Compliance schedules — frequently asked questions
Why is there no form for a compliance schedule in the regulations?
The Building Act 2004 does not require a compliance schedule to be on a prescribed form. As a result, there is no authority in legislation that allows this form to be created in Regulations. The Department recognises that it is important to achieve national consistency in the format, layout and content of compliance schedules, and has provided a model form that complies with the requirements of the Building Act 2004. The Department has also published some examples of what a compliance schedule might contain.
The application for amendment to a compliance schedule (Form 11) and the warrant of fitness (Form 12) contain a requirement to state the current lawfully established use. Does this have to be one of the uses listed in Schedule 2 of the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005?
There is no requirement in the Building Act 2004 for the lawfully established use to be one of the uses in Schedule 2 of the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005, although Schedule 2 can be referred to for guidance. Regardless of the approach adopted, the description should be clear. For example, an office building containing shops on the ground floor should be called ‘office and retail’, and not simply ‘commercial’.
When is the compliance schedule issued if there are staged building consents?
The Building Act 2004 requires that a compliance schedule be issued with a code compliance certificate. Where there are staged consents, this means that the compliance schedule will be issued with the first code compliance certificate that is issued for the project. Subsequently, amendments to the compliance schedule can be made if future consents add new specified systems or alter the existing systems.
When a building already has a compliance schedule, how should staged building consents be managed?
The Building Act 2004 requires that an amended compliance schedule be issued if the alterations have somehow affected the specified systems in the building. The amended compliance schedule should be issued with the code compliance certificate. This means that for an existing building that has staged consents, amendments to the compliance schedule will be issued with each code compliance certificate that is issued for the project, if appropriate.
Where a building consent application is made for work on an existing building and that work involves changes to specified systems, does a building consent authority also amend the compliance schedule or is this done by the territorial authority?
Where a building consent application triggers the requirement for a compliance schedule to be issued or amended, that work is done by the building consent authority. Changes or amendments to the compliance schedule that are not associated with work done under a building consent are managed by the territorial authority.
When an existing compliance schedule is reissued, should it refer to the 1991 or 2004 Act?
A compliance schedule issued under the Building Act 1991 has effect as if issued under the Building Act 2004. While there is no express requirement in the 2004 Act that an existing compliance schedule be updated, it is the Department’s view that territorial authorities should put a process in place to update existing compliance schedules to reflect the changes to the systems and features that constitute specified systems (and the advisory issued on dealing with means of escape from fire).
There is no particular requirement to include the Act and section reference in a compliance schedule form. However, it would be sensible to have a reference to section 103 of the 2004 Act in the form.
Section 103(1)(b) states that a compliance schedule must state the ‘performance standards for the specified systems’. What are these ‘performance standards’?
At a high level, the performance standard is the Building Code that applied at the time the building work was done. In practice, though, this is normally achieved by referring to a Compliance Document or a relevant Standard. An example would be NZS 4541 for sprinkler systems. Although the term ‘performance standards’ may be unfamiliar, this is no change from the existing practice.
Section 44(1)(j) of the Building Act 1991 covered ‘Any other mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, or electronic system whose proper operation is necessary for compliance with the Building Code’. This section of the Building Act 1991 was listed in Form 12 of the Building Regulations 1992, and corresponded to CS10 in the New Zealand Building Code Handbook. Where an existing compliance schedule lists a building system (for example, a sanitary pump) under this category, what requirements are there in regard to that system now that this category has been removed from the list of specified systems in Schedule 1 of the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005?
Section 44(1)(j) (like CS10) was a catch-all clause. The New Zealand Building Code Handbook notes that section 44(1)(j) provided flexibility to include specialist building elements and new systems (developed after the 1991 Act came into force) in compliance schedules. Following submissions on the Building Bill, a decision was made to provide for flexibility by listing specified systems in regulations, which can be amended or added to.
The Department of Building and Housing is responsible for advising the government on the development of the regulations. Building officials and IQPs should advise the Department if they believe any new specified systems need to be added to Schedule 1 of the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005.
The Building Amendment Act 2005 introduced certificates for public use. If a certificate for public use is issued, does a compliance schedule need to be issued as well?
There is no requirement to issue a compliance schedule with a certificate for public use - the Building Act 2004 requires that this takes place with the issue of the code compliance certificate. However, before a territorial authority can issue a certificate for public use, it must be satisfied that members of the public can use the building premises safely. Where building work involves specified systems, this would include gathering evidence that the specified system(s) in the building or premises are performing as intended. A territorial authority may choose to insert conditions on a certificate for public use to address any concerns it may have about specified systems in a particular case.
Given the definition of cable car in the Building Act 2004, are any of the following devices a cable car? A flying fox, a ski chair lift, a ski tow, a cage used to pull a boat out of the water and onto a property (in some cases, a person remains in the boat during the operation), a stair climber (for elderly and disabled people).
Section 7 of the Building Act 2004 defines cable car as:
(a) a vehicle
(i) that carries people or goods on or along an inclined plane or a suspended cable; and
(ii) that operates wholly or partly outside of a building; and
(iii) the traction for which is supplied by a cable or any other means; but
(b) does not include a lift that carries people or goods between the floors of a building
Section 100 provides that a compliance schedule is required in relation to a cable car where it is attached to or servicing a building. Therefore, a compliance schedule will be required for a cable car only where it meets the definition of ‘cable car’ in section 7 and also where it is attached to or servicing a building.
- A flying fox does not involve carrying people in a ‘vehicle’, so will not meet the definition of ‘cable car’. In any event, flying foxes are not attached to or servicing a building. The Department’s view is that flying foxes will not require compliance schedules.
- A ski chair lift will probably fit within the definition of ‘cable car’ in section 7, where it involves carrying people in a ‘vehicle’ such as a chair structure. In such cases, provided that the ski lift is attached to or servicing a building, the lift will require a compliance schedule.
- The Department’s view is that a rope or pommel tow does not involve a ‘vehicle’, so will not be a cable car. Accordingly, a compliance schedule will not be required.
- A boat cage probably does fall within the definition of ‘cable car’. However, boat cages are not attached to or servicing a building, meaning that they do not fit within the scope of section 100 and so do not require compliance schedules.
- In some cases a stair climber could be a cable car, if it operates wholly or partly outside of a building. Stair climbers are normally installed on internal stairs catering for people with disabilities, and this kind of installation does not trigger the requirement for a compliance schedule. However, occasionally stair climbers are installed on external stairs that service, for example, a front entrance to a residential dwelling. Such a case falls within the definition of ‘cable car’ in section 7 and within the scope of section 100, and would trigger the requirement for a compliance schedule.
Where a compliance schedule is issued for a cable car attached to a residential dwelling if other specified systems are also contained in the residential dwelling, for example, a lift or a sprinkler system, are they required to be listed in the compliance schedule?
No. The question has been clarified by the new section 100 of the Building Act 2004, introduced in the Building Amendment Act 2005. Where a compliance schedule is required because a residential building (single household unit) has a cable car attached to it, there is no requirement that the compliance schedule cover any other systems or features that may be installed in the residential building.
Where a cable car services more than one property, and is able to stop at several houses along its journey, does each residential dwelling need a compliance schedule?
No. A compliance schedule is normally issued for a single building, but can be issued for a building complex where that building complex has shared specified systems.
A cable car that services a number of residential dwellings can be seen as a shared system, and could be covered by a single compliance schedule. In this case, the compliance schedule would need to list each property serviced by the cable car, as it would pertain to more than one property title. This approach may not be appropriate if any of the buildings involved are not residential dwellings, as compliance schedules for such buildings may have to list other specified systems in addition to cable cars.
Is a territorial authority required to proactively issue a compliance schedule for a cable car from 31 March 2005?
No. There is no requirement in the Building Act 2004 for a compliance schedule to be issued for a cable car before 31 March 2008. A transition period was included in the Building Amendment Act 2005 to allow building owners with cable cars attached to or servicing their buildings 3 years to apply for a compliance schedule.
Should territorial authorities take enforcement action against owners of cable cars after 31 March 2008, where the owner fails to apply for a compliance schedule?
The Building Act 2004 places the onus on the property owner to make an application for a compliance schedule. This is a change from the Building Act 1991, which placed the obligation on territorial authorities to proactively issue a compliance schedule. In the interim, territorial authorities should begin to include information about this requirement in their publications or with rates notices, and perhaps begin to note addresses in their district that contain a cable car. Eventually, where property owners fail to make an application for a compliance schedule, enforcement action may be required.
What should a compliance schedule for a cable car contain?
At present there is no standard that a cable car can be inspected or maintained against. The Department of Building and Housing is working with Standards New Zealand to create a Standard covering this work. This Standard is expected to be complete in 2006.
There are currently no approved Independent Qualified Persons (IQPs) for cable cars. Can a territorial authority approve an IQP after 31 March 2008?
Yes. Territorial authorities can approve IQPs until the licensing regime for licensed building practitioners comes into force, and should continue to use existing processes to approve IQPs. These questions have been clarified by the new section 438 of the Building Act 2004 that was included in the Building Amendment Act 2005.
Does a territorial authority or a building consent authority issue the compliance schedule statement?
A compliance schedule statement is issued by the territorial authority - refer to section 105(e) of the Act.
Does a compliance schedule statement need to be issued each time there is an amendment to the compliance schedule?
No. A compliance schedule statement is issued only once - when a compliance schedule is issued for the first time. This is no different from the practice under the Building Act 1991 with statements of fitness.
It is likely that there will be more situations where staged building consents will be issued for multistorey buildings, in order to manage sections 363 and 364 of the Building Act 2004?
A compliance schedule must be issued with the first code compliance certificate that is issued. Section 105(e) requires that a compliance schedule statement be displayed in the building for the first 12 months of the period of the compliance schedule, which means that it must also be issued with the first code compliance certificate that is issued.
Will there be a problem if the building work is not all completed when the compliance schedule statement is issued?
Where a project involves staged building consents, the compliance schedule must be issued with the first code compliance certificate that is issued. This means that the compliance schedule statement must also be issued at that time. The building work covered by this consent must be finished in order to issue the code compliance certificate, even though building work on other consents is not complete.
It is important to note that the compliance schedule statement is not a statement about the performance of the specified systems that are listed. The compliance schedule statement simply lists the specified systems contained in the building work to which the code compliance certificate relates and notes where the compliance schedule is kept. This means there is nothing to prevent this statement being issued before all stages of the project have been completed.
If further stages of the project include new specified systems or alter existing specified systems, then an amended compliance schedule should be issued with the code compliance certificate at the completion of each of the relevant stages of the project. Any such new or amended specified systems do not need to be included on the compliance schedule statement.