Buildings with compliance schedules for specified systems

Last updated: 15 March 2016

Specified systems are crucial to the safety and health of a building and those who use it. As a building owner it is your responsibility to ensure the systems are inspected and maintained according to the compliance schedule.

Buildings that contain certain safety and essential systems, known as specified systems, need a compliance schedule.

Specified systems help ensure a building is safe and healthy for people to enter, occupy or work in. They require ongoing inspection and maintenance to ensure they function as required. If they fail to operate properly, they have the potential to affect health or life safety.

It is the responsibility of a building owner to ensure the specified systems continue to perform as was intended when they were installed.

The building owner will be issued with a compliance schedule at the same time as their code compliance certificate. In rarer cases a compliance schedule may not be issued with a code compliance certificate. This is likely to occur when a compliance schedule is required but for some reason one was never obtained.

The compliance schedule lists the building’s specified systems, the performance standards and the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures needed to keep them in good order. To verify these responsibilities have been met, you need to sign, issue and display a building warrant of fitness every 12 months.

Buildings that need a compliance schedule

Under the Building Act 2004, all buildings (other than single residential buildings, unless they have a cable car) require a compliance schedule and annual building warrant of fitness if they contain any of the following:

  1. Automatic systems for fire suppression (for example, sprinkler systems).
  2. Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers (other than a warning system for fire that is entirely within a household unit and serves only that unit).
  3. Electromagnetic or automatic doors or windows (for example, ones that close on fire alarm activation).
  4. Emergency lighting systems.
  5. Escape route pressurisation systems.
  6. Riser mains for use by fire services.
  7. Automatic backflow preventers connected to a potable water supply.
  8. Lifts, escalators, travelators, or other systems for moving people or goods within buildings.
  9. Mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems.
  10. Building maintenance units providing access to exterior and interior walls of buildings.
  11. Laboratory fume cupboards.
  12. Audio loops or other assistive listening systems.
  13. Smoke control systems.
  14. Emergency power systems for, or signs relating to, a system or feature specified in any of clauses 1-13.
  15. Any or all of the following systems and features, so long as they form part of a building’s means of escape from fire, and so long as those means also contain any or all of the systems or features specified in clauses 1 to 6, 9, and 13:
    1. Systems for communicating spoken information intended to facilitate evacuation; and
    2. Final exits (as defined by clause A2 of the building code); and
    3. Fire separations (as so defined); and
    4. Signs for communicating information intended to facilitate evacuation; and
    5. Smoke separations (as so defined).

All buildings with a cable car, including single residential buildings, require a compliance schedule.

How to get a compliance schedule

For new buildings, an application should be made as part of the building consent application (where the new building will contain specified systems). The local council will issue the compliance schedule to the building owner with the code compliance certificate.

For existing buildings that have specified system(s) but for some reason don’t already have a compliance schedule, the building owner must apply to the local council for one. The building owner will be required to supply the same information about the specified system as if they were being installed under a building consent.

The building owner needs to provide enough information with their building consent application to enable council to compile the compliance schedule.

This includes details of the design features of the specified systems, as well as the proposed procedures for inspection, maintenance and reporting.

You also need to need to include the performance standard each system is supposed to meet, and continue to meet, for the life of the building.

When your building consent is granted, the Building Consenting Authority will specify documents you need to provide when you apply for a code compliance certificate

This may include:

  • installation certificates from subcontractors who installed the specified systems verifying the work has been done in accordance with the building consent and the relevant standards
  • evidence that specified systems are capable of performing to the performance standards set out in the building consent (such as testing or commissioning results)
  • third party verification from accredited inspection bodies (for fire alarms and sprinkler systems).

If the BCA is satisfied the building work has been built to the approved consent documents and the Building Code, they will issue you a code compliance certificate, compliance schedule and compliance schedule statement.

When you have a compliance schedule

You must display the compliance schedule statement (not to be confused with the compliance schedule) in a public part of the building for the first 12 months of the building’s life. This is usually inside the front foyer or ground floor reception area.

The compliance schedule statement is replaced after 12 months by the first building warrant of fitness which must be issued by you (the building owner), or your agent on your behalf.

You will need to ensure your specified systems are regularly tested and maintained as per the compliance schedule. This includes some inspections by independent qualified persons (IQPs). 

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: