Change of Use
You cannot make the proposed change until Council gives the owner written confirmation that the requirements of the Building Act 2004 have been complied with. This is typically done as part of a building consent.
Every building is designed for a specific use and has to meet Building Code requirements that ensure it will be safe, healthy and durable when used in the way it was designed. If that use changes, the building may need to be altered to support the new use.
A change of use is where a building incorporates a household unit where one did not exist before, or when use of a building or part of a building changes from one use to another as defined in the Building Regulations 2005(Specified Systems, Change the Use and Earthquake-prone Buildings) and the new use has more onerous or additional Building Code requirements than the old use.
Once Council receives advice about a change of use, they must confirm to the owner in writing whether they are satisfied that the building (in its new use) will meet the Building Code compliance requirements.
Requirements of the Building Code
If the change of use involves incorporating one or more household units into the building where there were none before, Council must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the building (in its new use) will comply as nearly as is reasonably practicable with the building code in all respects.
If you are changing the use of a building or part of a building you will need to supply information with your application regarding:
- Means of escape from fire
- protection of other property
- sanitary facilities
- structural performance
- fire rating performance and
- access and facilities for persons with disabilities will be addressed.
For all other cases, Council must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the building (in its new use) will:
- comply, as nearly as is reasonably practicable, with every Building Code provision relating to either or both of:
- Means of escape for fire, protection of other property, sanitary facilities, structural performance and fire-rating performance
- access and facilities for people with disabilities (if this is a requirement under section 118 or the Building Act 2004)
- continue to comply with other Building Code provisions to at least the same extent as before.
The above information should be presented on the Change of use - Gap analysis form as part of your building consent application.
An owner of a building must not change the use of the building in a case where the change involves the incorporation in the building of one or more household units where household units did not exist before, unless the Territorial Authority (Council) gives the owner written notice that the building, in its new use, will comply, as nearly as is reasonably practicable, with the Building Code in all respects.
In addition to the Building Code, the Territorial Authority will also need to be satisfied that the application complies with other aspects of legislation (such as the District Plan) and will advise if additional consents are needed.
If an existing building needs to be upgraded to comply with current building code requirements and there is good reasoning for the upgrade not to be undertaken, an ANARP (As Near as Reasonably Practicable) justification must be documented and provided with the building consent application.
4 February 2023
As Near as Reasonably Practicable (ANARP)
What is an extension of life of a building?
The majority of buildings have an indefinite life exceeding 50yrs. At times, due to building work, they can be assessed to have an agreed specified life of less than 50 years possibly due to durability limitations to building code compliance or on owners request to have a temporarily located building.
Where a building with a specified intended life is issued with a building consent that is subject to the condition the building be altered, demolished or removed before the end of its life, an 'extension of life' can be obtained on a request from the owner, if the Territorial Authority is satisfied on reasonable grounds the building can satisfactorily perform for a further specified time.
If your building has an agreed specified life and this date is getting close, you may be able to apply for an extension. This request must be given in writing to the council if it proposes extending the life of a building. You may need to have a condition report completed which will help justify the reasons for the extension and length of time. This ideally could be provided by a suitably competent designer or other.
Subdivision is a process of dividing a parcel of land or a building into one or more further parcels, or changing an existing boundary location. There are different types of subdivision including the creation of fee simple, unit title, cross lease and leasehold titles which all require a subdivision consent.
It is recommended that you engage a qualified surveyor to help you complete an application for subdivision. We would also recommend that you engage with our planning team to discuss any subdivision rules under our district plan prior to commencing.
Any subdivision must:
- comply, as nearly as is reasonably practicable, with every provision of the building code that relates to the following matters:
- means of escape from fire
- access and facilities for people with disabilities (if this is a requirement under section 118)
- Protection of other property; and
- if it complied with the other provisions of the building code immediately before the application for a subdivision was made, continue to comply with those provisions; or
- if it did not comply with the other provisions of the building code immediately before the application for a subdivision was made, continue to comply at least to the same extent as it did then comply