November 2020 Building Code update

Last updated: 2 October 2020

Building code update consultation 2020

The November 2020 improvements to the Building Code support high density housing, make consenting easier, and ensure buildings are safe, healthy and durable.

Outcome of 2020 Building Code Update

Building Code 2020 update public consultation outcomes[PDF 1.4 MB]

Decisions to amend, revoke or issue New Zealand Building Code Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods 2020

The proposed updates to the Building Code in November 2020 relate to amending Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods documents, which are issued under section 22 of the Building Act 2004.

Between 17 February and 17 April 2020, MBIE consulted on proposals to issue two new Acceptable Solutions and amend twelve existing Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods. In total, there were 27 amendments proposed across 12 documents.

Submissions came from a range of people in the building and construction sector, including building consent authorities (BCAs), designers, builders, home owners, suppliers and manufacturers.

After analysing feedback that was received during the consultation process, MBIE has decided to proceed with the majority of proposed changes, with some minor 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 as a result, we have decided that we need to gather more evidence before requiring full scale testing for buildings in the 10-25 metre height range.

BRANZ is conducting some research in this area to help inform MBIE’s decisions about 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 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.

Summary of decisions

C1-C6 Protection from fire

Proposal Decision Description
C/VM2 – Item 1: Cladding requirements Publish with significant changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with modifications to the proposed text to address concerns raised on the contribution of structural members to vertical fire spread.
C/VM2 – Item 2: Horizontal fire spread Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.
C/VM2 – Item 3: Editorial Publish with significant changes MBIE is publishing two amendments to the text and withdrawing the proposal to include Appendix D practice advice for fire modelling (informative) in C/VM2.
C/AS1 – Item 1: Scope of risk group SH Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.
C/AS2 – Item 1: Scope of risk group SH Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.
C/AS2 – Item 2: Means of escape Publish with significant changes MBIE is withdrawing several proposed amendments and publishing the remainder with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.
C/AS2 – Item 3: Group sleeping areas Publish with significant changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with modifications to the proposed text and figures to clarify the requirements.
C/AS2 – Item 4: Cladding requirements Publish with significant changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with modifications to the proposed text to address concerns raised on the contribution of structural members to vertical fire spread.
C/AS2 – Item 5: Control of external fire spread Publish with significant changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.
C/AS2 – Item 6: Firefighting Withdraw and reconsider MBIE is withdrawing this proposal.
C/AS2 – Item 7: Editorial Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.
C/AS2 – Item 8: Errata Publish as proposed MBIE is publishing these amendments as proposed.

E1 Surface water

Proposal Decision Description
Item 1: New Acceptable solution E1/AS2 for stormwater drainage Publish with minor changes MBIE is issuing this new Acceptable Solution with minor modifications to the proposed text.
Item 2: Rainfall intensities in E1/AS1 Publish with minor changes MBIE is proceeding with amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text.
Item 3: Referenced standards in E1/VM1 and E1/AS1 Publish as proposed MBIE is publishing these amendments as proposed.
Item 4: Correct a spelling mistake in E1/AS1 Publish as proposed MBIE is publishing these amendments as proposed.

E2 External Moisture

Proposal Decision Description
Item 1: Align E2/AS1 with the new E1/AS2 for design of gutters, downpipes and spreaders Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text and figures to clarify the requirements.

E3 Internal Moisture

Proposal Decision Description
Item 1: Overflow of free water in E3/AS1 Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.
Item 2: Issue new Acceptable Solution E3/AS2 for internal wet area membranes Publish with minor changes MBIE is issuing this new Acceptable Solution with minor modifications to the proposed text.
Item 3: Amend E3/AS1 to align with the new proposed E3/AS2 Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.

G9 Electricity

Proposal Decision Description
Item 1: Reference Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 in G9/VM1 and G9/AS1 Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.
Item 2: Electricity Act 1992 comment box in G9/AS1 Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.
Item 3: Accessibility for light switches and plug sockets in G9/AS1 Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.

G13 Foul Water

Proposal Decision Description
Item 1: Modifications to AS/NZS 3500.2 in G13/AS3 Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.
Item 2: Referenced standards in G13/AS1 and G13/AS2 Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.
Item 3: Remove AS/NZS reference in G13/AS3 Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.
Item 4: Editorial Publish with minor changes MBIE is publishing these amendments with minor modifications to the proposed text to clarify the requirements.

Transition Period

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 four 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.

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: