Dialogue wanted on Building Code changes

by Sol Dolor22 May 2017
The government has opened consultations over proposed changes to the Building Code.

Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith has released the consultation document, “Consultation on Fire Safety Proposals,” which details proposed improvements to simplify building fire safety requirements.

“We currently have record high levels of commercial and residential construction and this needs to be supported by high quality regulation,” said Smith. “We need systems that deliver safe buildings but also enable the design and construction of buildings to be done at pace. These changes will deliver both safety and efficiency gains.”

He said that the discussion document is the result of two years of working groups and targeted consultation with stakeholders.

“The proposals are aimed at further improving changes made to the Building Code’s Protection from fire clauses in 2012,” he said.

The Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) talked to the New Zealand Fire Service, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, building control officials, and architects, as well as international fire engineering experts, to formulate the proposals, Smith said.

The MBIE said in the consultation document that the proposals are mostly adjustments and rebalancing designed to simplify and support current fire design, or facilitate how it should be done.

Changes to the fire safety requirements are relatively minimal, the ministry said, apart from specialised areas such as tall buildings where it proposes more safeguards for occupants and firefighters. Other proposed changes are designed to increase efficiency, reduce cost and improve workability, the ministry said.

Written submissions, which can be sent through the ministry’s site here, are welcomed by the MBIE until July 14.

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