The Building Act 2004 sets out the legislation on building standards and procedures that affect the construction, alteration, maintenance and also demolition of new and existing building in New Zealand.
The Building Regulations contain the mandatory Building Code that defines the minimum performance standards that any building must meet. These cover requirements such as fire safety, access, healthy environment, moisture control, durability.
The Department of Building and Housing (DBH) manages the system that regulates building work and monitors its effectiveness. The DBH publishes Compliance documents which prescribe one method of how to comply with specific requirements of the NZ Building Code.These are known as Acceptable Solutions, they are conservative by nature as they are deemed to comply in all situations throughout NZ.
These can describe the use of particular building methods or building materials, e.g. the preservative treatment needed to meet durability requirements under an end-use situation.
Sometimes products, systems or methods may not fit within the Compliance documents so acceptance by Building Consent Authorities (BCA’s) as being Code compliant requires Certification or an independent assessment as an Alternative Solution by an independent third party organisation.
Untreated and preservative treated timber, with a few exceptions are included in New Zealand Standards, e.g. NZS3602:2003 Timber and wood-based products for use in building, and are recognised as being Acceptable Solutions within the context of the NZ Building Code.
NB: The code has changed as of April 2011 to use H1.2 for Timber Treatment for enclosed framing. Read the brochure Pink is Tough - H1.2 Frames it Right here.
All other website information is being updated gradually.
Standards are prepared to provide and define specifications for the required properties and applications of timber and wood-based products.
There are also standards that define test methods, and provide requirements for treatment plant site design and operations.
Some standards relevant to timber use in construction are solely New Zealand standards while others are joint Australian/New Zealand standards.
The latter are particularly relevant to exporters of processed timber products to Australia.
Standards are issued after consultation and consideration of research results and history of use by a committee comprised of representatives of relevant industry groups and independent experts.
All new standards and major amendments are issued for public comment before publication, ensuring a wide range of consumers, end-users and manufacturers have access to input in their development.