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An outside platform projecting from, or recessed into, the wall of a floor of a building, surrounded by a balustrade, railing or parapet, and accessed by an entrance from the building interior. May also be known as a deck. Note: there have recently been concerns about potentially unsafe balconies. For safety advice on checking balconies, decks and balustrades, see Building Controls Update 33. The Building Code clauses relating to balconies include E2 External Moisture and B2 Durability.
Prohibition of the use of building methods or products. The Ministry can issue warnings about, or ban the use of, building methods or products under section 26 of the Building Act 2004 where the use of a building method or product has resulted in, or is likely to result in a failure to comply with the Building Code. Find out more »
A bathroom may contain a washbasin, shower, bath and toilet. Bathrooms are covered by Building Code clauses such as E3 Internal Moisture and G5 Interior Environment. If you are planning to renovate your bathroom, visit ConsumerBuild for further information.
BC Update (Building Controls Update)
A periodic email news service offered by the Ministry that you can subscribe to or view on this website. See also Codewords.
Small, round plastic discs used to check that the bending radius of reinforcing steel complies with the requirements of the Clause B1 Compliance Document. For more information see Building Controls Update No.27 - Report on Grade 500E Steel Reinforcement and related information. See also grade 500E steel.
The building controls newsletter of the former Building Industry Authority (BIA). There were 146 issues published prior to the BIA being dissolved on 30 November 2004. You can still view archived copies. The Ministry’s replacement newsletter is Codewords.
The former Building Industry Authority’s (BIA) email update service. There were 46 issues published prior to the BIA being dissolved on 30 November 2004. You can still view archived copies. The Ministry’s replacement email news bulletin is Building Controls Update.
An organisation providing independent services to the building and construction industry in New Zealand, Australia and Asia. BRANZ opinions or advice have no status in law but are generally held in high regard by the industry. Services include testing and research, education, product appraisal, and technical advice. BRANZ Ltd is wholly owned by Building Research , an independent association owned and directed by the building and construction industry in New Zealand. Visit BRANZ Ltd’s website to find out more about their services.
A person who constructs or renovates houses or buildings. See our information for builders, or if you want to choose a builder, see the information for consumers and homeowners or visit ConsumerBuild . You can also visit the two builders’ associations’ websites: Registered Master Builders Federation and Certified Builders Association of New Zealand for information about membership and services offered.
Any temporary or permanent, movable or immovable structure including a structure intended for occupation by people, animals, machinery or chattels. For a fuller description of ‘building’, as well as what a building does and does not include, see sections 8 and 9 of the Building Act 2004 .
Building a home
For guidance on the steps involved in building a home see information for homeowners and consumers.
Building Act 1991
An Act to consolidate and reform the law relating to building and to provide for better regulation and control of building. This was repealed on 31 March 2005 and is now replaced by the Building Act 2004.
Building Act 2004
An Act providing for the regulation of building work, the establishment of a licensing regime for building practitioners, and the setting of performance standards for buildings, to ensure that:
- people who use buildings can do so safely and without endangering their health; and
- buildings have attributes that contribute appropriately to the health, physical independence, and well-being of the people who use them
- people who use a building can escape from the building if it is on fire
- buildings are designed, constructed, and able to be used in ways that promote sustainable development.
The Building Act 2004 repeals the Building Act 1991, and is administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (formerly Department of Building and Housing). It is available online. Find out more about the Building Act, or go straight to the information relevant to different people.
Formal confirmation by a building certifier (see below) that plans and specifications or specific aspects of a building comply with the Building Code. Since the last active certifier finished operating in November 2005, these certificates will no longer be issued.
A private person or organisation approved and registered by the Building Industry Authority under the Building Act 1991 to certify that building plans and specifications or completed buildings complied with the Building Code. From 31 March 2005, building certifiers were not permitted to take on new work. This is a requirement of the Building Act 2004. The last active certifier finished operating in November 2005.
The First Schedule to the Building Regulations 1992 that sets national, mandatory standards for building work. All building work in New Zealand must comply with the Building Code. The Code is performance-based and specifies how a building and its components must perform, as opposed to how the building must be designed and constructed. Details on design and construction are found in the non-mandatory Compliance Documents that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (formerly Department of Building and Housing) produces to help people by describing one way of meeting the requirements of the Building Code. You can also comply with the Code using alternative solutions.
Building Code Handbook
A guide for users of the building regulatory system. First published in July 1992, it has been continually updated over the years. It explains the meaning of a range of terms such as building consent, code compliance certificate, compliance schedule, and alternative solutions; lists all the publications (mainly Standards) referenced in the Compliance Documents (formerly known as Approved Documents), and provides model content that can be included in a building’s compliance schedule. The Building Code Handbook still refers to the 1991 Building Act in a few places, and includes some terms not in the 2004 Act, but is still a useful source of information.
Consent issued by a building consent authority for building work to begin in accordance with the approved plans and specifications. For information about when a building consent is required and how to apply, see Building consents and inspections process.
Building consent authority (BCA)
Building consent authorities issue building consents, undertake inspections during construction and issue code compliance certificates, notices to fix and compliance schedules.
A BCA is a territorial authority, regional authority or private body that has been registered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment after having been assessed and accredited by the Building Consent Accreditation Body. The BCA must have demonstrated that the necessary processes and systems are in place to meet the accreditation regulations/standards.
At present only territorial and regional authorities are deemed to be BCAs, until the accreditation process comes into force on 30 November 2007. Find out more about accreditation and registration as a BCA. For more information about the functions of building consent authorities see information for building officials.
Regulation of the construction and use of buildings with the primary objective of safeguarding the health and safety of occupants. In New Zealand, these controls are largely set out in a two-part framework: the Building Act 2004 setting out the law on the construction, alteration, demolition and maintenance of buildings, and the Building Regulations containing the New Zealand Building Code and the rules about building consents and building inspections. Find out more »
Building controls process
The system of consents, inspection and certification of building work aimed at safeguarding the health and safety of people using any building. Find out more »
The Ministry publishes estimated building costs for various building types and regions in New Zealand. The figures are intended to assist territorial authorities arrive at realistic estimated values when questioning the job value provided with a building consent application. View the latest figures.
The entire exterior surface of a building, including foundations, walls, doors and windows that encloses or envelops the space within. Building Code clauses relevant to the building envelope include E2 External Moisture.
Building Industry Authority (BIA)
The former independent Crown entity established in 1992 to manage New Zealand’s building legislation. Dissolved in 2004, its functions have been incorporated into those of the Department of Building and Housing (now part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment). Archived BIA publications such as BIA News are available in the Ministry’s publications archive.
An official employed by a building consent authority who is responsible for enforcement and interpretation of the Building Code. See our information for building officials.
Building product certification
See product certification.
Regulations that have been made under the Building Act 2004, as well as the Building Regulations 1992 which contain the Building Code. The various Building Regulations and the Building Code are available online. Find out more »
An independent association owned and directed by the building and construction industry in New Zealand. It collects the Building Research Levy and uses it to fund high-level scientific research and disseminate knowledge to the building industry. Building Research owns BRANZ Ltd. Visit the Building Research website to learn more about the association.
Building warrant of fitness
A statement signed by the building owner (or manager) stating that the requirements of the building’s compliance schedule have been fully met in the previous 12 months. The compliance schedule lists the specified systems operating in a particular building, and the building warrant of fitness is an assurance that the specified systems have been inspected and maintained, and are continuing to operate effectively. For more information about the building warrant of fitness requirements, see information for building owners, managers and developers.
The construction, alteration, demolition or removal of a building. Building work also includes work on an allotment that is likely to affect the extent to which an existing building on the land complies with the Building Code, and includes sitework and some design work. It is a requirement of section 40 of the Building Act 2004 that a person must not carry out any building work except in accordance with a building consent. There are limited circumstances where some building work does not need to obtain a consent - see exempt building work.
Buying a house
For information on the steps involved in buying a house, visit ConsumerBuild. This includes information on how to arrange a property inspection.
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