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Rotorua Lakes Council - Building E-Newsletter - February 2019

Kia ora,

Welcome to the first edition of the Building Newsletter for 2019, we look forward to another busy year ahead.  Feel free to contact us on this email if you would like us to discuss any future topic.

Structural Engineering Inspections
Siting of building work
Alterations - self contained unit
Changing products from consented drawings

Technical Updates

Legislative Requirements - solid fuel burner
Designers Meeting
Structural Engineering Inspections
During the design stage of each project,  Structural Engineering input may be required for the design of steel lintel beams, or engineered foundations or any SED (Specific Engineering Design) components.  A PS1 and full calculations must be provided by the Engineer for these elements, including a Form 2a if it is Restricted Building Work, clearly identifying the work involved.

It is also helpful in addition to the PS1 and Form 2a, a cover letter is provided by the Engineer to clarify whether the Engineer is going to undertake specific inspections and if a PS4 will be provided.  The Building Consent Assessor will then endorse the Building Consent with these inspections. Note that these Engineer inspections may be in addition to Rotorua Lakes Council's individual Building Inspections (examples may be structural steel portal or beams, engineered ribraft foundations, engineered retaining wall construction etc).

Refer to previous Building Newsletter August 2018 edition when Engineer has been approved to undertake Rotorua Lakes Council Building Inspections instead of Council.

Siting of building work
To ensure that this important part of the building process can be approved by the Council inspectors please ensure that the property legal boundaries are confirmed before a siting inspection is arranged.  Your building consent conditions will confirm the different options available to you to confirm compliance (BC endorsement noted  in italics below):

The owner of the property is responsible for the correct siting of buildings or additions in accordance with the approved building consent through the use of one or a combination of the following:

- Existing boundary pegs
- Boundary reinstatement (monumentation) survey
- A siting certificate from a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor
- Boundary offset survey with accompanying certificate from a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor

Your cooperation in confirming this compliance will ensure your project is not unnecessarily held up due to unconfirmed siting.

When applications are submitted showing alterations to an existing dwelling which convert a space to an independent self contained living space (which includes kitchenette, bathroom, and laundry facilities), we ask that designers provide a separate cover letter supported with a statement from the owner advising what the intended use of this space is for.  Various Council departments review the consent, and clarifying this intent from the outset may lessen the potential request for further information items (building code elements that will be looked at - fire safety systems, resource consents etc).
Changing products from consented drawings
There are two means of achieving site changes to the consented drawings, both means of compliance (Variation or Amendment) require the designer to check and confirm the product or design complies with the Building Code.  In some cases, this means of compliance is requested by the building inspector due to the fact that an alternative product example could be an alternative building wrap.  Both Variation and Amendment must be approved by Council prior to the work proceeding.

Section 40 of the Building Act states that all work must be completed in accordance with a building consent. This puts the designer in a difficult situation where they must sign off on a product that they may not necessarily approve of, and may have to research to confirm that the product can be used in that situation and meets the Building Code (this research time may incur extra cost to the client).  Rotorua Lakes Council recommends that all builders discuss any potential product substitution firstly with the designer before the product is installed on site to avoid any non-compliant products being used.  

If changes are made to a building consent that requires an amendment or variation and approval from owners and designers is not received, the job will stop until compliance with the building consent is achieved or the required approvals are received and granted.

These changes, if not submitted also put the LBP licence holder at risk of infringement.  Recently the LBP Board have fined LBP carpenters up to $1,000 for failing to comply with a building consent and failing to get variations or amendments for these changes prior to work being done.  In some cases the LBP has lost their licence.

Firth Ribraft
Firth Raft floor slab system CodeMark and Manual have been updated.
The old Manual and CodeMarks will no longer be accepted as they have been superseded and no longer valid.  The CodeMark was updated and issued on 30 November 2018 and the manual is dated October 2018.

Purlin Centres
We are still seeing incorrect centres of purlins being presented on Building Consent applications and on site, remember that as well as NZS3604, NZBC E2/AS1 must also be addressed for purlin centres for maximum spans of metal roofing and fixing patterns (intermediate and end spans), refer to Building Newsletter March and August 2018 editions and NZBC E2/AS1.

Lateral support to floor joists
Timber blocking or herringbone strutting is intended to provide lateral support to floor joists by providing stiffening to the joists and transferring some of the load to adjacent joists.

NZS3604 is very prescriptive on how to achieve the lateral support, however it is still being missed by Designers and Builders.

Generally under Clause of NZS3604:2011:
Lines of lateral support to floor joists shall be provided within 300mm of the following locations
a)     Ground floor joists: along all subfloor lines of horizontal support
b)     Other floor joists; Along the line of each wall that contains a wall bracing element in the storey below.

If its the one thing to do today, review Clause 7.1.2 from NZS3604:2011 and Figure 7.2 and identify how this can be fully achieved on site and within the building consent documents.

BRANZ also have a great article, this can be found

Rotorua Lakes Council Checklists
Within Rotorua Lakes Council website, Designers and Builders can access our council checklists which we use to process consents and complete inspections, this may help with what we look for when processing or inspecting.

Building Consent processing can be found

Building Inspections can be found here

Legislative requirements - Solid Fuel Burner
Proposed Plan Change 13 (Air Quality) to the Regional Natural Resources Plan affects air rules across the region. It includes the rules governing the use of solid fuel burners in Rotorua.

Reminder if your house is within the Rotorua Airshed and you have a wood burner that was installed before September 2005, the wood burner is deemed non-compliant and you will not be able to use that wood burner after 31st January 2020.

Read More on Clean Air Rotorua website

Designers Meeting
The Building Services team would like to invite Designers to a short morning tea to discuss mutual interests for consents, it is proposed to cover the following:

-          Processes

-          Documentation

-          On-site changes and other items

-          Matters raised from the floor (or via this newsletter)

If you would like to attend please send your reply with any other topics you may want to discuss to this building newsletter email address.  Date and time to be confirmed.
Hopefully we can limit the meeting to 1.5hrs at the most.

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