About the Building Code
All new building work in New Zealand must comply with the Building Code, which is the first schedule to the Building Regulations 1992. The Code sets out performance standards that building work must meet, and covers aspects such as structural stability, fire safety, access, moisture control, durability, services and facilities.
Building plans and specifications are assessed by building consent authorities to ensure they comply with the Building Code before a building consent is issued.
The Building Code does not prescribe how work should be done (ie, no detailed requirements for design and construction), but states how completed building work, and its components, must perform.
The Building Code consists of two preliminary clauses and 35 technical clauses. Each technical clause contains:
- an Objective - The social objective that completed building work must achieve
- a Functional requirement - What the completed building work must do to satisfy the social objective
- Performance criteria - Qualitative or quantitative criteria which nominates how far the completed building work must go in order to comply.
The Building Code has been reviewed to align it with the 2004 Act.
Role of Compliance Documents
Compliance Documents (formerly known as Approved Documents) are produced by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help people meet the requirements of the Building Code. Although they are not part of the Building Code, Compliance Documents contain information on building materials and construction details that set out how to comply with the Code. They contain Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods.
Use of Compliance Documents is not compulsory.
Find out more about Compliance Documents and download copies.
Role of alternative solutions
An alternative solution is a building design, of all or part of a building which differs from the design in the Compliance Documents but complies with the Building Code. It can include a material, component or construction method that differs completely or partially from those described in the Compliance Documents. It can be a minor variation from a Compliance Document, or a radically different design and construction approach.
Find out more about alternative solutions.