An In-depth Guide On Building Warrant Of Fitness In Rotorua
Building failure and other related accidents could be fatal. To curb such incidence, the Building Act 2004 was enacted. It is legislation that governs all buildings in New Zealand and ensures that buildings are safe for the people using them.
The Act contains the requirement for industrial, institutional, and commercial buildings. It also specifies the responsibilities of building owners or managers. This includes construction code, maintenance, demolition, compliance schedule, warrant of fitness, and a lot more for all new and existing buildings in the country.
For all building owners or managers in Rotorua, you must get the annual warrant of fitness for your building. Keep reading for an in-depth analysis of the building warrant of fitness (BWoF) in Rotorua.
What Is A Building Warrant Of Fitness?
New Zealand’s Building Act of 2004 sets the standard for building construction, completion, inspection, maintenance, and many others. The building warrant of fitness could be regarded as the last phase and perhaps one of the most important. Its primary concern is to ensure that everybody that uses any buildings in New Zealand is safe and that all the specified systems in the building are functioning effectively.
During construction and after completion of the building project, the authority under the regulation of the Department of Building and Housing with the associated regional and district councils will issue a certificate of compliance. After 12 months, the building warrant of fitness form will then replace the certificate of compliance.
The building warrant of fitness is an annual form that is issued to all commercial and industrial buildings that have some specified system. The form simply states that the building is safe for public usage after complying with periodic inspection and maintenance codes. While submitting the form to the council, it must be accompanied by other certificates and other recommendations issued by the Independent Qualified Person (IQP).
The form is usually signed by the owner or the manager of the building. While the authority keeps the original copy of the signed form, the duplicate copies will be displayed where they can be easily seen by the public. The authority can also recommend modifications to any of the compliance schedules in the form. Meanwhile, false claims on the form are regarded as a serious offence in the country.
The Specified System That Qualifies A Building For The Annual Warrant Of Fitness Form
According to New Zealand’s Building Act of 2004, all buildings in the country with the exemption of single residential must get the annual building warrant of interest form after the compliance schedule. Highlighted below are some of what the building must contain:
- Emergency lighting systems.
- Automatic doors and windows.
- An automatic or manual warning system that serves more than one unit in a building.
- Smoke control systems.
- Cable cars.
- Lift, escalators, and other forms of systems are dedicated to moving people and goods in the building.
- Dedicated spoken communication system for emergency purposes.
- Automatic systems for fire suppression, such as sprinkler systems.
- Pressurization systems for escape routes.
- Dedicated riser mains for fire service.
- Air conditioning or ventilation systems.
Roles Of The Different People Involved In Issuing Forms For Building Warrants Of Fitness
Here are some of the people involved in the process of schedule compliance and the issuance of a building warrant of fitness form according to the 2004 Building Act.
Owners’ Or Building Managers’ Responsibilities
- Get the compliance schedule and certificate from the territorial authority if it is a newly constructed building.
- Documentation of building warrant of fitness with the local authority.
- Ensure that you comply with the inspection and maintenance schedule so that the covered systems in the building can continually function effectively.
- Public display of the compliance statement for the first 12 months and subsequent display of the duly signed building warrant of fitness every year until you get a new one.
- Know all specified systems that are under the compliance schedule.
- Hire the service of an Independent Qualified Person (IQP), who will periodically inspect, maintain, and report all the procedures listed on the compliance schedule form.
- Get the 12A certificate from the hired IQP after you have complied with the inspection and maintenance procedure.
- Periodic inspection of building specified systems.
- Recommendation for an amendment to the compliance schedule.
- Recommendation of procedure of inspection for another IQP.
- Issuance of certificate of compliance or form 12A for building owners and managers.
Responsibilities Of The Authority
- Periodic inspection of buildings to ensure that building warrant of interest forms are correct.
- Inspection of buildings, the validity of BWoF, and the submitted form 12As.
- Charging for this inspection and authorizing agents that will act on behalf of the authority.
- Review of all form 12As, accompanying documents, and recommendations from IQPs before approval.
- Sending constant reminders to building owners before the expiration of their BWoF.
How To Get The Building Warrant Of Fitness
The Building Act stipulates the procedure for inspection, maintenance, and reporting for all specified systems. Most of the inspection and schedule maintenance processes are done by a certified, qualified and independent person or firm.
As a building owner or manager, you must keep the details and date of maintenance, inspection, faults, repairs in the last 12 months, and the name of the person that handled the task. After schedule inspection and you have been issued form 12As for all specified systems, it is then you can be issued the building warrant of fitness.
On the anniversary of when you first got the compliance schedule, you must sign a new building warrant of fitness. This will serve as evidence that the building has fulfilled all requirements for a compliance schedule in the last 12 months. You can then display a copy of the form where it would be seen by all users of the building.
Penalty For Defaulting
While the Building Act ensures that occupants of any building in New Zealand are protected against any hazard, there is also a penalty for building owners who default or fail to meet the specified requirements. In some instances, you could be fined $20,000 when you fail to comply with some of the provisions of the Building Act and an additional penalty of $2,000 daily for the continuation of the offence. Other fines also range from $1,000 to $200,000. Listed below are some of the offences.
- Failure to follow compliance schedule, inspection, and maintenance.
- Failure to display building warrant of fitness and supply the authority with the original copy.
- Displaying an incorrect or misleading warrant of fitness.
Though you might have fulfilled all construction codes and the building has been certified safe, you still have to periodically inspect and maintain the systems in the building. The building warrant of fitness form seeks to ensure the safety of all building owners and users in New Zealand.