From Building networks
We are a young country - and some of our historic classified buildings wouldn't even get on the radar in other countries. In NZ we have a building code which has been around since 1992. At that time one code clause called B2 durability was first published.
Breaking it down simply
There are three nominated time periods
Building elements should last at least 5, 15, and 50 years
These timeframes kick in when the code compliance certificate is issued at the end of a consent. Not when the building is practically complete
Owners may be able to obtain a B2 modification (a process I will explain in another blog) but the longer they wait the more unlikely it gets.
Download B2 durability document here
The answer is many!
This article is a slight step away from those I have written lately. I was inspired to compose it having read this column by Nigel Latta.
Perhaps the paragraph within the editorial that most resonated with me, is this one…
“Too often people think if they learn a trade they'll just be swinging a hammer their whole life. If they got some experience in the industry they'd see there are opportunities for management roles that come far sooner than if they studied management at varsity. They could operate complex, multi-million dollar machines - and get well paid for it.”
Over thirty years ago, one would often hear it said, “if you want to be successful, go to university and get a degree.” And this sentiment hasn’t much changed over the following decades.
As it happens, I did follow that path, and it worked for me; but there were folk I went to school with who were street smart and practical, who have since created successful businesses, many within the building sector.
It causes me concern when I see more law and accounting graduates than there are jobs for. It would seem the universities have no accountability to those who have taken on a huge student loan to ensure they get a job with which they can repay it! I believe it is irresponsible of all of us to allow this to continue.
Too frequently, people think the only job available within the building industry, is that of a builder! But there are so many more on offer, and BCITO do not cover the entire breadth of building and construction industry apprenticeships.
Many people have been doing great work to promote the trades, but unless parents, the public, school career’s counsellors and teachers understand how diverse the opportunities are within the building industry, we will be left having to import the expertise we need; which is exactly what we are doing right now!
Sadly, the forecast continuation of the building boom has not generated new training and recruitment strategies!
I urge you to help spread the word, however and wherever you can, of the vast variety of opportunities available within our industry.
If I asked you whether you believed the safety of people in buildings was of paramount importance, I’m sure you would say yes; as would I, my whole career is based on this premise. But let’s not forget the relevance of factual backup in reports that suggest otherwise, because, I am also an advocate for truth and clarity, and I’ve seen too many situations where building owners are being ripped off.
It’s important to separate legal compliance requirements versus recommendations.
All too often I hear or read… xyz does not comply, when, in fact, there is no factual basis, but instead, the statement is based on a personal opinion of what a person may consider is best for somebody else.
A couple of examples…
Below are a couple of examples of reports I've seen recently which are, for want of a better expression, absolute hogwash! It greatly concerns me that a person has paid good money for bad advice. Worse than that, they will get suckered into spending hard earned dollars that they do not need to. Rosie alert… Buildings can be old but still function!
Example #1 - The toilets do not comply with NZS 4121 the design for access standard.
No kidding! The building was built in the 1960s before the standard was even written. It would be more useful to document one’s findings in a constructive way. As an example, reference a grab rail that may be incorrectly placed, with a recommendation of replacement and why it is important.
Example #2 - The balustrade is 1000mm high and does not comply with the building code rule of 1100mm.
It’s important to consider the part of the Building Code that is referenced here. If you don’t know, it’s F4/AS1 safety from falling. But it’s just as important to consider the age of the building and reference the same code. Because, in this particular instance, when the balustrade was constructed the Code read 1000mm, so it does comply for its age. (see previous tabel 1 from F4/AS1)
As a building owner or purchaser you should be wary of false statements in -
Any reputed professional who doesn’t know about the history of the building code and historic permit requirements should be very careful about similar statements. They should do their homework and make a very large distinction between what is legally required under building law, versus a recommendation from another regulation or owner risk management preference.
With over twenty years’ experience within the building industry I have a reputation for being a straight shooter and sometimes a little harsh. I’m happy to take that, because I care that my building industry clients get the correct advice and information.
I'd rather they hear it from me, than their local council in the middle of a dispute or a judge in a court of law!
For up to date information on New Zealand building law, stay connected with BuildNet. An online community where you get the support and additional information you need when you need it. The power of having an expert on hand plus the collective wisdom and experience of the other members.
(Previous version of F4/AS1: Second Edition)