Is that new product you’re using up to code?

Chances are that in the next few months, you’ll come across at least one new building product you’ve never heard of or used before. It might be brilliant and innovative. But will the building compliance officer pass it no questions asked?

New building materials from all over the world are being introduced onto the New Zealand market at a faster rate than ever before.

And while most overseas building products can be imported into New Zealand without restriction, not all of them will automatically comply with the NZ Building Code.

Signs to look out for

A major red flag you should look out for is “substitution”, where a different product is supplied than the one specified in the approved contract document plans and specifications (usually because of availability problems or cost).

For example, imported window joinery (or cladding) may appear very similar to well-known New Zealand brands, but if it’s not NZBC compliant, it cannot be used. All work carried out must comply with the NZBC.

If you have any doubt about any new building product or system, check to see if it is either BRANZ Appraised or CodeMark certified.

Ask the question

There have been numerous cases in New Zealand recently where non-compliant products have been used, often inadvertently, resulting in project delays, re-do’s and major cost over runs.

So before you install or fix that amazing new building product, make sure it’s code compliant.

BRANZ Appraised

BRANZ appraisals

The BRANZ appraisal system has been around in New Zealand for over 40 years, and is seen as the benchmark for building product testing and evaluation.

An appraisal is a technical opinion of a building product or system’s fitness for purpose. It involves extensive testing and verification of Building Code compliance.

BRANZ Appraisals are commonly accepted by Building Consent Authorities throughout New Zealand.

Codemark

Codemark certification

The New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)administers the product certification scheme, CodeMark.

With close ties between the building industries in New Zealand and Australia, the CodeMark scheme has been established to help streamline product compliance in both countries.

Under the scheme, a building product or system that is CodeMark certified will be automatically accepted as complying with the Building Code by all consent authorities in New Zealand, provided the use is within the stated scope.