Outcome of 2020 Building Code Update

Posted: 2 October 2020

Following the public consultation that took place earlier this year, and in preparation for publishing changes to Building Code documents, a decision document is being released to help prepare the sector for changes published in November 2020.

To ensure you are well informed about changes to the Building Code on 5 November 2020, MBIE are providing a document outlining decisions from the consultation earlier this year. MBIE has decided to proceed with the majority of proposed changes, with some amendments.

While MBIE mainly received positive feedback on the proposed changes, there were some concerns expressed about the fire testing protocols for cladding systems and the proposed changes to facilitate firefighting operations.

We listened to these concerns and have decided that more evidence is needed before requiring full scale testing for buildings in the 10-25 metre height range. The timber sector will be working alongside BRANZ to conduct this research, so in the future MBIE can make a decision on how to proceed. In the meantime, MBIE will update the Cladding Guidance document released in 2019 to align with the requirements in the Acceptable Solution and Verification Method. MBIE will also be undertaking work with the sector to resolve comments on the facilitation of firefighting operations.

The changes we have decided to proceed with are responsive to the needs of the building sector and will support high density housing, make consenting easier and ensure buildings are safe, healthy and warm.

Find out what is changing in the Building Code

The feedback we receive during each consultation phase is essential for continuously improving the New Zealand Building Code, and we would like to extend our sincere appreciation for everybody who took the time to provide a submission.

The existing Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods will remain in force until 4 November 2021, a period of 12 months. This transition period is longer than the 4 months proposed during consultation. The timing is consistent with MBIE's new Building Code updates schedule, where updates will be published in November each year, as previously announced in Building Controls Update 268.

Please note that the next consultation opens in April 2021.

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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: