What is Restricted Building Work?
Restricted building work includes the design and construction of a house or small-medium sized apartments and covers:
- Primary structure (e.g., foundations and framing) – to ensure the building can withstand vertical and horizontal loads.
- External envelope (e.g., roofing and cladding) – to ensure the building is weathertight.
- Fire safety systems (e.g., sprinklers, fire alarms) – to ensure people are adequately protected from the dangers of smoke and fire.
Only Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs) are allowed to carry out or supervise ‘restricted building work’. Therefore, a residential building consent application must include the names of LBP’s carrying out or supervising both design and construction that is restricted building work.
- section 45(1)(e) of the Building Act.
- section 45(2)-(4) of the Building Act.
- Guidance for homeowners on the MBIE website
- Guidance for the industry: license categories, and guidance documents.
- Owner-Builder Exemptions and Restricted Building Work.
Major amendments to the plans that involve Restricted Building Work
If you want to make major amendments (changes) to an issued building consent after, where the changes will involve restricted building work, those changes will need to be designed by a design Licensed Building Practitioner and the construction must be done or supervised by trade Licensed Building Practitioners. Before starting a project make sure that the design and trade’s people you engage are licensed.
Licensed Building Practitioners
An LBP can be identified either by producing their photo ID license card or by checking their details against the registers. ALWAYS check that their name is on the LBP register and that their license is current. If it is out of date check with the registrar in case they have paid their registration, but the register hasn’t been updated.
A person will be recorded on the LBP register because they have satisfied the Registrar that they meet the standards for their license class. See section 286 of the Building Act. There are seven license classes in the LBP scheme:
Design (Architects, Designers & Engineers)
You can apply to be licensed in more than one license class but you must be able to demonstrate that you are competent in each class you apply for.
The competencies for the license classes were developed by industry working groups. They represent the skills and knowledge that a competent person with sound experience in the building construction industry should be able to demonstrate. The LBP scheme is for competent individuals. Companies and commercial entities cannot be licensed, but the people they employ or subcontract can apply to be licensed. If your work is covered by one of the license classes, this is your opportunity to have your skills and experience formally recognised. Visit getting licensed, and read why get licensed?
To check if your builder/contractor are currently licensed under the LBP scheme, we recommend you search the Public Register by their name.
The critical factors affecting the building industry are:
- The requirement to employ the services of a licensed building practitioner from 1 March 2012 to either complete or supervise restricted building work (see definition below).
- The requirement to provide a Certificate of Design Work (COW) at building consent application. Architects and designers, read pg 12 and 13 of the design brochure completing this form.
- The names of all licensed building practitioners must be supplied to Council BEFORE construction begins.
Please note: you will NOT be able to book an inspection until this list has been supplied to Council.
- If any Licensed Building Practitioner changes during the project, the council must be notified of these changes giving the new LBP’s licensing details.
- The requirement to provide a Record of Work (ROW) from each of the licensed building practitioners involved in the construction, when the project is complete.
Architects, Designers, Engineers & Certificates of Work
Please read the MBIE brochure re-completing this form, especially pages 12 and 13. The reference to plans and specifications should be the sheet/page number of the plans or specifications and must be filled in. An “X” in any of the check circles is legally ambiguous. If a head designer does not sign off on all of the RBW elements listed, then there must be an additional COW to cover these elements. Some examples are:
- Where an engineer is responsible for the design of the foundations/subfloor; then the engineer must supply a Certificate of Work.
- Where a CPENG engineer is responsible for any of the design or review of the design; then a Certificate of Work must be supplied, along with their PS1 or PS2. See also Practice Note 2 (if completing a peer review).
- Where a non CPENG engineer has done the design of any RBW, then they must provide a PS1; but they also must get a CPENG engineer, or a registered architect, or a design LBP to provide a Certificate of Work that covers their supervision (as a non CPENG engineer is not automatically considered a design LBP because they are not CPENG).
- MBIE Guidance on the use of Certificates of Work, Producer Statements and Design Features reports for Chartered Professional Engineers.
- Information on Owner-Builder Exemptions.
Plumbers, Gasfitters and Restricted Building Work
Under the LBP scheme licensed or certified plumbers and gasfitters are deemed to be LBPs and can do the following restricted building work:
- Brick and Blocklaying
- External Plastering Roofing.
They are treated as LBPs in these classes but must only carry out Restricted Building Work that they have the competency to do. If they do this work they must meet all the obligations of a licensed building practitioner.
If a plumber or gasfitter is supervising or doing restricted building work then they must at the completion of their work, provide both the owner and the BCA with a copy of the Record of Work. The record of work must be completed in full and accurately describe the restricted building work that the plumber or gasfitter has supervised or carried out.
Trade LBPs: Notification and Records of Work
If an LBP supervises or does any restricted building work then they must provide the owner with all the LBP details requested in the Building consent application form either at the time of the building consent application or before construction begins (use the LBP notification form). The owner is required by law to provide these details to the Building Consent Authority (BCA). If any of the required information is missing then the BCA cannot accept the application and it will be rejected. If it is rejected then construction cannot start until the required information is provided and approved and NO inspections can be booked.
If the situation on site changes and the person supervising or doing the restricted building work changes then
- The BCA must be notified immediately and be provided with the details of the new LBP (use the LBP notification form). Construction cannot resume until the newly appointed LBP has been approved by the BCA.
- The leaving LBP must provide the owner and the BCA with a Record of Work (Form 6A) for the work they have done.
Offense under the Building Act 2004
Undertaking or supervising RBW by a non-LBP is considered a serious offense in that critical building work is being done (without supervision) by practitioners who have not demonstrated their competence. The holder of the building consent or their agent could be prosecuted and face a Court fine of up to $20,000 if they knowingly engaged an unlicensed person to carry out or supervise RBW. A trade LBP who supervises RBW or carries out RBW unsupervised without holding the appropriate license could:
- Be prosecuted and face a Court fine of up to $20,000.
- Also, be disciplined by the Building Practitioners Board. A trade LBP may also face the same disciplinary action if they have held themselves out as having the appropriate license when not actually having this license.
- Refer to the Deliberate offense committed under Building Act on the LBP website under RBW – Offences and Penalties and New Zealand Legislation:
B. Act 2004 Sections 85, 86 and 314