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Rotorua Lakes Council - Building E-Newsletter - December 2018

Kia ora,

Welcome to the final Building Services Newsletter for 2018

We hope this newsletter has been informative and worthwhile, so feel free to drop us a line if you would like us to discuss a topic further in the new year.

Merry Christmas
Exempt Building Work
Request for further Information (RFI)
Technical Updates
Tanking Products
Handrails vs Barriers
Building Code Changes

From all of us at Building Services, we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy safe New Year.  The Building Services Team are all looking forward to a short break as it has been a very busy year.

Council will be closed from mid-day Friday 21 December and will be open again 7 January 2019.
We look forward to working with you in the new year.
Exempt Building Work
Schedule 1 - Building work for which a building consent is not required, relies on the owner interpreting the various exempt clauses and deciding whether any proposed building work fits the criteria (except for item 2 exemptions that are discretionary and can only be granted by the Territorial Authority).
Item 2 Exemption
Council has worked with owners/agents in approving discretionary exemptions that include conditions such as; what further certification is necessary post construction and the time frame in which any documentation is to be provided. We are constantly finding that these conditions are not met and the file remains open. This is a collective issue and will likely dictate future consideration relating to discretionary exemptions. We would encourage anyone involved in this process to check your responsibilities and close these out. Discretionary exempt building work must be approved prior to work proceeding and should be discussed with Council prior to preparation of an application to avoid surprises.
There is a $400 charge associated with this process.
Other Exemptions under Schedule 1
Council will accept records of exempt building work and file these on the property using the assessment of exempt building work procedure or alternatively by having this work noted as exempt building work when completed in conjunction with a building consent. An assessment of exempt building work application needs to be completed and accepted prior to work proceeding and must be accompanied by plans including floor and elevations where applicable.
No construction details are to be provided as this would result in the building consent assessor having to check the proposal against the Building Code. This responsibility remains with the building owner.
There is a $135 charge associated with this process
Although Council has no specific requirements in regards to the quality of information supplied, it must be suitable for scanning and accurately portray the work to be of any value for record-keeping purposes. Please do not use previous Building Consent stamped plans, as the plans need to depict the work, which is the subject of the notification.
Owners should be aware that Council does not take any responsibility for checking that the information provided regarding exempt building work meets the Building Code. It is the owners responsibility to ensure that any new building work is constructed in accordance with the Building Code. Similarly, Council will not carry out any inspections on this work. 
However, information will be attached to the property file for LIM purposes.
If there are details required, then the Designer can provide these separately to the Client outside the Assessment of Exempt Building Work/ Building Consent application.

Reminder that all building work must comply with the Building Code regardless of which Item the Exempt Building Work relies on.
Request for further information (RFI)
When submitting revised drawings, if only 1 or 2 sheets are amended, do not resend  a full set of plans back to RLC.   If you do send it digitally (this must be discussed directly with the Building Consent Processor in the first instance), as RLC is not a digital consenting council be aware that RLC charges $1 per page for printing regardless whether it is A3 or A4, this will be costed back within the invoicing prior to the Consent being issued.

Note: RLC only has the capacity to print A3 or A4 photocopies.
Technical Updates
Gib have updated the following manuals:
- Gib Fire Rated Systems Specification and installation Manual - October 2018
- GIB-Site-Guide-2018 for Residential and Commercial Installations
Tanking Products
When documenting tanking products to go behind foundation retaining wall structures of the like, Designers should always review the product specification and data sheets and match their details to comply with the manufacturers requirements and installation details.
During construction, if it is changed on-site by the contractors, be aware that there may also be detail changes to suit that revised product, it may require either a variation or even an Amendment and should be discussed directly with the Designer.
Handrails vs Barriers
Clause 1.7 Commentary under NZBC D1/AS1, states Barriers and handrails, having different functions, are considered separately in the building code. A barrier (or balustrade on a stair) is required to prevent people falling where there is a sudden change in level. A handrail is a graspable rail designed to guide and support people using a stairway or ramp. A handrail may be attached to or form the top of a barrier where the height is appropriate.
External stairs on the access route into a house may provide access to a deck or across a slope site.  If they are part of the main access route to the house, or any staircase greater than 3 risers, they must comply with NZBC clause D1.
The Acceptable Solution D1/AS1 is quite prescriptive, including requirements for stair pitch, riser height, tread depth, projections or nosings, where open risers may be used, stair width, handrails and slip resistance.
When a stairway forms part of the main access route to the house, it must be classified as a common stairway.  Open risers are allowed in common and private stairways but the open space between treads must not allow a 100mm diameter sphere to pass through, and the leading edge of the treads must be a contrasting colour.
The access route including handrails shall comply with the strength and stiffness requirements of NZBC B1.
Clause 6.0 D1/AS1 - Handrails must have the same slope as the stairway pitchline, be 900 - 1000mm high and have a profile as shown in D1/AS1 Figure 26 (a), ie the Relative Width must not exceed 80mm, this is regardless whether they are the main access route or outdoor architectural feature when the stairs have a width greater than 2.0m.
Handrails may be omitted on stairways of two or three risers within or giving access to a household unit.
Building Code Changes
A large number of Building Code System documents require updating periodically to remain current with sector innovations and best practice.  MBIE has started a Bi-Annual Building Code System Update programme to assist with this.

Seven Acceptable Solutions and four Verification Methods for complying with the New Zealand Building Code have been amended.

These amendments are effective from 30 November 2018.  The previous Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods will continue to comply until 31 March 2019 inclusive. If used from 1 April 2019, the previous Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods must be considered an alternative solution proposal.
Amendments have been made to the following Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods:
- Building Code Clause B1 Structure: B1/VM1
- Building Code Clause B2 Durability: B2/AS1
- Building Code Clause E2 External Moisture: E2/VM1, E2/AS1
- Building Code Clause G12 Water Supplies: G12/VM1, G12/AS1, G12/AS2
- Building Code Clause G13 Foul Water: G13/AS1, G13/VM2, G13/AS2, G13/AS3
Read More
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