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.
Building Warrant of Fitness(BWOF)
A Building Warrant of Fitness (Form 12) is a statement issued and signed by the owner or agent of a commercial or public building, confirming that the specified systems (safety systems) stated in the Compliance Schedule for their building have been maintained and checked in accordance with the Compliance Schedule for the previous 12 months; and that they will continue to perform as required. A BWOF must be renewed annually. One copy must be supplied to Council before the expiry date and one copy must be displayed in the building. Failure to do so becomes a breach of the Building Act 2004.
The building owner must retain all inspection and testing records for two years and these must be available for inspection at the locations stated in the BWOF. Owners have the responsibility of carrying out some of the minor inspections that are specified to occur daily, weekly or monthly. An Independent Qualified Person (IQP) must be employed by the owner to verify that the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures have been carried out. The IQP supplies the owner with a Certificate of Compliance (Form 12A) which allows the owner to then issue the BWOF (Form 12). The owner must ensure that all the Certificates of Compliance are attached to the BWOF supplied to Council. Forms 12 and 12A are standard forms that are specified in Section 108 of the Building Act 2004.
Read MBIE guidance on building warrants of fitness and compliance schedules.
A Compliance Schedule is a document issued by Council that lists specified systems and performance standards for the systems, and how the systems will be monitored and maintained to ensure they will continue to function. This is applied for as part of the application for Building Consent for new commercial buildings (if the building has one or more specified systems); or for an upgrade to an existing building or systems, required as a result of a change of use or alterations, which may also require a Building Consent.
These systems ensure a building is safe and healthy for members of the public to enter, occupy or work in. A Compliance Schedule must identify which systems are present.
The following systems are specified in the Building Act and Regulations and include:
Automatic systems for fire suppression (e.g., sprinkler systems)
Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers (other than a warning system for fire that is entirely within a household unit and serves only that unit)
Electromagnetic or automatic doors or windows (e.g., ones that close on fire alarm activation)
1) Automatic doors
2) Access controlled doors
3) Interfaced fire or smoke doors or windows
Emergency lighting systems
Escape route pressurisation systems
Riser mains for use by fire services
Automatic back-flow preventers connected to a potable water supply
Lifts, escalators, travellators, or other systems for moving people or goods within buildings
1) Passenger carrying lifts
2) Services lifts
3) Escalators and moving walks (travellators)
Mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems
1) Mechanical ventilation
2) Air conditioning systems
Building maintenance units providing access to exterior and interior walls of buildings
Laboratory fume cupboards
Audio loops or other assistive listening systems
1) Audio Loops
2) FM radio frequency systems and infrared beam transmission systems
Smoke control systems
1) Mechanical smoke control
2) Natural smoke control
3) Smoke curtains
Emergency power systems for, or signs relating to, a system or feature specified in any of clauses 1 to 13
1) Emergency power systems
2) Signs in relation to any specified systems 1 - 13
Any or all of the following systems and features, so long as they form part of a building's means of escape from fire, and so long as those means also contain any or all of the systems or features specified in clauses 1 to 6, 9, and 13:
1) Systems for communicating spoken information intended to facilitate evacuation
2) Final exits
3) Fire separations (as defined by the Building Code)
4) Signs for communicating information intended to facilitate evacuation
5) Smoke separations
Compliance Schedule Statement
A Compliance Schedule Statement is issued by a Territorial Authority (see B. Act 2004 s104A). A Compliance Schedule Statement serves as a temporary notification of Compliance Schedule requirements and is issued at the same time as the Code Compliance Certificate (CCC). It must be displayed in the premises in a public place, and be replaced in 12 months with a Building Warrant of Fitness (which is issued by the building owner).
Amending a Compliance Schedule
An amendment to a compliance schedule may be triggered / required if:
- A building consent application involving an alteration or an addition to an existing building impacts on the existing compliance schedule
- requested by the building owner
- decided by the Territorial Authority as a result of
- an onsite audit of the existing compliance schedule, or
- information received by the public,
- independent qualified person (IQP) or a licensed building practitioner (LBP)
It is the responsibility of the building owner or their agent to make the application for the amendment (linked to the bookmarked form on Building Forms called compliance Schedule Amendment (Form 11) on the prescribed form. For more information refer to MBIE website.
Compliance Schedule Details
Details of the specified systems (safety systems) must be provided with any building consent application where there are specified systems associated with the building. These details must include the performance standards and the proposed inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures for the specified safety systems in the building.
Please download and complete in full, the appropriate form(s) for each kind of specified systems relating to the building. Compliance Schedule Detail forms
Guidance: Owners’ responsibilities to ensure their buildings are safe to use Guidance on building warrants of fitness and compliance schedules November 2010.
Managing your BWOF (for buildings with specified systems)
Owners' responsibilities to ensure their buildings are safe to use
Independent Qualified Person
An IQP is a tradesperson who is qualified to carry out any performance inspection, maintenance, reporting or recommendation on a specified system. 'Independent' means that the person has no financial interest in the building. It is the owner's responsibility to employ an approved IQP and to ensure that the inspections occur at the required times.
Please refer to the regional Register of approved IQPs available online at www.hamilton.govt.nz (under IQP Lists).
Audits of Building Warrant of Fitness
Councils periodically audit the BWOFs to ensure that they have been completed correctly and that the maintenance checks they are based on have been recorded in a log that is kept in the building. This audit is charged to the owner. For the schedule of audit fees or for further information please contact the Building Unit of your local Council.
Compliance Schedule Handbook
Available from MBIE - this is a guidance document for building owners, and managers regarding the monitoring and maintenance of specified systems.
Related / Further Information
Change of Use / Alterations to existing buildings (MBIE website)
Compliance Schedules (MBIE website)
Building Warrants of Fitness (MBIE website)
Compliance Schedule Handbook (MBIE website)
For further information on Compliance Schedules or Building Warrants of Fitness, please contact the Building Unit of your local Council.
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Page last updated: 2016-05-25