Everything You Should Know About Building Warrant of Fitness In Tauranga

As an owner of a building, several things must be considered in ensuring building compliance. One such safety requirement is the Building Warrant of Fitness. This official statement called a “Building Warrant of Fitness” attests to the building’s compliance with the required system specifications.
Building compliances are taken seriously in Tauranga to ensure safety and prevent disasters. The process here is quite similar to those in other councils. However, here is a simple layout of everything you should know about getting a building warrant of fitness.

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Specified Systems

Specified systems are parts of the building that provide security, safety, and sanitary features to the users and the building. These features help manage emergencies, thus reducing the risk to the health and safety of the occupants. Common specified systems in buildings include; fire alarms, sprinklers, and emergency exits. Because they are used frequently, and because of the things they serve, it is important to keep them fully functional and at optimum performance.

compliance schedules
Routine Specified System Inspections

Compliance Schedule

The specified systems of the building, the inspections, testing, and maintenance procedures are all listed in a compliance schedule. The Compliance Schedule for a building outlines in detail each system’s performance level, who is in charge of keeping an eye on it, and the specifics of the building’s systems.

When you submit a building approval request, the necessary data for the Compliance Schedule is gathered. The Building Consent Authority in Tauranga issues a compliance schedule following an inspection and authorisation. The Compliance Certificate is also included with this. 

Obtaining A Compliance Schedule

You would need a compliance schedule for a new building. This certification lasts for 12 months and would need to be renewed at the expiration of a year. For new buildings obtaining the Compliance Schedule for the first time, the council also gives a Compliance Schedule Statement that serves as a temporary public notice.

Once a compliance schedule statement has been issued, building owners can then engage the services of an IQP to help with inspections for the year. 

Amending A Compliance Schedule

For buildings that had been issued a compliance schedule, an amendment would be required after a year. Also, you could schedule an amendment if you want to update certain information, such as;

  • The owner’s details
  • Amendments to the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures
  • Inclusion of a new system not initially covered on the compliance schedule

Independent Qualified Person

Independent Qualified Persons (IQPs) are responsible for the inspection, upkeep, and reporting of specific building systems. The Tauranga council does not handle warrant of fitness maintenance and inspections on its own. The council nevertheless does routine inspections, although not for the purpose of awarding certifications. 

A building owner seeking a warrant of fitness would have to get an IQP. These are independent people with no financial interest in the buildings licensed and certified by the council. Their duties include; carrying out inspections, writing reports and maintaining the specific systems in a building as described in the compliance schedule.

You should engage the services of an IQP once you receive your compliance schedule statement. At the end of the 12-month inspection, you will get a report on the activities of all the IQP on your building. These reports would be valuable for future inspections. 

When Do You Need A BWOF

According to the council, if your building has safety or specific systems, you would need a building warrant of fitness. It is often the case that if you have a commercial building, you would most likely need one. If your structure has any of these particular systems, it most likely requires a building warrant of fitness;

  • Emergency fire or danger warning systems
  • Automatic fire sprinkler system
  • Emergency lighting systems
  • Lifts, escalators, or cable cars
  • Smoke control systems
  • Air conditioning system
  • Emergency escape routes
  • Riser mains for use by fire services 
  • Mechanical ventilation system
  • Electromagnetic or automatic doors
  • Automatic backflow preventers in water supply 
  • Laboratory fume cupboards
  • Emergency power system
Specified System ss1 Sprinkler System
Annual Inspections

Renewing A Building Warrant Of Fitness

Each year, the building warrant of fitness must be updated. The council often sends out a letter of reminder one month before the inspection. The building owner receives two copies of the warrant of fitness, which must be signed, after the warrant of fitness form has been completed. One copy must be displayed inside the building, and the other must be sent to the council with all of the necessary 12A certificates. 

Do I Need To Display My BWoF?

After obtaining your building warrant of fitness, it should be displayed to let all you come into your building know that the security systems are functional. 

Apart from having your building warrant of fitness for annual compliance, you might need to provide it at certain times. You may be required to present your warrant of fitness; 

  • When renovating your building
  • When part or all of the building is vacant
  • When some specific systems are decommissioned

Building maintenance requires a lot of certifications, and they cannot be too many, especially since your safety is concerned. One way to guarantee this is by installing specific systems in your building, especially if it is a commercial one. The Tauranga Council helps ensure that these systems are functional through the issuance of a warrant of fitness. There are many terms associated with getting a building warrant of fitness. Notwithstanding, going through ensures safety for your building and its occupants.