Latest News & Public Notices

Welcome to our Building Team's newsletter

07 February 2020

Welcome to our Coro Build email newsletter from our Council's Building Team. This is our way of updating our customers on building-related news and issues in Thames-Coromandel District. It also provides a quick overview of any significant changes in legislation affecting the industry.

Happy New Year to all our e-news subscribers

We hope you enjoyed the Christmas holiday and had a wonderful time with family and friends.

If a friend or colleague has forwarded you this email, get in touch with Jennifer Anderson on the Building Team to add you to the subscriber list:

Risky approach: Starting building work without a consent

There have been a few cases recently where our staff have turned up for a first inspection to find works have clearly been in progress for some time, but the building consent has only just been issued.

We understand how this can happen; however, it is unlawful and can put your consent and/or your code compliance certificate (CCC) at risk.

Our inspector needs to ‘sight’ key elements to be able to be satisfied on reasonable grounds they comply with the Building Code when issuing a CCC.

If we do not get to see, for example, membranes under concrete slabs or structural framing before it is closed in, it is unlikely we will be in a position to issue a CCC.

Recently we have recommended that applicants remove elements to enable critical areas to be inspected. In some circumstances if the work has been done before the building consent has been issued you will need to apply for a Certificate of Acceptance for the work that has been done.

It is always better to avoid this, as it can add significant cost and time to your building project.

If you do find yourself in a situation where work has begun before a consent is issued, please contact us on 07 868 0200. If we know, we can work with you to find the best outcome.

Mechanical ventilation changes to G4/AS1 cl 1.2.5

From 17 June 2019, changes have been made to G4/AS1 to enable homeowners to easily comply with the new Healthy Homes standards.

Spaces in household units and accommodation units that contain cook-tops, showers and baths must have mechanical extraction fans to remove moisture generated by these fixtures. These extract fans must have a flow rate of not less than 25 litres per second (L/s) for showers and baths and 50 L/s for cook-tops.

It is thought that natural ventilation in these areas on its own is not adequate to remove the moisture generated from cook-tops, showers and baths.

Outdoor showers

Outdoor shower

When you come in from the surf and sand, these popular sanitary features are a convenient way to rinse off.

You may not be aware that it is a requirement of NZ Building Legislation to connect a shower to a suitable outlet.

The New Zealand Building Code G1 requires sanitary fixtures connect to a drainage system. This requirement is to safeguard people from illness due to infection or contamination from personal hygiene and to prevent unpleasant odours.

In terms of hot and cold, the Building Code G12 Water Supplies does require a sanitary fixture to have hot water when used for personal washing and showering.

We've taken a pragmatic approach in applying the legislation as we recognise that a cold shower is not generally how people wash themselves on a regular basis. Cold showers are more for just rinsing off sand/salt after a day at the beach, similar to a handheld hose. Please note that the discharge needs to be managed so as to not cause loss of amenity or nuisance to neighbouring properties.

Whereas hot showers are viewed the same as any other sanitary fixture and should meet the requirements of the NZ Building Code, which achieves the long-held objectives of sanitation to keep the community safe.

These fixtures need to be directed to an appropriate outfall (gully trap) with stormwater infiltration methods in place. If a reticulated system is in place this is directed to Council's wastewater or if not, to the property's wastewater system.

IANZ is due in March 2020

Our Council's Building Unit is proud of the fact that we have maintained accreditation as a Building Consent Authority since 2007.

March this year will see our Building Unit having its two-yearly assessment for accreditation as a Building Consent Authority (BCA) by IANZ (International Accreditation New Zealand).

For customers the IANZ accreditation provides independent confirmation of a Council's quality in applying building legislation in its district.

Work experience/internship

Over the summer months we have had a local school leaver participating in a work experience programme within the regulatory arm of Council.

During a six-week period the student was given an insight into the regulatory functions that Council deals with on a daily basis, including going out on site for building inspections and compliance matters.

Council has struggled in past years to recruit into the specialised regulatory areas and sees this as an opportunity to invest in possible future staff and play an important role in developing the industry's future skills base.

The students not only gain an understanding of the regulatory processes but gain technical skills and general competencies. These are skills that all employers look for in potential recruits. Their experience may also assist in choosing their career path.

The work experience was a success and we're looking into repeating it. We'll let you know if there's to be another opportunity. You never know, you may know someone who would be interested.

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