If you have feedback on the website email us at .

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MBIE issues fire design guidance for fire stations

The New Zealand Fire Service (NZFS) has developed a design guide for fire stations to meet Building Regulations requirements for fire safety (the C clauses).

NZFS will apply the design guide to develop specific designs (Alternative Solutions) for both new buildings and alterations to existing buildings.  The use of the design guide is aimed at reducing the time and cost to develop fire designs, and ensuring quality fire designs that comply with the Building Regulations.

The guidance describes how the design guide should be applied by designers and how State agreement should use it when considering building consent applications.

If you are a designer and have any questions about the design guides, please [email protected]

If you are a Building Consent Authority and have any questions about the design guides, please [email protected]

MBIE has been approached by other parties with specialist buildings about the possibility of developing a design guide, and will support the development of further guidance. For more information about this work, please email [email protected]

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Compliant lifts are easy to use for everyone

Many of us use lifts every day without thinking about their safety or how they operate. However, for someone who is visually impaired, using a lift can be challenging.

Requires building consent

Lift installation is building work and forms part of a building consent application to the Building Consent Authority (BCA).

Lift control requirements in Building Regulations Clause Mechanical Installations for Access D2.3.5 are summarised as follows:

  • Controls are easily identified and easily used
  • Notification that a call summoning the lift is registered
  • Notification that a lift has arrived and the direction of travel
  • Notification inside the lift of floor level.

The BCA needs to be satisfied that sufficient information is provided in the specification and design proposal that the proposed operating controls will comply with Clause D2.3.5.

Destination selection lifts

Many modern lifts installed are destination selection lifts. These have touch screens at each floor so don’t need destination selection buttons inside the lift. However, a touch screen doesn’t comply with D2.3.5 because it doesn’t enable tactile interaction, nor adequately notify that a call has been registered.  This may make the use of the lift challenging, particularly for people with a vision impairment.

Audible response solutions

There are various audible solutions with tactile activation available to supplement touch screens to make sure all people can use lifts easily. 

Destination selection lifts need to notify people a lift has arrived. This is usually done by lighting an identification sign over the relevant lift landing door an audible notification such as a bell tone.

Inside the lift, the floor location is usually displayed by numbers on a lit screen. Acceptable Solution D2/AS1 specifies ‘raised tactile numbers’ on the landing doors for people who cannot read the screen. Sometimes this is impractical, even for someone with good vision, if the lift is stopping at several floors. One solution is to have a voice announcing each floor. This method is helpful for all users, particularly when a lift is crowded with some people unable to see the display screen. Visual floor indication is still needed, though.

With modern electronic technology, ensuring lifts are Building Regulations compliant is not difficult or expensive and makes sure lifts are easy to use for everyone.

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Working with asbestos? Rules are changing

Rules changing on 4 April 2016.

Skills banner

Are you running a business (building, roofing, plumbing or demolition for example), with workers who remove asbestos as part of their job? Here’s a heads-up about upcoming changes to asbestos-related work.

Asbestos regulations are being updated to bring New Zealand into line with other countries. With more than 170 New Zealand workers dying each year from asbestos-related diseases, our work practices need to improve.

Under the new regulations, coming in on 4 April 2016, removing more than 10m2 of bonded asbestos (non-friable) in one job will require a licence. The licence will be issued by government health and safety agency WorkSafe New Zealand. Licences cannot be issued until 4 April, but WorkSafe is interested in hearing from potential licence holders now. This will help speed up the licensing process for your business.

New nationwide licensing system for asbestos removal

The new licensing system for asbestos-related work is aimed at ensuring people working with asbestos have the necessary skills and experience to keep themselves, and others, safe.

New licencesWhat asbestos can be removed?Who will need this licence?
Class A Any type or quantity of asbestos or asbestos containing material (ACM) including:
- Any amount of friable asbestos or ACM
Any amount of asbestos.
This is the licence you will need if you are removing any amount of friable (powdery or has potential to become powdery) asbestos.
Class B Asbestos contaminated dust or debris (ACD) associated with removing any amount of non-friable asbestos or ACM. This is the licence you will need if you are removing more than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos.
No licence required Up to and including 10m2 of non-friable asbestos or ACD associated with the removal of that amount of non-friable asbestos, cumulatively over the course of the removal project.

ACD that is not associated with the removal of friable or non-friable asbestos and is only a minor contamination.
 

What do I need to do?

Please register your interest with WorkSafe if your business is likely to require a ‘Class B asbestos licence’ next year. (You are not required to inform Worksafe about Class A licenses at the present time).

You can register using the . You’ll be asked for:

  • The name of your business
  • The size of your business (number of employees)
  • The type of business you operate (building, roofing etc)
  • The town or city your business operates in
  • Contact details.
  • Any amount of non-friable (bonded) asbestos or asbestos containing material

Find out more about the new rules for work involving asbestos, including indicative licensing fees, at

I have a Certificate of Competence for restricted asbestos work. What do I need to do?

If you have a current Certificate of Competence, you don’t need to do anything yet. Your certificate will allow you to work under the new asbestos regulations (under the categories listed on your certificate), until your certificate expires. At that point you will need to apply for one of the new licences or to work on another business’s licence.

WorkSafe will be writing to all Certificate of Competence holders about the new regulations in November.

Asbestos may be found in any of the following places:

  • Roofs
  • Ceilings
  • External cladding and eaves
  • Interior walls and finishes
  • Floors
  • Insulation and pipes
  • Flues and seals on wood burners
  • Fuse boards
  • Fences
  • Excavations (pipes)

Quiz: show-you-know

  1. Anyone removing 15m2 of non-friable asbestos containing material will need an asbestos removal licence from April next year. True or false?
  2. Which class of asbestos removal presents the greater risk, Class A (friable) or B (non-friable)?
  3. The new asbestos removal licences will be held by each individual person. True or false?
  4. If a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) applies for a Class B licence (to remove non-friable asbestos or ACM) on 4 April, it has six months to satisfy WorkSafe that its supervisors are competent. True or false?
  5. Only a licenced assessor may provide a clearance inspection for Class A removal work. True or false?

Link to where the answers can be found

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Asbestos answers

Anyone removing 15m of non-friable asbestos containing material will need an asbestos removal licence from April next year. True or false?

True.

If 10m or less of ACM is removed over the course of the whole project, this doesn’t require a licence. Greater than 10m will require a licence.

Which class of asbestos removal presents the greater risk, Class A (friable) or B (non-friable)?

Class A (friable).

Friable asbestos is powdery or has the potential to become powdery and be released into the air. Once breathed in such fibres may pass deep into the lungs, or, if swallowed, into the digestive tract. Once they are trapped in the body, the fibers can cause health problems.

The new asbestos removal licences will be held by each individual person. True or false?

False.

A Person Controlling a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) will apply for and hold the new licence. A self-employed individual can be a PCBU. 

If a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) applies for a Class B licence (to remove non-friable asbestos or ACM) on 4 April, it has six months to satisfy WorkSafe that its supervisors are competent. True or false?  

True, but the PCBU must have completed their application for a Class B licence to get the extra time.

Only a licenced assessor may provide a clearance inspection for Class A removal work. True or false?

False.

A ‘competent person’ may provide clearance for Class A removal work during the two-year transitional period starting from 4 April 2016. From April 2018 a licenced assessor must be used.

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LBP knowledge link

Registrar&039;s update

Welcome to my Registrar's update for March.

In this edition of LBP news, we feature articles on the new asbestos regulations that come into force on 4 April 2016. The new licensing system for asbestos-related work is aimed at ensuring people working with asbestos have the necessary skills and experience to keep themselves, and others, safe.

As this is an important (life-safety) message please note this will be the first mandatory reading material for all LBPs who have been notified they have transitioned into the new skills maintenance scheme. 

We also run a feature profile on Harry Taylor, one of our LBP assessors who recently travelled to Nepal to share his technical skills and building knowledge with those who were affected by the recent sequence of earthquakes there.

In other news, I am thrilled to advise that BRANZ’s Build magazine will soon be provided to all LBPs free of charge!  I see this as a significant decision that supports the LBP scheme and would like to thank BRANZ, and in particular the Board at BRANZ, for making this happen.  Over coming months all LBPs will be ‘opted-into’ the publication via the LBP register and Build will be sent to you without a subscription fee attached. Future editions of Build will also feature a limited number of LBP-specific articles from Codewords. These articles will represent the mandatory reading component of the new LBP skills maintenance scheme and will feature in the ‘Departments’ section of Build. The asbestos article noted above is an example of this. 

Why do this?

  • I see this as a massive value-add for LBPs as this is an authoritative building publication with great content 
  • LBPs can access a range of building-related skills maintenance content, which can service both the elective and mandatory skills maintenance requirements of the LBP scheme
  • Some LBPs have signalled they prefer reading a paper copy of their favoured publication and this provides that flexibility. LBPs are still encouraged to complete the entry of their skills maintenance online (in the LBP portal) as this is the one place where all skills maintenance requirements can be logged. The LBP portal model is user-friendly and largely monitors your progress for you. Make your life easier and use it!
  • BRANZ and LBPs will continue to collaborate on other initiatives so that LBPs are being provided with quality training and varied skills maintenance opportunities that are both relevant and easy to access.

Work is almost complete on refining the competencies for brick and blocklaying, external plastering and design. The Ministry has worked alongside a sector reference group and other interested parties to progress these competences to their near final form.  Most of the changes are of a minor technical nature. However, the Proprietary Plaster Cladding System (PPCS) plastering area of practice and the related competencies will move away from listing specific cladding substrates to a more generic approach that will include materials such as aerated concrete panel products.  A final round of consultation will be posted on the LBP website in due course.

Lastly, I hope the new-look Codewords and a477.info building website better meet your needs. We will continue to refine and develop the content we offer, and don’t forget to look out for future copies of Build. 

Until the next edition.

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LBP profile on Harold Taylor

The LBP Scheme has now been in operation for over eight years and a big reason behind its ongoing success is the professionalism of and hard work done by our LBP assessors.

For almost all applicants, the first point of after submitting their application is a phone call from an assessor who has been assigned to review the documents provided and carry out an assessment interview. The LBP assessor network consists of 28 assessors across New Zealand. All assessors have extensive backgrounds in the building and construction sector, with decades of on-the-job experience and technical knowledge under their belt.

In this issue of LBP Knowledge Link, we focus on one of our carpentry assessors Harold (Harry) Taylor. Harry was first appointed as an LBP assessor in 2007 and since then has carried out thousands of assessments. His area of expertise is within Carpentry and Site.

Harry’s experience of being an assessor has been overwhelmingly positive:

'I have greatly enjoyed my time interviewing referees and assessing builders and carpenters. The knowledge and experience that the New Zealand building industry has is outstanding.'

After completing a carpentry apprenticeship, Harry spent time at the Mt Cook village, building for the Government Tourist Hotel Corporation and recently travelled to Nepal to rebuild homes following the devastating April 2015 earthquake there.

'Starting my apprenticeship in the mountains kindled my interest in climbing, and after many years when I was asked for help in the Khunbu Valley in Nepal I responded to the challenge.

Foothills of Mt EverestFoothills of Mt Everest

'The offer to help rebuilding homes came from my friend John Gully, Managing Director of Everest Treks, who has been travelling to Nepal for 28 years. During this time, John has managed expeditions to the summit of Mt Everest, undertaken conservation and community work, and supported many poor families. There is a great need for help in that area due to the recent earthquakes and the devastating impact on people’s homes there.

Local workers erect stone wallLocal workers erect stone wall

'During my stay at the Khunde village I was impressed with the resilience of the Sherpa people and their ability to do building work from dusk till dawn at altitudes higher than the top of Mt Cook.

Onsite crafting of timber framesCrafting timber frames onsite

'My role was to advise and teach the local people on our New Zealand building methods and trade practices, including foundation work, adding steel to bond beams and timber-framed construction.

'The work is currently on hold due to it being the middle of winter there, but we will travel back to Khunbu Valley in late April to complete the project. I would like to invite all of you LBPs that have not been there to come and lend a hand. I can assure you it will be an experience to remember for the rest of your life.'

Harry Taylor and John Gully in Khumbu ValleyHarry Taylor and John Gully in Khumbu Valley

There are many and varied ways of assisting with disaster relief effort in Nepal. Some of these include donating online, fundraising, or volunteering and sharing your skills as Harry has done.

In addition to his volunteering experience Harry brings a lifetime of building experience and knowledge to the LBP Scheme, including his previous roles as President for the Nelson Registered Master Builders. He was also the regional gold winner of the House of the Year, Builders Own Home category in 2006.

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Know your stuff: For the record

The Building Practitioners Board recently made a decision affecting all LBPs who issue Records of Work (RoW) forms with respect to how the RoWs should be used. This article covers the major points from that decision as well as seven common questions relating to RoWs.

Building code clause logos

The requirement to provide a record of work (RoW) has been in place for many years now (since March 2012). However, some LBPs still seem to struggle with their understanding of when this form is required to be completed, who it should be provided to, and what their key obligations are in respect of this record.

The Building Practitioners Board recently made a decision affecting all LBPs who issue RoWs. The decision covers how RoWs should be used. In order to give a brief refresher and to make everyone’s life easier, this article covers the major points from that decision. The Board decision covered seven common questions relating to RoWs.

Who must provide a RoW?

Each and every LBP must provide a RoW on the completion of Restricted Building Work (RBW) they have undertaken. Even if someone else is in charge, if you’re an LBP you must provide a RoW for your work if it is RBW.

What is a RoW for?

A RoW ensures people involved with work can be identified by the owner and the council, but it does not create any liability other than what already existed without a RoW.

On completion of RBW

Even if the overall job is not complete, if you’ve finished your work onsite or will not be going back, you still need to provide a RoW. The Board suggests that “sooner rather than later” is a good approach, and even if you’re in a dispute with another party, you still have to provide a RoW.

How soon after completion of RBW?

The Board decided that you need to provide the RoW “a short time” after you complete your work. There’s no exact rule, but “sooner rather than later” is a great approach. You can’t wait until someone asks you to provide one, be proactive! And remember, you can now complete these forms online at the LBP portal www.lbp.govt.nz . New electronic forms were released (for use in the portal) late last year and thousands of LBPs have already utilised the online forms to complete their paperwork easily.

How much detail is required?

Enough detail is needed that if someone else picked it up they would understand what work you did. It is also good to be able to show what work you did not do if a dispute were to arise.

Who must a RoW be provided to?

The law says you must provide it to the owner of the property and the local council. If the owner has appointed an agent (like a designer or architect), you could give it to them unless the owner asks for it directly. However, it is still a LBP's responsibility to ensure both parties receive a copy on completion of the RBW.

Good reasons for not providing a RoW

There’s only been one case where the Board agreed there was a good reason for not providing a RoW, and that was where the LBP’s boss was trying to get him to provide RoW for work he did not do or supervise. So it is pretty rare that someone has a “good excuse”, and the Board has said many times that payment disputes are not good reasons!

So there you have it, some really good things to keep in mind about RoWs. If you want to read the Board decision, you can look on our website ( and search for decision number C2-01170 (the names of the people involved have been removed from the decision).

Keep up the good work!

Quiz Questions – show-you-know
 

1. All LBPs who carry out RBW have to provide a RoW for work that they have done, even if they are not the boss or foreman. True or False?

2. What does the law mean when it says “on the completion”?

  1. The very second you put your hammer down.
  2. When the owner applies for Code Compliance Certificate.
  3. When you’ve finished your work onsite and probably won’t be going back.

3. How long after you finish your work should you give your RoW to the owner and the council?

  1. Never
  2. Sooner rather than later
  3. Wait at least three months

4. Not being paid is a good excuse to not give anyone a RoW. True or False?

5. A RoW does not make you liable for the work you have done unless you were already liable for the work. True or False?

Link to the answers

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Answers to Know your stuff

Quiz questions and answers

1. All LBPs who carry out Restricted Building Work (RBW) have to provide a Record of Work (RoW) for work that they have done, even if they are not the boss or foreman. True or False?

True.

Each and every LBP must provide a RoW on the completion of RBW they have undertaken. Even if someone else is in charge, if you’re an LBP you must provide a RoW for your work if it is RBW.

2. What does the law mean when it says “on the completion”?

  1. The very second you put your hammer down.
  2. When the owner applies for Code Compliance Certificate.
  3. When you’ve finished your work on site and probably won’t be going back.

3. How long after you finish your work should you give your RoW to the owner and the council?

  1. Never.
  2. Sooner rather than later.
  3. Wait at least three months.

4. Not being paid is a good excuse to not give anyone a RoW. True or False?

False. There’s only been one case where the Board agreed there was a good reason for not providing a RoW, and that was where the LBP’s boss was trying to get him to provide RoW for work he did not do or supervise. The Board has said many times that payment disputes are not reason enough for not giving someone a RoW.

5. A RoW does not make you liable for the work you have done unless you were already liable for the work. True or False?

True. A RoW ensures people involved with work can be identified by the owner and the council, but it does not create any liability other than what already existed without a RoW.

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Recent determinations

Recent Determinations

Summary of Determinations issued in 2015.

Overview

The total number of applications continues to reflect the decrease in determination applications being received for legacy1 building work since the peak of 2004-2010. However, this is being offset by a greater number of applications received involving other issues, lifting “non-legacy” determinations to numbers significantly higher than pre-2004 levels and continuing to trend upward.

The issues covered by determinations are becoming increasingly broad and complex, with a larger proportion dealing with legal or technical matters that are significant or novel.

Hot topics

Canterbury earthquake sequence – ongoing.

Determinations issued involving matters arising directly as a result of the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence made up four of the 85 determinations in 2015. Topics involved the issuing of dangerous building notices relating to geotechnical hazards (in one case the failure to issue such a notice), with the remainder concerning compliance with the Building Regulations of repair2 to earthquake damaged houses or the extent to which compliance was required.

Earthquake-prone building notices – new

2014 and 2015 have seen four applications made in respect of councils issuing earthquake-prone building notices. In the two 2014 cases the decision of the councils to issue the notice was reversed. The reasons for reversal were case-dependent, however, an analysis of the engineering assessments and the councils’ earthquake-prone building policies were commonly undertaken.

It is anticipated that this topic will continue to feature in the coming year as Councils implement their earthquake-prone building policies and more notices are issued and disputed by owners. In addition, it is anticipated that the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill3 will be passed in 2016, though there is likely to be a lag before disputes arising from the application of the new Regulations come to determination.

Whether a vehicle is a building - new

Three determinations were made in 2015 that involved the interpretation of “building” under section 8(1)(b)(iii), which includes vehicles that are immovable and occupied on a permanent or long-term basis.  The determinations have established a method of analysis to assist councils in making this decision; however, given a growing interest in small and “tiny houses"4 and an increase in the manufacture of relocatable houses it is likely that more applications on this issue will be received in the coming year.

Fire safety – ongoing

Two applications involved establishing the extent of compliance required when the building work was an alteration to an existing building.

In 2014, three applications turned on which was the correct Risk Group that would apply; no new applications were received in 2015 that centred on this issue. Two determinations were made in 2015 that involved material groups and whether a modification to the Building Regulations could be granted. The determination granted a modification in both cases.

Significant and novel issues

Significant and novel issues often arise in determinations when the methodology for establishing compliance is unclear or a council has taken the view that an alternative solution does not comply with the Building Regulations.

Topics that have arisen in determinations issued in 2015 included:

  • The application of importance levels in the seismic loading standard AS/NZS 1170 as a means of compliance with B1/VM1. (2015/059)
  • The assessment required under section 115 when there is a change of use to only part of a building, particularly how the phrase “the building, in its new use” in section 115 applies and in respect of Building Regulations clause B1 Structure. The determination also considered information provided by way of an Initial Seismic Assessment (ISA) in relation to that assessment, and the separate functions performed by authorities under section 112 and section 115. (2015/070)
  • Whether separate residential units within one structure can be considered three separate buildings for the purpose of section 100, and whether a compliance schedule is required for lifts serving the residential units that are located within three-dimensional freehold titles. (2015/074)
  • The acoustic performance of apartment entry doors to a retirement village building (2015/004), and whether a building used as retirement care can be classed as “specialised accommodation” for the purpose of granting a modification in respect of acoustic performance (2015/007)
  • Whether there is evidence currently available that would indicate whether asphalt shingles used as part of a rainwater harvesting system will leach contaminants or
  • particulates to an extent that would make the collected water unsuitable for human consumption (2015/056)
  • The means by which compliance with Clause B2.3.1 could be established for laminated veneer lumber CCA treated in accordance with AS1111.4:2012 and used as structural framing members in situations where hazard class H3.2 or less would be used. (2015/079)
  • The likelihood of damage to an adjacent property from additional load in relation to an underground water system (spring / puna). (2015/052)
  • Compliance of proposed wall and roof repairs in respect of interstitial condensation, taking into account the expected occupancy of the units and factors affecting ventilation, the site and location, the past history of damage to the buildings, and the provisions proposed for reducing the risk of condensation. (2015/057)

Historical context and trends
Applications received and processed

Graph showing determination applications 2015

2015 saw a slight lift from the previous year, with 100 applications processed (2014: 75) and 85 determinations issued (2014: 65).

Legacy determinations

The number of applications dealing with legacy building work appears to be starting to plateau after trending downward from the 2004-2010 peak. In 2015, 27 out of 85 determinations issued (32 per cent) were legacy determinations. No applications were made specifically for durability modifications and no durability modifications were made as part of any determination decisions, signalling that this issue is largely being dealt with directly by councils. (See the following for a breakdown of legacy categories.)

Legacy and non-legacy determinations

Principle categories5  – breakdown for 2015

Legacy categories 2015no.%
>Weathertightness 22 26
Weathertightness (remedial work - legacy) 1 1
Durability (modification) 0 0
Building Certifier 3 4

Non-legacy categories

In the categories other than legacy, a significant proportion of the determinations issued in 2015 involved disputes regarding compliance with the Building Regulations, either how to establish compliance or whether building work that had been done was compliant.
Fire safety was a prominent single issue this year with determinations used as a means by which the industry could gain clarity on the use and interpretation of the compliance documents (the Acceptable Solutions C/AS1 to C/AS7 effective from July 2012) and the extent to which buildings being altered must comply.

Code Clause 
Multiple/various clauses 10
B1 – Structure *8
B2 – Durability (timber) 2
C – Fire Safety 7
C– Fire Safety - single means of escape 1
E2 – Weathertightness (cladding/not legacy) 6
F4 – Pool Safety 4
E1 – Surface water (nuisance) 1
Total 41

* Three of the B1 Structure determinations related to repairs resulting from damage caused by the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence.

The remaining categories for which determinations were issued in 2015 are as follows:

Building Controls process 6
Dangerous building 3
Earthquake-prone building 2
Building Act Interpretation 7
Natural Hazards 2

Notes:

  • The principle category “Building Controls Process” previously included notices issued under section 124 for dangerous, insanitary, affected, or earthquake-prone buildings. Given that councils are now issuing more of these notices and consequently more applications are being received when the notice is disputed, these are now being recorded separately.
  • Building Controls Process remained proportionately high, with half of these relating to alterations and disputes regarding the extent to which the building work and the building after the alteration is required to comply.
  • Three of the six determinations involving interpretation of the Building Act related to a dispute as to whether structures that the owners considered were vehicles fell within the definition of a building under the Building Act. It is expected that more applications of this nature will be received in 2016.
  • While no disability access-related determinations were issued in 2015, one application was received for access to a pool and it is anticipated this will be issued early in 2016.

Parties involved: The applicants

Eight-two per cent of all applicants for determinations issued in 2015 were the owner of the subject building, seven per cent were the council, nine per cent were LBPs involved with the building work, and one per cent (one application) was from a neighbour.


Footnotes:

1. The term ‘legacy’ is used to refer to determinations that involve dwellings consented under the Building Act 1991 and for which no code compliance certificate was obtained. The common issues for these types of determinations are weathertightness concerns, involvement of building certifiers, and modifications of the durability clause B2.3.1

2. This included repairs that had already been carried out and proposed repairs, and building work that was carried out under Schedule 1 without building consent being obtained.

3. The changes including varying the timeframes for identifying and strengthening earthquake-prone buildings dependent on the seismic risk of the area, reducing the scope of buildings to which it applies, prioritising some buildings, and requiring earlier upgrades when substantial alterations are undertaken.

4. The tiny house or small house movement is a description for the architectural and social movement that advocates living in small homes.  The distinction in size is generally less than 93m2 (a “small house”) and less than 37m2 (a “tiny house”).

5. Individual determinations may (and often do) deal with issues across more than one code clause or section of the Act.  For classification purposes, each determination is recorded under a single ‘principle category’ that best represents the main issue to be resolved.

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Previous issues

About Codewords: Our Codewords newsletter is published six times a year. It will keep you up to date on the latest regulatory and related information for the building and construction industry.

Codewords issues are available for two years after their publish date. If the issue you are looking for is older, please us.

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