Different ways to comply with the Building Regulations

Last updated: 21 March 2015

Flexibility is a key advantage of a performance-based Building Regulations. You are not required to use named products or designs. You can also benefit from developments and innovation in building design, technology and systems.

Acceptable Solutions, Verification Methods and alternative solutions

The Building Regulations states, in general terms, how the completed building must perform in its intended use. It does not tell you how to do it. You can demonstrate Building Regulations compliance through different means.

One means of demonstrating compliance is to follow an Acceptable Solution or Verification Method. MBIE publishes Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods, but it is not mandatory to use them.

Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods provide information about materials, construction details and calculation methods. If followed, they must be accepted by a BCA (usually the council) as complying with the related Building Regulations provisions.

  • Acceptable Solutions – specific construction methods, some for simple residential buildings, that when followed are deemed to comply with the Building Regulations.
  • Verification Methods – methods of testing, calculations and measurements that when followed are deemed to comply with the Building Regulations.

Many buildings, particularly more complex projects or renovations, rely on alternative solutions to demonstrate compliance with clauses of the Building Regulations. This is where all, or part, of the building design differs from an Acceptable Solution or Verification Method, and other means are used to show how building work still complies with the Building Regulations.

There are other paths that, if followed, must also be accepted by a BCA as showing how building work will comply with the Building Regulations. 

Product certification

Product certification is a voluntary scheme, under which we issue certificates to show that a building product or system meets the requirements of the Building Regulations. A certified product or construction method must be accepted by any BCA as complying with the Building Regulations, as long as it is used as specified.

NZS 4121 Design for Access and Mobility

BCAs must also accept building work that follows NZS 4121 Design for Access and Mobility - Buildings and Associated Facilities as complying with the Building Regulations. Section 119 of the Building Act 2004 specifies that NZS 4121 is to be taken as an Acceptable Solution.

New Zealand Standard NZS 4121:2001 – Design for access and mobility: buildings and associated facilities [PDF]

Copyright statement: Access to NZS 4121:2001 Design for access and mobility: Buildings and Associated Facilities is permitted by Standards New Zealand under Copyright Licence 001096. Any proposed use of content from NZS 4121:2001 in any format or media must be the subject of a copyright request, in writing, to [email protected]

Energy work certificates

Energy work certificates show that certain electricity and gas work is carried out by qualified and licensed people, and also demonstrates compliance with the Building Regulations to BCAs.


BCAs must accept any determinations we make on a particular case as binding in relation to the rules that apply to buildings, how buildings are used, building accessibility, health and safety. The decisions they provide can be used by councils and others as a guide when faced with a similar problem, but it is important to note they are only binding for the case in question.





This information is published by the Your home’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: