Glossary for Schedule 1 guidance

Definitions and abbreviations relating to building work that is exempt from requiring a building consent. For more definitions, refer to the Building Code Handbook.


Abode or place of abode
As defined in section 7 of the Building Act, abode or place of abode:

a) means any place used predominantly as a place of residence or abode, including any appurtenances belonging to or enjoyed with the place; and
b) includes:

(i) a hotel, motel, inn, hostel, or boarding house;
(ii) a convalescent home, nursing home, or hospice;
(iii) a rest home or retirement village;
(iv) a camping ground;
(v) any similar place.

In relation to a building, includes to rebuild, re-erect, repair, enlarge and extend the building. (Refer to section 7 of the Building Act 2004.)

A complete unit consisting of assembled components.

Authorised person
An authorised person is defined in the Building Act 2004 section 42A(3) and is:

  • a registered certifying plumber or drainlayer, or
  • a plumber or drainlayer who carries out the work under the supervision of a registered certifying plumber or drainlayer – as long as he/she:
    • is registered, or
    • holds a provisional licence, or
    • is under training.

A roof-like cover, usually made of fabric or similar lightweight material on a frame, often used to shelter a window, door or the side of a building.


Building Act
Building Act 2004.

Building Code
Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations 1992.

Building element
Any structural or non-structural component and assembly incorporated into or associated with a building. This includes fixtures, services, drains, permanent mechanical installations for access, glazing, partitions, ceilings and temporary supports.

Building work
Refer to Section 7 of the Building Act 2004.


Projecting hood supported on brackets, corbels or columns over a door, window or niche. (This definition is taken from the Standards New Zealand publication NZMP 4212:1998 Glossary of building terminology).

A roofed structure for motor vehicle storage with at least one side fully open to the outdoors.

Certificate of acceptance
A certificate for building work issued by a territorial authority under Section 96 of the Building Act 2004.

Chartered professional engineer
A professional engineer registered under the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Act 2002.

Comparable materials
Materials with similar properties having in-situ performance in terms of the Building Code that is not less than that of the existing materials. (Also refer to B2/VM1 re ‘similar materials’).

A part of an assembly.


As defined in section 7 of the Building Act, a dam:

(a) means an artificial barrier, and its appurtenant structures, that

(i) is constructed to hold back water or other fluid under constant pressure so as to form a reservoir; and
(ii) is used for the storage, control, or diversion of water or other fluid; and

(b) includes:

(i) a flood control dam; and
(ii) a natural feature that has been significantly modified to function as a dam; and
(iii) a canal; but

(c) does not include a stopbank designed to control floodwaters.

A binding decision made by the Ministry that provides a way of solving disputes or questions about the rules that apply to buildings, how buildings are used, building accessibility, health and safety. The law that covers determinations is the Building Act 2004 (sections 176-190).


Used in this guide to refer to building work that does not require a building consent; in particular, under one or more of the clauses in Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004.


Coatings and paints used to protect the surface of a particular material.

An article intended to remain permanently attached to, and form part of, a building.


Ground moisture barrier
A polythene film with a vapour flow resistance of no less than 50 MN s/g and a thickness of no less than 0.25mm, such as 250 micron polythene.

(Refer to regulation 28 of the Residential Tenancies (Healthy Homes Standards) Regulations 2019)


Height-restriction gantry
Overhead structure which restricts vehicles from passing underneath, such as in a car park or underpass.

A structure alongside a public way providing side protection but no overhead protection. (This definition is taken from the compliance document F5/AS1 for Building Code clause F5 – Construction and demolition hazards.)

Act Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.


Lawful repair
Repairs that comply with the Building Code and other legislation.

The rigid sheet covering for a wall, ceiling or interior surface.


Lawful repair using comparable materials in the same position to replace something that wore out through normal wear and tear.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.


Net floor area
The total usable floor area in a building, measured to the inside of the enclosing walls.

Network utility operator (NUO)
As defined in section 7 of the Building Act, a person who:

(a) undertakes or proposes to undertake the distribution or transmission by pipeline of natural or manufactured gas, petroleum, or geothermal energy; or

(b) operates or proposes to operate a network for the purpose of:

(i) telecommunication as defined in section 5 of the Telecommunications Act 2001; or
(ii) radiocommunications as defined in section 2(1) of the Radiocommunications Act 1989; or

(a) is an electricity operator or electricity distributor as defined in section 2 of the Electricity Act 1992 for the purpose of line function services as defined in that section; or

(b) undertakes or proposes to undertake the distribution of water for supply (including irrigation); or

(c) undertakes or proposes to undertake a drainage or sewerage system.


Open-vented water storage heater
A water heater incorporating a vent pipe which is permanently open to the atmosphere.

A building classified as an outbuilding under clause A1 of the Building Code.


A roofless, paved outdoor area adjoining a building.

An exterior, decorative open-framed structure often to support climbing or trailing plants.

Playground equipment
Equipment and structures with, or on which, children can play.

A supporting base.

As defined in section 7 of the Building Act, pool:

a) means

(i) any excavation or structure of a kind normally used for swimming, paddling, or bathing; or
(ii) any product (other than an ordinary home bath) that is designed or modified to be used for swimming, wading, paddling, or bathing; but

b) does not include an artificial lake.

Projecting or recessed covered space at the entrance to a building or structure. (This definition is taken from the Standards New Zealand publication NZMP 4212:1998 Glossary of building terminology)

Primary structure
Building elements that are intended to contribute to the building’s ability to withstand vertical or horizontal loads (eg its beams, bracing, columns, foundations, roof, sub-floor framing and walls).


Regional authority
A regional council or a unitary authority (refer to Section 7 of the Building Act 2004).

Residential pool
As defined in section 7 of the Building Act, residential pool means a pool that is:

a) in a place of abode; or
b) in or on land that also contains an abode; or
c) in or on land that is adjacent to other land that contains an abode if the pool is used in conjunction with that other land or abode.

Rodding point
A removable cap at ground level through which access may be made for cleaning and inspecting the drainage system.

Rural zone
Any zone or area (other than a rural residential zone or area) that, in the district plan of the territorial authority in whose district the building work is to be undertaken, is described as a rural zone, rural resource area, rural environment or similar wording.


Shade sail
Fabric or similar lightweight material extended over an outdoor area to provide shelter or protection from direct sunlight.

A structure, including any structural support, for the purpose of conveying information or an instruction.

Small heated pool
As defined in section 7 of the Building Act, small heated pool means a heated pool (such as a spa pool or hot tub) that: a) has a water surface area of 5 square metres or less; and b) is designed for therapeutic or recreational use.

Solid-fuel heater
Solid-fuel burning appliance such as a wood burner.

A temporary structure erected by merchants to display and/or shelter their merchandise or products.

Structures built along water courses such as rivers or streams to prevent the surrounding land from flooding.

Specified system
Refer to Section 7 of the Building Act 2004.

Subfloor space
A building with a suspended floor is likely to have a subfloor space. The subfloor space is enclosed if the airflow into and out of the space is significantly obstructed along at least 50% of its perimeter by 1 or more of the following:

(a) masonry foundation wall;
(b) cement boards, timber skirting, or other cladding;
(c) other parts of the building or any adjoining structure;
(d) any other permanent or semi-permanent structure that significantly obstructs airflow;
(e) rock, soil, or other similar material.

(Refer to regulation 28 of the Residential Tenancies (Healthy Homes Standards) Regulations 2019)

Supplementary heat exchanger
A device built for efficient heat transfer from one medium to another.

Supporting ground
Ground which is bearing all or part of the loads from building work.

A load imposed by adjacent activities (eg vehicle movement, parking or storage stacks), buildings or structures.


Intended to last or to be maintained in place for only a limited and relatively short period of time.

Territorial authority
Refer to Section 7 of the Building Act 2004.


A roofed space extending from a building. (This definition is taken from the Standards New Zealand publication NZMP 4212:1998 Glossary of building terminology)


Water storage heater
A water tank with an integral water heater for the storage of hot water.

Wet area shower
A shower with a floor that is a continuation of the bathroom floor rather than a separate raised shower tray or cubicle. Also known as a level entry shower.

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: