• Building news

21 Dec 2023


Thank You

The building team would like to extend a thank you to all our clients for your patience this year. It has been a tumultuous year for all and we’ve been working on getting things back on track and meeting timeframes. Something that we are happy to say is that we are now turning a corner and can see things starting to pull back into line. The fact that some of you have reached out to say thank you and to acknowledge good work being done is fantastic. Your patience while we have recruited and trained up our new Building Consent Officers has been appreciated. We can’t wait to start 2024 with a renewed lease of life and to start seeing the hard work pay off.

Looking forward to 2024

As promised we have increased our communications in 2023 and are looking to increase this again in 2024. You will see us out and about in the SDC District Offices, Waimumu Field Days and the Southland Home Show.

We will also have our focus group up and running in the New Year. Thank you to those that have submitted their names to be part of this. If you would like to be included as part of this group please email us on building-cs@southlanddc.govt.nz.

Once we get our numbers back under control we will also be loosening up the apron strings to allow more direct access to our technical team. Something you have all been asking for and we hope to make it happen very soon.

If you attended our sessions in Te Anau or Invercargill earlier in the year, you would have seen a new customer portal (ObjectiveBuild) for applications being showcased. We took on feedback that it wasn’t quite ready for our customers to use at that point in time. We have had another look at this and believe that now it has been tested by other Councils and had more time to iron out some of the wrinkles, that it is time to make the move. We are looking to go live at the end of February and will have further information out to you all prior to that date. If you would like to take a look at what this will look like, and how it works you can click on this link to see the overview https://nz.objective.com/products/objective-build.

Changes to the Building Code

There were some key changes that came into play to the Building Code in November.

These changes include:

  • the reduction of hot water temperatures at the tap to reduce scalding injuries.
  • the requirement for interconnected smoke alarms to be the minimum fire alarm system in homes.

More information about is available https://www.building.govt.nz/building-code-compliance/annual-building-code-updates/2022-building-code-update/#jumpto-plumbing-and-drainage.

The transition period for the H1 update ended on 1 November 2023, windows and doors for new building work in climate zones 5 and 6 will need an R-value of at least R0.50.

For further information click https://www.building.govt.nz/building-code-compliance/annual-building-code-updates/2022-building-code-update/#jumpto-transition-period-for-insulation-settings-for-new-housing.

Engineer Construction Monitoring

If your building project involves specific engineered design, your engineer may require construction monitoring inspections to ensure the work is completed in accordance with their design. This is usually for certain structural elements such as ground bearing, foundations, under slab fill, and steelwork etc.

Ensure you check the Form 5 that accompanies your issued building consent documents, as it will indicate any construction monitoring inspections that are required by your engineer. It is important that these inspections take place, as council relies on documentation such as site observation notes and/or a PS4 from the engineer to be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the building work is completed in accordance with the issued building consent.

It is critical that all construction monitoring documentation including site records and any relevant PS4s are forwarded to council as soon as possible to prevent delays with your project.

Without the engineers inspection records, council may allow up to two more inspections dependant on how critical the structural element monitored is, or immediately place a ‘no more inspections’ on the project until the construction monitoring documentation from the engineer has been received and accepted by council. When a ‘no more inspections’ is placed on a project this will communicated to the owner and site contact/agent either verbally or through an inspection outcome notice.

Resource Planning and Environmental Health and Licensing Information

We have been working with teams across Council that may have information that is pertinent to you as our clients. From our next newsletter we will start to include updates from these teams that will help you with planning your build, and understanding any requirements from a Resource Management Act and District Plan perspective as well as informing you of any requirements if you are embarking on a commercial build such as food, hairdressing and alcohol premises.

Last but not least

We hope you all get to have a good break over the Christmas/New Year period – you all deserve it!

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