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Building Code Updates 2023-2024
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Building Code Updates 2023-2024

04 Jun 2024

This month we have published amendments in response to building code updates. The 2023-24 NZBC changes were published by MBIE on the 2 November 2023, these generally have a 12-month transition period ending on the 1 November 2024 with the exceptions of amendments to NZBC B1/VM1 which came into effect immediately with no transition period and amendments to NZBC G12/AS1 relating to lead in plumbing, which has an extended transition date until 1 September 2025. This round of building consent updates have not included the amendment relating to lead in plumbing, with these amendments to be released early in 2025.

Changes have been made to the following Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods and we have provided a brief description of the effect on Masterspec sections:

Structure - B1/VM1

The citation of NZS 3101.1 has been modified, which means that its use for the design of the supports for hollow-core floors is now considered to be an alternative solution.  This change to NZBC B1/VM1 came into effect on 2 November 2023, with no transition period.  No Masterspec sections required amendments as a result of this change.

Protection from Fire - F7/AS1, C/AS1, C/AS2, C/VM1 and C/VM2

In F7/AS1 Warning Systems, most of the content has been removed and it now refers to NZBC C/AS1 and C/AS2 for requirements for warning from fire.  Within Masterspec, references to F7/AS1 have been modified and refer directly to NZBC C/AS1 and C/AS2 in relation to fire detection and alarm systems.

NZBC C/AS1 and NZBC C/VM1 have been split into two separate documents, with the layout of these documents modified. Within Masterspec sections, numerous clause references to NZBC C/AS1 in particular, have been amended.

NZBC C/AS1 Appendix C Fire Safety Systems and Appendix D. Modifications to standards have been added and within NZBC C/AS2 Appendix A Fire Safety Systems and Appendix B Modification to Standards, have been overhauled.  These appendices include information previously included within F7/AS1 and now cite NZS 4514:2021 for the installation of interconnected smoke alarms to provide the fire safety in residential homes.  References to NZS 4512, NZS 4514 and NZS 4541 have also been updated to the latest versions and the modifications to these standards within Acceptable Solutions have been amended accordingly. 

Within Masterspec this has required amendments in relations to fire alarm systems and references to the amended NZ Standards.  In addition we have published a new generic section 7352 TYPE 1 DOMESTIC SMOKE ALARM SYSTEMS, for the specification of interconnected smoke alarms to NZS 4514.

Within NZBC C/AS1, clause 5.3 External Cladding Systems has been amended and Appendix E Fire Test Methods, has been added.  The requirements and classification of non-combustible and limited combustible materials now align with NZBC C/AS2.  Within Masterspec clauses and guidance regarding fire performance for external cladding systems have been modified.

Within NZBC C/AS1, Part 3 Means of Escape, has been substantially expanded.  This now includes requirements for the height and width of escape routes, maximum travel distances and external safe path protection.  These amendments have not resulted in amendments with Masterspec sections.

There are numerous other minor changes within C/AS1, C/AS2, C/VM1 and C/VM2, including updating standard references to the latest version such as AS/NZS 3000:2018 and AS 1668.1:2015, and NZBC C/AS1 refers to G9 in relation to electrical fire safety, this now aligns with NZBC C/AS2.

Surface Water - E1/AS1, E1/AS2 and E1/VM1

E1/AS1 has some minor amendments including the standards referred to within Table 4 Acceptable Material Standards for Downpipes and Table 6 Acceptable Material Standards for Roof Gutters.  Table 4 also now includes polyethylene pipe.

Updated standards include: AS/NZS 2280:2020, BS EN 1172:2011 & AS 1397:2021. 

New standards include: AS 1432:2004, AS 1528.1:2019, AS 1566:1997, AS 1866:1997 & ASTM A240/A240M:2020.

E1/AS2 now refers to the latest version of AS/NZS 3500.3:2021 and the NZBC modifications to this document have been amended, but there are still modifications.

There is only a minor amendment to E1/VM1 to figure 3 Pipe flow relationships for different combinations of internal diameter, velocity, and gradient. 

Masterspec updates to related sections are relatively minor and include referenced standards for materials to align with NZBC E1 and amended references to AS/NZS 3500.3 to the latest version.

Water Supplies - G12/AS1, G12/AS2, G12/AS3 and G12/VM1

G12/AS1 includes the new lead in plumbing products clause and a clause for all copper alloy water supply system components in contact with water shall be dezincification resistant and to comply with AS 2345.

G12/AS1 Table 1 Material for Hot and Cold Water, has been expanded to include cross-linked polyethylene and stainless steel whilst galvanised steel has been removed.  Also, the relevant standards referred to have been modified.

New standards include: AS 1432:2004, AS 3688:2016, AS 5200,53, AS/NZS 2492:2007, AS/NZS 2537.1/2/3/4:2011, AS/NZS 3879:2011

Standards deleted: NZS 7601, NZS 7602 and NZS 7610 for polyethylene cold water pipes.

There are numerous other amendments throughout G12/AS1, including lowering the maximum hot water temperature delivered at the personal hygiene taps to 50°C, amendments to backflow protection, the inclusion of Expansion vessels as an option in lieu of expansion control valves in valve vented hot water storage systems, amending requirements for labelling of non-potable water pipework and removing reference to NZS 5807.2 and updating reference to AS 4020:2018 to latest version for testing of products in contact with drinking water.

G12/AS2 only includes a minor amendment in relation to allowable diameter of roof penetrations in profiled metal roofs using an EPDM boot.

G12/VM1 previously referenced AS/NZS 3500.1 & AS/NZS 3500.4.  The latest version AS/NZS 3500.1:2021 & AS/NZS 3500.4:2021 are now referenced within the new G12/AS3 with modification in relation to materials and products.

G12/VM1 now references the Plumbing Engineering Services Design Guide as a means of establishing simultaneous flow rates for use in pipework sizing.

Masterspec has updated related sections, to align with amendments to NZBC G12 including updating references to NZBC G12/VM1 to NZBC G12/AS3, amending referencing the latest versions of AS/NZS 3500.1, AS/NZS 3500.4 & AS 4020, amending material pipework selection options, adding expansion vessels, and amending maximum hot water temperature delivered at the personal hygiene taps to 50°C.

Foul Water - G13/AS1, G13/AS2, G13/AS3

NZBC G13/AS1 Sanitary Plumbing, Table 1 Pipes, traps and fittings, has been expanded and now includes polypropylene pipes and stainless steel pipes and NZBC G13/AS2 Drainage, Table 1 Materials for drainage pipes, has been expanded to include stainless steel and vitrified clay.

New standards include: AS 1432:2004, AS 1741, AS/NZS 7671:2010, BS EN 295.1:2013, BS EN 1224.1:1999 & BS EN 1224.2:2014 and BS EN 1280:2002

Standards updated:: AS/NZS 2280:2020.

There are some other minor amendments throughout NZBC G13/AS1 and NZBC G13/AS2, but these do not affect Masterspec sections.

The latest version AS/NZS 3500.2:2021 is now referenced within the new G13/AS3, it still has some modification but only in relation to materials and products.  Also, the relevant standards referred to have been modified.

Masterspec has updated related sections, to align with amendments to NZBC G13 including amending references the latest versions of AS/NZS 3500.2 and amending material pipework selection options and standards referenced.