Have your say on Building Code amendments – consultation opens 17 February

Posted: 17 February 2020

Building Controls Update 256
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The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will be seeking the sector's views on a number of amendments to the Building Code as part of the biannual Building Code update programme.

MBIE is committed to updating the Building Code so that it keeps pace with innovation, current construction methods and the needs of modern society. The current focus of the Building Code update programme is to support densified housing.

This public consultation is the sector's opportunity to have your say and help shape the future of New Zealand's building safety. These amendments will be published in June 2020.

MBIE acknowledges and appreciates the effort and time you put into responding to these public consultations.

The proposed changes for the June 2020 update focus on fire safety requirements, surface water drainage and waterproofing in bathrooms, kitchens and laundries.

Your feedback is important as it will help us shape the Building Code to support safe, healthy and durable buildings. Consultation runs from Monday 17 February to Friday 27 March 2020.

June 2020 update highlights

The most significant proposed amendments aim to do the following:

Increase clarity and consistency around fire safety requirements by:

  • improving building features for firefighter operations in emergencies to better align with current Fire and Emergency New Zealand procedures and equipment
  • amending fire testing requirements for cladding systems, so that international fire test methods can be considered

Providing more options to comply with the Building Code for surface water drainage by:

  • issuing a new Acceptable Solution for the design and installation of stormwater drainage systems
  • making it easier to determine rainfall intensities for specific locations

Summary of Changes

C Protection from Fire

  • C/AS1 and C/AS2 – Clarify the scope of risk group SH (residential housing) between the two documents
  • C/AS2 and C/VM2 –Amend fire testing requirements for cladding systems to reference large scale international test standards as a means of demonstrating compliance
  • C/AS2 – Clarify and make the application of the document more consistent for means of escape, group sleeping areas, control of external fire spread and firefighting
  • C/VM2 – Amend design scenarios HS 'Horizontal fire spread' and VS 'External vertical fire spread' by changing the cladding requirements

E1 Surface Water

  • E1/AS2 – Issue a new Acceptable Solution referencing AS/NZS 3500.3:2018 Stormwater drainage as a means of compliance with NZBC clause E1 Surface Water (with modifications)
  • E1/AS1 – Amend E1/AS1 Appendix A to replace the rainfall intensity maps with a table that provides current location specific rainfall intensity data for ~250 NZ towns and cities

E2 External Moisture

  • E2/AS1 – Minor amendments to existing references within Acceptable Solution E2/AS1 to support the introduction of Acceptable Solution E1/AS2 (E1 Surface Water reference updates)

E3 Internal Moisture

  • E3/AS2 and E3/AS1 – Issue a new Acceptable Solution for internal wet area membranes and tiled showers referencing the Waterproofing Membrane Association code of practice for Internal Wet-area Membrane Systems. This is supported by amendments to E3/AS1
  • E3/AS1 – Provide additional options to manage overflow risks in kitchens and laundries in adjoined household units

G9 Electricity

  • G9/VM1 and G9/AS1 – Align G9/VM1 and G9/AS1 with WorkSafe requirements by referencing the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010
  • G9/AS1 – Align requirements for accessibility with NZS4121:2001

G13 Foul Water

  • G13/AS3 – Modify two additional clauses within AS/NZS 3500.2:2018 Sanitary plumbing and drainage to reflect the intent of figure 4.9.1 (a) 45° Junction at grade

The other proposed changes in the update continue the maintenance of the Building Code documents by updating references, cited Standards, and correcting editorial errors.

If you would like to find out more about the proposed amendments or how to make a submission, please visit the MBIE website.

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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: