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June 2022

Kia Ora

To end the 2021/22 financial year, we have the following notices and reminders.  The new fees will be published on council's website effective 1 July 2022.

Increase in Building Control fees

Council has approved an average increase of 5% for all building control related activities for the 2022-2023 financial year commencing 1 July 2022.
The exception to this is the fixed cost for an outbuilding that has been increased by approximately $100.00 in recognition of the actual time taken to process these consents.
Dimensions on Plans
When detailing the likes of an accessible route or toilet enclosure, the dimensions in the acceptable solution are measured to include the lined walls.
If the design has these dimensions noted to the framing line, you can expect an RFI if you have nominated the acceptable solution as a means of compliance.
Form 2 reminder

Please remember to complete the section of the application form that specifies who (Engineer/Council/Other) is to undertake the inspection for the nominated building code clause in each instance.
Drainage for Stand Alone Garages

Please ensure that there is sufficient drainage details provided at time of application to demonstrate compliance with the chosen compliance path e.g. drainage pipe diameter, gradient, means of storm water disposal etc.
Cabins with Plumbing
Exempt buildings with the associated limitations up to 30m2 in connection with a dwelling, are resulting in ongoing enquiries from the public in relation to plumbing work.
A common question is the proposal to pre pipe the building for future plumbing fixtures whilst relying on the exemption to construct the building without building consent.  The suggestion is that the owner then applies for a consent for the foundations and plumbing and drainage work once the building is located to a residential site.
Council has sought advice from MBIE on this scenario and they have stated that the pre plumbing of the building means the overall construction is not exempt building work and building consent must be obtained prior to construction of the building.
Alternative Solutions
If you intend submitting an alternative solution as part of a design it is important that you provide adequate evidence to demonstrate that the proposed work will meet the performance requirements of the Building Code.
The following extract is from MBIE’s web site Alternative solutions | Building Performance
Demonstrate an alternative solution complies
As the building consent applicant (or the owner's agent, such as an architect, engineer or builder), you must provide the BCA with evidence to show how your proposed work will meet the performance requirements of the Building Code. Only then will a building consent be issued.

1.  Scope the project
Determine which parts of the project are not covered by an Acceptable Solution or Verification Method. These parts require an alternative solution.

2. Identify the Building Code clauses
Include the specific performance requirements for each Building Code clause.

3. Provide evidence
Your documentation must contain sufficient evidence to show the identified performance criteria of all relevant clauses will be met. The amount of evidence may be significant, depending on the complexity of the project.
You can use quantitative or qualitative measures to show compliance. These may include:
  • Calculation or test method. Calculations, test results, models, simulations not contained in the Acceptable Solutions or Verification Methods.
  • Comparison with Acceptable Solutions or Verification Methods. Acceptable Solutions or Verification Methods provide one means to show how the proposed work will comply. For example, if you change some of the steps to show different materials or detailing, you need to show how the changes are compensated for or otherwise justified. In many cases, Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods provide good guidance for assessing an alternative solution.
  • Comparison with a product previously accepted by a BCA. For example, some building methods not covered by Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods may have been previously accepted by a BCA on a comparable building.
  • Comparison with a determination issued by MBIE. Is there a determination on a similar proposal? Although determinations are case-specific and therefore have a very limited application, they do provide sound guidance on interpretation of the Building Act and Building Code at a particular point in time.
  • Trade literature. Is it a proprietary product? The manufacturer's literature may contain technical data that supports the proposal.
  • Appraisal. Is there a current appraisal certificate that describes how compliance with the Building Code is achieved?
  • In-service history. Is there proof that arises from in-service history? For example, has the proposed material been used in a similar application on a similar site? Overseas evidence can be used, but be mindful of New Zealand conditions, such as seismic activity, ultra violet light, and exposure to salt-laden winds and wind-driven rain.
  • Assessment of actual conditions on site. Is there proof that arises from local environmental conditions? For example, a very sheltered site that is supported by meteorological or horticultural evidence.
  • Expert evidence. Is there collaborative expert support? This could be peer review of the proposed solution or opinions obtained from credible organisations.
4. Present your evidence
Provide a strongly argued case to the BCA by including as many of the above tools as possible. Be sure to state exactly what Building Code clauses and performances are being addressed. The clearer the supporting documentation, the easier the evaluation of it will be.
Stay safe, be kind, and keep warm.

Building Services
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