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Proposed Changes To Building Code

Proposed Changes To Building Code Clause F4 Safety From Falling

The Building Industry Authority (BIA) is proposing a series of changes to New Zealand Building Code Clause F4 Safety from Falling and its Acceptable Solution F4/AS1.

There are two proposed changes to Clause F4 itself. One relates to the construction of barriers that people could use as a seat. This has been identified as an area of concern, with some people falling after sitting on a barrier. The other change relates to doors opening onto swimming pools. The concern here is around ensuring that access to pools, for children in particular, is appropriate.

The proposed changes to the Acceptable Solution (which is a non-mandatory means of complying with the Building Code) have been made in response to feedback on the current version, as well as to give more guidance to designers in developing barriers. They cover issues such as barrier heights, maximum openings and other areas related to safety from falling.

The BIA has undertaken a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on the proposed changes and is also seeking comment on this.

“The changes will provide an Acceptable Solution that is more robust, effective and provides clearer direction to the industry and a sufficient level of protection for the public”, said Richard Martin, BIA Acting Chief Executive.

“These are draft proposals. They are being widely distributed to provide the industry and other interested parties with an opportunity to comment on them. We welcome comments on both the proposals and the RIS”’ he said.

Mr Martin said the BIA had begun an eight-week consultation process on the proposed changes.

“The consultation is crucial. The proposed changes are important and we are encouraging all interested to participate.”

Once the consultation period closes the BIA will review and consider all comments received and the Authority will then make its final decisions.

The closing date for submissions on the proposals is 17 October 2003.

Copies of the proposed changes, including the RIS, may be obtained from the BIA website www.bia.govt.nz

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