Posted: 12 June 2023
In May 2022, MBIE consulted on acceptable solutions and verification methods for complying with the Building Code. The proposed changes for the 2022 consultation focussed on plumbing and drainage, protection from fire, and structural stability of hollow-core floors.
The consultation closed on 1 July 2022 and received over 100 detailed submissions and comments. In November 2022, MBIE announced decisions on two parts of the Building Code update where we had proposed changes: lead in plumbing products, and the structural stability of hollow-core floors.
MBIE have now made decisions on the remaining proposed changes to plumbing and drainage and protection from fire.
Plumbing and drainage
MBIE is amending the acceptable solutions and verification methods to support plumbing and drainage work in Aotearoa New Zealand. This includes changes for the compliance pathways for water supplies, foul water, and surface water drainage systems. These changes are the latest in a series of continuous improvements to ensure the Building Code compliance pathways for the plumbing sector are fit for purpose and up to date. The changes will help improve the safety and reliability of new plumbing and drainage systems for New Zealanders. This update will help support the provision of plumbing and drainage services which comply with the Building Code and meet the safety and wellbeing objectives in the Building Act 2004.
Feedback from the consultation has been considered and has resulted in some modifications to the content that was originally proposed. The main changes relate to water supplies, and individuals are encouraged to read the outcomes documents for further information.
Read the decision on plumbing and drainage [PDF 1.3 MB]
Protection from fire
MBIE is amending Acceptable Solutions C/AS1, C/AS2, F7/AS1 and Verification Method C/VM2 to improve the safety of people from fire. The changes are intended to increase the protection of people in residential homes from fire and bring the requirements for fire safety systems in line with the latest industry standards. By aligning with the latest industry standards, MBIE is ensuring that provisions in the compliance pathways for fire safety systems are up-to-date, consistent and clear.
MBIE received mixed feedback on other proposed changes to C/AS1. There was general support for the intent of the proposals to increase the level of fire safety in residential buildings. However, there was limited agreement on the technical details or where the changes increased the cost of new buildings without sufficient evidence of the benefits. Therefore, MBIE will also be withdrawing proposed changes to C/AS1 on fire resistance ratings and the control of internal and external fire spread. We intend to conduct further engagement with the sector and additional consultations to ensure we consider all perspectives on these issues before making a decision to progress our proposals for C/AS1 any further.
Read the decision on protection from fire [PDF 830 KB]
MBIE will be publishing the revised acceptable solution and verification method documents in November 2023. By announcing these decisions prior to the publication of the revised Building Code documents, our aim is to provide certainty and direction to the sector, to give manufacturers, suppliers and installers time to comply with the new requirements, and to prepare information and education to support the sector and public with the changes.
We encourage you to read the outcome documents for additional information on the feedback we received and the decisions themselves.