MBIE November 2020 Building Code Update
After consulting with the sector earlier in the year about proposed changes to the Building Code and analysing feedback that was received, MBIE has decided to proceed with the majority of proposed changes, with some minor amendments.
The improvements to the Building Code include changes to fire safety requirements and surface water drainage, as well as improvements to waterproofing in bathrooms, kitchens and laundries.
The main changes include:
• providing a new Acceptable Solution for the design and installation of stormwater drainage systems
• introducing a new Acceptable Solution for waterproofing in bathrooms, kitchens and laundries
Following feedback from the consultation, there was some concern about the fire testing protocols for cladding systems and the proposed changes to facilitate firefighting operations.
As a result of these concerns, we have decided that we need to gather more evidence before requiring full scale testing for buildings in the 10-25 metre height range.
BRANZ is conducting some research in this area to help inform MBIE's decisions about how to proceed. In the meantime, MBIE will update the Cladding Guidance document released in 2019 to align with the requirements in the Acceptable Solution and Verification Method.
MBIE will also be undertaking work with the sector to resolve comments on the facilitation of firefighting operations.
Existing Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods will remain in force until 4 November 2021, a period of 12 months. This transition period is longer than the 4 months proposed during consultation. The timing is consistent with MBIE's new Building Code update schedule, where updates will be published in November each year, as previously announced.
Continuing to improve the Building Code
Moving forward, MBIE will be updating Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods once a year, with the next consultation opening Monday, 5 April 2021 and running for 8 weeks.