Building Code updates will be open for consultation on 5 August – save the date!

Posted: 31 July 2019

Public consultation on proposed changes to the Building Code opens on 5 August 2019.

This will be the third update in the biannual update programme. MBIE intends to publish these proposed changes in November 2019 and would like your feedback before doing so.

Within the updates proposed to the Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods, the most significant changes are in two main areas:

Promote robust foundation solutions for liquefaction-prone ground

  • Changes are proposed to support safer and more resilient housing foundations. Buildings on ground that has been identified as prone to liquefaction will require specifically designed foundations.
  • Currently, the Acceptable Solution B1/AS1 does not exclude ground prone to liquefaction and/or lateral spreading. Updating the definition of ‘good ground’ within the B1 Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods document will ensure alignment with the geotechnical learnings from the Canterbury earthquakes.

Support building higher-density housing and give more choice in framing specification 

  • This proposal will help streamline the building consenting process for light steel framing, which will help housing densification and encourage off-site manufacture, while also giving designers additional material choices.
  • It is proposed to introduce a new enclosure Acceptable Solution (E2/AS4) for light steel frame buildings by citing the National Association of Steel Framed Housing (NASH) enclosure standard. This provides the weather-tightness details that work alongside the structural design rules for light steel frame buildings referenced in MBIE’s June 2019 update. The Acceptable Solution serves the same purpose as E2/AS1 for timber framing. It will enable the use of light steel framing solutions for buildings up to 10 metres, which will make it easier to prove compliance with the Building Code.

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

Summary of changes

  • B1/VM1, B1/AS1 – along with the ‘good ground’ changes, MBIE will also be proposing to cite new updated amendments to Standards
  • B2/AS1 – minor editing change
  • E2/AS4 – the inclusion of a citation for a new Acceptable Solution for light steel framing
  • H1/AS1 – will include citing Standards for better lighting efficiency

We want to hear your thoughts on these proposals. Details about how to make a submission will be announced on 5 August 2019.

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: