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Changes to important building documents

18 August 2006

Changes to important building documents

The Government is moving to revise a number of documents which assist designers, architects and builders ensure they are meeting the terms of the Building Code.

The Department of Building and Housing today announced a consultation process on changes to 11 compliance documents. Compliance documents lay out methods of building which ensure compliance with the Building Code.

“Compliance documents are at the heart of our building process, and we want to be sure they’re up-to-date and reflect latest practice,” the General Manager of Building Controls, John Kay said.

“The Government has announced a range of changes to the building sector over recent months – all with the aim of professionalising and modernising the industry. The intent of all these changes is that in the future that we are building right first time and that we provide a regulatory environment that recognises innovation.

“The Minister for Building Issues, Hon Clayton Cosgrove has announced programmes to license builders and designers, accredit building consent authorities and review the Building Code,” Mr Kay said.

“These proposed changes are needed now even though we are separately consulting on the future the Building Code,” Mr Kay said. “These are essentially technical changes, while the review of the Building Code is a much wider and significant process where we’re looking to industry and the community help us shape the Building Code for the future. The Review seeks input on a wide range of issues including sustainability, energy efficiency, safe and healthy homes,” Mr Kay said.

“Now, we are focusing on the documentation that makes it simple to ensure designers, architects and builders meet the terms of the current code.”

The changes update the standards and reference documents which apply to each compliance document.

“The Department of Building and Housing will ensure that all affected participants in the sector have an opportunity to comment on the changes, and I urge industry practitioners to familiarise themselves with the proposals,”

"This consultation process is another element in the current transformation of the building sector, which includes the introduction of builder licensing, better outcomes for leaky-homes owners, product certification, a better consent and inspection process and consumer warranties for building work.," Mr Kay said.

Consultation details are available from www.dbh.govt.nz.

Consultation will close on 6 October 2006

The proposals being consulted on are:

- E2 External Moisture. A new Acceptable Solution E2/AS2 for earth buildings by referencing NZS 4299: 1998 Earth Building not Requiring Specific Design.

- F3 Hazardous Substances and Processes. Revoking the Acceptable Solution F3/AS1 dealing with storage buildings for hazardous substances and replacing it with a new Acceptable Solution that is compatible with the new Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act and regulations, administered by the Environmental Risk Management Authority.

- F4 Safety from Falling. Revoking the current Compliance Document and proposing timing for introduction of the new version. (The new version has already undergone public consultation and has been approved by the Building Industry Authority.) It concerns raising barrier heights in buildings other than housing.

- G1 Personal Hygiene. Updating definitions, and minor amendments to the Acceptable Solution G1/AS1 for the provision of toilet numbers and line of sight.

- G4 Ventilation. Updating publications referenced and making amendments to the Acceptable Solution G4/AS1 in the provision for natural and mechanical ventilation.

- G9 Electricity. Updating the publications referenced by deleting New Zealand Electrical Codes of Practice and replacing them with AS/NZS 3000: 2000 Wiring Rules and updating definitions.

- G10 Piped Services. Updating the publications referenced, particularly NZS 5261: 2003 Gas Installation.

- G11 Gas as an Energy Source. Updating the publications referenced, particularly NZS 5261: 2003 Gas Installation.

- G12 Water Supplies. Updating the publications referenced, particularly AS/NZS 3500.1: 2003 Water Services, including the materials section for pipes and fittings for use with hot and cold potable water.

- G13 Foul Water. Updating the publications referenced, particularly AS/NZS 2500.2: 2003 Sanitary Plumbing and Drainage.

- H1 Energy Efficiency. Updating the publications referenced, particularly by referencing AS/NZS 4859.1: 2002 Materials for the Thermal Insulation of Building, BRANZ House Insulation Guide, second edition, 2005 and deleting the modifications to paragraph 5.0 of H1/AS1 relating to NZS 4305: 1996 Energy Efficiency – Domestic Type Hot Water Systems.


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