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Rotorua Lakes Council - Building E-Newsletter - July 2019

Kia ora
Welcome to the Building Services Newsletter end of financial year 2019 edition.

Correction - Wet Area Tanking
New Fees and Charges
Application Forms
Site works

Designers' Meeting discussion points

Correction - Wet Area Tanking
The last Building Newsletter in May 2019 clarified the requirements of sealing around the perimeter of taps/shower outlet penetrations for water proofing membranes.  

Council accepts that a competent licenced plumber would install fixtures/cover plates using gaskets and or sealant behind to direct any water around and away from a shower lining penetration.  Design requirements and installation specs are set by the product manufacturers. Council's role is to ensure that installations are undertaken as required for each product.

If installations are not completed in accordance with the product specifications the person who completes that work would be responsible for any failures of that system.

With all the above said our current stand is that gaskets and or sealant installed behind plumbing fittings by a competent licenced plumber in showers will be accepted. This decision is based on the fact that this practise has been around for many years and has not known to have been a problem.

New Fees and Charges
From 1st July 2019, Rotorua Lakes Council, will increase the fees to meet rising costs associated with processing of consents and sundry charges.

Full details will appear on our web site on the morning of July 1st.  The new fees will only apply to any consent that is received on or after that date.

Application Forms
Building Newsletter August 2018 clarified "Current, lawfully established, use" must be filled out accurately on the Building Consent application form.

Did you know - If you have a building that has multiple uses, each Use of that building must be nominated.

Example - A multi-storey building - retail/shop on ground floor (Commercial), with a church on 1st floor (Assembly Service).

If the Building Consent is for alterations to the retail shop on ground floor, you will need to nominate both Commercial and Assembly Service, as the Current lawfully established use is for the 'Building', not just the work being proposed as part of the Building Consent, in addition you will also need to nominate the Occupancy for each floor (one for Commercial, one for Assembly Service).

Read More about Current Lawfully Established use

Site works
Rotorua Lakes Council has noticed an increase in preparatory site works ahead of a Building Consent being issued.

Under the Building Act, Building Work includes "Site Works"  which defined - means "work on a building site including earthworks, preparatory to or associated with the construction, alteration, demolition, or removal of a building".

Therefore in a number of cases there is illegal building work (site work) commencing (as no building consent has been issued yet). It is imperative that all involved in a project are aware of this legislation.

We accept that removing topsoil as required by NZS3604 would not be considered site works, however, if the subsoil is being modified to support the building or provide access to a difficult site (cutting banks etc) - this would be considered site works and will be part of your building consent, therefore can only be undertaken after the Building Consent is issued.

If in doubt, please contact the duty building officer to seek clarification.

If you know in advance that you need to modify the site and you want to start the project, you can apply for a separate building consent for the earthworks only, and the BCA will apply the relevant conditions or endorsements to the consent to meet compliance with the Building Act.

Designers' Meeting

It was a great turn out for the Designers' meeting/forum at Council on 12 June 2019, it was good to hear your thoughts on current processes and other items discussed.

Your feedback allows us to review processes and systems so that we can continue to improve our processes and service, it also allows Council to share with designers how they can provide application information to be more efficient providing a more cost efficient and timely service to your customers.

It was requested from those who attended that they wish to have regular face-face group meeting with Building Services, we've taken this on board, and will put the next meeting together within the next 3 months, so look out for it.

A snap shot of the topics discussed are noted below:

  • Regulatory review (not a Peer Review) is currently being undertaken by an External Contractor, and Building Services are handling the review process with the External Engineer (this has seen an improvement on timeframes for processing).  
  • Currently more challenging land is being developed with some historical subdivisions lacking any substantial geotechnical information, and at the moment geotechnical work is being deferred to building consent stage rather than as part of the subdivision resource consent
  • The cost of this Regulatory review will be captured as part of the building consent invoice, and can vary depending on the complexity of site, as well as the documentation provided.
  • The future - Council will be promoting the completion of the geotechnical work at the time of Resource Consent.  This will provide certainty for owners and designers when making decisions on purchase or design.
  • Rotorua Lakes Council Variation form has been updated to reflect terminology as represented by MBIE guidelines as 'Minor Variation' - the amended form includes some examples on when it is appropriate to use this form.
  • A link to this form can be found here.  (Please discard the previous versions and only use the new current version).
  • Formalising Amendments and Variations has been confusing for all parties, MBIE have a great web page dedicated to variations and amendments with a number of examples.  Refer to MBIE guidelines on Variations. 
  • Note 1:  The key take-away for Variations is that it must be discussed and agreed prior to any changes happening on site.
  • Note 2:   Proceeding without either an approved minor variation or amendment could result in the application for a Certificate of Acceptance for any consideration to accept any un-consented work.
  • Note 3:   Who signs the Minor Variation form? - if the Designer has not been engaged to undertake any part of the construction phase, the Builder can act as the Agent however the Builder must have authorisation from Owner (an email or signature from the Owner is sufficient). This same process can be followed for filling out Form 6 - Application for Code Compliance Certificate.
  • BCA accreditation assessment completed recently by IANZ found room for improvement with regard to generating compliance schedules. As part of that assessment it was identified that better quality information was required from the applicant for specified systems. Rotorua Lakes Council have identified a fail safe process utilised by the Build Waikato cluster group that will now be implemented.
  • When providing commercial consents, specified systems supporting forms must now be completed where any specified systems form part of a building consent.
  • The forms are now available on the RLC website, refer  RLC Building Forms  (scroll towards the bottom of the web-page - Specified Systems forms),

It is advised that the Lead Designer forward the Specified System form to the applicable experts to be completed rather than filling out the form themselves, it will take more co-ordination work for the Designer to put all these individual Specified Systems, however it will be the Designers responsibility to capture all the relevant Specified System forms and submit as part of the consent.

This change will be mandatory as of 1st July 2019, and if not provided at vetting stage, your application may fail vetting and be turned away.

  • To better manage workloads, we ask designers that if they wish to discuss the RFI and hand over documents in person, to contact the consent processor beforehand to pre-arrange a time/date to meet.  The consent processor can then put-aside some time to meet with you without impacting on other consents currently being processed at that time.
  • We would also like to encourage designers/agents to let us know when you might have your RFI responses ready to submit (all responses, not part responses - ie still to come in (if this has happened, do not send in your RFI until all responses have been suitably answered).
  • We ask designers/agents to use the WORD document sent to you via email, to respond under individual items and include the responses such as '.....detail 2, sheet 5 revised to meet E2/AS1 etc'.
New Zealand Building Code updates
On 27 June 2019 MBIE published changes to Building Code documents as part of their bi-annual updates, these documents are now live and can be used for building consent applications, the previous Building Code solutions (prior to the 27 June update) will continue to apply for building consent applications lodged until 31 October 2019.
  • Fire Codes - C/AS2 (Bringing together six separate Fire Acceptable Solution documents into one all-encompassing document)
  • B1, B2, E2, G4, G12, G13
Read more
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