Changing the use of a building

You must notify us if you're changing the use of a building – for example, changing a private home into a workplace like a daycare centre.

How it works

Every building has to meet Building Code requirements to ensure it is safe, healthy and durable when used for the purpose it was designed for. If that use changes, the building may need to be altered to meet new Building Code requirements.

You must notify us if you're changing the use of a building, even if no building work is involved or you don't need a building consent.

Find out if you need a building consent

You may also need to apply for a resource consent.

Find out if you need a resource consent


  • If a family home is converted into a doctor's surgery, it will need to have access and facilities for people with disabilities.
  • If a storage warehouse changes into a supermarket, it will need different specified systems as there are more people using the building each day.

Understanding change of use – Building Performance

What you need to do

To change the use of a building, you must show us that the new use will comply with the Building Code requirements for that use as near as is reasonably practicable.

If you make a change without advising us first, you could be fined up to $5,000.

1. Complete the forms

Note: Because of the level of technical detail required, we strongly recommend asking your architect or another advisor to help you fill in these forms.

Using an agent to apply on your behalf

Once your application is submitted, the process takes up to 20 working days. 

If you don't provide enough detail or leave a box empty, we may need to ask for more information and your application will take longer. You may also be charged extra fees.

Change of use – supporting information ​(93KB PDF)

Change of use (SH to SR) – supporting information (67KB PDF)

Notification of change of use ​(85KB PDF)

Access and facilities for people with disabilities – supporting information (162KB PDF)

Means of escape from fire assessment – supporting information (76KB PDF)

2. Pay the fee

Once your application has been accepted, you'll be sent an invoice with payment details.

Lodgement fee


Initial fee (includes 2 hours processing)


Processing over 2 hours – per hour


3. If the change of use is approved

We'll send you written confirmation that the requirements of the Building Code have been complied with.

Contact us

The Building Compliance and Consents team is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm.

If you have a Building Compliance and Consent related query, you can submit it through our online form:

Send a query

Phone: 04 801 4311