Key messages for builders, designers and project managers

  • Build from the approved building consent plans and specifications. Look after them on site and refer to them frequently throughout the project.
  • When preparing your application for a building consent amendment, present information on the plans and specifications that relates to compliance with the Building Code in a way that is clear and easy for the building consent authority to follow. Avoid, or separate out, details that do not relate to compliance with the Building Code. Make the changes clear and obvious for consent processing staff. Designers could use a Design Summary Form for this purpose, which is good practice.
  • If you are thinking about varying the building work in any way that differs from the approved plans, advise the owner. Ultimately, the owner is responsible for the building work and for obtaining a code compliance certificate.
  • Good project/site management includes effective management of variations that may occur during a building project.
  • Do not carry out building work that is a variation from the approved consent until the proposed variation has been discussed and approved (whether formally or informally) by the building consent authority.
  • Obtain a written record of any amendment agreed to by the building consent authority (for example, site inspection notice/record).
  • Give as much notice of amendments as possible to avoid or limit delays.
  • Involve the designer in the process of considering an amendment to ensure the proposed variation does not impact on other parts of the building work.
  • Remind the consent applicant/designer/builder/project manager to contact the building consent authority to seek approval for the proposed variation.
  • The building consent application, and any subsequent amendments that may be necessary, must contain sufficient detail to give the building consent authority 'reasonable grounds' on which to make its decision. The designer (and/or builder) must demonstrate compliance.
  • Explain why the proposed variation is necessary and be prepared to offer your view on how it complies with the Building Code (the designer may have primary responsibility for this). It will help support any request for an amendment.

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: