Building consents are consents to carry out building work, and are issued by a building consent authority such as Council.
Building consents are the formal approval that certain works, if completed in line with the plans and specifications in your application, meet the Building Act, Building Regulations and Building Code requirements.
You will likely need to engage competent design professionals to complete the necessary plans, specifications and other supporting documentation required in your application.
To apply for a consent, you need to complete a building consent application form (Form 2) . This form requires a solid knowledge of the Building Code, which competent design professionals can assist you with.
Plans, drawings and specifications are vital components of your building consent application. You need a design professional with a solid knowledge of the Building Act and who can design to the Building Code.
Design professionals may include a registered architect, chartered professional engineer, licensed building practitioner or other. They can help ensure your designs adequately demonstrate to Council that your proposed building complies with the Building Code. All building work will also follow those plans.
After building work is complete, Council checks the work has been done according to the consented plans. The plans provide a record of the completed building work.
Incomplete building consent applications are rejected and returned by Council, which can lead to delays or unforeseen costs. However, the appropriate design professionals will know what to include so that Council won’t have to make multiple requests for information.
We suggest using people with appropriate qualifications, skills and experience who are either part of an industry organisations, e.g. Engineering New Zealand or are licensed building practitioners.
It’s important to note that if your project is residential and contains restricted building work, you must use a licensed building practitioner (LBP) to do or supervise the design work.
Professionals who can help you design your building or renovation project may include:
Where the work is commercial (or includes a residential cable car) the application must include information on specified systems. You must also include the performance standards to which the specified systems will be installed, and the inspection maintenance and reporting procedures to be listed on the compliance schedule.
When submitting fire reports or engineering design, you should ensure the person providing that information to you is suitably qualified and experienced. If your fire design has an alternate solution or specific engineering design you should only use chartered professional engineers for these specialised roles.
If your building includes specified systems such as fire sprinklers, alarms, backflow preventers, emergency lighting etc., your application must include information on these. This should include the
EITHER a specific Building Code performance or
OR if referring to Standards or Acceptable Solutions, the references should include dates and versions of the documents referred to.
Note: For single household unit this section only applies if you have a cable car.
Amendments to building consents must be made before the work is done. This application can be made by completing the Building Consent Amendment Form 2.
It is required that you to "cloud" the area of the work being altered to speed up processing times.
Minor variations are small changes that can usually be approved by the inspector onsite. It is in you/your builder’s best interest to raise these with the inspector as soon as possible. You may need to provide drawings etc. showing what the minor variation is. Council don’t have an application form for minor variations. To submit a minor variation at any stage during the consent process please contact the Duty Building Technician.
This section provides further guidance to help assist the building consent process.
Having a design and building professionals is the key to enjoying a smooth building consent process.
We suggest you:
Think about suitability, as well as the ongoing costs associated with maintenance and replacement of products and systems. Are the products/systems ‘tried and true’, or do you want to use ones that are innovative? If you want to use innovative products, ask your designer what they know about these products and ask your builder/tradesperson if they have used them before.
If you don't understand your building consent documents once you've read them, you are welcome to ring our helpful Duty Building Technician on 06 87 5100 and discuss.
Is your building consent application going backwards and forwards with Council? Is the consent being delayed by ongoing questions your designer can’t seem to resolve? Is there an issue with every inspection? Are inspections constantly failing? Is the site mostly clean and tidy? Can the builder answer your questions in a way that makes sense?
If you are starting to worry about the project you should seek expert advice as soon as possible. Council can help in some areas but we cannot help over issues of contract. Council will not impose barriers to obtaining a building consent unless something is not right.
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