CHANGES TO THE BUILDING ACT

HOW DO THEY AFFECT ARCHITECTS, DESIGNERS AND DESIGN/BUILD?   

The Building Amendment Act 2013 became law on 1 November 2013, with some changes coming into force immediately and some coming into effect on 1 January 2015. While the thrust of the legislation targets the relationship between builders/contractors and their clients, as a professional advisor to your client you should be aware of the legislation and the impact it may have, especially on the documentation you may be asked to provide.

Written contracts will become a legal requirement for all residential building work $30,000 or more including GST and work undertaken by subcontractors. Given the fluid nature of some building work it would seem prudent to recommend a written contract for any sum well below this figure. If the contractor engages you your fee may become part of this sum along with all other subcontractors to the project.

Recently, in an article in ITM's Building Business magazine, Auckland commercial law specialist Geoff Hardy explained that builders would have to provide to the customer and the Council, copies of all ongoing insurance policies, guarantees, product warranties, and the maintenance requirements for every component of the work that has a durability period. If the builder wants you to include this detail in your specification documentation, especially with regard to the maintenance and durability of the product selections, your specification may take longer to complete. The Masterspec NextGen2 platform allows you to easily access and attach documentation directly to the specification and the Appendix as you are writing it. However you should consider clarifying exactly what level of product detail is expected in your own contract to ensure your time is adequately covered.

As always it's good practice to have a contract for your involvement in any project that clearly states your obligations, fees and the restrictions of your liability. The plans and specifications you submit must be as detailed and specific enough to protect you in the case where others might decide during the construction process to change or modify a design detail or selection.

If your company has design build responsibility then all of the changes affecting you as both a designer and main contractor will apply. You will need to supply

  • The checklist you have to hand over to potential residential customers.
  • The disclosure statement including all about you, your company, your licensing status, business record, the insurances you carry, and the guarantees and warranties that apply to your materials and workmanship. That includes any product warranties that are likely to be issued.
  • The written building contract you will have to get your residential customer to sign.
  • The insurance policies, guarantees and warranties, and maintenance requirements you have to tell your customer about at the end of the project.

Remember you are responsible for the design’s performance for 10 years after construction just as a builder is for construction. With the balance of the legislation coming into effect January 1 2015 now is the time to make sure your contracts are sound, your insurances are in place and your specifications are as complete, accurate and up to date as they can be.


For more information visit the links below

MBIE Building AmendmentAct 2013. Changes 2014-15

Building Amendment Act 2013 in full 

  »GOOGLE VERIFIED
  »ENGINEERING TERMS AND CONDITIONS
  »REVISITING OUR HERITAGE
  »FURTHER CHANGES PROPOSED TO NZBC C PROTECTION FROM FIRE
  »REDUCING PARTITION WALL FAILURE IN SEISMIC EVENTS
  »BUILDING CODE UPDATED REFERENCES
  »MEDIUM DENSITY HOUSING RESOURCE PAGE
  »SPECIFICATIONS HOW-TO
  »DETAILED ENGINEERING EVALUATION TOOLS FROM SESOC
  »BIM FOR ALL - DUMMIES OR NOT
  »MASTERSPEC'S PRODUCT RANGE SUPPORTS MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAMS
  »SPECIFICATIONS AND CONTRACTS
  »BUILDING ACT 2004 AMENDMENTS
  »SURFACE FIRE PERFORMANCE OF INSULATION IN PLENUMS AND DUCTS
  »CHANGES TO THE BUILDING ACT – HOW DO THEY AFFECT ARCHITECTS, DESIGNERS AND DESIGN/BUILD
  »WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A SPECIFICATION???
  »NZBC C PROTECTION FROM FIRE - AMENDMENTS DECEMBER 2013
  »AMENDMENTS TO NZS 4211
  »STRENGTHENING NEW ZEALAND’S STANDARDS SYSTEM – TRANSITION PROJECT
  »2014 INTERNATIONAL BIM REPORT
  »UPDATED GUIDANCE FOR EXEMPT BUILDING WORK
  »TACTILE GROUND SURFACE INDICATORS (TGSIS)
  »STREAMSIDE PROTECTION AND GUIDES TO RESTORATION
  »SEISMIC RESTRAINTS FOR GAS, WATER HEATERS & APPLIANCES
  »CHANGES TO NZBC C PROTECTION FROM FIRE - 1 JULY 2014
  »CHANGES TO H3.1 FOR SOLID TIMBER FRAMING
  »FIRE SAFETY AND DESIGN – FURTHER READING
  »AS 3566.2 WITHDRAWN BY STANDARDS AUSTRALIA BUT IN E2/AS1?
  »AIR CONDITIONING REFRIGERANT SAFETY
  »WHAT IS GOING ON WITH HEALTH & SAFETY?
  »FURTHER WORKED EXAMPLES TO ACCOMPANY THE SEISMIC DESIGN OF RETAINING STRUCTURES GUIDANCE
  »PASSIVE HOUSING – GENERAL DESIGN PRINCIPLES
  »SPECIFYING FIRE BLANKETS
  »DESIGN AND BUILD - REASONS FOR CONSENT DELAYS
  »AS/NZS 2312 SPLIT UP AND AMENDED
  »FIRE PERFORMANCE OF FLOOR COVERINGS LAID OUT
  »CODEMARK CERTIFICATION POPULAR WITH PRODUCT PARTNERS
  »LOW EMISSIVE GLASS COATINGS - SURFACE 2 OR 3 – WHAT SHOULD IT BE?
  »INTERIOR NOISE CONTROL - TRYING TO UNDERSTAND ACOUSTICS
  »MASTERSPEC INTERVIEW: ANDREW MAYNARD
  »DRAINAGE, LAYING OUT THE OPTIONS
  »ELECTRONIC LEAK DETECTION OF MEMBRANES
  »INTERIOR ELEMENTS - BUILDING CODE REQUIREMENTS CHECKLIST
  »NEW GENERIC SECTION 4239 SOFFIT CLADDING
  »SECTIONS CHANGE AS SOME INSULPRO PRODUCTS REBRANDED AS MAMMOTH
  »MASTERSPEC RELEASE 12 NEW SERVICES ENGINEERING WORK SECTIONS.
  »STRUCTURALLY FIXED CAVITY BATTENS
  »CHANGES TO THE LAMINEX GROUP
  »WORK SECTION UPDATES AND DELETIONS FOR JULY 2015
  »ALTERNATIVE TEST METHODS FOR ACHIEVING NZBC C GROUP NUMBERS.
  »CONCRETE SLABS - FREE JOINTS OR SHRINKAGE CONTROL JOINTS???
  »DRAINAGE GENERAL NAME CHANGE
  »ROOF SAFETY MESH - AS/NZS 4389 UPDATED
  »PLUMBING AND DRAINAGE - AS/NZS 3500.1 AND AS/NZS 3500.2 UPDATED
  »NEW BASIC SECTION FOR PLYWOOD AND PARTICLEBOARD FLOORS
  »GREEN BUILDING REQUIREMENTS IN THE RESIDENTIAL SECTOR
  »NEW SECTIONS FOR MASTERSPEC BASIC AND INTERIORS USERS
  »HEAT PUMP WATER HEATERS NOW AN OPTION
  »WELDING GALVANIZED OR THERMAL SPRAYED STEEL
  »MAJOR CHANGES TO THE CARPENTRY BASED SECTIONS IN MASTERSPEC BASIC AND INTERIORS
  »A COLLECTION OF COUNCIL DEVELOPMENT, SUBDIVISION AND ENGINEERING GUIDES
  »NEW NZS 4407 - ONE ROAD AGGREGATE STANDARD TO UNITE THEM ALL
  »PLUGGING INTO ELECTRIC CARS
  »PUTTING MORE INTO 2242 BACKFILLING
  »AS/NZS 3500.4 HEATED WATER SERVICES UPDATED
  »MAJOR CHANGES TO THE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS ACT
  »AS/NZS 1668.1 VENTILATION AND AIR-CON FIRE AND SMOKE CONTROL
  »HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK ACT 2015 AND THE SPECIFICATION
  »COMPATIBILITY AND ADHESION OF WET SEALS AND SILL TAPES IN WINDOW INSTALLATIONS
  »JMF TIMBER WINDOW AND DOOR JOINERY CAN BE SPECIFIED ON A ‘TEST’ BASIS
  »STEEL STRUCTURES - NZS 3404.1: 1997 VERSES NZS 3404.1: 2009
  »ASBESTOS REMOVAL NEW LICENCE REGIME
  »MBIE PRODUCT ASSURANCE SEMINARS FOR SUPPLIERS/MANUFACTURERS
  »RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION HANDOVER
  »A BIG MONTH OF CHANGES TO STANDARDS
  »INTERNATIONAL BIM OBJECT STANDARD TO BE RELEASED
  »NON-COMPLIANT CONCRETE REINFORCEMENT
  »TIPS FOR SPECIFYING FIXED AUDIENCE SEATING
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