The Compliance Verification Process

Context

Consumers, Architects, Engineers and particularly Territorial Authorities all need to know whether or not a building product or system will comply with the New Zealand Building Code when installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is a basic requirement for making an application for a building consent as set out in the Building Act 2004 which states: “All building work must comply with the building code to the extent required by this Act”

Purpose

The purpose of this Evaluation Procedure is to set out a logical transparent process for determining the compliance of a building product or system with the NZ Building Code, that does not comply with a Government published 'compliance document' known as "Acceptable solutions".

Users

It is intended for use by Territorial Authorities or private Building Certifying Authorities, for manufacturers or importers/distributors, where there is a need to verify compliance, particularly where there are known risks associated with the product or system.

Building Code Requirements

High risk building products and systems, such as cladding systems by way of example, can be evaluated for compliance against all or some of the following Clauses of the NZ Building Code:

B1 - Structure (usually B1.3.2 and B1.3.3)
B2 - Durability (usually B2.3.1 (a))
C3 – Spread Of Fire (usually C3.3.5)
C4 - Structural Stability During Fire (usually C4.3.1 and C4.3.2 and C4.3.3)
E2 – External Moisture (usually E2.3.2)
F2 – Hazardous Building Materials (usually F2.3.1)
G5 – Interior Environment (usually G5.3.1)
H1 – Energy Efficiency (usually H1.3.1 and H1.3.2)

It is up to the manufacturer, or importer or distributor to state which clauses of the Building Code the building product will comply with. If they are not sure which clauses need to be complied with, advice from consultants such as BEAL must be sought.

Performance Standards

For each Clause of the Building Code it is essential to use a relevant performance standard or criteria to establish the minimum performance requirements.

In New Zealand there are many performance standards described in New Zealand or Australia Standards and these are usually the most reliable means of establishing minimum criteria.

In the absence of a New Zealand Standard other performance criteria must be used, such as use of interim performance standards published by the Building Quality Institute (www.bqi.org.nz).

In the absence of either of the above-mentioned standards, use of relevant industry organisation performance criteria such as a Code Of Practices, may be suitable.

Note

Though the New Zealand Department of Building and Housing publish ‘Compliance documents’ as reference documents, care must be exercised when using these as it is known that some documents contain errors or omissions in them or have the potential to mislead. This may have significant legal implications if they are relied upon.