Restricted building work and the licensed building practitioner’s regime

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

From 1 March 2012, sweeping changes to the Building Act and its building regulations come into effect. 

If you are building, planning or designing a project and your application for building consent might not be lodged before 1 March 2012, make sure the people involved in your restricted building work is a licensed building practitioner (LBP).

Flowing from the various reviews after the government realised the magnitude of the Weather-tight Homes’ crisis in New Zealand, the Building Act was changed to try and ensure good quality affordable homes and buildings. It is proposed that the LBP regime will provide a strong and skilled building and construction sector in New Zealand.

If you are carrying out residential building work of a structural nature, or if the building work affects the weather tightness of the building, the work may be restricted building work, which means you must employ a LBP to design and carry out that work. The LBP must either do or supervise restricted building works.

LBPs are available currently. LBPs are not just carpenters; they include designers, roofers, plasterers, brick layers and block layers. Registered architects, chartered professional engineers and plumbers are deemed to be LBPs.

The building consent application process in respect of a restricted building work has changed. You should talk with Council staff to ensure the current process you are embarking upon is the correct one. There are exemptions for construction work that does not include a residential building. You would need to check with Council for an exact determination, but as a rule of thumb, restricted building work only relates to residential construction, alterations and design with residential components and small to medium sized apartment buildings. A freestanding garage, for instance, is not a restricted building work and for that purpose an LBP does not need to be employed.

The rule changes will take some bedding in and we invite you to contact us should you have any queries in regards to the process and how it will affect you.