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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti

If you are not familiar with building plans and compliance with the building code, we recommend engaging an experienced professional to supply the required drawings and information, and to apply for a building consent on your behalf.

It is important that your application is as detailed as possible to enable us to be satisfied the proposed building work when constructed meets the requirements of the Building Act and New Zealand Building Code.

Providing a good application will avoid unnecessary delays. Everyone involved benefits from a complete, accurate, easily understood application as it becomes the plan everyone has to follow.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) have launched a building system search engine, Building Code Hub, which helps people locate the latest building rules and guidance information for designing and constructing buildings. In addition, five commonly used building Standards and a handbook are now free to download from the Standards New Zealand website. Refer to the Building Code Hub and building Related Standards links in the related information area.  By making it easier for people to access building-related documents, MBIE hopes to see improved compliance with the Building Code, and more importantly, safer homes and buildings.

When lodging a building consent application we require property owners or their agents to notify us if any part of the site is contaminated with potentially hazardous substances. Substances may include, but are not limited to asbestos or contamination caused by the manufacture of illegal drugs. The council can be notified by written notification in the building consent application or by phoning 03 477 4000 after the building consent has been lodged.

It is important to note if applying for a building consent on a property in the process of being subdivided, and in which a certificate of title has not been issued for the proposed property, that the code compliance certificate will be issued on the underlying property.

Resource consents

Depending on the nature of your project i.e. it could impact on the environment or affect other people, you may need to apply for resource consent as well as building consent. A little under half of all applications for building consent will be checked by a DCC Planner to see if the proposal complies with the District Plan or if resource consent is required. Refer to the Planning check guidance in the related information area.

If resource consent is required, a certificate issued under section 37 of the Building Act is attached to your project information memorandum (PIM) or building consent. A section 37 certificate precludes any work commencing until the resource consent has been granted.  We strongly advise you obtain resource consent before seeking a building consent to avoid expensive changes to your proposal.

A guide has been developed to assist you to prepare applications for building consent. For more information, please phone 03 477 4000 or email planning@dcc.govt.nz

Earthworks - to determine if resource consent is required for earthworks contact the Planning Department.

Building on land subject to Natural Hazards

Section 72 of the Building Act 2004 is concerned with building on land which is subject to a range of natural hazards, like flooding, slippage and erosion. There are difficulties in building on such hazardous land for both the owner and Council. Section 72 offers a solution to potential conflicts of interest by allowing, in certain situations, an owner to take the risk of building on hazardous land without exposing Council to future liability. If this applies to your project, a section 72 notification will be required to acknowledge that you are aware of the implications of this issue. Please contact the Building Services department for more information.

Project information memorandum (PIM)

A project information memorandum (PIM) summarises information on relevant land features and regulatory requirements that may affect your building work. A PIM can help inform design requirements and reduce time and costs during the consent approval process. Although you can apply for a PIM at the same time as a building consent, it's better to do so beforehand, so you know all the matters that may affect your project before you submit your consent application.

A PIM does not give you any form of approval under the DCC District Plan and is not an authorisation to commence work. You must wait until your building consent (and resource consent, if required) has been granted and issued before commencing work.

A PIM is not compulsory but we recommend that you apply for one for all new dwellings, commercial projects and other significant building activities. If a PIM is not applied for, and DCC considers there may be relevant information on land features and regulatory requirements a project consideration summary will be issued with your building consent. Project consideration summaries incur the same charges as a PIM.

For more information about project information memoranda visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website. (link to external website, new window).

Applying for a project information memorandum (PIM)

PIM applications follow a similar process to a building consent application. Once you have the necessary information you can apply in person or online.

Application packs are available on the Building forms and guidance page in the related information area.

  • Producer statements

    A producer statement is a statement completed by suitably qualified and experienced designers or building professionals confirming that the design or construction has been completed in accordance with certain provisions of the New Zealand Building Code.

    Dunedin City Council has the responsibility for enforcing the provisions of the Building Act, including the building code, and ensuring that all completed building work complies with the Act. One way of helping us to be satisfied is via the acceptance of a producer statement.

    Producer statements supplied as part of a building consent application will only be accepted from recognised authors (as below) that have the appropriate level of competence. The statements must be current, clearly identify the location and scope of work proposed, and confirm compliance with the appropriate building code clauses.

    Recognised authors are:
    • chartered Professional Engineers (CPEng) on the Engineer NZ register; or
    • approved and included on the Southern Building Control Group (SBCG) Producer Statement register.
    Peer review and a producer statement (PS2) will be required for structural design where:
    • an author of a PS1 is not CPEng or on the Southern Building Control Group Producer Statement authors’ register
    • structures containing fabricated steel trusses span further than 20 metres. It is noted that lower pitches present greater risk as drainage falls may become insufficient due to roof deflections. The peer review would be limited to the trusses, supports, foundations and connections.  Note weld testing may be required to AS/NZS 1554, as referenced in NZS 3404 clause 9.7.1.1 (B1/VM1)
    • cold formed portal frames, other than by proprietary manufacturers (such as Totalspan buildings), span further than 10 metres. It is noted that lower pitches present greater risk as drainage falls may become insufficient due to roof deflections
    • new buildings of importance level 3 or above as defined by Clause A3 of the NZ Building Code. There will be exceptions, such as a 250 person primary school building consisting of simple single level spaces
    • new buildings, apart from detached dwellings, having more than three levels above ground
    • any significant structural alterations are made to buildings of importance level 4 or 5, as defined by Clause A3 of the NZ Building Code
    • structural designs involving alternative solutions, other than tested proprietary systems or products such as the Gib EzyBrace system
    • projects involving significant structural work and an estimated build value exceeding $5 million.
    Notes:
    • the spans above refer to the horizontal distance between supporting elements
    • a request for peer review is at the discretion of the BCA and is not solely limited to the situations above
    • guidance on who can undertake a peer review is provided in section 2.3 of IPENZ Practice Note 2. Ideally the peer reviewer should be independent of the design or assessing engineer and their organisation and have no financial or other interest in the outcome of the peer review. See Practice Note 2 for further information.

    Peer review and a PS2 may be required for fire design in certain circumstances. For more information refer to the DCC Fire Design Policy in the related information area.

    Producer statements supplied as part of the construction process will only be accepted from recognised authors (as below) that have the appropriate level of competence. The statements must be current, clearly identify the location and scope of work proposed, and confirm compliance with the appropriate building code clauses.

    Recognised authors are:

    • chartered Professional Engineers (CPEng) on the Engineer NZ register
    • approved and on the Southern Building Control Group (SBCG) Producer Statement register
    • approved and on an accredited Building Consent Authority Producer Statement register
    • New Zealand Registered Electricians
    • South Island IQP (Independent Qualified Person)
    • ERMA (Environmental Risk Management Authority)
    • HASNO (Hazardous Substances and New Organism) Register of Test Certifiers.

    Application to be accepted on the Southern Building Control Group Register can be made via the Southern Building Control Group (SBCG) Producer Statement link in the related information area.

  • Restricted Building Work (RBW) and Licensed Building Practitioners (LBP)

    Restricted Building Work is work which is critical to the integrity of certain residential buildings i.e. ensures the building is structurally sound and weather-tight and must be undertaken or supervised by a LBPRBW must be identified in your building consent application and be accompanied by a certificate of design.

    Before a code compliance certificate can be issued the owner must provide DCC with copies of a memorandum (record of building work) from each of the LBP that undertook or supervised the work. If the work to your home does not include work to the primary structure or its weather-tightness, then it is unlikely to be restricted building work.

    We have developed restricted building work guidance to assist with determining whether your project involves restricted building work. Useful information is also available on the Licensed Building Practitioner and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website. (link to external website, new window).

  • Restricted Building Work - Owner-builder exemptions

    Owner-builders are able to carry out restricted building work on their own home if they meet the owner-builder criteria. A statutory declaration is required to be completed and witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or someone else authorised by law to do so and submitted with the building consent application before the construction of restricted building work on your home starts. An owner-builder is responsible for ensuring the restricted building work carried out under the owner-builder exemption complies with the building consent and relevant plans and specifications.

    Future buyers will have access to information that shows the restricted building work was carried out by the owner rather than a licensed building practitioner.

    Visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website. (link to external website, new window), for more information on owner-builder obligations.

  • Complaints against Licensed Building Practitioners (LBP)

    You can complain to the Licensed Building Practitioners Board about what an LBP did or did not do. You can also complain about work that they have supervised or work that they have overseen or instructed, including work carried out by subcontractors that they have instructed.

    The Board has the right to discipline an LBP if the work or the actions they took falls within the ‘grounds for discipline of licensed practitioners’ detailed in section 317 of the Building Act 2004.

    The Board does not deal with disputes about payments or other commercial disputes.

    For more information refer to the guidance in the related information area.

  • Water connections

    An application is required to connect or disconnect to/from a DCC water main.  Building owners are responsible for having all drains sealed at connection to the DCC sewer(s). A Certifying Drainlayer is to carry out this work and it must be inspected by the DCC.  All costs are the responsibility of the building owner. Drains must be sealed prior to moving any dwelling.

    If you fail to seal the drains and have the work inspected before the demolition is carried out, you may be required to dig up the drains to verify they are correctly sealed. All costs the DCC incurs will be invoiced directly to the owner of the property.

    More information is available on the Water supply page in the related information area.

  • Commercial projects

    Building consent application packs are available to assist you with submitting a complete application for building consent. Our commercial application pack includes a check sheet and guidance designed to ensure applicants know up front what information is required to accompany the application.

    Incomplete applications or lack of any supporting information will mean the application will not be accepted for processing.

    We suggest applying for a certificate for public use with the building consent application if premises are to be used by members of the public, before a code compliance certificate is issued. For more information refer to the Certificate for Public Use section below.

  • Specified systems

    Specified systems are features which are designed to save lives such as emergency warning systems, fire alarms, sprinklers, smoke detectors, etc. Specified systems are not usually installed in residential situations; they are unique to a building and complex in nature, for this reason it is strongly recommended that the designer completes the compliance schedule section of the building consent application form.

    If your application involves specified systems, the Compliance Schedule Specified Systems Form (SBCG 27) and the individual Specified System Forms (SS Forms) are required to be completed. You need to include; a list of the specified systems that are being added, altered or removed as part of the building consent application, and include the compliance standards, the version (year) of those standards, and inspection, maintenance and reporting requirements, for each system. These forms can be found under Compliance Schedule Information – Building forms and guidance in the related information area.

  • Certificate for Public Use (CPU)

    A Certificate for Public Use (CPU) is used to certify that premises or parts of premises affected by building work are safe to be used by members of the public, before a code compliance certificate is issued.

    You must have a CPU if the public are to have access to all or parts of the building (either during construction or on completion) before a code compliance certificate is issued. Anyone who owns, occupies or controls premises intended for public use may apply for a CPU. A CPU does not relieve the owner of a building from the obligation to apply for a code compliance certificate.

    We suggest applying for a CPU with the building consent application if premises are to be used by members of the public, before a code compliance certificate is issued. Please make sure the CPU application is clearly identified if being included with the building consent application. The file should be appropriately named.

    The Dunedin City Council will only issue a CPU when it is satisfied that it is safe for members of the public to use the premises. It is the owner’s responsibility to make sure a CPU is current.

    To apply for a CPU, please submit an Application for Certificate for Public Use, supporting documents and application fee to us. Application forms and the fee schedule are available on the Building forms and guidance page in the related information area.

  • Alterations to existing buildings and changing the use of a building

    If you are; making alterations to an existing building, section 112 of the Building Act 2004 has to be considered, changing the use of a building, section 115 has to be considered. We recommend engaging an experienced professional to assist you with meeting the requirements associated with these sections of the Building Act.

    If you want to change the use of a building, even if no building work is involved, the owner needs to let the Dunedin City Council know of the change (in writing).

    We are available to help with any information you may need in regards to these sections of the Building Act.

    Further information can also be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website. (link to external website, new window).

  • Extensions to the specified intended life of a building

    All buildings have an indefinite life exceeding 50yrs. At times, due to building work, they could be assessed to have an agreed specified life of less than 50 years possibly due to inadequacies of building code compliance or on owners request to have a temporarily located building.

    Where a building with a specified intended life is issued with a building consent that is subject to the condition the building be altered, demolished or removed before the end of its life, an 'extension of life' can be obtained on a request from the owner, if the Territorial Authority is satisfied on reasonable grounds the building can satisfactorily perform for a further specified time.

    An owner of a building must give written notice to the Dunedin City Council if it proposes extending the life of a building.

    Visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website. (link to external website, new window), for more information.

  • Subdivision of an existing building

    If you are subdividing a building or part of a building, you need to show us that it complies with section 116A of the Building Act 2004.

    A Territorial Authority must not issue a certificate under section 224(f) of the Resource Management Act 1991 for the purposes of giving effect to a subdivision affecting a building or part of a building unless it is satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that the building will comply, as nearly as is reasonably practicable, with every provision of the building code that relates to one or more of the following:

    • means of escape from fire
    • access and facilities for people with disabilities (if this is a requirement for the building)
    • protection of other property.

    The building must also continue to comply with the other provisions of the building code to at least the same extent as before the subdivision application was made. This often requires a building consent application to undertake any necessary work to upgrade a building.

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