Recommendations for builders, designers and project managers


We recommend that builders, designers and project managers:

  • advise the owner if you are thinking about making changes to the building work in any way that differs from the approved building consent plans and specifications. Ultimately, the owner is responsible for Building Code compliance and for obtaining a CCC and needs to agree to any proposed changes, but you are responsible (or can be held liable) for complying with the approved consent
  • remind the building consent applicant (or their agent on their behalf) to apply for any proposed minor variation
  • involve the designer in the process of considering whether to apply for a minor variation to help ensure that the proposed change does not adversely affect other parts of the building work
  • as part of good project and site management practices, provide for timely and effective management of any proposed changes and associated minor variation approvals that may be needed during a building project
  • discuss proposed minor variations with the BCA as early as possible to avoid or limit delays in construction
  • when preparing an application for a minor variation, present information on the plans and specifications that relate to compliance with the Building Code in a way that is clear and easy for the BCA to follow. Do not include details that are irrelevant to compliance with the Building Code, or alternatively, separate out those details. Make the changes clear and obvious for building officials. It is good practice for designers to use a design summary form for this purpose
  • provide the BCA with all the information it needs to show why the proposed minor variation is necessary and how it complies with the Building Code
  • do not carry out building work that varies from the building consent until the BCA has approved the minor variation
  • obtain and keep a written record of any minor variation granted by the BCA
  • build from the approved building consent and/or minor variation plans and specifications. Look after the approved plans and specifications on site as they are important legal documents, and read and refer to them frequently throughout the project.

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: