Last updated: 21 August 2023
BuiltReady enables faster, more consistent building consent approaches for the manufacture of modular components, with the aim of improving productivity, reducing costs and contributing to better environmental outcomes.
What is BuiltReady?
BuiltReady is a voluntary certification scheme for modular component manufacturers which enables them to be certified and registered to produce modular building components.
Under this scheme, the entire prefabricated construction process from design (where relevant), manufacture, assembly, transportation, and installation on-site will be assessed and certified. Third party inspections, audits and post-certification surveillance by an accredited and registered modular component manufacturer certification body will ensure certified manufacturers are producing modular components that meet the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code.
Depending on how manufacturers meet specified certification and registration criteria, they may be certified to:
- Manufacture Only modular building components to a Building Code compliant design that must be approved by a building consent authority through either a building consent application or a current national multiple-use approval (MultiProof)
- Design and Manufacture modular building components to a Building Code compliant design that they have developed themselves.
A certified and registered manufacturer will be able to issue a certificate for a component detailing its compliance with the Building Code.
Building consent authorities will only inspect work that is not covered by a manufacturer's certificate. Examples of such work are foundations and site work, or other parts of the building not covered by a manufacturer's certificate. In some instances, the scheme transfers some responsibilities from a building consent authority to certified manufacturers.
BuiltReady will be open for applications from certification bodies and then manufacturers in 2023.
There are three step-by-step guides to show how BuiltReady works within the building consent process.
These guides will be helpful for people who:
- are considering applying to become certified under the scheme
- want to understand how the consent process works with certified manufacturers.
BuiltReady assurance in Aotearoa New Zealand
Building consent authorities must accept a manufacturer's certificate issued under the BuiltReady scheme as complying with the New Zealand Building Code when it is used in building work, as long as the component is designed and manufactured and used in accordance with the scope of their certification.
BuiltReady is currently the only deemed to comply modular component certification scheme in New Zealand.
BuiltReady is only one way that you can show that a modular component complies with the requirements of the Building Code. MBIE administers other schemes within Aotearoa New Zealand that may be more relevant to you (link to the schemes page). Modular components can also be approved through the traditional Building Consent process without a manufacturers certificate.
Purpose of the BuiltReady scheme
A high performing building and construction industry is crucial to Aotearoa New Zealand's economy and vital for delivering safe, healthy, and durable buildings for everyone.
The building and construction industry is innovating by making use of manufacturing technology and processes to increase productivity and quality. These advances help deliver precise, repeatable, and consistent construction, resulting in high quality products with fewer defects
The current building consenting system is not clear about how to treat modular components that do not align with traditional construction methods. The Building Act 2004 requires building consent authorities to make judgements about compliance based on 'reasonable grounds'. For traditional building work, building consent authorities can rely on in-person site inspections. However, for off-site construction, in-person inspections can be impractical and create significant delays. Components are often manufactured some distance from where the component will ultimately be installed (off-site and even offshore), and manufactured products may arrive at a building site already enclosed, limiting the effectiveness of visual inspections.
The building regulatory system required better ways of dealing with new and innovative construction methods that manufacture building components off-site. The Building (Building Products and Methods, Modular Components, and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2021 (the Building Amendment Act 2021) is one part of the broader Building System Reform (the reforms). Phase One of the reforms focused on building products, building methods, and the implementation of systems and processes to speed up consenting for new and innovative ways of building, with the aim to lift the efficiency and quality of building work, and to provide fairer outcomes if things go wrong.
The Building Amendment Act 2021 introduced a new voluntary certification scheme for modular component manufacturers.
Accredited certification bodies and certified manufacturers will also need to be registered by MBIE. Registration of certified manufacturers includes a fit and proper person assessment, and an adequate means assessment to ensure it can cover any civil liabilities that may arise in relation to the design (if applicable) and manufacture of its modular components.
Once registered, a certified manufacturer may issue a manufacturer’s certificate for a component detailing its compliance with the Building Code.
Using manufacturer’s certificates
A certified and registered manufacturer can issue certificates within their scope and limitations of certification. When using a modular component in your building project that has been certified by a manufacturer under the BuiltReady scheme, then the certificate for that component must be supplied with your building consent application.
Deciding to use a modular component that has a certificate issued under this scheme does not eliminate the need for a building consent or building consent authority inspections during the building process. However, there may be a reduction in the amount of processing time and/or the number of inspections a building consent authority may undertake or require.
The building consent authority needs to ensure that a manufacturer's certificate falls within the scope of the manufacturer's certification and registration.
They also need to ensure that the scope of what the manufacturer is covering in their certificate is clear.
They do not need to sight or assess any of the component's supporting evidence, such as test reports, calculations and assessments and must rely on the certificate itself as proof of compliance with the Building Code.
If the modular component is being used outside the scope, limitations and conditions of the certificate, the building consent authority will be unable to rely solely on a manufacturer's certificate and will likely need to see further evidence of compliance with the Building Code.
A building consent authority should check the register of modular component manufacturers to check their registration is current.
Image provided by Kāinga Ora.