New commercial or industrial buildings, and alterations (unless exempt under Schedule 1) will require a Building Consent. Commercial, public or multi-unit residential buildings have additional requirements under the Building Act, to ensure they remain safe for occupants and for the public. Council must be satisfied that any proposed alterations or new building work meets requirements for factors such as:
access and facilities for persons with disabilities
change of use
hazardous substances / dangerous goods
use by the public
Compliance Schedules and Building Warrants of Fitness.
The full list of the Building Code compliance documents ia available free from this link.
Access and Facilities for Persons with Disabilities
Buildings for which members of the public are to be admitted, whether for free or on payment of a charge must be accessible for people with disabilities (Building Act 2004 Section 118 (1)). Schedule 2 (of the Building Act) lists additional buildings which must also be accessible. Whether undertaking alterations, upgrading or changing the use of an existing building, access and parking provisions, and sanitary facilities of the entire building are required to be upgraded as nearly as is reasonably practicable, to the same extent as if it were a new building. This is to ensure people with disabilities are able to enter and carry out normal activities and functions within buildings.
Fire safety in a commercial building is assessed under the Building Code. Buildings (other than single residential buildings) that contain automatic systems for fire suppression (or any other specified system) require a Compliance Schedule and annual Warrant of Fitness.
See the information sheets about the changes changes for Compliance for C Protection from Fire (effective April 2012) and F8 Signs, and the compliance documents for C Fire Safety. Also see Compliance Schedules and Building Warrant of Fitness.
The requirements for Signs in the Building Code aim to safeguard people in buildings, and improve access; by providing signage that clearly identifies hazards, escape routes, and access and facilities for people with disabilities. Recent changes make signage more universally understood, and improve safety.
Refer to the information sheet (effective April 2012) for changes to F8 Signs.
Change of Use
An owner of a building must give written notice to the Council if they propose to change the use of a building, or extend the life of a building with a specified intended life. The Council needs to check that the new building work complies with the Building Code as far as reasonably possible in the areas that are being altered. A change in use may require upgrading of safety features, accessibility and disability facilities within the existing buildings, as different provisions exist for different types of buildings.
Structural design must achieve the requirements of the Building Code. It is recommended that you engage specialists for the design and construction of the proposed building work. Any building work outside the Building Code B1 Acceptable Solution, will require specific design by a specialist engineer. Council may require that the design is peer-reviewed to confirm the structural design of the proposed building work complies with the requirements of the relevant structural standards.
Refer to the Compliance Document on B1 Structure.
Public buildings and large residential buildings are to be assessed for earthquake resistance. The Earthquake-prone buildings policies of each of the Councils in the Waikato Building Consent Group can be viewed on the link below.
A proposal for a lift must meet the relevant performance requirements of the Building Code and be listed on the building's Compliance Schedule. If the 'use' or 'occupant load' changes, the building will be assessed to determine whether it complies for lift requirements.
Refer to Compliance Document D2 Mechanical Installations for Access.
Hazardous Substances / Dangerous Goods
If you intend to use or store Hazardous Substances or Dangerous Goods on-site you will be required to comply with the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO), Building Act 2004 and the Building Code.
Trade waste must be collected, held, treated and disposed of in a way that safeguards people from injury or illness caused by infection or contamination resulting from industrial liquid waste. Trade waste is any liquid that is discharged from a trade premises to a Council's wastewater system in the course of any trade or industrial process. Please check with your local Council to find out about the local trade waste bylaws.
Refer to Compliance Document G14 Industrial Liquid Waste.
A new food premise may require Resource Consent, Building Consent, trade waste and food premises registration. All premises used for the manufacture, preparation, packing or storage of food for sale to the public must be registered by Council under the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974, or hold a Food Control Plan or Risk Management Plan approved by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) before food can be sold to the public. Please contact your local Council for further information.
Buildings must have appropriate spaces and sanitary facilities for personal hygiene. A change of use that increases an occupant load of a building, or type of use of a building, may require additional sanitary facilities.
Use by the Public
Anyone constructing or altering a commercial building intended for public use (referred to as a premise) may need to apply for a Certificate for Public Use (CPU). A CPU is required if you want to open the premise prior to obtaining Code Compliance Certificate (CCC), and certifies that premises (or part of the premises) affected by building work is safe to be used by members of the public. Certificates for Public Use do not relieve the owner of a building from the obligation to apply for a CCC which must be obtained before the expiry date of the CPU. See also Certificate for Public Use page.
Under the Building Act 2004, owners of commercial buildings are responsible for keeping their building's safety systems and features in good working order, and to provide Council with an annual Building Warrant of Fitness.
See Compliance Schedules & Building Warrant of Fitness (on this website) and Compliance Schedules and Building Warrants of Fitness on DBH website.
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Page last updated: 2013-03-08