Building Code update 2022

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Submissions due: 01 July 2022, 5pm

MBIE is consulting on changes that aim to ensure new buildings better protect the safety of New Zealanders as part of the Building Code update programme

If you need a version of a consultation document in a more accessible format please email buildingfeedback@mbie.govt.nz. Please use the subject “Building code update consultation 2022” and tell us what document and format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Updates to the Building Code

Every year MBIE consults on changes to selected Building Code acceptable solutions and verification methods, providing an opportunity for the public and the building and construction sector to have their say on the proposed changes. MBIE continuously updates these Building Code documents to support New Zealand to deliver safe, healthy and durable buildings.

This year the proposed changes aim to update some key areas which will help make new builds even safer and healthier for our whānau and communities.

MBIE seeks your views on proposals for the following acceptable solutions and verification methods for complying with Building Code clauses B1 Structure, C Protection from fire, E1 Surface water, F7 Warning Systems, G12 Water supplies and G13 Foul water.

Plumbing and Drainage

The proposed changes to the Building Code acceptable solutions and verification methods aim to improve the safety and reliability of plumbing and drainage systems to give New Zealanders greater confidence that water from a tap is healthy and safe.

The proposed changes for plumbing and drainage include looking to limit the allowable lead content in certain plumbing products, reduce the risk of hot water scalding injuries, and protect potable water supplies. MBIE are proposing changes to the Building Code compliance pathways for water supplies, foul water and surface water that support plumbing and drainage work in New Zealand. The changes are the latest in a series of continuous improvements for plumbing and drainage to ensure these Building Code compliance pathways are fit for purpose and up to date.

Structural stability of hollow-core floors

This proposal affects the compliance pathway for the use of hollow-core floor systems in new buildings. It proposed to remove a 'deemed to comply' solution for the support of hollow-core floors in new building designs from Verification Method B1/VM1.

This means that engineers will be required to do more than follow the existing design method for hollow-core floors, and consent authorities will no longer be able to accept this method as proof of compliance with the Building Code without further evidence. MBIE expects that engineers and designers proposing to use these types of floors will be required to provide additional evidence (testing and analysis) to demonstrate that the design of the support complies with the Building Code as an alternative solution. We expect that the proposed change will minimise the chance of excessive damage or injury from poorly designed hollow-core floor systems in the event of a range of potential earthquakes.

Protection from fire

This proposal aims to improve the level of fire safety for our buildings and support housing densification.

As the demand in multi-unit dwellings continues to increase, MBIE aim to support this type of construction with simple solutions for the associated fire risks. The proposed changes increase the scope of the existing acceptable solution C/AS1 to include more types of low-rise multi-unit homes and make accompanying changes to address the associated fire risks.

The proposed changes also include bringing the fire safety system requirements in line with the latest industry standards to ensure that the compliance pathways reflect modern design practices. This includes proposing a simple solution to improve fire safety by requiring interconnected smoke alarms throughout new homes.

Register for our webinar

The team will be running a webinar on 05 May 2022 to provide more details on the proposed changes and answer any questions about the consultation.

Register for the webinar on Zoom(external link)

The webinar will include sessions for each proposal and the programme is available on registration.

How to make a submission

You can make a submission using one of the following options:

1. Complete an Online Survey

2. Download the submissions form and send it to us by email or post.

  • Email to: buildingfeedback@mbie.govt.nz, with subject line ‘Building Code consultation 2022’
  • Post to:

    Building System Performance
    Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
    PO Box 1473
    Wellington 6140
    New Zealand

Submissions for the consultation closes at 5 pm on 01 July 2022

The consultation document includes questions for you to respond to in your submission. These questions are listed in full in the submission form and in our online survey. Please note you do not need to answer all of the questions.

If you have any questions about the submission process, please email us at buildingfeedback@mbie.govt.nz