View this email in your browser

Rotorua Lakes Council - Building E-Newsletter - February 2020

Kia ora
Welcome to the Building Services Newsletter - February 2020. We hope you have managed to catch a well deserved break over the Christmas period off the back of what had been a busy year for the construction industry. 2020 looks like it will be another busy year for us all.

Staff changes
RFI responses
Consent documentation
LBP information

Staff Changes

Rotorua Lakes Council building services is currently undergoing some staffing changes. We would like to take the opportunity to farewell three of our colleagues and welcome a new team member who joined us at the beginning of February.  

Ray Thomson and Israel Reid from the building consent processing team who have been with us 4.5 and 3.5 years respectively are moving to other districts and Bob Cameron from the building inspections team will be leaving us to take up a role in construction management. All have contributed in their individual roles in a very busy environment.
We wish you all the best for your future endeavours.

Any outstanding RFI's and communications with both Ray and Israel can be forwarded to Charlie Sefuiva. Any emails or RFI's will be automatically forwarded regardless.

We would like to welcome our newest team member Sam Hayward who joins the inspection team having moved from a similar role from Central Hawkes Bay Council. Sam brings 5 years processing and inspections experience to the team and is looking forward to progressing his career with the new challenges and opportunities the Rotorua district has to offer.
Sam enjoys many hobbies including hunting, mountain biking and wood turning and is looking forward to working with you all.

Recruitment is underway for building consent processors to join the team in a busy and rewarding environment.

RFI responses

Processors are required to send out a request for further information to clarify with the designer or home owner how their building plans demonstrate compliance with the building code. 

No-one likes dealing with RFI's, including the processing team as it delays consents, increases workload and increases consent costs on both sides. Unfortunately, RFI's are part and parcel of the consents process and put in place to initiate a formal dialogue between the processor and agent/home owner.

Communication is vital to ensuring the RFI process runs smoothly but recently we have been noticing a breakdown in the quality of RFI responses. Two of the most common barriers to an efficient RFI process include:

  • Drip feeding of RFI responses (as opposed to collating ALL responses and submitting as a whole)
  • Vague responses to questions (single word answers like 'provided' don't contribute to an efficient process)

The best way to answer an RFI is to go through each question and note which changes have been made along with which pages have been affected and supported by a revision cloud. If the RFI question is asking for more evidence on how a particular aspect of the design meets the building code, please provide as much information as you can with a supporting statement. Our building code is evidence and performance based, so you will need to provide as much evidence as you can to show how compliance is demonstrated. 

We are all human so sometimes a processor may have missed some items that may well be included in the consent documentation. If you find this is the case just let us know in your answer that it was there and where to find it.

RFI responses should be submitted in full. We are aware that RFI questions are generated by different departments as well as answered by multiple professionals (Engineers, designers etc) But it is up to the agent or applicant to make sure the responses come in all at the same time.

On a brighter note, we have recently had a building consent go through the process without incurring any RFI's. This doesn't happen often so we would like to congratulate the designer who won't be named but I'm sure they will know who they are.

Consent documentation

When submitting verification documents or manufacturers manuals, Rotorua Lakes Council will only accept relevant parts of the manufacturers documents which are applicable to the project.  Submitting whole documents which may be up to 50 pages long where the relevant information only consists of 5 pages, adds unnecessary complexity to the documentation. It can cause confusion and delays on site for both contractors and inspectors trying to determine which details are relevant.

LBP information

When submitting a Building Consent, all relevant LBP name and registration numbers should be noted for each RBW element, however if your sub-contractor has not been selected yet, do not provide Council with an exhaustive list of all possible LBP's you have on your database.  Only provide the LBP who will actually be working on the job. If these are unknown, leave this blank and the owners can provide the information prior to building work commencing. 


Copyright © 2020 Rotorua Lakes Council, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.