Acceptable Solution and Verification Method amendments November 2018

Posted: 30 November 2018

Building Controls Update 243
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Seven Acceptable Solutions and four Verification Methods for complying with the New Zealand Building Code have been amended. Changes are effective from 30 November 2018.

A large number of Building Code System documents require updating periodically to remain current with sector innovations and best practice.  MBIE has started a Bi-Annual Building Code System Update programme to assist with this.  This means there are two consultation periods every year in February/March and August/September about proposed changes to Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods. Amendments are published in June and November.

This move to a Bi-Annual Building Code System Update responds to sector feedback that previous updates have been ad hoc in nature, that stakeholders want more lead-in time to provide submissions, and they do not want lengthy consultation documents. The new programme will provide the sector more advanced notice of consultations, ensure relevant documents remain up-to-date, and give clarity, certainty and consistency.

The first consultation period in this new programme took place from 8 August to 21 September 2018. Amendments were proposed to eleven Acceptable Solutions and Verifications Methods, and it was proposed to revoke the Simple House Acceptable Solution.

Overall 29 submissions were received, the majority supporting the proposed changes. Some submitters commented on other matters and these have been noted for future consideration. The published amendments will follow the proposals except that the Simple House Acceptable Solution will not be revoked at this time.

MBIE appreciates the time and effort put into the submissions and would like to thank all those who participated.

Effective dates and transition

These amendments are effective from 30 November 2018.

The previous Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods will continue to comply until 31 March 2019 inclusive. If used from 1 April 2019, the previous Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods must be considered an alternative solution proposal.


Amendments have been made to the following Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods:

Building Code Clause B1 Structure: B1/VM1

  • B1/VM1 has been amended to reference a new Standard for designing composite steel-concrete structures and a new Technical Specification for specifying durability requirements for steel structures. These new documents expand on information currently available with the former providing design options for a wider range of composite structures and the latter enabling more designers to specify corrosion protection systems. B1/VM1 also now references the latest version of the wind loading Standard.

Building Code Clause B2 Durability: B2/AS1

  • B2/AS1 now includes durability requirements for steel structures and components. This amendment provides clarity on steel protection measures avoiding the need to justify alternative solution proposals.

Building Code Clause E2 External Moisture: E2/VM1, E2/AS1

  • Both the Verification Method and Acceptable Solution have been amended to include Extra High wind zones. Amendments have been made to the Verification Method to clarify the testing requirements for ensuring adequate weathertightness performance of claddings. The revised testing requirements apply to all new testing; current test certificates will remain valid.

Building Code Clause G12 Water Supplies: G12/VM1, G12/AS1, G12/AS2

  • Amendments have been made to the G12 Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods to reference amended Standards for the jointing of common stainless steel pipework. This means common stainless steel pipework installation no longer has to be treated as an alternative solution proposal.

Building Code Clause G13 Foul Water: G13/AS1, G13/VM2, G13/AS2, G13/AS3

  • Amendments have been made to G13 Verification Methods and Acceptable Solutions to reference an amended Standard relating to the testing of drains and inclusion of vacuum drainage systems. Use of these provisions will no longer need to be treated as alternative solution proposals.

Simple House Acceptable Solution (SH/AS1)

  • MBIE proposed to revoke SH/AS1 as part of the November 2018 Update. During consultation we learned that information on foundation design in expansive soils in SH/AS1 is not contained in any other Acceptable Solution. We now propose transferring the ‘Slab-on-ground in expansive soils’ information to Acceptable Solution B1/AS1 as soon as possible as part of the Bi-Annual Building Code System Update programme. Once this is done, SH/AS1 will be revoked.

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This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: