Information for Design Engineers

Documentation requirements for building compliance

As per the Building Act you must provide comprehensive documentation to prove compliance with the Building Code.

We recommend you include:

  • A contents page identifying the information in your application, along with page numbers.
  • Design Features report.
  • Detailed seismic assessment if the application is for seismic strengthening.
  • Complete design calculations.
  • All structural drawings and details.
  • Producer statements from chartered professional engineers.
  • B2 durability statement.
  • Proposed inspection plans by engineers, with documentation for the Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) stage.
  • Any additional information supporting your application and demonstrating compliance.

When preparing your application, keep in mind that the regulatory reviewer is not the design engineer. Their primary objective is to confirm that the design is compliant with the New Zealand Building Code (NZBC)  to the extent required under the Building Act.

Structuring your application so that it is easy to understand how the design complies with the Building Code will help us to assess your application as quickly as possible and may minimise requests for further information (RFIs).

Regulatory structural engineering review

We're transitioning to a risk matrix model to determine if a project needs a full regulatory structural engineering review or whether submitted producer statements will suffice.

While we may require a full regulatory review for any project, we aim to streamline the process, especially when industry best practice and strong engineering documents are provided.

Factors considered when determining whether a full regulatory review is required include:

  • The number of storeys.
  • Compliance pathway (B1/AS1(3604) B1/VM1, alternative design elements outside B1/VM1).
  • Competency of the design engineer and the quality control processes within the engineering consultancy (has there been any internal review/has the design engineer signed the PS1).
  • Availability of producer statements and peer reviews.
  • Design complexity.

Responding to Requests for Information

Requests for Information (RFIs) are often issued when the application doesn’t clearly demonstrate how compliance has been achieved.

Submitting the minimum recommended documentation and structuring the application in a way that assists the regulatory reviewer to do their job may minimise RFIs and ensure a faster approval process.

If you do receive an RFI, your response will be more effective if it:

  • Answers the question in complete sentences, as if speaking directly to the reviewer.
  • Addresses the entire question.
  • Explains how your design meets the RFI concerns.
  • Specifies where the supporting documentation can be found.
  • Please also revise your documents by removing superseded material and adding new material, rather than attaching new materials in isolation.

If you do not understand the RFI, please contact us to discuss what is required before submitting a response.

Keep up to date

Building Consenting and Compliance (BCC) produces a regular enewsletter with key messages.

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Other useful information

Our Building Consents team have produced a webinar with great tips for a seamless consent experience:

Read the full SESOC presentation on consenting reviews (337KB PDF) presented by Alasdair Sinclair.