Posted: 10 February 2020
MBIE is committed to updating the Building Code so that it keeps pace with innovation, current construction methods and the needs of modern society.
As part of this, public consultation on proposed changes to the Building Code will open on 17 February 2020 as a continuation of the biannual Building Code update programme. These changes are intended to be published in June 2020.
The most significant proposals 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, and
- 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, and
- making it easier to determine rainfall intensities for specific locations.
Provide a new Acceptable Solution for waterproofing in bathrooms, kitchens and laundries by:
- referencing the Waterproofing Membrane Association code of practice for Internal Wet-area Membrane Systems.
These proposed changes support high-density housing, will make consenting easier, and ensure buildings are safe, healthy and durable.
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 Building Code 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/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 NZS 4121:2001.
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.
Other amendments are proposed for maintenance of the Building Code documents for these clauses, to update referenced standards, and provide editorial corrections to text.
We want to hear your thoughts on these proposals. Details of the proposals and how to make a submission will be available from 17 February 2020 on the MBIE website.