BC Update: No. 81 - Changes to the Building Act 2004 affecting Cable Cars coming into effect
8 April 2008: From 31 March, a requirement in the Building Act 2004 relating to cable cars took effect.
It means that any building with a cable car attached to or servicing it must have a compliance schedule.
The Department of Building and Housing has just released technical guidance for building officials and IQPs by amending the Compliance Schedule Handbook to include cable cars in the Content Guide. Refer to Compliance Schedule Handbook. This includes information and guidance on the content to be included in a compliance schedule about inspections and maintenance of the cable car.
The compliance schedule handbook refers to New Zealand Standard NZS 5270, Cable Cars for Private Residences. This Standard includes information on the inspection and maintenance of cable cars for houses, including an example of a maintenance checklist and items to be included on a compliance schedule
Buildings used wholly as a single household unit (a house) need the compliance schedule only for the cable car, but not for any other specified system in the building.
On the anniversary of the issue of the compliance schedule, a building warrant of fitness must be supplied to the council, certifying that all the procedures in the compliance schedule have been carried out. Sections 108 to 111 of the Building Act describe the building warrant of fitness requirements.
The owners of buildings with cable cars must contact their council to obtain a new compliance schedule, or, if a compliance schedule already exists, an amendment to the compliance schedule. The council can charge a fee for issuing this.
There are several reasons why owners of cable cars should obtain a compliance schedule. Owners who do not obtain a compliance schedule may find themselves breaching warranty requirements under sale and purchase agreements when selling their properties. Councils should consider placing documents on Land Information Memorandum’s indicating whether compliance schedule and building warrant of fitness requirements have been complied with where properties are serviced by cable cars. There may also be problems for owners if a cable car failure leads to an insurance claim and there is not an up-to-date compliance schedule in place. It is also an offence under the Building Act 2004 not to obtain a compliance schedule where one is required. From July 2008, a council will be able to issue fines for certain breaches of the Act, such as not obtaining a compliance schedule.
The council will need some information from a qualified person in order to issue the compliance schedule. This will include, for example, how often the cable car needs an inspection, including safety checks, and what maintenance is needed in order to keep the cable car operating safely. Specific areas of concern would be the presence and operation of any device that prevents the cable car from an uncontrolled descent, and ensuring there are clearances and other measures to ensure that users are not in danger of being crushed between moving and non-moving parts of the cable car.