From Building networks
As most of you reading this will know, we have had 12A certificates in place within building legislation for over ten years.
These certificates are issued by IQPs to confirm that over the past twelve months a specified system has been tested, inspected and maintained as required by the Compliance Schedule.
Since the day those certificates were introduced, professionals have tried to find ways to deal with real life circumstances where these certificates cannot be issued, because believe it or not, like everything in life, processes for testing, inspecting and maintaining, don’t always go to plan.
As an example, let’s say:
In these circumstances the reporting system is, to put it bluntly… Stuffed.
Despite these fairly regular occurrences, the Building Act, 2004 has no provision to address this. Instead, there is an unrealistic expectation that things always go to plan!
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has not issued any guidance on this matter, except to reinforce what the law says (which we’ve just established is not always practical). Whilst there is currently a review on BWOFs these matters have not been addressed in ten years! Auckland Council has a long history of a Reports in Lieu procedure (none of which is mentioned within the law).
All of this leaves IQPs exposed if he or she is trying to help the client get across the line; of course they cannot misleadingly sign a statutory document, saying things have been done when they have not.
Recently, as I’m wont to do… I took steps to help resolve this for my clients. I created two documents to be used in situations like this.
I circulated these to my BuildNet members for use to try to underlie the point that IQPs must state facts and encourage owners to create a system which sees the 12A practically being issued each year on target.
I was delighted to receive feedback from a client, who had found them useful, and suggested I call these forms exactly what they are…
So I am acting on that feedback, from now on I will refer to the Defect Notice as Building Networks Form 12B and the System Status Report as Building Networks Form 12C.
Click below to download them, and please use at your own discretion.
Defect Notice - Building Networks Form 12B
System Status Report - Building Networks Form 12C
We might be some years down the line, but the leaky homes crisis is far from a distant memory. In fact the issue of weather tightness has not gone away.
Despite all the money spent on plans, weather tightness tribunals, payouts and research there are still some fundamental problems.
I suspect if you asked any member of the public how long they thought a roof or external wall should last, their answer would be far in excess of the stipulated 15 years. It’s true that with regular maintenance these should last a lot longer, but the reality is some of the systems we use have very specific maintenance criteria; these are unfortunately far too easy to compromise by using the wrong silicon filler!
Building techniques and craftsmanship are still lacking, and the speed of construction does nothing to help.
I am still surprised that some products are not banned. Ironically we can still build with some materials that were used in the 1990s that contributed to the problems in the first place.
So have we got better at using and applying cladding products?
The answer is likely no, as we are now seeing some second-generation failures.
The Code’s objectives have always been the same:
E2.1 The objective of this provision is to safeguard people from illness or injury that could result from external moisture entering the building.
(ref: extract from E2 External Moisture)
The scope of the acceptable solution has its limits too. If a building is more than three storeys high, then a specifically designed solution is required. In such cases the cladding is heavily reliant on the skills of the designer to prove compliance within the Code.
The solution also generically describes claddings, but any cladding relies heavily on the manufacturer’s installation instructions and verification of the product through testing and/or appraisals. For example: Wall claddings are described as
There is always a risk in using products that are not fit for purpose; or mixing and matching products that might go with a specific system.
You may find this article from our blog archive useful on products.
If your customer wants something funky and different on the outside of their building please beware… This creates challenges both for designers, installers and inspectors, so don’t expect to be given an easy run through the consent process.
Would you like more advice? Join our online community – BuildNet – where we talk about these issues and how to handle them.
Would you like to learn more on E2 and other technical and legal topics?
Explore our e-learning packages – where you can test your knowledge too.
Check out the e-learning packages HERE
I have recently had a few queries regarding the proposed changes to the fencing of home swimming pools.
Yes, there are changes a foot but these are NOT LAW YET.
The proposed bill is called Building Pools Amendment Bill. Grab a copy HERE.
It is stuck in the Parliamentary process for now.
As soon as it is made law we will:
Two proposed features of the Bill are:
Tip: It all starts with knowing how many pools would fit the criteria.
How up to date is your pool register? Time to get that sorted first. With all the modern technology and consents approved over the past two decades there should be information at the ready for you to be able to complete this task.
By the way, the CURRENT law is HERE. Fencing of Swimming Pools Act from way back in 1987. Yep it’s still alive and kicking
Check out this old, but still valid, guidance around immediate pool area definitions HERE.
Did you know that there is no mandatory control on building products in New Zealand? It’s a bold claim but it’s true… We might be fierce on fruit, (with good reason), but there's nobody at border control stopping sub-standard products entering our shores.
So how do you know that the products you use are measuring up? Well you could check the Product Certificate Register, but if you do remember that Codemark is a voluntary product certification scheme with only 120 products listed.You might also check out product appraisals, but again be aware that appraisals are voluntary. BRANZ has the most appraised products, at 321.
So what about the thousands of products, systems and items used on your building sites? Be they tapes, glues, screws, nails or larger items.
How do you know you’re using the right products? Here are 5 tips to help you stay up to scratch.
At Building Networks we have an e-learning segment on the dangers of product substitution. If you haven't invested in our e-learning package as yet and would like to try before you buy, click here to view a general demo.
For those of you reading this post, I probably don’t need to reiterate that specified systems are crucial to the safety and health of a building and those who use it. This is the reason we have compliance schedules.
An Independent Qualified Person (IQP), that’s you, will undertake the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures listed on the compliance schedule for specified systems and issue Form 12A to the building’s owner.
One question that keeps cropping up, in relation to this, and one which was asked of me again recently by a council officer is…
If the compliance schedule states that an "IQP must undertake monthly inspections on a specified system; does that mean that an IQP can employ a local tradesperson to do the checks and then sign the 12A form themselves?”
This has always been a contentious issue, and over the years, common practice has outstripped the actual wording in the compliance schedule.
The Building Act 2004 says that an IQP can carry out or supervise inspection and maintenance of specified systems.
Commonly the interpretation is that an IQP or their staff and/or agents can undertake these roles, but most definitely NOT the building’s owner.
As an IQP, you are the one that signs the 12A, so ultimate accountability rests with you. You must ensure that the job has been completed by someone who knows what they are doing. If you decide to use staff and/or agents, you must ensure that they have had the correct training through initial supervision and quality assurance checks.
This topic is covered in more detail, and many more of your questions are answered in the Building Networks IQP Forums taking place around the country in September, October and November.
The rules around the accessibility of your building and facilities for people with disabilities are set out in the NZ Building Act 2004, briefly summarised and translated these are as follows;
However, I often find there’s a popular misconception that accessibility only affects people with disabilities. In fact when one takes a closer look at universal design principles, one can see the importance of designing, constructing and maintaining buildings in such a way, that they can be utilised by the widest range of people possible, whether they are young, aging, disabled or able-bodied.
Here are 6 simple clues that your building or facility might not be inclusively accessible.
Thankfully, help is at hand… Building Networks now offers accessibility training solutions that are bench-marked to international standards through close liaison with internationally acknowledged accessibility experts and authorities.
As a delegate on one of these courses:
Book now for Access Audits on Existing Buildings
Canterbury – Thursday 18th August
Wellington – Wednesday 7th September
Auckland – Friday 30th September
Universal design principles are nothing new… These principles look at the design of the environment, products, services, communications and buildings that accommodate all people inclusively, taking into account their differences, whether they are aging, disabled or able-bodied.
If we continue to design and build buildings with access at the forefront we will undoubtedly accommodate a greater range of people and become a more inclusive society.
Here are a few examples where we need to be more accessible, some affecting me personally.
All of this leads me to question why we even have a New Zealand standard (NZS4121: 2001) for the design of access and facilities for people with disabilities? Aren't these design principles supposed to be universal? This standard is also fifteen years old in its current version. It could be time for a dust off!
Lifemark was set up some years ago to promote whole of life housing design principles, it’s voluntary and the accessible standards for housing have not changed one bit!
As part of our accessibility training solutions, we cover a lot of information to ensure the buildings you design, build and inspect are more inclusive and accessible to all, so you can be the best at what you do. These courses are bench-marked to international standards through close liaison with internationally acknowledged accessibility experts and authorities. Find out more HERE.
As July approaches it’s probably a good time to look back on those career and professional goals you set yourself at the beginning of the year… Are you where you wanted to be? How are you going with your training plan?
At Building Networks we’re running courses every month to help you with your professional development; here’s a list of what’s coming up
Upcoming events - Book now – Attend later
Details for each course HERE
Online Training Courses
Join a group for a webinar series where you can learn from your desk.
Check it out HERE
For keeping up with your CPD points and skills maintenance at a time-place that suits you.
Check it out HERE
For teams who want to take their learning to a new level and improve business performance
Check it out HERE
For the individual who wants one to one personal training and mentoring so they can take improve their personal performance.
Check it out HERE
Where have people with disabilities gone in existing buildings?Well they are still here but I’m not sure that the built environment has kept up with demand. New buildings are supposed to comply 100% and old buildings undergoing renovations and retrofitting are supposed to be assessed for how close they get to compliance with current Code. The same assessment is done with Fire and yet Fire seems to win over from access. Earthquake strengthening costs have further compromised the discussion about providing better accessibility. And as for fire evacuation – people with disabilities in NZ just have to wait to be rescued.
The good news is that as building owners and tenants are considering their health and safety risks in their buildings and surrounds it leads to questions about universal access for all which in turn benefits people with disabilities.
I have been asked to deliver training in this space on how to conduct access audits on existing buildings. Please find a list of upcoming courses and content below.
As an aside, New Zealand is not alone in its failure to address fully accessibility in the built environment. A recent article on the UK RICS website identified ten often overlooked items in new developments that can dramatically affect ease of access and use. Read the article HERE.
If you saw somebody using a mobile phone whilst driving their car, or crossing the centre line, would you think it was fair and just that they received an infringement notice? Damn right you would, because it’s against the law and it’s dangerous.
Even the humble parking ticket issued at a local territorial authority level is there for a reason; by issuing these infringements parking wardens are simply doing their job and trying to keep the streets safe by allowing traffic to flow.
Local councils also have a process with rules and regulations for building works. The Building Act and Regulations exist for a very important reason… Safety! And yet it seems to me that local authorities often more readily issue parking tickets than building infringements.
What draws me to this conclusion? Well I’ve been educating professionals within the building industry, by translating building law for over twenty years now, and during that time I’ve heard a tale or two.
It’s been fourteen years since the Hunn report (commissioned to review the leaky homes crisis) said we had a systemic failure in the building industry; and we need to ask ourselves whether this has changed, or whether there is a new crisis on the horizon. Some of the scenarios I’ve come across lead me to believe the next crisis could stem from:
In New Zealand we are kidding ourselves if we believe that our buildings are one hundred per cent safe, there is plenty of room for improvement! Commercial buildings are built fast with slim margins and contractors have been known to cut corners.
I recently heard of a sprinkler system being installed in a building without consent; it's a major piece of work and I’m astounded that due process wasn’t followed. How do we know it was installed correctly?
This serves as a reminder for the reasons that the rules and processes are in place.
If you have questions about the safety in your building I am available for an independent, neutral opinion, and happy to have a conversation with you.
If you’ve ever had to grapple with the building consent, and I suspect if you’re reading my blog you have, you’ll know that the process can often be fraught with frustration. But well known for our No.8 wire mentality, it seems the systems in place haven’t yet deterred us Kiwis. Indeed, as an example, Auckland's housing boom shows no signs of slowing, with a record 23,220 building consent applications received in the last year, up by 12 per cent. The Auckland City Council also completed 175,000 inspections and issued 18,000 Code Compliance Certificates.
But just how many pieces of paper does it take to build a house?
Well in case you are unfamiliar with the process, the steps go something like this.
So as you can see, it takes many pieces of paper to build a house. That’s not a bad thing the process is there for a reason. Like all law, it also has a tendency to change… To stay abreast with any changes to the consent process, visit my website and sign up to BuildNet; it’s your One Stop Shop for building compliance training and advice. Join HERE.
However, in business and industry it’s sometimes the small things that matter the most. Those little details that your customers, clients or the public may not see are the foundations of your product, service and professional reputation. As a building law educator, I’m pretty keen on getting the foundations right… (Pun intended)!
It’s no secret that New Zealand shakes a lot, you only have to check out the GeoNet app. to recognise that.
I’m sure that you, like me, hold the people of Japan and Ecuador in your thoughts, following the devastating earthquakes over the past week. But it’s only natural that witnessing Mother Nature’s wrath overseas once again brings our thoughts closer to the shaky situation on home turf.
The issue of what to do with old building stock to bring them up to Code is not a new issue, but in my opinion there’s a lot of focus on the big picture, earthquake strengthening of the building, and not always enough consideration of the smaller issues.
If ever there was a situation where we should be sweating the small stuff, this is it. We should be considering issues such as:
Greater consideration also needs to be given in commercial buildings, where systems and equipment are hidden in ceiling voids.
Recently, I asked a recent group of 50 installers why the simple seismic restraints were missing off their HVAC, plumbing or sprinkler pipes. Their answers ranged from:
In my opinion this type of response is not good enough and I’m heartened to know that there's been enough anecdotal evidence to make the Government look at this in more detail, with a new report commissioned by MBIE, you can read more HERE.
If you’re a BuildNet member please watch out for this month's link for more information and a quiz on the key documents relating to this topic.
If you’re not a BuildNet member, you can join HERE.
You may remember that in July last year the Housing Minister announced that New Zealand landlords will be required to insulate properties and install smoke alarms. Read the article HERE.
It seems though, that New Zealand is not alone in its requirement for this mandate; indeed, there appears to be a global trend to ensure landlords complete basic upgrades to old residential stock.
In the UK, new laws came in from October 2015 requiring private landlords to fit smoke alarms on each floor of their rental properties or face a £5,000 fine. Yet, last week, UK newspaper, The Guardian, reported that the most recent figures from the English Housing Survey revealed that while 88% of households in 2014/2015 had at least one working smoke alarm, which cost as little as £4, only 81% of private renters did. Read the article.
In reality, the problem at the heart of this issue, certainly in New Zealand, is that the buildings we’re talking about, (those rented to students and low income families), are old. The government can enforce these laws, but the result may be that when required to carry out major overhauls, landlords could also begin to raise rents above the affordable threshold for these demographics. If this is the case, there will come a point these old buildings will not be viable rental options, so a balanced view needs to be taken.
Could this new legislation just be a way of saying that old buildings are past their use by date? They are old, cold, damp and often unsafe, but for many landlords they still make money and sadly, some tenants can afford nothing better and therefore, are prepared to live in them. Let’s face it; even our modern buildings in NZ are not always warm enough compared to world standards. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum indoor temperature of 18°C, and ideally 21°C if babies or elderly people live in the house. The average daily indoor temperature in the winter for most New Zealand houses is just 16°C. Read the article here . Our homes are still cold in 2016! So is the requirement for floor and ceiling insulation from 2019 really going to cut the mustard?
As for smoke alarms… The law only requires an outdated battery operated alarm in owner occupied homes. This safety standard falls well short of the rules that govern our friends across the ditch, in Australia interconnected hard-wired smoke alarms are mandatory.
If hard-wired solutions are a step too far for implementation, then why not make long life smoke alarms mandatory across the board? Not just where new alarms are being installed.
I have just replaced the smoke detectors in the house I bought last year. The new ones have a ten-year life (with no need to replace the batteries during this time); one in the pack was a thermal heat alarm, two were smoke alarms. I urge you to do the same whether you are a landlord or a homeowner, be safe in the knowledge that you will be acting with superiority and in excess of New Zealand building code requirements!
If you’re a landlord or a property/facility manager and would like to stay up to date with how your building should stand up to the Building Act 2004, find out more about how I can help on my Building Networks website.
Are you a plumber or a specialist kitchen and bathroom installer?
Do you stay up to date with New Zealand Building Law?
The Building Act 2004 isn’t just for builders; it’s something you need to keep abreast
of too, that way you’ll ensure that;
As a building law educator, I’ve been in this game long enough (over twenty years) to know that sometimes things get lost in translation between local councils, builders, sub-contractors and homeowners.
There’s a lot of misinformation floating around out there, and I’m often quizzed about things you can and can’t do without consent in terms of kitchen and bathroom renovations.
So I thought I’d answer three of the most common questions I get asked on this subject.
1. Do I need a consent for my kitchen alteration?
If you are just swapping out joinery or replacing an old dishwasher with a modern one but using the same place then no consent is required. If, however, you are adding electrical sockets, or a new sink with new hot and cold water and drainage then you do need a building consent.
2. If I put in a wet area shower do I need a consent?
Yes. This changes the waterproofing of the walls and the fall that is needed for waste water to get to the drain so you do require a building consent for this upgrade.
3. Can I move the bathroom fixtures around without a consent?
Yes, but only if you are using the same plumbing.
If you’d like to hear more from about what you can and can’t do in terms of building renovations and alterations to ensure you stay within the law, please connect with me on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter!
Or join BuildNet, your One Stop Shop for building compliance training and advice.
A 5.7 magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch on 14th February 2016, almost five years to the day since the 6.3 magnitude jolt that killed 185, served as a stark reminder of the need for us to feel safe at work, home and play. It was also a reminder that a building needs to have a current Building Warrant of Fitness, not for its own sake, but for its inhabitants.
Of course, not every danger that a building should to be equipped for is a force of nature; all to often we take for granted other measures that should be in place to protect the people that reside in our buildings. This means that maintenance and checks of a building’s systems can sometimes be overlooked, leaving its inhabitants with:
These are the things that people need in an emergency, and yet they could be the very things that don't work because no one has maintained them or checked them. American architect and real estate developer, John Portman, once said, “Buildings should serve people, not the other way around.” I couldn’t agree more and that’s why I like to connect people with information so they can make informed decisions about buying or leasing property. If you are a commercial building owner or facility manager, I'd like to talk to you, so I can inform, educate and inspire you with real stories about real people who reside in New Zealand’s buildings. I’ll let you in on some secrets too!
Within my training courses I always aim to bring people to the forefront. It’s human nature that we’re more likely to remember something if it resonates with us on a personal level. So you’ll find that I don’t stand at the front of a seminar spouting boring old stuffy Building Law.
Did you know the rules around Building Warrants of Fitness have changed? If you want to know how, but more importantly want to know why… I can help.
Register for my BWOF Rules for Building Owners and Property Managers in Auckland or in Christchurch this informative session will give you the latest information on your role as the owner as well as furnishing you with a clear understanding about the role of the Council.
I can’t wait to see you there and find out more about you!
Have you considered e-Learning as part of your training budget for 2016?
I’ve been in the education game, specifically for the building industry for over twenty years, and as you can imagine, I’ve seen a few changes throughout my career. Not just in building regulations, but also in the way that information and courses are delivered.
I firmly believe that e-Learning has been an imminently sensible development over the past few years… Here’s why…
Building Networks NZ Ltd now offers you a range of online training courses, most importantly you will also learn your skills maintenance and CPD points.
Often when it comes to interpreting building compliance you need immense fortitude to wade through legal and technical jargon… Alternatively a stiff whisky sometimes helps!
Many of you reading this will at some stage of your career have been personally trained by Rosie, she has delivered hundreds of workshops over her twenty plus years in the business of building law education. Rosie knows how to lighten up the subject by having some fun with storytelling along the way. After all, even though building law is about buildings, it’s the people inside those buildings that really matter.
At Building Networks we’re consistently looking for new ways to translate building law so you can easily understand and apply it, that’s why we are now offering you the chance to book a Customised Action Learning Group.
What exactly is a Customised Action Learning Group? And why do you need one?
Discover more HERE
At the start of the New Year, you’ll be winding yourselves back into work mode, reflecting on 2015 and planning how to build your career or business in 2016.
Planning is great – but action is better.
Over the break I have spent time reading about consistent actions leading to habits and how these habits, in turn, help us to achieve our goals.
If you are in the business of compliance, one habit you should adopt now is to keep up to date with changes; I can help you with that!
My goal for 2016 is to keep you informed with a range of training and educational resources and courses that suit your work style and your budget!
Here is my quick start guide for achieving your goals and building bigger, smarter and better (with Rosie) in 2016.
I call this package the v“I”p package, but that’s because it’s about you not me!
Are you a council employee who is aware that you have a knowledge gap or lack a specific competency? Go VIP.
Are you a compliance company who wants to get ahead of the game and gain a competitive edge? Go VIP.
Find out how to become a v “I” p HERE.
I’ve worked in the building industry for over 20 years, as a building law educator it’s part of my job to translate any new regulations, to ensure they’re easy to understand and digest for the people that need to know about them.
Throughout my career I’ve seen the introduction of numerous rules, and most for good reason. However, something that concerns me, is the fact that over the years continued legislation may have discouraged the spirit of creation and I wonder if there's any joy in designing buildings any more.
Are you a designer or architect who thinks outside of the box to keep designs fresh? Perhaps you think of new ways of living or new products that can give rise to grand designs! If you are I applaud you. It's great to push the boundaries of design, but let’s not forget that fundamentally the building still needs to be safe, warm and dry. It needs to be able to breathe and give the occupants the comforts and amenities they need over time. In other words, it needs to comply with rules that are encapsulated within the Building Act and the New Zealand Building Code.
Thankfully one is not exclusive of the other. There is a place for design and a place for technical compliance, but sometimes these competencies do not reside in the same person! Some people identify as left-brain thinkers and their strong logic skills, will have a tendency towards understanding technical aspects, that’s me... Others identify as right-brain thinkers, with creative talents that know no bounds; this includes most architects and designers I’ve met over the years.
Over 20 years I’ve had many conversations with designers and here are 5 things I was surprised by:
1. Many designers do not know that they can still do alternative solutions. Stretching a little outside of comfortable compliance. You need evidence that the product is fit for purpose in its use and new configuration.
2. Some designers have not recognised that Requests for Further Information (RFIs) are a great learning tool. Why not sit down with your last 5 RFIs and see what they have in common? If the level of detail required is not in the plans and specifications and the RFIs keep coming up with the same missing information then there's a training need here that needs to be addressed.
3. Some designers have not grasped the opportunity to upskill in specialist areas to give quality advice to their clients about the feasibility of a project. This is especially relevant when commercial building consents (especially refits and alterations) trigger off expert requirements such as fire reports, accessibility and specified systems, such as sprinkler and HVAC designers. They may also trigger off other parts of the Building Act (CPUs, compliance schedule updates and sometimes change of use).
4. Some do not know that even if a product was approved overseas it is not necessarily fit for purpose in a New Zealand environment or for the NZ building code. It must be verified somehow for New Zealand conditions. Commonly, testing and appraisals can do this and ultimately a Code mark from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, (MBIE). I’m always surprised that thousands of products are used without being Codemarked. Having the right manufacturer’s literature is essential.
5. Some designers are unaware that I can help them bridge the gap between design and compliance. While you may not be a beginner in the building industry you may need to look at your work through a building control lens. The first step is to download my free book. For a greater depth of information I offer customised in-house training or VIP packages, where you have an opportunity to take advantage of my extensive knowledge through my one-to-one mentoring service.
You’ve all heard of those TV myth busters, and as a building law educator I’m always pleased to be able to bust a few myths myself around building law and compliance.
I recently completed 18 events as part of the Carters Licensed Building Practitioner Road Show. It was so enjoyable to be part of this initiative and I really enjoyed the practical sense of humour builders have.
The Carters Road Show learning sessions were designed to give insights into how Licensed Building Practitioners could keep their businesses out of trouble. They also covered the type of building work that can be done without consent.
The sessions covered:
Coming out of these sessions, I also discovered five things LBPs didn’t know that surprised me.
One of the best ways to keep up to date with industry news, and be part of the conversations that are taking place around building law, consent and Records of Work, is to sign up to BuildNet, Building Networks’ professional learning programme that gives you access to online advice, training, emailed tips, discounts on workshops, training, and much, much more…
There are three different plan levels to meet varying professional development budgets. Find out more HERE.
The Building Control system in NZ has procedures is in place to protect the general public from harm and injury. However, as a recent case of legionellosis in Hawkes Bay demonstrates, there is a sneaky deadly disease that has made its appearance in New Zealand too frequently in recent times. Read the article HERE.
This sad case, which cost a woman both her feet, leads me to question our current Building Act in this specific area.
If you would like to find out what other people in your profession think about this and a whole host of compliance and building control matters, Building Networks NZ can offer you the perfect environment as a BuildNet member.
One of the benefits is the ability to meet in a virtual space to talk about issues, challenges and refresh your knowledge, but there are so many more!
Join BuildNet HERE
I was saddened to read a story on Stuff NZ of another fatality in a Ponsonby house fire.
The current legislative requirements to protect homeowners, residents and tenants are woefully inadequate. These date back to 2003 and simply include the installation of a battery operated hush kit smoke detector. It gets worse… Only one of these is required in a modern home if all the bedrooms are clustered together.
When I look at the technological advances that have been made throughout all industries, including the building industry over the last twelve years, I’m astounded that the legislation hasn’t been updated to include other more superior products and requirements that are recognised for their effectiveness around the world.
It's time the New Zealand building industry stood up to the World Cup of fire protection so we can save Kiwi’s lives!
An article in the Irish Times highlights how more than 600 residents of a Dublin docklands apartment complex face evacuation from their homes on Thursday on the orders of Dublin Fire Brigade, if they cannot fund €4 million of fire safety works.
As a building law educator I know this is happening in New Zealand’s commercial buildings. I believe it's the next leaky building crisis.
The current regime cannot seem to stop this from happening as people either deliberately, or in ignorance bash holes through fire walls without properly sealing. In haste, contractors take short cuts or use cheaper less effective "elephant snot" when installing. Then, of course, there are the Swiss cheese holes of the past buildings that once complied by data cable, other trades have compromised.
IQPs are making these shocking discoveries when they annually inspect properties through the BWOF process. Some building owners resist vehemently as the fix ups are expensive (of those, I ask, what price safety?) and some contractors are sadly in denial.
Please don’t be part of this problem, be a life saver…
Register for one of the Building Networks NZ IQP Forums in Christchurch on 29th October (Register HERE) or Dunedin on 30th October (Register HERE).
You’ll learn more about:
This is your chance to be part of a solution to a very real problem that is alive and kicking in New Zealand!
As a building educator, with over twenty years experience in the industry, I’ve met a lot of builders in my time.
Whilst some of you get frustrated with delays from local territorial authorities around building and resource consent processes, I can quite safely say that every builder I have ever met understands the requirement for these procedures.
If I told you that a proposal could be on the table that would enable you to sign off your own work, how comfortable would you be?
I suspect you would have a few questions…
• What exactly are you signing off? The foundations? The structure? The work that your sub-contractors complete?
• How would this open you up to disputes and/or claims, affecting your professional indemnity insurance?
• What liability would the local territorial authorities have in terms of building standards and any repercussions from sub-standard workmanship?
There are probably lots more questions rolling around in your head right now, and yet it appears the door is ajar for letting you sign off on your own work. A proposal to enable this self-certification is among recommendations released earlier this week by the Government's rules reduction taskforce, which was set up to look at the rules and regulations causing frustration for taxpayers. Read the article HERE.
Having worked within the building industry for many years, including the years immediately following the “Leaky Homes Crisis”, I can only say that if this proposal for self-certification comes to fruition, there will undoubtedly be a requirement for you to become more than builders, you’ll need to get your legal wig and gown on too.
Having read the article on self-certification just two days ago, imagine how surprised I was to read a piece this morning that almost diametrically opposes the content. “Council crackdown on shoddy building.”
Building inspection is part of the local territorial authority’s role and purpose. It is in the interest of public safety to ensure that New Zealand building regulations are upheld. It is also in your best interests to have an independent third-party set of eyes checking your work.
With all that said and done, you also have an obligation to be aware of updates and changes within your industry’s governing legislation, The Building Act 2004.
Building Networks New Zealand can help you with that. BuildNet is our professional learning network that gives you access to…
• Online advice
• Emailed tips and expertise, as well as
• Discounts on offline workshops and seminars
BuildNet is for builders as well as Building Inspectors, IQPs and BWOF Officers. Educate yourself and raise your own level from just $12.50 a month.
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Book HERE for the next IQP Forum in your town