How it works
When you apply for a building consent to change or renovate an existing building, we must be satisfied that, after the alteration, the entire building will comply, as nearly as is reasonably practicable, with the Building Code clauses about:
- means of escape from fire
- access and facilities for people with disabilities (if required).
Full list of buildings required to provide access and facilities for people with disabilities – legislation.govt.nz
If the rest of the building complies with the current Building Code
It must continue to comply after the alteration.
If the rest of the building doesn't comply with the current Building Code
You must make upgrades to the entire building so that it complies with the requirements for means of escape from fire and, if required, access and facilities for people with disabilities.
Otherwise, the rest of the building must comply with the Building Code at least as much as it did before.
The rules for managing building alterations are mainly contained in section 112 of the Building Act.
Managing building alterations – Building Performance
If your building is earthquake-prone
While your building has an earthquake-prone building notice, you may want to carry out alterations to your building unrelated to seismic work, such as an office fitout or a reroof.
If you end up carrying out substantial alterations to your building while it is still earthquake-prone you will trigger a requirement to carry out seismic work at the same time, regardless of how much time is remaining on your notice.
Broadly speaking, you’re considered to be carrying out substantial alterations when you spend more than a quarter of your building’s value on alterations unrelated to seismic work within a 2-year period.
If you are carrying out alterations to an earthquake prone building, please contact the Building Consents team.
Building Performance – Substantial alterations to an earthquake-prone building
If your plans don't meet the requirements
If your plans don't meet the above requirements, we may grant the building consent anyway if you can prove that the alteration:
- will improve the building's means of escape from fire or disability access, and
- wouldn't go ahead if the building was required to comply with all the relevant provisions of the Building Code.
You need to be able to show that the improvements made will outweigh the drawbacks of the non-compliant parts of the building, for example with a cost-benefit analysis.
Applying for your building consent
When you apply for your building consent, there's some extra information you'll need to provide.
You need to provide evidence of:
- how the new building work complies with the Building Code
- how the rest of the building will remain compliant, or be no less compliant than it already is.
If your building needs to meet the Building Code requirements for fire and accessibility, you'll also need to show how the alterations will comply as nearly as is reasonably practicable with those requirements, and the sacrifices and benefits of achieving full compliance. We recommend this information is provided in a report by a suitably qualified fire engineer.
Applying for a building consent
The Building Compliance and Consents team is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.
Building Compliance and Consents
Phone: 04 801 4311