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Code Requirements For Apartments Clarified

10 OCTOBER 2003

Building Code Requirements For Apartments Clarified

In recent days there has been some comment in the media on the criteria for determining whether or not apartments comply with the New Zealand Building Code.

“It has been suggested that the overall size of an apartment can be used as a criterion for deciding whether or not it complies with the Code. This is not correct. The Building Code does not specify what minimum overall size an apartment should be,” said Building Industry Authority (BIA) Chief Executive Richard Martin.

“The Code does, however, specify the level of amenity that an apartment should provide. Through its acceptable solutions it sets minimum standards around areas such as levels of natural light, personal hygiene, awareness of the outside environment and ventilation. In some cases it says how much space should be provided for specific amenities, e.g. how much laundry space should be provided.”

“That said, reviewing standards in this area is a priority for the BIA because of the increasing demand for smaller apartments. The question we are asking is whether the current requirements of the Code are appropriate for this relatively new form of building. We already have several strands of work underway.”

“In the meantime we would encourage all prospective purchasers to consider and understand the implications of smaller apartments. Can they, for example, fit in all of their furniture in a way that they are happy with. And importantly they should ensure that the house or apartment they are considering buying has a building consent, especially if buying off plans, and that a code compliance certificate has been issued if the building is complete”, Mr. Martin said.

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