Moves to make building rules easier to access and understand

  • Hon Jenny Salesa
Building and Construction

The Government is making it easier for people to understand and apply best practice when designing and constructing buildings.

By launching a new building system search engine and sponsoring five commonly used building standards and a handbook, we hope to see improved compliance with the Building Code, and even more importantly, safer homes and buildings, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa.

“The online search engine, Building CodeHub helps people locate the latest building rules and guidance information for designing and constructing buildings,” says Ms Salesa. “It’s the definitive source of up-to-date rules and guidance from a range of sources.”

“New Zealand’s building regulator the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), has sponsored some of the most commonly-used standards, making them freely available to all users,” says Ms Salesa.

“We anticipate that providing free access to these standards, will make it easier for consumers to understand the building code requirements and apply best practice methods when undertaking home building projects.”

The sponsored standards and handbook, which can be accessed from the Standards New Zealand website, are:

  • Design for access and mobility: Buildings and associated facilities (NZS 4121:2001) - provides solutions for making buildings and facilities accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.
  • Housing, alterations and small buildings contract (NZS 3902:2004) - a plain English standard building contract.
  • Thermal insulation - housing and small buildings (NZS 4218:2009) - helps establish the levels of thermal insulation for houses and small buildings.
  • Interconnected smoke alarms for houses (NZS 4514:2009) - provides information about the placement and audibility of smoke alarms.
  • Safety barriers and fences around swimming pools, spas and hot tubs (NZS 8500:2006) - describes barriers for residential pools including ways to assess their strength.
  • Handbook on Timber-framed buildings (selected extracts from NZS 3604:2011) - figures and tables to help design and construct timber-framed buildings up to three storeys high.

“MBIE will continue to make the building system more accessible with further enhancements to Building CodeHub and considering ways to improve access to more design and construction building standards,” says Ms Salesa.