If you are making an application for a Building Consent (Form 2), review the table below to see which documents may need to be submitted to council along with your application:

Table Application And Document Type


Restricted Building Work

If Restricted Building Work is part of the work being undertaken, a form 2a Memorandum from Licensed Building Practitioner/s: Certificate of Design Work for each type of building work being undertaken must be provided. This includes engineers and/or consultants who have been part of the design work.

If you are applying for Owner / Builder exemption to complete the Restricted Building Work, then you will need to complete the Statutory Declaration as to Owner Builder form.

Note: If restricted building work forms are completed outside of the portal, please attached to the architectural specifications document.


Definitions:

SED - Specific Engineering Design

MEP - Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing


Proof of ownership

The ‘proof of ownership’ must be current – that is, less than three months old. The preference is for a Certificate of Title.


Architectural Plans

These are the plans or drawings that accompany an application. They visually communicate how a building is proposed to be constructed, altered, demolished, or removed.

The drawings should be professionally drawn using the appropriate scales, and on appropriate sheet sizes consistent within a single set of project drawings.

All drawings should contain an appropriate drawing number following a logical sequence, contain a drawing title with the designer’s and owner’s name, the project address, and be dated for version control. Elevations, Sections, Details are to be labelled and cross-referenced and back-referenced where appropriate.  

The drawings should be clear, unambiguous and not contradict each other, other supporting documentation or other disciplines’ drawings.

A standard scale is as follows, for different drawing types:

Drawing TypeNormal Scale
Location Plan 1:500
Site plan 1:100
Floor plan 1:100 or 1:50
Foundation plans 1:100 or 1:50

Bracing plans: subfloor, deck, wall and ceiling/roof

1:100 or 1:50

Plumbing and drainage

1:100

Fire protection plan

1:100 or 1:50

Elevations

1:100 or 1:50

Sections

1:100 or 1:50

Details

1:5


Architectural Specification

The Building Act (as part of its definition of plans and specifications) states that a specification defines how a building is to be constructed, altered, demolished or removed.

A specification is a detailed description of the dimensions, construction, materials and products to be used (by product name and manufacturer identification number or reference). The acceptable standards of workmanship completed or to be completed and should be prepared by a designer, architect, engineer or suitably qualified person.

A good specification will be site specific and not simply present a range of options or generic statements. The specification should be clear, concise, correct and complete. It should present information in an easy to follow and logical sequence, free from repetition or irrelevant information. It also helps to maintain the quality of detailing workmanship and saves time and money throughout the consent and build process.

Importantly, information should also be consistent and coordinated, both between sections of the specification and with the accompanying drawings.

The specification should define:

  • the extent of work to be carried out
  • quality of the materials
  • how materials should be placed and fixed
  • details about products required for compliance
  • acceptable standards for each trade or aspect of the construction
The architectural specifications should include(but is not limited to):
  • Architectural Specification
  • Truss Supplier Information
  • Manufacturers Installation details
  • Appraisals / Codemark Certificates
  • Specified / proprietary product info and certificates (eg):
    • Balustrade
    • Structural members (LVL, I-Beams, etc)
  • H1 Calculations
  • Bracing Schedules
  • Water Heater Details
  • Storm Water Detention System
  • Alternative Solution Justification
  • External moisture risk matrix
  • Weathertightness Reports / QA documents
  • Lift Documentation
  • Change of use Report/s
  • Other supporting document/s

Truss Supplier info

NZS3604:2011 section 10.2.2.3 requires roof truss layouts and fabricator statements shall be provided for all roof truss systems. These shall be location/site specific showing issue date and shall contain information relating to the specific design as well as all necessary information as outlined in NZS3604:2011 section 10.2.2.3 to install the trusses in accordance with their specific design, specifically Identification of supporting structures i.e. loadbearing walls; and nomination and location of truss to truss, and truss to supporting structure fixings.

Manufacturers Installation details

Where a manufacturer’s product (eg. Cladding system) is proposed, relevant product information and installation details shall accompany the application.

Manufacturer’s product information can include product data, testing information, specification, scope of use, building Code compliance and installation details.

Where a specific product or system is proposed, only the relevant details are to be provided. The entire product manual is not to be provided. This saves time and avoids confusion and delay on site.

If the product has been independently tested and issued a product certificate or appraisal, this is to be included with the application.

Appraisals / Codemark Certificates

Appraisals (For example by BRANZ) confirm an independent and rigorous assessment of building products, materials, systems and methods of design and construction has been undertaken, ensuring a product's fitness for purpose and Building Code compliance.

A codemark (product certificate) is a voluntary product certification scheme that provides an easily-understood and robust way to show a building product meets the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code. A product can be a building or construction method, building design or a building material.

Section 19 of the Building Act states a building consent authority must accept a current product certificate as establishing compliance with the building code

Often a product certificate or an appraisal has specific limitations, and is updated with revised requirements or withdrawn. Providing the latest appraisal will ensure the specified product is fit for purpose.

Specified / proprietary product info and certificates (e.g.):

  • Balustrade
  • Structural members (LVL, I-Beams, etc.)

H1 Calculations

Homes in New Zealand must have adequate insulation to make sure they have the right level of thermal resistance (R-value) for their location.

An H1 – Energy efficiency assessment is to be provided verifying how the method of compliance has been determined. Compliance can be by way of:

  • schedule method.
  • calculation method

Bracing schedules

Foundation systems and wall bracing shall be designed to provide bracing capacity that exceeds the bracing demand.

Bracing schedules, plans and bracing element installation details are to be provided. Bracing can be determined by way of:

  • NZS:3604
  • Proprietary software (e.g. GIB Ezybrace or BRANZ bracing calculation)
  • Specific engineer design (SED)

Water Heater Details 

Depending on the type of water heater, details of the hot water supply system including water heater location, type, size, venting, overflow, structural /seismic support, water temperature, piping materials etc. are to be provided.

Storm Water Detention / Retention System

Storm Water Detention / Retention System requirements (if required) will depend on the appropriate Territorial Authority requirements.

Where a tank is required, appropriate detail are to be provided by a suitably qualified person.

Alternative Solution report/s

An alternative solution is all or part of a building design that demonstrates compliance with the Building Code, but differs completely or partially from the Acceptable Solutions or Verification Methods.

The building consent applicant (or the owner's agent, such as an architect, engineer or builder), must provide the BCA with evidence to show how the proposed work will meet the performance requirements of the Building Code.

Further comments on alternative solutions can be found on the MBIE website

External moisture risk matrix

A weathertightness risk matrix is to be provided where the acceptable solution E2/AS1 is used to demonstrate compliance with E2 – External Moisture. 

A risk score can be calculated for each external face of the building and appropriate claddings selected from E2/AS1 Table 3 according to the risk scores, or the highest risk score may be used for all walls.

(The weathertightness risk matrix can also be provided on the Architectural drawings)

Further comments on the weathertightness risk matrix can be found on the MBIE website.

Note: Acceptable solutions can be employed for different levels of Weathertightness risk, up to a score of 20. Where the score is greater than 20, alternative solution evidence must be provided – see item above.

Weathertightness reports / QA documents

Where recladding is proposed, appropriate supporting information is to be provided outlining the methodology for addressing situations where the existing timber framing is found to be in a condition not suitable for fixing new cladding (i.e. framing is found to be damaged or rotten).

If a building surveyors report has been commissioned from a suitably experienced expert which states that timber remediation is unlikely to be required then that report must accompany the application.

If a building surveyors report has been commissioned from a suitably experienced expert which states that timber remediation will be required, it is recommended that the report be submitted to support the application.

Timber remediation may be required which is to be supervised by a suitably experienced expert and recorded by way of a Quality Assurance (QA) program.

Should timber remediation be required and experts are not available to supervise the timber remediation, this could lead to lengthy delays including the preparation, submission and approval of an amendment to your consent.

Note: It is strongly recommended that specialist advice is sought for all recladding projects.

Lift Documentation

Where a lift is proposed, relevant supplier information shall accompany the application. Lift suppliers information includes (but is not limited to) installation details, car and door details, installation specification, pit drainage details, producer statements, codemark (product certificate) as applicable.

Change of use report/s

Section 115 of the Building Act relates to buildings subject to a change of use.

If you want to change the use of a building the owner needs to let the council know of the change (in writing). You cannot make the proposed change until the council gives the owner written confirmation that the requirements of the Building Act have been complied with.

Changing the use of a building can trigger certain requirements including, complying 'as nearly as is reasonably practicable' (ANARP) with current provisions of the Building Code listed in section 115(a) or (b) of the Building Act

Appropriate supporting information is to be provided outlining how the requirements of Section 115 have been addressed.

Further comments on Change of Use can be found on the MBIE website.

Altering an existing building information

Section 112 of the Building Act relates to Alterations to existing buildings.

Altering an existing building can trigger certain requirements, including:

  • ensuring the building continues to comply with the Building Code to at least the same extent as before the alteration, and
  • complying 'as nearly as is reasonably practicable' (ANARP) with current Building Code requirements for:
    • means of escape from fire
    • access and facilities for persons with disabilities
  • undertaking seismic work so that the building is no longer earthquake prone (for a substantial alteration (defined in regulations) to an earthquake-prone building).

Appropriate supporting information is to be provided outlining how the requirements of Section 112 have been addressed.

Please refer MBIE guidance for further information on Meeting the requirements for altering existing buildings and Demonstrating and assessing compliance for buildings undergoing alterations


Structural Plans

These are structural plans or drawings that accompany an application which visually communicate how a building is proposed to be constructed, altered, demolished, or removed.

The drawings should be professionally drawn using the appropriate scales, and on appropriate sheet sizes consistent within a single set of project drawings.

All drawings should contain an appropriate drawing number following a logical sequence, contain a drawing title with the designer’s and owner’s name, the project address, and be dated for version control. Elevations, Sections, Details are to be labelled and cross-referenced and back-referenced where appropriate.

The drawings should be clear, unambiguous and not contradict each other, other supporting documentation or other disciplines’ drawings. 

A standard scale is as follows, for the different drawing types:

Drawing TypeNormal Scale
Location Plan 1:500
Site plan 1:100
Floor plan 1:100 or 1:50
Foundation plans  1:100 or 1:50
Bracing plans: subfloor, deck, wall and ceiling/roof 1:100 or 1:50
Plumbing and drainage 1:100
Fire protection plan 1:100 or 1:50
Elevations plan 1:100 or 1:50

Structural Specifications

The Building Act (as part of its definition of plans and specifications) states that a specification defines how a building is to be constructed, altered, demolished or removed.

A specification is a detailed description of the dimensions, construction, materials and products to be used (by product name and manufacturer identification number or reference) and the acceptable standards of workmanship, etc., of work done or to be done, prepared by an architect, engineer, etc.

A good specification will be site specific and not simply present a range of options or generic statements. The specification should be clear, concise, correct and complete. It should present information in an easy to follow and logical sequence, free from repetition or irrelevant information. It also helps to maintain the quality of detailing workmanship, saves time and money throughout the consent and build process.

Importantly, information should also be consistent and coordinated, both between sections of the specification and with the accompanying drawings.

The specification should define:

  • the extent of work to be carried out
  • quality of the materials
  • how materials should be placed and fixed
  • details about products required for compliance
  • acceptable standards for each trade or aspect of the construction
The structural engineering specifications should include if applicable to the work being proposed: (but not limited to)
  • Structural Engineer Producer statements
  • LBP memorandum (engineer)
  • Design features reports
  • Structural calculations
  • Initial Seismic Assessment (ISA)
  • Detailed Seismic Assessment (DSA)
  • Geotech Reports
  • Other supporting document/s

Structural Engineer Producer statements

The PS1 is taken by council as a ‘formal opinion’ by a professional that the specified aspects of the building work will comply with the building code if building work were properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications that accompanied the application.

The Building control authority, as part of its producer statement policy may rely on a Producer Statement in helping to establish ‘reasonable grounds’ that the provisions of the building code would be met if the building work were properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications that accompanied the application.

Producer statements are to be in accordance with ‘Engineering New Zealand’ practice note ‘Guidelines on producer statements’

LBP memorandum (engineer)

Refer comments under 'Restricted Building Work’ above.

Design features reports

Design Features Reports (DFR) are concise reports prepared by structural engineers to summaries a building’s structural philosophy and describe key considerations and design methodology, including design actions, load paths, geotechnical conditions, the foundations and lateral load resisting systems.

A DFR also offers future owners and engineers working on the building a reference-point to enable a clear understanding of structural design parameters of the building.

Design Features Reports are useful for BCAs and other reviewers when assessing Building Code compliance.

MBIE and councils are encouraging the use of a Design Features Report at the design stage to clarify design methodology and indicate where critical inspections are needed.

Structural calculations

Calculations or specific engineer design (SED) undertaken in accordance with the relevant verification method or cited standard verify a particular building element or building design, will comply with the relevant performance requirements of the New Zealand Building Code.

Where specific engineer design (SED) is required, an engineer with relevant experience and skills in the relevant engineering field shall be responsible for interpretation of the requirements of the Standards cited. An engineer who is chartered under the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Act 2002 would satisfy this requirement.

These calculations must be included with the building consent application documents (even when supplied with a producer statement), as they form part of the design plans and specifications

Calculations help the building consent authority understand which design assumptions were made, when assessing proposals that are subject to SED.

Note: Calculations should only be included for one-off designs requiring specialist input as opposed to calculations for trusses or other mass-produced engineering designs.

Calculations, which are being submitted in support of a Building consent application must;

  • Be clear, legible and accurate;
  • Contain a table of contents;
  • Have all pages titled, numbered and signed;
  • Provide in-text clauses to the relevant Standards and or text references; and
  • Contain sketches and drawings as relevant.
  • Provide adequate commentary throughout the calculations to describe the design process and assumptions
  • Contain a design features report which identifies key design assumptions and inputs

Initial Seismic Assessment (ISA)

An Initial Seismic Assessment (ISA) using the Initial Evaluation Procedure (IEP) is typically the first step in the process of determining whether a building may be earthquake prone.

The IEP assesses the strength of the building to resist earthquakes as a percentage of the strength that would be required of a new building designed for that site (%NBS). Buildings with less than 34 percent of the strength required of a new building are defined by the law to be earthquake-prone.

The ISA must be completed by an experienced professional engineer to provide a valid assessment.

The ISA provides a broad indication of the expected seismic rating of a building taking into account its type and age of construction, construction materials, structural form, overall dimensions, the use of the building and the ground on which it is built, and any identifiable structural weaknesses.

Detailed Seismic Assessment (DSA)

A Detailed Seismic Assessment (DSA) is an in-depth quantitative seismic assessment to determine an earthquake rating for a building in terms of %NBS that is more reliable than the rating available from an Initial Seismic Assessment (ISA).

DSAs can be triggered by an ISA rating below or near 34%NBS where a more definitive assessment is required to determine the building’s earthquake-prone status.

Property owners may also commission a DSA if they want to better understand the seismic performance of their building.

A DSA may be required to support a building consent application to undertake seismic strengthening works on an existing building or if the building is undergoing a change of use.

As is the case for the ISA, the DSA can be completed to various levels of detail depending on the circumstances and the level of reliability required. The onus is on the assessing engineer to understand the level of reliability available from the chosen assessment approach and to be able to articulate this to the end user of the DSA.

Geotech Reports

A geotechnical ‘geotech’ report is specialist report confirming ground and / or soil conditions.

Geotech reports generally list the ultimate bearing capacity of the ground of each lot, presence of expansive clay, topsoil depths, any presence of uncertified fill requiring specific site investigation, and stability problems that may define area limits of any building platform.


Fire reports

Specialist’s reports are often provided by a consultant engaged by the owner to provide advice regarding certain aspects of building act and or building code compliance. 

MBIE guidance states a Fire safety design (fire report) must be properly communicated and incorporated into a building's design documentation. The documentation must describe and justify the fire safety design to enable a building consent to be issued.

Regarding a Fire Report required in support of a building consent application, The New Zealand fire engineering profession and MBIE regard these guidelines as outlining the minimum level of documentation required.

Any other documents procured by the Fire safety consultant are to be provided. These can include (but is not limited to):

  • Fire Engineer Producer statements
  • Fire Engineer calculations
  • Fire Engineer specification/s
  • Fire and emergency New Zealand (FENZ) documents
  • Other documents to support the Fire safety design aspect of the proposed work

Altering an existing building

Altering an existing building can trigger certain requirements, including:

  • ensuring the building continues to comply with the Building Code to at least the same extent as before the alteration, and
  • complying 'as nearly as is reasonably practicable' (ANARP) with current Building Code requirements for:
    • means of escape from fire
    • access and facilities for persons with disabilities
  • undertaking seismic work so that the building is no longer earthquake prone (for a substantial alteration (defined in regulations) to an earthquake-prone building).

Please refer MBIE guidance for further information on Meeting the requirements for altering existing buildings and Demonstrating and assessing compliance for buildings undergoing alterations.


Accessibility reports

Required for buildings undergoing an alteration or a change of use

An Accessibility Report outlines what accessible provisions are required to be incorporated into the building. Buildings providing access and facilities for people with disabilities applies are listed in Schedule 2 of the Building Act 2004.

The assessment, for the whole building, will cover access and facilities for people with disabilities and must include a statement confirming that a site visit was conducted as part of the assessment, or a justification statement if no site visit took place.

Please refer MBIE guidance for further information on Meeting the requirements for altering existing buildings and Demonstrating and assessing compliance for buildings undergoing alterations.


MEP Plans

These are the plans or drawings that accompany an application prepared by the MEP Consultants.

The drawings should be professionally drawn using the appropriate scales, and on appropriate sheet sizes consistent within a single set of project drawings.

All drawings should contain an appropriate drawing number following a logical sequence, contain a drawing title with the designer’s and owner’s name, the project address, and be dated for version control. Elevations, Sections, Details are to be labelled and cross-referenced and back-referenced where appropriate. 

The drawings should be clear, unambiguous and not contradict each other, other supporting documentation or other disciplines’ drawings


MEP Specifications

MEP Specifications include ‘Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing’ Specifications.

Refer comments under ‘Architectural specification’ above regarding specifications.

The MEP ‘specifications’ are the supporting specifications, and other documents procured by the MEP consultants. These can include (but is not limited to):

  • MEP Engineer Producer statements
  • MEP calculations
  • MEP specification/s
  • Other documents to support the MEP aspect of the proposed work